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Disk partitioning

 
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Martin Cracauer
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Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 114
Location: Boston, MA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:38 pm   Reply with quote

How many partitions should you create when installing your OS?

Normally as few as possible. The artificial barrier that leaves you running out of space in one partition while there is plenty space left in another is a pain, and most often unneccessary.

However, here are situations where extra partitions make sense:

  • You want to protect one service from running out of space when another service uses up too much disk space. An example would be that you put your mailspool on a partition separate from spaces where you are unpacking large file collections. So that incoming mail can still be stored even when you accidentally wipe out all free space in the other areas.

  • The space on the outer part of the drive (the first part) is faster. You may want a partition where you know all space is on the fast side.

  • You want a known-fast scratch space that is almost always an almost empty partition so that new block allocation is always fast and no fragmentation affects speed.

  • You want to run different partitions in different RAID levels. For example, I have my important stuff in RAID-5 and the scratch storage in RAID-0, and I use the same single set of three disks for both.

  • You want identifiable, easily separable volumes that are known to fit onto your backup medium and you want to make sure they will never grow bigger than their limit.

  • You want parts of the system mounted hard readonly. E.g. on FreeBSD you can easily have a root partition which is not only readonly but also protected against re-mounting as read-write at runtime.
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Martin Cracauer
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Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 114
Location: Boston, MA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:51 pm   Reply with quote

Here is another reason to seperate data into different partitions

If you have a backup procedure that has optional compression, and compression is not free, then it makes sense to seperate trees that are highly compressable from those that are not compressible.

Example:

If you seperate non-compressable data like compressed software packages, images and movies into a seperate partition, then you can backup that partition without compression, which would be faster (because it's not free).

You can keep all compressable data on a seperate partition thaat you back up with compression.
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