[svlug] question re partitioning system

Rafael raffi at ark.linwin.com
Sun Jan 27 23:59:01 PST 2002

On Sun, Jan 27, 2002 at 11:14:06PM -0800, Darlene Wallach wrote:
> I'm getting ready to install RedHat 7.2 on my system. I purchased my
> computer from VA Linux Systems. It came with their modifications to
> RedHat 6.2. It came with a 30 gig hard drive.
> Since I'm upgrading to 7.2 I thought I should take the opportunity
> to repartition my system. It is currently laid out:
> $ df -k
> Filesystem           1k-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
> /dev/hda3              1517952   1336364    104476  93% /
> /dev/hda1                23990      3475     19311  15% /boot
> /dev/hda4             27432860   4409404  23023456  16% /home

My recommendation:
/	150 MB
/usr	2-4.5 GB [1]
swap	RAM x 2, 1GB max.
/var	32 - 500 MB [2] 
/tmp	100 - 350 MB [3]
/home	the rest
/opt	[4]

That partition scheme allows you to upgrade without wiping out /home which
can also be used for backing up /etc and /var/log if important to keep. I
reinstalled Linux with different distributions for one department at work
many times that way.

[1] Upper limits for developers with lots of libraries, compilers, 
developemnt tools, etc.

[2] depending on what the system will be doing. Website or system that
keeps large logs, spool (email, printing) needs close to 1GB in some cases
Some distributions keep large cache of packages under /var so it's size
depends on that. I would probably make an exception and create a link to
/home/???, since home is the rest of the disk space. Packages can be
erased if more space is needed.

[3] separate /tmp is also good to have. Some programs do not release all 
disk space back to /tmp after exiting. I'm not sure what the reason but 
RH7.1 reported out of disk space in /tmp while df showed 60% free space.

[4] /opt is sometimes needed for some software. You can make it a separate 
partition, however, I normaly make a link from /opt to /usr/local/opt for 

Separate /boot partition does no good these days since Grub, a default 
Redhat kernel loader takes care of boot beyond cylinder 1024 in case you 
have multiple OSes or versions of it.

Those are my suggestions based on experience with numerous 
reinstallations, your situation is most likely different.

Make sure you create boot floppy disk or you'll have problems upgrading
the kernel if your system has Adaptec SCSI controller and it won't boot.  
Also, keep original CDROM from VA linux for emergencies. There is a reason
for their version of RedHat linux 7.0.1.

That brings me to one of the reasons for VALinux downfall, they were
messing with hardware things they should never do. Another words, they
wasted engineering resources with "reinventing the wheel" instead of
coming out with truly different computer designs. For example, special
disk brackets that do not provide more flexibility or serviceability, or
you can't buy anywhere else do not impress me.

> This makes it impossible to install software without installing it under 
> /home and making symbolic links. What is recommended for partitioning a
> system on which I will probably install other software?
> Is more information about my system needed?

Perhaps. You are going to have some problems with SCSI and/or ethernet on 
those motherboards, depending on the model, and possibly with booting 
from ext3 partition if you choose so.

I had problems with SCSI and ethernet, depending on the distribution
version, RH7.1 or 7.2 and kernel on FullOn 2x2 (2U size rack mount model).
In one case I had to manualy configure ethernet card (in rc script)
because it wouldn't take that from the default Redhat files. I exchanged
email with VA support and eventualy got response from Rick Moen, who has
good knowledge about VA linux systems.

> Thank you,
> Darlene Wallach
> wallachd at earthlink.net

Good luck,


More information about the svlug mailing list