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Thread: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

  1. #1
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    Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    I love the setup I have on my system because I use a separate partition for /home and one for root. But I've noticed during manual partitioning in the past that you could actually create pretty much as many partitions as you want and could assign even more folders, not just /home, to have its own partition. I was wondering what folders I might try to give a partition in addition to /home and what advantages I would get for each folder.

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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    This page pretty much lists the information you need. (if you didn't see it already)

    https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/instal...86/apcs03.html

  3. #3
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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    Assuming that you have the real estate (available space on your hard drive), it really depends on where your interest and needs reside. As a thought starter, I have separate partitions for:
    • Digital photographs in process
      Finished digital photographs
      Digital Music
      Image Backups for my primary operating system hard drive
      Image Backups for my data partitions
      Video Projects
      Documents


    Within each of these partitions I usually have a number of directories (folders).

    You get the idea. Hope this also helps.

    IndyTim / DataMan
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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    On servers, I generally allocate a separate partition to /var, which gets a lot of reads and writes if the machine is running a web or mail server. I also allocate a separate partition to /tmp and mark it noexec to prevent someone exploiting an unpatched hole in a server daemon I'm running by dropping a script into /tmp and running it from there. (Had that happen once years ago with Apache 1.1.)

    On my desktop, I have a separate /home partition, one for /usr/local, and another where I can put distributions I'm testing. Maintaining a separate /usr/local partition is useful only if you compile software from source. By default most applications built from source install themselves under the /usr/local tree. By making it a separate partition I can see those applications from both my current distribution and any other one I'm testing in the extra partition. Having a separate /home partition makes it available to the testing distribution as well.

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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    A useful guide (with screenshots) for a simple set up (separate home and swap shown)

    http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2010/05/26...-ubuntu-10-04/

  6. #6
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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    I wrote this article on this topic a while ago.

    Personally, I wouldn't create separate partitions for different types of user data, as indytim suggests, without some compelling reason (such as a need imposed by having multiple physical hard disks). The problem is that personal storage needs tend to shift frequently, in my experience, and creating separate partitions makes it difficult and dangerous to change how much space is allocated to one purpose vs. another. This same drawback applies to splitting off different system partitions (/var, /usr, and so on), but their needs tend to be significantly more stable over time, vs. my personal needs for music, photos, and so on.

  7. #7
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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    Links from above posts give you pretty much the technical aspects, but it really depends upon what you're doing, or planning to do, with your computer.

    As an example, I considered a separate partition for /var/spool/apt-mirror on my local mirror and probably will do that next time. That puts my mirror on a separate partition which can more easily be migrated to a new system should I need to retain the old mirror.

    I also keep a repository for windows software, which again can be put on a separate partition for easier migration.

    Just a couple of examples that might help answer your question or provoke thought.

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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    Well here's what I was hoping for...

    In the past, when I've had system failures that I didn't want to take the time and energy to investigate, I would just reinstall the OS by formatting / and setting the /home partition to be the new home (without formatting it of course) for the fresh install. This is great because a lot of personal preferences for things like Firefox/Mozilla, Evolution, Gnome, and who knows what else are just there, right away.

    But what's not there are programs I may have installed before erasing the /. Now it's obvious that they would be eliminated if I didn't have any other partitions except for / and /home, so I was wondering if there was a way to preserve installed programs (like Virtualbox) in addition to things in the home folder. Is that possible?

  9. #9
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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    It's very very impractical, and perhaps impossible, if the programs are installed via Debian packages, as is the case for most programs you'll install in Ubuntu. This is because most packages install most or all of their files in multiple standard directories, such as /usr/bin, /usr/lib, and so on. Each of these directories ends up holding files from hundreds of different packages, and there's no practical way to isolate a few packages' files on a separate partition. There's also the issue of the database of installed files, which wouldn't reflect the packages you've preserved, if you could do that at all.

    That said, locally-compiled programs normally go in /usr/local, so if you just wanted to carry over a small number of programs that you manage yourself, you could do so by putting /usr/local on its own partition and installing those programs by downloading the source code and installing them manually. You'd then have to manage updates in the same way. Normally, this isn't a viable option for more than a very small number of programs, and usually it's reserved for programs that are very obscure (and so that aren't available via APT) or that you want to customize or optimize in some way.

    Some commercial programs install in /opt, which you can manage much like /usr/local, so similar comments apply to /opt as to /usr/local.

    You can preserve virtualization environments by putting them in their own directory and making that a separate partition. The software you run to launch a virtual environment, though, is a regular Ubuntu program and so will be managed as such (or it could be locally compiled or stored in /opt; I don't know the status of VirtualBox specifically on this score).

  10. #10
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    Re: Advanced partitioning: What else can I set apart besides /home?

    You can easily back up a list of the standard installed programs and use that to reinstall. I added this command to the rsync back up that I run so it has an updated list of applications on every backup. If you have any custom system settings in /etc you might want to back those up also.

    dpkg --get-selections > ubuntu-files

    from lovinglinux - use dpkg to list installed apps
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...75&postcount=5
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

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