Storage question

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Sep 8 20:51:41 UTC 2015

On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 15:00:45 -0453.75, William A. Mahaffey III wrote:
> I am prepping to bring 2 new FreeBSD 9.3R boxen online. I am trying to 
> figure out how large to make root & usr partitions to make most 
> effective use of storage. 
> [...]
> I'm pretty sure the last few can't be deleted, but what about the stuff 
> in '/var/backups' & '/rescue' ? I am trying to figure out a reasonable 
> minimum I can size the root directory & still have safe, reliable 
> operations. Any clues appreciated. TIA & have a good one.

It depends on your intended use. For example, when you're
rinning heavy databases or other things that occupy space
in /var, then make /var a separate partition with a reasonable
size. This way, / (the root partition) can stay small.

Here is an example from one of my systems:
/ is 1 GB (I'd go for 2 GB)
swap is 2 GB (machine has 2 GB RAM it hardly uses)
/tmp is 1 GB
/var is 1 GB
/usr is 50 GB
/opt is 5 GB
/home is 1.8 TB (separate disk)

Note that you can similarly "offload" /usr/local to a separate
partition if you like. The advantage is that you can install
as many software from ports as you want, leaving the OS aside.

On the other hand, why not put everything into one big / and
see how things develop? Especially if you aren't sure how the
required disk space will be in the future, fixed size partitioning
can become an "interesting" game, and it's not even a funny game. :-)

Both approaches ("big partition" vs. "many partitions") have
their advantages and disadvantages. If you're using ZFS, things
get more comfortable as you can more easily resize partitions.

However, / should contain /rescue. It's important to have this
directory accessible in single user mode. In this maintenance
mode (or emergency mode), only / will be accessible after boot,
mounted r/o. Make sure all parts needed for a SUM boot are
accessible _without_ mounting anything in addition to the
root partition. The OS should still be operational in this

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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