Newbie: Correct directory for file server

Scott W wegster at
Tue Nov 11 20:26:09 PST 2003

Tom Munro Glass wrote:

>>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 - )
>Thanks again Scott. I understand what you're saying about /usr being for 
>mainly static data and this stacks up with what I've read about Linux and 
>FreeBSD. So I was very surprised when I installed 4.9-RELEASE on a brand new 
>machine (completely blank disks) and it made /home as a symlink to /usr/home! 
>But this seems to be the default for FreeBSD.
>I'm half way through creating new filesystems for 'home' and 'export' and 
>copying the data across (thanks for the tar tip) and I just have to decide 
>where to mount them.
>Chris Howells suggests mounting the 'home' filesystem at /usr/home and I think 
>he is suggesting that 'export' would mount at /usr/home/export. This 
>contradicts what you have said above so I'm confused!
>Chris/Scott - I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.
Heh- wasn't the joys of C vs C++ enough? ;-)  Really not much else to 
say on it- different people have different reasons, just as some people 
use only a single / filesystem.  I don't, except in the case of what 
used to be a triple OS booting laptop...some of my preferences I think 
are pretty 'standard,' others by running out of disk space or filling up 
the 'wrong' filesystem, or simply trying to keep large or growing 
filesystems 'sane.'...but sane to me, may not be to someone else ;-)

Oh, I don't think Chris said anything about mounting export _under_ 
home- export is more of a 'sanity' thing when you have a ton of growing 
filesystems- on some systems, you really don't know going into it just 
how much storage you may wind up attaching, OR what it might be used 
for, imposing a _consistent_ layout from the start (eg, 
anything that will be exported via NFS goes under /export/* , which 
generally includes home directories which become /export/home (and you 
can always symlink back to /home if you'd like, unsure if freeBSDs 
automounter does things the same as Solaris.  Likewise, if you were also 
going to run Samba to export shares to Windoze systems, in an ideal 
world you'd find a combination where both Unix and Windows files might 
co-exist under a user's home directory, if they/you are 
manipulating/editing in both platforms (OpenOffice or apps under WINE, 
etc), music shared (which uhh, I never do of course.. ;-) under 
/export/music etc etc....and /usr/* IMHO simply should not have 'data' 
in it, or anything that has the capability to be changed often..

One of the nice things about freeBSD is that most *nixes have for years 
tried to impose 'the right way' to do things with respect to directory 
layout...freeBSD seems to be the first I've seen that does it 
consistently, although differently in some cases 
(/usr/local/etc)...anyways, the point is- don't ruin that, for your OWN 
sanity's sake.  If you don't like my personal preferences, come up with 
something that makess sense to YOU, and that won't drive you insane 5 
years down the road when you STILL might have some of the same disks, or 
at least data copied over to new disks...



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