Best way to partition a small HD

Paul Schmehl pauls at
Fri Feb 3 08:12:33 PST 2006

--On Friday, February 03, 2006 09:07:33 -0600 "Stephen D. Spencer" 
<gladiatr72 at> wrote:

> I agree with the first reply that you should check out 6.0-R; however,
> with a 500M drive, I would go with your initial instincts to cut off a
> piece for swap and use the rest for a single filesystem.  Unless you know
> the precise list of ports, where they go and how much space they take up,
> slicing up a drive that small will probably lead to out-of-space
> head-aches in the not-so-distant future.  I would also suggest that you
> read the man page for newsyslog.conf.  You'll probably want to decrease
> the number of syslog archives that are kept.  Also, skip the ports and
> source install.  Install your ports via the 'pkg_add -r' command line.
> Good luck!
Good luck indeed.  WIth a hard drive that small, you're going to be very 
limited in what you can do.  My ports alone are almost 3GB.

/ is 34MB
/var is 138MB, so there's 40% of the drive right there
/usr/X11R6 is 914MB, so I doubt you'll be able to run x-windows

I would suggest creating three partitions:
/ 50MB
swap 50MB
/everything else 400MB

At least that way, when you fill up the drive, you'll still be able to 
login and fix problems.  I wouldn't reduce logging.  That's your lifeline. 
My workstation's /var/log/ is only 2MB.  (In contrast, I have a server with 
a 1GB /var/log.)  But you're going to have to be very judicious about what 
else you install.  I'd do a basic install with *no* ports or packages, and 
then pkg_add whatever you want/need very carefully.  Be sure do install 
freebsd-update, because I seriously doubt you'll have the room to keep 
kernel source and compile it (my /usr/src is 400MB.)

Paul Schmehl (pauls at
Adjunct Information Security Officer
University of Texas at Dallas
AVIEN Founding Member

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