/usr/home vs /home

O. Hartmann ohartman at mail.zedat.fu-berlin.de
Tue Nov 22 11:25:43 UTC 2011

On 11/22/11 12:08, Hendrik Hasenbein wrote:
> On 22.11.2011 11:30, "Thomas Mueller <mueller6727"@bellsouth.net wrote:
>>> In the old days home was typically a separate partition that was 
>>> mounted on /home.  If you didn't have a partition the installer
>>> would create /usr/home and symlink /home to it.  The root was also
>>> typically an independent partition, so it made sense not to clutter
>>> it up with home directories.
>>> Now that the default behavior is to use one big partition, the 
>>> installer defaults to /usr/home + symlink.
>>> I've always liked the more succinct /home and was wondering if
>>> there is any reason why not to delete the symlink and move home to
>>> / to mimic the old many partition style?
>>> thanks, dave c
>> My preference is to use the traditional /home, on a separate
>> partition.  That way, user data can be kept safe in the case of a
>> major upgrading or revamping of the system.
>> This principle is even applicable for MS-Windows, even if the
>> user-data partition is not called "home".
>> A Linux user can run two or more distributions sharing the same /home
>> with each other, but not the same /home as for FreeBSD because of
>> different file system.
>> bsdinstall on FreeBSD 9.0-BETA1 changed my /home to a symlink to
>> /usr/home, but I changed it back to my preference.
>> I read that PC-BSD considers /usr/home to be correct.
>> I agree with Martin Sugioarto <martin at sugioarto.com> on preparing the
>> disks myself rather than letting the installer do it.  bsdinstall
>> only made things more difficult for partitioning the disk, not
>> allowing enough space, and also bsdinstall's boot partition was
>> nonfunctional for me.
>> But I don't see any advantage to putting /, /usr, and /var on
>> separate partitions.
> This might not be an universal advantage, but it is good to keep the
> choice. For example / could reside on a small flash memory built-in on
> the mainboard. /usr and /homes are mounted from different fileservers
> and /var is on a usb flash drive inside the case, because / is already
> filled.
> mata ne,
> Hendrik

Substantially it is irrelevant where the home-directory resides as long
as it doesn't have any serious performance implications or anything
else. Our homes resides on a dedicated ZFS volume and are mounted on
/home since many Linux systems we use for HPC duties also expect their
homes "by default" at /home.

But there is indeed on critical issue. In some cases where it is allowed
to log in as a user even no home folder could be mounted - say due to a
failure of the ZFS subsystem or due to failure of mounting from a
NAS/SAN or other kind of server - the "dead" mountpoint as empty as it
is resides in the "/" filesystem which is usually very small. We/I
preferr to use a legacy traditional partitioning of the directory
structure with fixed partitions for /, var,/ var/tmp, /usr, /usr/local,
/usr/obj, /usr/src and /usr/ports. It is, indeed, a huge waste of space,
but under some critical circumstances it is much easier and more healthy
for the system to "repair" only one partition with a subset of data than
a mega-partition containing everything.
well, in such a case, with a small "/", users are able to fill up, by
accident or by intention, "/" which then could end up in a stuck system
(if /tmp is also residing as a folder and not a partition in /). Havin
the homes in /usr/home or even /usr/local/home (latter seems more
logical to me since /usr is SYSTEM, and except root's home everything
else is a local issue, also the additional homes for users).


More information about the freebsd-current mailing list