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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Brisbane, Australia

    Partition recommendations for Ubuntu server

    Hi Experts,

    I am not unfamiliar with Linux, but I am definitely no expert either. My previous experience was with Fedora 2 a few years ago so I have a basic understanding of some commonly used commands. I am now embarking on something completely new (for me). I am setting up a server whose sole function will be as a host for VMware virtual machines.

    I have selected Ubuntu Server 6.0.6 because I am told it is very stable, reliable and has long term support.

    The machine I am using is reasonably grunty:

    • ASUS rack mount server with Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz CPU
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 2 x 250 GB SATA HDD

    The server itself will not be running many applications. I plan to run a HTTP server, an FTP server, probably some kind of VPN server, as well as VMware Server (not ESX or GSX). Then there will be 4 or 5 VMs all running concurrently. The main requirement of the VMs is RAM and disk space. I will be allocating about 1 to 1.5 GB of RAM to each VM, and I expect each VM to occupy around 15 to 25 GB of disk space.

    My main question is this: what would people recommend I do with respect to disk partitioning? I have been reading a number of posts on this topic and there seem to be a few commonly held beliefs:

    1. / (root) partition of between 10 and 20 GB
    2. /swap partition twice the size of available RAM = 16 GB
    3. /home as big as required (say 200 GB)

    Some other questions I have are:

    1. Given that I have 2 x 250 GB disks is there anything special I need to do?
    2. Do I need a /boot partition?
    3. Do I need a /usr or a /var partition?
    4. Can the /home partition be spread across both disks?

    I should also mention that there is no requirement to dual boot. Also, each VM will be running Windows Server 2003, and all the servers (both physical and virtual) will be Internet facing.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance,


    Paul Hobbs

  2. #2
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NH, USA
    You shouldn't have to do anything special for those disks unless you are trying to use them in a RAID. You don't need separate partitions for any of those mount points (/var, /home, /boot) it would simply be up to your preferences whether or not you want to have the separate partitions (I've never found a good reason for myself). I believe VMWare has an option that allows for you to use physical disks instead of virtual disks, if this is your plan then you should think about that when allocating your disks. You could make partitions for each of the machines you will run, just make sure to specify during the setup that you don't have them assigned to any specific mount point

  3. #3
    First thing's first, if you have experience with Fedora, stick with it, because with Ubuntu (debian) you will have to relearn many things, and my personal opinion is that Fedora (Red Hat Based Linux Distros) are bit nicer to play with than Ubuntu, but Ubuntu is still great, don't get me wrong.


    You should partition your drives the following way (Make the two drives RAID 1 if you have a card, Ubunut is not very easy to use to setup a software RAID):

    / - 30 G
    /boot - 300 Megs - this just for kernel,
    /swap - 16 G

    /home - 40 G (if you're not going to have linux users, make it smaller)
    /vmware/ - 100G - this is the place where you will store your oses
    /www - 20G or more - for http server
    /usr - 20 G - for applications
    /var - 20 G - for logs and database stuff

    if you have more space left, distribute it evenly

    The reason for spliltting up partitions is for 1) if they get corrupted you don't loose all your data 2) if you want to mount them from other systems, it'll be easier.
    Last edited by oz; 12-05-2007 at 02:38 PM. Reason: removed spam url

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  5. #4
    Hi All,

    I too need to setup an Ubuntu server with VMware Server 2.0.

    Are the partitions suggested here still a good idea?

    The server will do nothing but host VMs.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Quote Originally Posted by GOSSSAMER View Post
    Hi All,

    I too need to setup an Ubuntu server with VMware Server 2.0
    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    This thread is almost 4 years old so I'll be locking it, but please feel free to start a new thread of your own if you are having any problems with Linux. Hopefully we can help to get you up and running.

    Thank you.

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