/ almost out of space just after installation

Richard Mahlerwein mahlerrd at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 11 02:43:27 UTC 2009

--- On Sat, 10/10/09, RW <rwmaillists at googlemail.com> wrote:

>From: RW <rwmaillists at googlemail.com>
>Subject: Re: / almost out of space just after installation
>To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 8:43 PM
>On Sat, 10 Oct 2009 12:28:08 -0700 (PDT)
>Richard Mahlerwein <mahlerrd at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> The only time I can
>> really think I'd want /tmp to be in RAM is if I already had too much
>> RAM for the needs of the box - otherwise, just give me the RAM...
>But it wouldn't actually be a ram disk, that's just just a misnomer
>that people, who ought to know better, are throwing around. It
>would probably be tmpfs.

Correction (or at least correction to precision) noted.  I'd still rather use it as RAM the regular way.  :)

>> While I'm reasonably happy rolling my own FS sizes, I would be even
>> happier if I didn't have to.  As long as we're doing the wish list,
>> I'd guess for this (all numbers significantly flexible):
>> Drive < 16 GB = keep current layout?
>> Drive > 16 and < 40 GB = 
>> / = 1 GB
>> swap = 1.5x RAM 
>> /tmp = 2 GB
>> /var = 2 GB
>> /usr = remaining space
>2 GB each for /var and /tmp is far too high for such  small disks, I
>wouldn't want to squander 4GB like that much below a TB. It's a figure
>that's hardly ever going to be "about right" either for /tmp or /var,
>when it isn't far too big, it's likely to be too small.

So, your opinion is that if 768 MB (or 512 MB, or 1G, whatever) isn't enough, then it's likely that 2 GB also isn't enough?  That those who need more than the default /var and /tmp often (or usually) need a LOT more?  Reasonable, and I am not sure I could disagree with that completely.   

I was approaching it from perhaps a slightly different tack, though.  What I was thinking of was of defaults for people who will use the defaults.  Someone running  a mail server is unlikely to use the defaults, and you are completely correct that they'd need a lot more space in /var.  But, average Joe may just use it for fiddling around with.  Maybe one day he'll start fiddling with MySQL or perhaps even trying to partially or completely host his own email.  I'd like him, with his 250 GB drive, to have enough space to at least play with that for a while without worrying overly much about running out of room or having to move DB files or something.

For that matter, I wonder if the solution for those sorts is to make a 'simple' mode that does swap and one big partition for everything else?   Or make 'auto' do that, and let everyone else use their own sizes?

Thinking out loud here: What if 'auto' did one big /, and 'advanced' only laid in the partitions without sizes at all, then for each you'd have to just tell it how big to make it.  A special option would be on the /home one, which would be to symlink it to /usr/home.  Not that this would happen any time soon - that code doesn't look to be easily convertable to somethign like this. 

>> Drive > 40 GB = 
>> / = 1 GB
>> swap = 1.5x RAM 
>> /tmp = 2 GB
>> /var = 2 GB
>> /usr = 1/2 of remaining space, min 20 GB, max 35 GB
>> /home = everything else.
>Having a home directory separate from /usr is often a good idea, but
>making it part of the default install is a really bad idea IMO. 
>A desktop user with a largish disk may want  98% of it
>under /home, a server may need next to nothing under /home. The amount
>needed for /usr also varies enormously.

I had been assuming that someone setting up a server was unlikely to accept the default 'a'uto sizes and would have rolled their own.  Under the scheme I had above, the desktop user with a large disk - say 1 TB - would have ended up with 1TB - (1 GB / + ~4 GB swap + 2 GB /var + 2 GB /tmp + 35 GB /usr) = about 950 GB in /home.  (Or, well, that'd be what, 870MB out of 925MB or something?) 

A server with that same drive would likely never have had the 'a' key pressed inside disklabel. 

>It's so hard to come-up with sensible values that the only sensible
>thing to do is leave them on the same partition by default. It's not
>exactly rocket science to add your own /home partition.

I do agree to some extent.  On the other hand, what's the 'a'uto key do now?  / seems a bit small, notice the OP's subject?  I've never had this problem, though... 

Hmm.  All food for thought.  


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