New user - small file server questions and quick GUI question

Roland Smith rsmith at
Tue Dec 29 22:31:35 UTC 2009

On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 09:06:09PM +0200, Kaya Saman wrote:
> lot's of different pieces of advice rolling in now!
> I guess what I will do as I have a small hard disk for what I want to do 
> which is to get rid of my music and few movies which are stored on my 
> laptop currently, is create separate /, /tmp, /usr and /var.

If you can afford it, and if your laptop has a USB port, buy one of those
external harddisks. Plenty of room for music and movies... Also great for
> I propose which is similar to what Frank has suggested:
> /   ~500M
> /tmp ~2GB
> /var ~2GB
> /usr ~2GB
> /home the rest

I would make /usr greater. See below.

> but then Jerry has already suggested:
>  partition   mount point     Size 
>    a            /             512 MegaBytes  (1/2 GByte)
>    b            swap         2048 MBytes     (2 GBytes)
>    d            /tmp          512 MBytes
>    e            /usr         4096 MBytes
>    f            /var         4096 MBytes
>    g            /home          29 GB  (eg all of the rest of the disk)
> This could be ok I reckon as the 4GB partitions should be there as 
> everyone has suggested for me to use ports and build from source!

I'd make /usr bigger. 5-10 GiB, if you can spare it.

> The reason why I preferred to use package manager was that on say 
> Solaris it's pretty a much a pain having to install all the dependencies 
> from Sun Freeware site.

Realize that not all software is available as packages because of
e.g. licensing restrictions. And some ports you can customize via so-called
"options". If you install from packages, you're stuck with the (default)
options used when building the packages.

The FreeBSD ports system is _so_ convenient. It's one of the great features of
FreeBSD, as is the user community.

> I mean what I will be installing if completely base install with just OS 
> and nothing more like I mentioned before is Samba, NFS server/client, 
> NTP, Nano as the quote below from Jerry using vi or vim is not my 
> preferred text editor as I find them extremely difficult and a real pain 
> to use.

The ee(1) editor is part of the base system. This is a _lot_ friendlier than vi!
Give it a try, you might not even need nano.

> In addition I do not think this machine has a DVD drive either although 
> I haven't fired up the Win build yet to transfer files but from what the 
> drive says on the front of 52x looks like it's CD only :-(

Good enough for installing. :-)
> For this reason the discussed packages above will need to be downloaded 
> and installed my best guess is from source.

Installing from source is the most flexible method. How is your internet

> Meaning I will need extra 
> space in one of the filesystems but am unsure where the source gets 
> stored?? My best guess would be /usr?

In /usr/ports to be exact. The source code tarballs are also stored there,
under /usr/ports/distfiles. On my system, /usr/ports/distfiles is now 799
MiB (450 ports, remember!). The rest of /usr/ports is 543 MiB. Realize that
ports will be compiled under /usr/ports as well!

Good luck!

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