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I am a system admin with limited Linux experience, and have been tasked with setting up Cent OS 5.8 64bit install, and creating a template once complete.

My main client base will be developers, and I would like to be able use a separate partition for their application installs, logs, etc., so if the logs partition fills up it won't take down the system. All new systems will be created using VMware.

Would it be best to create one drive, and just partition it off? Or should I create a second disk and mount that as their application partition, then just add it to fstab?

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If you are worried about the logs filling the system, put the /var/log on a single partition, not the applications. –  Marco Sep 11 '12 at 15:16
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One disk will be enough. As Marco said create partition for logs and mount it as /var/log. Create also partition for /home.

If it is webdeveloping you may also consider partition for /var/www. If they are developing Linux apps find out how they test it. If they installing it in home directory or in /opt or in standard Linux directories (/usr/bin for binaries, /usr/share for icons, etc)?

In my company Linux VM for webdevs was only for testing and running webapps. All development was done on Windows machines so, we mounted their workspace from Windows on that VMs using vboxfs. If you have similar situation you may consider some shared directory for it.

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+1 for/var/www I had never heard of that, I'm gonna look at its pros/cons –  Stephane Rolland Feb 9 '13 at 11:19
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Like @pbm says, i think it's really good to have a separated /home disk partition.

This allowed me to switch between several linux distibution, without ever losing my personal data. It's a tremendous advantage. Keep that in mind.

Now I'm still hesitating between debian and ubuntu. But it's no problem, my data is safe.

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