suggestions for optimal filesystem-layout over multiple harddrives?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Mon Jun 7 10:18:24 PDT 2004

Geert Hendrickx wrote:
> using multiple harddisks can increase performance, since I/O can be done
> in parallel.  But what would be an optimal filesystem-layout on, say,
> two disks of equal size?  Swap should evidently be spread equally over
> the different drives.  As for the filesystems, say I'd have a large /usr
> and /home, each on one harddrive, and smaller /, /var and /tmp which
> could reside on either disk.  / and /usr would be mostly read-only.  

There is nothing wrong with the approach you are taking, and it will indeed 
help balance load out between multiple spindles.  That being said, you have to 
know (by measuring) or at least predict what your I/O access patterns are 
between the various filesystems in order to gain full advantage.

An easier way of balancing load between two or more drives involves using 
RAID-0 striping, although the drives do not have to be equal in size. 
Commodity ATA RAID controllers like Highpoint, Promise, & 3ware are fairly 
cheap, or one could use software RAID like vinum.


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