One or Four?

Maxim Khitrov max at
Fri Feb 17 22:41:15 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM, Robison, Dave
<david.robison at> wrote:
> Hiya,
> A question has arisen with the implementation of bsdinstall in 9.x as
> opposed to sysinstall in 8.x and previous versions of FreeBSD.
> It has always been FreeBSD's default to create four partitions and swap as
> such:
> /
> /tmp
> /var
> /usr
> swap
> The recent changes in 9.x with bsdinstall use a default behavior which
> creates only one partition and swap, with everything living under a single
> "/" partition as such:
> /
> swap
> We'd like a show of hands to see if folks prefer the "old" style default
> with 4 partitions and swap, or the newer iteration with 1 partition and
> swap.
> This is not a discussion of MBR vs GPT. The default moving forward from 9.x
> will be to use GPT.
> We realize that one can use bsdinstall to create as many partitions as one
> wants. However, the new default is for one partition and swap. We want to
> know if people would prefer the older style default with four partitions and
> swap when selecting "Guided Partitioning" and "Use Entire Disk".
> Let the majority decide which layout is preferred for the default.

/ and /usr should be merged together, /var should stay separate, and
/tmp should be tmpfs :)

At least that's my preferred server configuration starting with 9.0. I
see no benefits in keeping / and /usr separate. A desktop can have
/var on the same file system as well, but servers should always
isolate it.

Just a few days ago, a misbehaving php script filled-up my entire /var
partition when it got into an endless loop. I've since realized the
value of blocking repeated error log messages in php configuration,
but keeping /var away from the rest was a good safety net.

- Max

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