Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 17:29 UTC
General Unix UNIX's method of handling file systems and volumes provides you with an opportunity to improve your systems' security and performance. This article addresses the issue of why you should split up your disk data into multiple volumes for optimized performance and security.
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Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

I'll comment on your comment's title. There are valid standpoints that claim there's no need to partition anyway, just put everything into one partition. The obvious advantage is that you cannot run out of space on a specific partition. A counterexample is that you need either file-based tools for backup or backup the partition as a whole, including stuff you eventually don't want to backup. The "many partitions approach" allows backup and restore partition-wise, but you need to think about the sizes for the partitions at layout time, before you start using the system.

An important idea is to have a / partition that contains everything neccessary to bring the system up after problems made it crash, so you can perform a boot into maintenance mode (single user mode) and do basic repairs. The content of /usr, furhter of /usr/local and especially of /opt is not needed for that.

Another idea is that crashes and file system defects do not affect a "whole in one" partitions, but only one of the partitions which can be helpful in some situations, especially when you've got to restore a huge amount of data otherwise.

On the other hand, I won't suggest to put many partitions onto one physical drive, at least not more than 5 - that's my very individual suggestion, other points of view may suggest other behaviour which is, depending on the setting, correct as well. The partitions /, /tmp, /var, /usr and /home are enough. In some cases, /tmp is mapped into RAM, and /home is a different disk.

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