R. G. Newbury
newbury at mandamus.org
Sun Mar 7 19:57:07 UTC 2010
On 03/06/2010 02:01 PM, Christopher Meredith wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 12:48 PM, Donald J. Organ IV
> <dorgan at donaldorgan.com> wrote:
>> I am setting up my mythbox today, and I have two hard drives one is 750 GB
>> and the other is 500 GB...what would be the best way to partition them
>> should i put / on the 500 then /var/lib/mythtv on the 750 and /var/lib/mysql
>> on the 500?
> Why put / and /var on different partitions?
This discussion has been aired on the list a couple of times in the last
Firstly the type of filesystem you need for the OS is quite different
than what you want for the video store. Ext3 or ext4 is much better at
handling large numbers of small files. Xfs however can be tuned so that
it is much better at handling a small number of large (very large!)
files. Which is why the best course is to have a small disk for the OS
and different disks for video storage.
My setup uses 15G (of a 60G drive) for the OS. I am seriously
considering swapping in a 16G SSD to lower the noise,heat and power
However there is probably nothing stopping someone from using different
filesystems on different partitions on the same spindle.
Secondly, /var is where the system sends its messages and logs. The rest
of / does not change much. Most of us let myth run for weeks at a time.
If a log file grows enough to fill the partition, your system crashes,
and generally does enough damage that you cannot recover, or can only do
so with real difficulty. Having /var on its own partition, insures that
the *rest* of the OS will remain uncorrupted if that sort of overflow
crash occurs. Just boot from a livecd, or usb stick equivalent, mount
the /var partition, and delete some files. Unmount and reboot to your OS.
Thirdly, as a result of the former, it is unsafe to use /var for
longterm storage of any data. The name is a little misleading. Linux
tends to treat anything in /var as having no real value. So
/var/lib/mysql and /var/www/html should not be stored there. I symlink
those into /home, which is its own partition too. So /home is the home
of the mythconverg database and the mythweb setup (/var/www/html is
apache's document root under fedora...no idea where in ubuntu or other
Again, this means that /var can get messed up without my losing anything.
So, how to partition?
In the latest Fedora and Ubuntu distros, /boot can be ext4. So you no
longer need a separate /boot. One partition for /, one partition for
/home, one partition for /var. It is also useful to have a separate
partition for /usr/local, but it is not necessary, if you remember to
back your own programs and scripts from /usr/local/sbin. And you may
want a partition for swap. Symlink /tmp into /var/tmp.
Sizes? / is 8G, /home is 3G, /var is 2G, /usr/local is 2G, swap is 1G
I use the rest of my sda drive as a dedicated partition for music.
/dev/sdb1 is /video which presently is about 800G of a 1T drive.
You can use some space under /video for backups of the mythconverg
database, and even the myth binaries and libraries if you want. I also
save a copy of /etc so I don't have to remember all the details in
/etc/hosts, /etc/fstab, /etc/resolv.conf.
The beauty of this sort of setup is that you can do a complete reinstall
or upgrade while saving all the important info on its own partition, and
be up and running in short order. Except for a problem with lirc on the
2.6.32 kernel, I upgraded from fedora 10 to fedora 12, (including the
dreaded nouveau problem) in about 3 hours yesterday.
Please let me know if anything I say offends you.
I may wish to offend you again in the future.
Tux says: "Be regular. Eat cron flakes."
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