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Thread: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

  1. #1
    BlinkinCat is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Hi all,

    I have been reading the progress of the following thread with interest.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2103607

    I am in the situation whereby after reading some of the available documentation, I inadvertently created my 12.04.1 installation with var, tmp, and usr partitions thinking I was doing the right thing. Everything is working fine, however I have been toying with the idea of starting again. Things to be considered -

    Is it really worthwhile to change it now it has been done this way ?
    I fear that I may mess up the process of changing the partitions either by Gparted of with the Partitioning tool. I assume Gparted would be the logical choice - If I chose that option would have any problems with the procedure - What would I actually do ?

    At the EOL of Xubuntu 12.04 I may have to make a decision to change things around however at the moment I am really tempted to leave it as it is, but I am open to any suggestions.

    Edit: Does it matter that I have / before /boot ?

    Cheers and thanks -
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    Last edited by BlinkinCat; January 11th, 2013 at 02:06 AM. Reason: Added Edit.

  2. #2
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkinCat View Post
    Hi all,

    I have been reading the progress of the following thread with interest.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2103607

    I am in the situation whereby after reading some of the available documentation, I inadvertently created my 12.04.1 installation with var, tmp, and usr partitions thinking I was doing the right thing. Everything is working fine, however I have been toying with the idea of starting again. Things to be considered -

    Is it really worthwhile to change it now it has been done this way ?
    I wouldn't bother. The only disadvantage to your present setup is simply that you may have mis-estimated the amount of space to allocate to each partition, so you could run out of disk space unexpectedly. By having all of them share the main "/" partition the system will, in effect, rob Peter to pay Paul when it needs to.

    The var partition is the one most likely to fill, since that's where all the log files are stored. If you run into a situation that creates multiple GB of log data, /var may not be large enough to hold it. Next most likely to give a problem is /tmp. The /usr partition doesn't usually change in size very much, unless you keep adding new software to the system without getting rid of obsolete stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkinCat View Post
    I fear that I may mess up the process of changing the partitions either by Gparted of with the Partitioning tool. I assume Gparted would be the logical choice - If I chose that option would have any problems with the procedure - What would I actually do ?
    I'll leave this question for OldFred or another poster more expert than I am at re-partitioning to answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkinCat View Post
    At the EOL of Xubuntu 12.04 I may have to make a decision to change things around however at the moment I am really tempted to leave it as it is, but I am open to any suggestions.
    I'll be interested in others' comments, too. My systems are always set up with just three partitionsL "/", "swap", and "/home." I give 10 GiB to /, RAM size plus 10% to swap, and the rest of the disk no matter its size to /home. My current boxes both have 500-GB drives but one of them dual-boots with Win7 (just in case I ever need it; I don't use it as a rule) so its drive is effectively only about 220 GiB.
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  3. #3
    BlinkinCat is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for your assurance - at this stage I am thinking that a change may absolutely have to be made 2 1/4 years from now. I also run Unity and Gnome shell and figure I may have to make a critical choice at that time as 12.04 Unity will still have a considerable time to run to EOL. At this stage I am enjoying Xubuntu but decisions will have to be made at that time.

    I appreciate your input Jim and have taken note of it. -

  4. #4
    BlinkinCat is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Hi again,

    I have thought of another scenario. As the time period into the EOL is relatively early, perhaps any changes would be better made sooner rather than later. Therefore if I was to back up the system (rather crudely in my case via thumb drives) could I wipe the HD clean via Disk Utility and reformat partition to MBR. Is it possible to do this by firstly un-mounting the drive and then Formatting.
    Does Gparted do the same thing ? I am not sure how this is achieved.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  5. #5
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    If you want to redo the allocation, you should be able to copy the stuff from /usr, /var and /tmp to your home directory, unmount those partitions, then copy the files back in (using sudo rsync -a or sudo cp -a) and then comment out the lines for those mounts in fstab.

    After you mess with fstab and make sure the system boots ok, expand the / partition and you should be good.

    It sounds more complicated than it is, but I have not actually done it in practice.

    However, if you do it that way, you would not need to reinstall. I would suggest running the commands from a livecd, so the OS isn't running while you are messing with stuff.
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  6. #6
    BlinkinCat is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Hi Charles,

    I had to go out for 20 minutes or so and have only just now got back.

    You are dealing with a very unskilled operator here Charles - Your directions have confused me some-what. From what I understand I need to copy the contents of each partition to cd ?
    Could you give me the commands for one ?
    Secondly could you give me the command for copying the file back in for one example ?
    Thirdly I have never dealt with fstab before - could you kindly enlighten me ?

    I apologize for being such a pain Charles - you can see my knowledge is very limited. If you can guide me further I will be extremely grateful.

    Nevertheless, I would prefer to tackle the problem this way, as I will be learning something and the alternative would mean losing over 330 GiB Videos.

    Edit - I have attempted to learn more about fstab via the "Introduction to fstab" but find it difficult to understand practical examples.

    Step 1.
    mv /usr cd ?
    mv /var cd ?
    mv /tmp cd ?

    Step 2.
    Unmount each partition ?

    Step 3 ?

    Step 4 ?
    Last edited by BlinkinCat; January 11th, 2013 at 06:05 AM. Reason: Added Edit.

  7. #7
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    No, not like that. You'd want to copy anything in those folders to another place such as your home directory and then mess with fstab.

    First off, let's get a idea of what your disk looks like. Run these and post the output:

    Code:
    sudo blkid -c /dev/null
    sudo fdisk -l
    df -h
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  8. #8
    BlinkinCat is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Sorry for the delay Charles, but no doubt we will catch up again - Thanks very much for your help.

    Code:
    geoff@ABC:~$ sudo blkid -c /dev/null
    [sudo] password for geoff: 
    /dev/sda1: UUID="a50390f0-0910-48db-9941-89a0ab7ffa29" TYPE="ext4" 
    /dev/sda2: UUID="3ac4709e-9e4d-4a5b-9da5-d88f78e35402" TYPE="ext4" 
    /dev/sda3: UUID="6d64bcaf-c555-400b-b8bc-7516d0b3fdf3" TYPE="ext4" 
    /dev/sda5: UUID="51c8465d-0f8c-407a-9c0c-11c610aaea6b" TYPE="ext4" 
    /dev/sda6: UUID="f5707e5c-41a3-4e55-97aa-ea5f48f75767" TYPE="ext4" 
    /dev/sda7: UUID="2c358f65-b1aa-42ba-9a87-8985d86d5266" TYPE="swap" 
    /dev/sda8: UUID="aa2e6274-590d-4e9a-a199-d9aef3b38637" TYPE="ext4" 
    geoff@ABC:~$ sudo fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00075300
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1            2048    19533823     9765888   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2   *    19533824    20512767      489472   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3        20512768    36141055     7814144   83  Linux
    /dev/sda4        36143102  1953523711   958690305    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5        36143104    43956223     3906560   83  Linux
    /dev/sda6        43958272    63492095     9766912   83  Linux
    /dev/sda7        63494144    79120383     7813120   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda8        79122432  1644865535   782871552   83  Linux
    geoff@ABC:~$ df -h
    Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda1       9.2G  1.3G  7.6G  14% /
    udev            1.9G  4.0K  1.9G   1% /dev
    tmpfs           775M  876K  774M   1% /run
    none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
    none            1.9G  160K  1.9G   1% /run/shm
    /dev/sda6       9.2G  150M  8.6G   2% /tmp
    /dev/sda2       463M  147M  293M  34% /boot
    /dev/sda8       735G  337G  362G  49% /home
    /dev/sda3       7.4G  3.3G  3.8G  47% /usr
    /dev/sda5       3.7G  731M  2.8G  21% /var
    geoff@ABC:~$

  9. #9
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    I advise a clean reinstall. With only a partition for / and a partition for swap. Further partitions are, in my opinion, a needless complication. I even advise against the false security of a separate /home:
    https://sites.google.com/site/easyli...ome-partition-
    (item 15, right column)

    That's the most economical way to use the space on a hard drive, in my opinion. You don't lose much to the swap partition, because that only needs to be a littlle bigger than the size of your RAM.
    Tips, tweaks and how-to's for Ubuntu and Mint:
    http://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject
    In for a pleasant surprise? Give Xubuntu a try:
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  10. #10
    BlinkinCat is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Unnecessary var, tmp, and usr Partitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjotr123 View Post
    I advise a clean reinstall. With only a partition for / and a partition for swap. Further partitions are, in my opinion, a needless complication. I even advise against the false security of a separate /home:
    https://sites.google.com/site/easyli...ome-partition-
    (item 15, right column)

    That's the most economical way to use the space on a hard drive, in my opinion. You don't lose much to the swap partition, because that only needs to be a littlle bigger than the size of your RAM.
    Hi and thanks for your input Pjotr123,

    My main requirement for having a /home partition was for the retention of a reasonable number of video files. I am not sure of how to go about a fresh install and to retain those files. If I can get rid of /usr, /var and /tmp I will be happy.

    Cheers -

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