[SATLUG] Partition Management

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Sun Aug 22 17:53:21 CDT 2010

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 15:13, Robert Pearson <e2eiod at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM, Henry Pugsley <henry.pugsley at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> > As for the overall topic of partitioning for a Linux install, I tend
> > to stick with just / and /boot unless the drive is over 40GB.  When
> > you start messing around with /, /home, /usr, /var on separate
> > partitions on a home system, you invariably end up in a situation
> > where one of them is too small.  If I have a massive RAID array or
> > other storage, I mount it in some generic spot (/media/storage) then
> > create symlinks as necessary to make it easier to use.

 Personally, I use LVM exclusively.  The ability to move data transparently
with `pvmove` between disks
(usually in an upgrade scenario) and grow/shrink volumes (again can be
transparent based on the Filesystem in use) is priceless.  Now dual booting
with windows with LVM requires a small physical boot partition, and on a
laptop (AFAIK) you use a phsical partition for Swap/Suspend.  Admittedly I
have not multibooted in a while (I use a VM for the OS used the least on the

The use of LVM prevents the mis-sized filesystems via its flexiblity (when
coupled with a resizable filesystem), so that if /var needs to be bigger, it
is easy to grow.

But when I did I used the following dual boot (sizes are estimated based on
use and standard desktop/laptop use):

128MB : /dev/sda1 : Linux /boot (ext3)
X0GB   : /dev/sda2 : Windows    (ntfs)
RAMx2 : /dev/sda3 : Swap        (swap)
Remain : /dev/sda4 : LVM         (vg: sys)
8GB     : /dev/sys/root : /          (Reiser/Ext3/whatever)
8GB     : /dev/sys/home : /home  (Reiser/Ext3/whatever)
XGB     : /dev/sys/storage : /storage used for downloads and other storage
X5GB   : /dev/sys/vm  : /vm  for VM storage

>  This is a little off-topic---
> RE: "mount it in some generic spot (/media/storage) then create symlinks as
> necessary"
> What do you see as the trade-offs (or preferences) between symlinks and
> sshfs (or some variant like .gvfs)?

I am not sure how symlinks, GnomeVFS, and remote storage can be directly
compaired as they serve distinct and different use cases, but I can easily
compare SSHFS/NFS/Samba.  I use SSHFS/WISH for access to my files remotely,
as SSH only requires 1 open port, is often allowed through firewalls, and is
secure.  CIFS/NFS do not perform well over WAN conditions, are not secure
(certainly not generally allowed through firewalls), require more open
ports, and overall not as easy as SSHFS.

Certainly sym/soft links can ease usablility/navigation for any type of
mount/cross filesystems/etc.  I use symlinks for my DVR layout and software
management so that the paths stay functional/static, but the real
directories have the version number and other info directly enbedded into
the dirname.

> I'm big on symlinks for local storage but they involve nfs and the
> automounter for remote. Hardmounts seem to be an overhead load. AFAIK
> "sshfs" seems to bypass all that.

 I don't quite understand the symlink relationship with NFS/Automount
referenced here, but it is important to note that one cannot[1] hard-link
directories, nor can one hard link across filesystems.  Standard use case
for hard links is hardlinking files on the same FS to keep applications
happy/maintain standard versions, etc.

SSHFS has more overhead than other filesystems due to the Encryption (and
compression if the -C is used), but for me, the WAN is almost always MUCH
slower/lower throughput/etc so the CPU overhead for the SSHFS/FUSE I/O is
not a problem.  If I were local, I would be using one of the other lower
overhead/higher I/O-capable remote/network filesystems anyway.

Just .02

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