UFS partitioning

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Tue Dec 2 08:13:15 PST 2008

On Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 11:53:23AM +0100, Pieter Donche wrote:

> On Tue, 2 Dec 2008, Polytropon wrote:
> >   ad0 |-----------------------------------------------| the whole disk
> > ad0s1  \----------------------------------------------/ one slice
> >ad0s1X   \--/\---/\-----/\-----/\-------/\------------/  partitions
> >           a   b     d      e       f           g
> >           /  swap  /tmp   /var    /usr       /home      mount point
> OK this is clear..
> >>a / 1Gb,
> >>b swap,
> >>d /root 20 Gb, (a /root partition is from an example of someone who
> >>claims that at boot FreeBSD checks the partions in background except
> >>for the / partition, by keeping / as small as possible, the time to
> >>boot can be mimimized .. correct? but will /root ever be something
> >>big ??)
> >
> >No no, / refers to "the root partition". One way of setting
> >up partitions is just to have one partition (one root parttion)
> >and put everything on it, including /tmp, /var, /usr and /home.
> I know / is the "root partition", but /root is the home-directory of 
> the user root (/etc/passwd: root:*:0:0:Charlie &:/root:/bin/csh). 
> I doubt this will ever be needed to be large? If its not large
> fsck neither will spend much time in it. So I guess it's just safe
> not to make this a separate BSD-partiton ?

You want to leave the /root directory in the root filesystem (partition 
eg ad0s1a or ad0a).    Otherwise you could end up with your tail in a 
crack at just the wrong time.   And, yes, don't put a lot of stuff
in that /root directory.

> >Another philosophy is to create partitions designated to their
> >further use, just as I mentioned it above.
> Yes, but it's hard to find out what is best... I'm constantly
> swinged between the one (/ including /tmp /var /usr) and the
> other (all separate) option ...

Depends a lot on how you use the system.   Basically, you learn
by experience of how that system is being used.   That can change
over time too and mean you want to shift your structure to
something else - especially if you add more disk or start
supporting some additional server service, etc.

I generally suggest dividing into  /, swap, /tmp, /usr, /var, /home
in the beginning and then see how things go.  Typically /var and /home
are the ones that will grow, especially if you have a database which
by default lives in  /var  and/or if you put home directories and 
web sites in  /home  which is what I suggest.

As for ZFS issues, I don't know because I haven't had a place to play 
with it yet.   Someday I will have a spare machine and extra disks...


> >>this leaves 2420 Gb which is more than 2 Tb, so you can't put all
> >>that in 1 filesystem h /home, you will need to split that in 2
> >>BSD-paritions, but since you can't have more that 8 BSD-partitions
> >>(highest BSD-partition letter is h), you need to give up at least
> >>one of d, e, f, g. ... correct or not (then what)?
> >
> >I quite doubt that FreeBSD's UFS 2 cannot handle a 2 TB partition
> >as a whole, but because I don't have sch large disks with UFS
> >(I have ZFS for them), I cannot tell.
> Anyone else can tell?
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