Newbie: Correct directory for file server

Scott W wegster at
Tue Nov 11 15:35:46 PST 2003

Tom Munro Glass wrote:

>>Depends on what philosophy you subscribe to- if it's on a local system
>>only, then create a group for members that will need access to it, and
>>create a directory in the /home tree, like /home/'project_foo
>>If it's going to be NFS mounted by other systems, then create an /export
>>directory and put it similarly in there, which has the convenience as
>>you change your filesystems (and you will...) and perhaps share more
>>directories, or add more disk, you can keep them 'centrally' located (or
>>mounted) under a single top level directory..  Unless your /var
>>filesystem is _huge_ (or on the same filesystem as /, ick!), I wouldn't
>>put anything to be shared in the /var tree...(as already mentioned).
>>Likewise, /usr is meant to be capable of being mounted read-only, and
>>contains (generally) static binaries and libraries required for full
>>multi-user (read this as networked) mode operation of the system, so I'd
>>abstain from using /usr either.
>Thanks for this Scott. The files are going to be NFS mounted by Linux 
>workstations and SMB mmounted by Windows workstations, so I guess that 
>/export is the right place. I will make this a separate filesystem.
>I currently have separate filesystems for /, /tmp, /usr and /var. Considering 
>your comment about /usr being mounted read-only, why is /home a link to 
>/usr/home when hme obviously contains variable data? If I use a new 
>filesystem for /home, should I mount this at /home and make /usr/home a link 
>to /home, or do I just mount it at /usr/home?
Hi Tom- /usr doesn't _have_ to be mounted read-only, but it's not 
uncommon to do it on systems connected to the net/susceptible to 
hacking/just for security.  Default Sun for home is /export home, 
primarily b/c Solaris thinks it's always the NFS server ;-)  Most Linux 
distros use /home, and I'll admit I'm not positive what freeBSD uses as 
a default, but I expect it to be /home and again, NOT under the /usr 
tree- home directories contain dynamic, changing data.  The /usr 
filesystem remains static aside from the occasional app that 'must' be 
installed into /usr/local, or adding vendor packages (think base 
packages or ports installed for freeBSD), which once it's set up for a 
production system, may actually stay static for years in some cases 
(with the possible exception of security fixes depending on the 
environment).  Again, mounting the home dir as /usr/home would preclude 
you from ever even considering mounting /usr as read-only (or 
'immutable' is I _think_ the other  freeBSD option?)

So, not sure why your system is set up the way it is, but fairly likely 
it was done that way because of mis-judging disk space requirements, or 
the way the drive(s) were partitioned... you can always create a new 
home dir and copy it over via:
rm -f /home (removes symlink)
mkdir /home
cd /usr/home
tar cvf - . | (cd /home && tar xvf - )


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