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hi dolda and all the respected moderators. soon i will be installing red hat 9.0 again along side winXP, mandrake9.1 so i really want to know the different partitioning and ...
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  1. #1
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    most important step - partitioning !!!


    hi dolda and all the respected moderators.

    soon i will be installing red hat 9.0 again along side winXP, mandrake9.1

    so i really want to know the different partitioning and their workings.

    i mean

    /
    /boot
    /usr
    /var
    /home

    now after going through the threads relating with program applications directories

    i have a feeling the path where program binaries or other categories reside change according to the nature of partitioning

    i mean

    for example rite now i have 3 partitions for mandrake

    /
    swap
    /home

    and i had to keep the / bigger. to install packages during installation

    i realized earlier [during previos installations of red hat 9.0 ]

    that if i make these partitions

    /
    swap
    /usr
    /var
    /home

    and if i make the / biggest

    then it will not install the packages saying not enough space

    so if i make the /usr bigger
    then it will install all the packages

    so for /, swap, /home
    the installer installs all the packages in /


    and for /, swap, /usr, /var , /home
    installer installs it in /usr

    so dolda if u can guide us, i mean the work and significance of all these partition types
    also ext2, ext3, rieserFS


    and finally

    the next red hat 9.0 installation i will be doing, i would like to buy the christopher negus's redhat 9.0 bible and go through all the examples and excercises to set up web server, ftp server, mail server and all that
    [ since i will be graduating this october in B.Sc in network and communications management. and after that i will only get the certification of mcsa (just in case) and ccna and then completely and wildly go for linux certifications. cuz i only like linux now. nothing else!!! ]

    for that i want to know what kind of partitions i should set up.

    ok i am leaving for work. i will check back linuxforums.org at night [US pacific time]

    thank you to all the moderators/administrators of linuxforums.org

    hasan.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
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    Well, / is the root filesystem, of course. In it goes everything that doesn't go in any other partition. Therefore, its necessary size depends on what other partitions you're using.

    /boot isn't really necessary anymore. Before every BIOS supported LBA (we're talking something around mid-'90s here), you needed the boot files to be first on the hard drive, so that the boot loader could access them through the BIOS, and therefore you created the /boot partition first on the drive and put all the related files in there.

    You'll never need /usr. Quote from the FAQ on the GNU Hurd:
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/faq.en.html#q1-7
    The distinction between `/' and `/usr' has historical reasons. Back when Unix systems were booted from two tapes, a small root tape and a big user tape. Today, we like to use different partitions for these two spaces. The Hurd throws this historical garbage away. We think that we have found a more flexible solution called shadow filesystems. Unfortunately, support for shadowed filesystems is not yet implemented.
    As you can see, the only reason that /usr has once been put on a seperate filesystem is historical UNIXes wanted to keep the root tape as small as possible. No need for that nowadays, so don't put /usr on a seperate filesystem unless you have really good reasons, like having it mounted over NFS or anything.

    About (but not entirely) the same thing goes for /var. Don't put it on a seperate filesystem unless you have good reasons.

    You might want to have /tmp on a seperate filesystem, though. This is for security reasons. Many worms in existance use /tmp to download code to. It then compiles the code and runs it from there. If you put /tmp on a seperate filesystem and mount it with noexec, that will be thwarted.

    /home is obvious; that's where you have your home dirs. The best about keeping it on a seperate partition is that if you want to reinstall your system (which you should of course never need to, but anyway), you can keep /home intact and thus retain your files and settings. If you have several computers in a LAN, you might want to consider having /home on NFS.
    You can also share /home between different distros, if you have several ones installed.

    For a bit of an explanation about the directory structure in Linux, see this old post:
    http://www.linuxforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=1212
    You can also review the official standard here:
    http://www.dolda2000.com/~fredrik/fsstnd-1.2

    As for filesystem types...
    ext2 and ext3 are basically the same. ext2 is ext3 without journalling. Journalling is a technique to prevent disk corruption from dirty buffers in case of a sudden power loss or crash.
    You see, Linux caches disk writes in RAM, and only writes it to disk if either the memory runs out or if the system is idle. If you don't have a journalling filesystem and the system crashes or otherwise goes down (eg. due to power loss), you will lose the unwritten changes to disk data, which can destroy the filesystem if it becomes to inconsistent. Journalling first writes the changes necessary to keep filesystem integrity to a journal, and then flushes it to disk. If the system goes down while flushing to disk, it will still be in the journal when the system comes back online, so that the changes can be replayed in their whole.
    Journalling does admittedly make filesystem access a bit slower, but it's really little, and it's so worth it the day it's needed.
    The thing with ext2/3 is that it was written specifically for Linux, so it probably integrates best of all filesystems with the kernel code.

    ReiserFS is quite a revolutionary filesystem. It uses some very special algorithms to utilize the disk to its fullest, so it is clearly the least fragmenting of all filesystems. I don't know exactly how it works. ReiserFS is journalling and I think that it can enlarged while mounted.
    Performance-wise, in some situations it can be like 1000 times faster than ext2/3, but in others, it can be like 1000 times slower, so it's probably about the same in average. I haven't benchmarked them, so I can't say for sure.
    In any case, it's certainly worth checking out.

    XFS is a rather new filesystem for Linux. It has existed for IRIX for a long time, and was recently ported to Linux. You can add support for it in the 2.4 kernels by patching them, and it comes with the standard 2.6 kernel once it gets official.
    I haven't tried XFS myself, but I've heard really great things about it. For one thing, it's a clean 64-bit FS, so it can store enormously large files. It also has native support for ACLs. It's journalling. It can be enlarged while mounted. From what I hear, it just might be the fastest filesystem out there for Linux, but I'm not sure about that.

    Hmmm... was there anything more?

  3. #3
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    okay Dolda please bear with me and guide me for proper partitioning and file selection.

    let me draw a picture for u.

    we have dsl connection. we have a router and have 4 ports. each port is taken by each room mate.

    they all [3 of them] use only winbloze. i have winbloze XP on my primary 15gb hard drive NTFS filesystem.

    just recently bought 40gb 2ndary hard drive.

    have installed mandrake 9.1 on 4-5 gb. and the rest is free

    i can give 10 gb to another distro, i was thinking for redhat9.0 but first i will try to install debian and then post u the the sbin/lspci contents so u can help me fix the sound.

    the remaining 20-25gb i want to use it for storage. storing mp3's and mpeg's. and i should be able to access it both when booted into linux/winbloze.

    not only just me, but if i make that 20-25gb shared and if i am in linux all my other roommates should b able to acess mp3's and mpeg's from there winbloze machines. but this is 2ndary requirement.

    at least i should be able to access mp3's or mpegs or any file that i want to use in ftp server in linux.

    *******

    so like i said earlier i will install the services for web server, ftp server, mail server and all that network administration stuff [ i am aiming for LPI and then RHCT, finally RHCE certifications ].

    guide me the partition for that [and filesystem for the picture drawn above].

    tonite i will download debian

    tomorrow [sunday] i will install it according whatever guideliness u will give.

    thanks
    Sincerely
    Hasan

  4. #4
    Linux Guru
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    I'd say go with a standard setup. Give it root partition on ext3. You might want to share your /home partition with mandrake, but that's optional. I'd prefer it, of course, since it lets you share your files and settings between mandrake and debian, and saves disk space in that you won't have to have two home directories.
    Optionally, you can make a /tmp partition on, say, 100 MBs or so. Put it on ext2 and mount it with noexec,nodev (edit your /etc/fstab after the installation is complete). It is recommended when running servers, of course, since it makes the system more secure. No need for journalling on /tmp, of course. If it would become corrupted, just remake the filesystem.
    The swap partition can and should be shared between Mandrake and Debian. There's no need for two swap partitions when you can have only one.

    Then make the rest FAT32 for sharing between Linux and Windows. FAT32 is the only existing filesystem that both systems can read and write to. It's a shame that it sucks, but what can you do?
    I would mount that on /home/pub, but that's up to you, of course.

    For sharing the storage partition with the Winbloze computers, I'd recommend Samba, although FTP could do the job as well, only that that would make the others have to download the files completely before using them.

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