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Old 10-11-2012, 07:12 PM
Default Partition Scheme for installing Debian Squeeze

Wally Lepore <wallylepore@gmail.com> writes:

> On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM, lee <lee@yun.yagibdah.de> wrote:
>> Wally Lepore <wallylepore@gmail.com> writes:
>> Thank you for putting up your questions in such a well made way!
> I appreciate that. Takes me forever to reply to all posts because I
> need to make sure my questions are 'somewhat' clear. :-)

It's just nice to see a well made question for a change. That makes it
so much easier and more fun to answer than the many "guessing requests"
that can be found on this mailing list

>>> Is this an acceptable partition set-up? Based on a disk capacity of 80
>>> gigs, are the allotted partition sizes acceptable? Any suggestions
>>> please ?
>> It depends on what you want to use the computer for. If you (mainly)
>> use it to learn programming in C/C++/Object C, you're not like to need a
>> lot of space on /var and probably no /opt partition, for example.
> Ok I'm reading this again and again. Awesome info here. Thank you. I
> have no idea what /var and /opt actually stand for or what they are
> used for but I continue to study?

You may want to take a look at the "Filesystem Hierarchy Standard"[1].
This standard defines what files go where --- with Linux, you don't have
the total mess you get with windoze so you just know where to find what.

/opt is for optional files that belong to some application (and don't
exactly fit in otherwise) while /var is for variable data, like log
files, spool files, caches, databases. I don't know why they have files
for the web server under /var --- the FHS probably has some reasoning
about that somewhere ...

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard

>> To give you some numbers:
>> swap 10GB [1]
>> / 2GB including /boot
>> /usr 12GB
>> /var 2GB
>> /tmp 2GB
>> /home the rest of it
> Wow! Excuse my enthusiasm but you really explain this well! I
> appreciate the amount of time you spent explaining this. Swap 10 gigs
> ?? I'm reading on.....

You're welcome That kind of swap just makes sense to me. It isn't
so much that it would actually hurt you; it doesn't leave you stranded
like only 2GB would, and it gives you time to do something in case
you're about to run out of memory.

>> swap 10GB [1]
>> / 3GB including /boot
>> /usr 15GB
>> /var 4GB
>> /tmp 4GB
>> /home the rest of it
>> [1]: There's a recommendation to have swap partitions at the very
>> beginning of the disk because it's supposed to be faster. I'd make
> I need to place /boot at the beginning of the disk because I am using
> two hard drives in a dual-boot. For booting windows and Debian. /boot
> will be at the beginning of the 2nd drive (sdb).

Hmm I don't know what speaks against having a swap partition first and
then /boot, or against going without a separate /boot partition. IIRC,
the reason to put /boot onto a separate partition was that some BIOS'
were not able to access/address a partition if it was larger than some
limit or further than some limit away from the beginning of the
disk. Another reason can be that a partition on a RAID might be
inaccessible during boot, so using a partition for /boot that isn't on
RAID can be a (very ugly) workaround. Are there any particular reasons
for a /boot partition being needed at the beginning of a disk for
instances in which several OSs are installed (on several disks)?

> This drive will be
> 100% devoted to debian. I will then change the boot order in BIOS to
> have sdb drive boot. This will display a menu asking which OS to boot
> (windows or debian). See the end of page 2 on this link please:
> http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/07/23/dual-boot-ubuntu-12-04-and-windows-7-on-a-computer-with-2-hard-drives/

I've never tried that ... If it doesn't work, I guess you could
(inconveniently) always keep changing in the BIOS from which disk to

>>> System specs:
>>> iWill DVD266R motherboard
>>> 'Dual' Pentium III cpu's (1 GHz each) Total: 2 GHz
>>> 1 gig DDR memory
>>> CD-R/RW
>>> DVD - R/RW
>> That may be somewhat slow for programming when you compile stuff.
>> You're really tight on RAM, so you'll probably want a slim X11 session.
>> In any case, install a minimal system and add what you need later. As
>> for your X11 session for programming, you might be happy with emacs (and
>> gnus for your email, so the first thing is to compile emacs because the
>> one in Debian is too old) as an editor, i3 as a window manager and rxvt
>> as a terminal, and maybe tmux.
> Ok but words like i3, rxvt, X11 are very foreign to me at this point.
> I won't really get up to speed until I'm finished installing and can
> start learning how to compile packages.

Oh I didn't compile the Debian packages but downloaded the most recent
version and compiled it. If I had compiled from the Debian source
packages, the outcome won't be much different from the binary packages
and too old as well. The package management doesn't know about what I
have installed --- that's why it goes into /usr/local.

>> Having that said, you might get away with about 5GB for /usr. I won't
>> do that, though, because it just sucks when you later find you made it
>> too small --- and it doesn't really matter if /home is 10GB more or
>> less. If you need more space, better get another disk and use that for
>> /home --- preferably at least two so you can use RAID.
> Currently I have RAID turned off on my motherboard but I will consider
> your suggestions. Definitely great advice!

You'd either use software RAID for it or get a hardware RAID card.
Don't use the RAID feature that's built into your board.

>> Do not install/use the console-kit-daemon. It creates and keeps about a
>> hundred threads and slows things down noticeably.
> Very interesting. I will consider that when I reach that point.

You might have to just disable it so it doesn't start because of
dependencies ...

Debian testing iad96 brokenarch

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