[SATLUG] Changes in Linux

Thomas Weeks tweeksjunk2 at theweeks.org
Fri Feb 3 22:38:36 CST 2012

On Thursday, January 12, 2012 02:09:01 am Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> In monitoring the latest developments in Linux, it seems the upstream
> developers have decided that having /usr mounted as a remote FS is no
> longer needed.  The paradigm now appears that if /usr is a separate
> partition, it must be mounted via initramfs *before* the kernel starts.
> Since starting up something like nfs within an initramfs seems to be a
> step beyond what is normally done, traditional capabilities seem to be
> precluded.  I could be wrong about this, so I'd like to know if anyone
> does it.
> My first question is whether anyone uses a /usr partition separate from
> / any more, either locally or via network?

Hey Bruce..
I hear ya man. I'm not sure what I think about that either. I mean granted.. 
the last time I did a separate /usr was like 15yrs ago on Solaris.. but things 
were less flexible then.  

Since working at Rackspace for so long.. on web servers.. /bin, /sbin and 
/usr/* etc, were always seen as the same thing pretty much. Just a part of /. 
Created together on a fs that was "big enough" and then just left alone. Some 
hard core folks even mounted /  RO to make it more "hardened" and remounted to 
patch. The critical things (on a server) that needed their own 
large/extendable filesystems were /home and /var.  

Very few RS customers use NFS mounted /usr (although I could see that changing 
with pNFS/NFSv4!). Also, a number of large customer configs will use SAN 
mounted / and even /boot, so yes.. /usr would usually get lumped in there too.  

(for those new to this topic)
In my mind, I think of /bin and /sbin as "the critical OS stuff (for startup 
scripts and /lib, etc)".. /usr as your sort of extended-OS tools, and  
/usr/local/ where all your extra "stuff" (non base-OS stuff) goes.. and then 
/opt of course as your staticly compiled stuff (no need for /lib). But maybe 
I'm off now or have fallen behind. But I do agree that if you're booting over 
NFS and / is network based, then /usr should be also. Especially with the 
newer better future that pNFS brings to the table!


>    -- Bruce

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