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Hey I'm going to become linux user (opensuse 13.1) So first of all I need advice how split my HDD space For example on windows I have to partitions 1: ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! Angmar's Avatar
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    Help me to choose partitions


    Hey
    I'm going to become linux user (opensuse 13.1)
    So first of all I need advice how split my HDD space
    For example on windows I have to partitions 1: ~100 GB for OS and what left for backup data
    So think same split on linux and need advice from experienced users

  2. #2
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angmar View Post
    Hey
    I'm going to become linux user (opensuse 13.1)
    So first of all I need advice how split my HDD space
    For example on windows I have to partitions 1: ~100 GB for OS and what left for backup data
    So think same split on linux and need advice from experienced users
    Lately, I just go with one large partition for everything. In the past, I used to go with a ~10 gig partition for the OS and made the rest a generic data partition (not attached to /home, as is commonly done, but just an arbitrary mount point like /mnt/sda5).

    The advantage to making a data partition is that it's easy to completely wipe the OS and still keep your data. However, I have plenty of disc space on my file server. If I want to wipe my OS, I just copy any data that isn't already on the file server over before wiping it. (Usually, the data I care about is already automatically backed up, but I'll copy over my random Downloads and temporary Documents just in case.)

    Other than that possible advantage, keeping everything in one big partition is easy to choose and easy to maintain.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  3. #3
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Oh, you usually want a second small partition for swap. Depending on how much RAM you have, it may not be necessary, though. If you have no idea how big you want your swap partition to be, try maybe 2 gigs (or some other insignificant fraction of your drive space).
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  4. #4
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    I agree that less partitions makes things easier and for a home system I can't find a good argument for complicating things by making lots of partitions.

    But I do think about splitting the disk into two categories, one chunk setup with RAID, and the other part setup without RAID. I organize the filesystem so that data I consider more valuable is on the RAID'd partition and consider the rest "bulk storage". That was more important in the past when disk space was more expensive. But I still use the "/bulk" mount point for copies of raw photo uploads, backups, etc...

    Also, using logical volumes makes it easier to manage the disk over time since it's lets you separate the partitioning of the raw disk away from the constructing filesystems. It makes it possible to morph the system over time.

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    Partitioning is usually something most people can disagree on. Some like lots of partitions, others like less.

    To me, it depends on your system. For example, if you have a solid state drive, and a traditional hard drive as well (as I have), I would move stuff onto the hard drive that takes lots of writes. For example, my little swap partition is on my hard disk, and I also moved /tmp onto my hard drive. Actually, I also put my home folder onto the hard drive so that I have lots of space for downloads, videos, pictures, whatever random files I have but don't use often. The rest, like program binaries and what have you, are all on the solid state drive, just mounted as /.

    However, if you have a single hard drive, things get a little different. You could have one big partition for everything and sort files into different folders, like /home/USER/Documents and /home/USER/Backup. Or, as has been suggested in the past, with magnetic hard drives you can technically speed up access (a bit) by locating different partitions at different places on the platters, by having more read/write intensive partitions (like /tmp or swap) closer to the spindle of the disk, which increases these access times.


    THIS ALL IS GETTING INTO VERY FINE DETAIL.

    As you mentioned, you are just beginning with Linux. Good job! While all of this may be daunting, you can probably just use one big partition for everything, and a little swap partition (depending on the amount of RAM you have, you likely won't need much). If you feel adventurous, I've got some links below to help give you an idea of what you can do. Good Luck!

    Good for learningLinux Newbie Administrator Guide - 2.10 How do I partition my hard drive?
    Partition Computer Hard Drives
    More advanced
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/partitioning
    How big should a swap partition be?
    Linux: Should You Use Twice the Amount of Ram as Swap Space? - nixCraft

    Hope this helps! If you'd like more info, look around this and other forums, as well as looking at some of the results if you search for "how to partition linux" or something similar on your favourite search engine, depending on what you'd like to know. Hope this helps!

  6. #6
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Remember RAID is NOT Backup!

    RAID is for short term protection from system or human error. Backup is archiving files, data, system on another medium or system so they can be retrieved at a last point in time.

    If you trying to learn about partitioning and RAID build a system to experiment it is a big topic and lots to things to try. If just building a home system keep it simple. Just keep you OS and data separate so rebuilding or changing OS is easy. You have lots of drives put one in and external case and use it for Backup.

    If you really want to learn system level stuff have two systems one for your lab use and other for personal use. My lab computer I've tried so many partitioning schemes and other experiments.
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

  7. #7
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    Remember RAID is NOT Backup!

    RAID is for short term protection from system or human error.
    What sort of human error would RAID protect against? The sort of human error I normally think of is when a human accidentally deletes something. But RAID would instantly replicate this error on all relevant "copies".

    RAID is generally useful for either higher performance or improved availability--being able to continue functioning when a hard drive fails in a way that is transparent to users. But for home use, SSDs provide a much better performance improvement than any RAID of hard drives could produce, and the rare occasional hard drive failure does not really induce much of an availability problem (assuming you have a backup, of course).
    Just keep you OS and data separate so rebuilding or changing OS is easy.
    I really don't find this a big consideration. As long as you have proper backups, then it really doesn't take much time to copy data back from a backup after wiping the whole drive to rebuild or change the OS.

    (I'm personally uncomfortable with having only 2 copies of my important data, so I have 3+ copies. That way, when I wipe something I still have at least 2 copies left.)
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

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    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    What sort of human error would RAID protect against? The sort of human error I normally think of is when a human accidentally deletes something. But RAID would instantly replicate this error on all relevant "copies".

    RAID is generally useful for either higher performance or improved availability--being able to continue functioning when a hard drive fails in a way that is transparent to users. But for home use, SSDs provide a much better performance improvement than any RAID of hard drives could produce, and the rare occasional hard drive failure does not really induce much of an availability problem (assuming you have a backup, of course).

    I really don't find this a big consideration. As long as you have proper backups, then it really doesn't take much time to copy data back from a backup after wiping the whole drive to rebuild or change the OS.

    (I'm personally uncomfortable with having only 2 copies of my important data, so I have 3+ copies. That way, when I wipe something I still have at least 2 copies left.)
    You are correct and RAID will not protect from human error. I just see so many people (and management) that confuse RAID with backup. And number of copies is important and we'd sit in system design meeting discussing how many levels of "Murphy" we need, would like, and most important can afford. Working for enterprises we have to get not only into duplicates and offsite, but multi-regional copies in case of disaster.

    Thanks for the correction.
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

  9. #9
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    I do have a separate home partition but it is on a second disk. I have also got into the habit, even at home, of creating a partition for /var/log as I have had to clean up the mess of a completely full with a variety of huge logs (as it turned out with no back ups of any of the data on it) / partition due to some one at the hosting company not properly setting up logrotate and the server getting hit by a huge DDOS attack.

    Did I mention it had no backup of any of the data on it; which made things a bit scary. I remember it taking about three days to fix because it was my first real experience on a Linux server. I got the task because of a piss poor support contract and I ran Linux on my desktop at home - for about two months!

    TL:DR Have a separate partition for /var/log
    Last edited by elija; 06-23-2014 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Disabled smileys as it seems they are not parsed on a word boundry
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