Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What would be a good partitioning scheme for an Arch Linux installation, on a server and on a laptop?

My current basic scheme:

/         [root]       ext4
/home                  ext4
swap

I know that the /var partition will contain many small files such as logs or pacman-related files, and the /tmp directory will be written to frequently as well.

1) Would I benefit from separate "/var" and/or "/tmp" partitions?

2) If so, what filesystems would you recommend on each of these partitions?

3) Is there a difference between the home server and the laptop? Should they have different partitioning schemes?

  • The home server's system will be installed on a 80GB hard drive (it has an unrelated second 500GB HD).
  • The laptop's system will be installed in a single 500GB hard drive, and the plan is to dedicate the remaining space to the /home partition.

4) How much space do you recommend dedicating to each partition (including root, and possibly /var & /tmp) on each system (server/laptop)? [note: I will be using LVM on both systems]


Some extra information: The server will run samba/rtorrent/ssh/LAMP/etc. and some backup mechanism. The laptop will be used as a PC, mainly internet & programming or other day-to-day software, but might run some servers for testing purposes (e.g LAMP).

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer 1

I've never understood the point of a separate /var partition in typical circumstances. On a special-purpose server, it might make sense to make some part of /var a different partition, e.g. separate /var/mail on a mail server, but otherwise just do the simple thing with 3 partitions: OS (/), data (/home) and swap.

Your own data should be in /home; for example your web root should be under /home (use symbolic links if necessary). This division has two major advantages:

  • If you every want to reinstall the system, wipe the OS partition and retain the /home partition.
  • Back up /home profusely. The OS partition can mostly be recovered by reinstalling as a last resort; the nonrecoverable bits are /etc and selected parts of /var, which you can do by rsyncing to a directory under /home and relying on the backups of /home.

Note that Grub legacy cannot boot from a LVM volume; you need Grub2 (or to go through the hassle of a separate /boot partition).

Make /tmp a tmpfs filesystem (i.e. stored in virtual memory). See here for a write-up if Arch Linux doesn't do it by default.

share|improve this answer
    
Separate /var makes sense if you want a read-only /. (That is not en easy thing to do because in most distributions the /etc/init.d scripts or the services want to write there.) –  stribika Jul 21 '11 at 18:15
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.