A Look at the Ubuntu Installer

Christopher James Halse Rogers chalserogers at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 13:44:49 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 22:30 +0000, (=?utf-8?q?=60=60-=5F-=C2=B4=C2=B4?=)
-- Fernando wrote:
> On Monday 07 January 2008 21:10:41 Mackenzie Morgan wrote:
> > 10GB is more than enough under normal usage.  You'd have to install..all of
> > GNOME, KDE, Enlightenment...and it still wouldn't be full.  Even with all
> > that and a lot more, I'm at around 7GB full.
> > 
> > On Jan 7, 2008 4:05 PM, Mario Vukelic <mario.vukelic at dantian.org> wrote:
> > 
> > >
> > > On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 09:50 +1300, Jonathan Musther wrote:
> > > > One thing I've been thinking would be good for quite some time is
> > > > creating separate / and /home partitions by default.
> > >
> > > While a separate /home makes reinstalls easier, how would you know the
> > > size of / the user needs?
> $ df -h
> Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
> /dev/sda1             9.7G  6.5G  2.7G  71% /
> 10 GiBs for small disks, and 20GiBs should be enough for most beginners and powerusers.
> Even powerfull users will most probably set extra mountpoints.
You might want to bear in mind that /tmp is on /, not /home.  A number
of apps (k3b, for example) sometimes want to write large files (such as
9GB DVD images) there temporarily, and it's puzzling for a user when
Gnome says "13Gb available disk space" but writing a 9Gb file fails.
Partitioning up hard drive space in this manner is not trivial, and the
least surprising option seems to be the standard just-one-partition

If we really want to push the convenience of multiple partitions by
default, I think we'd need something more dynamic.  A totally blue-sky
idea would be something like: default to LVM, with /, /home,
swap, /whatever logical volumes and a daemon that watches disk usage and
lvextends a logical volume once it gets over 75% full (or, for added
bonus points, when some process wants to allocate a file that would push
the usage over 75%).  Or something.

I don't think the benefits of a separate /home are sufficient to offset
the unexpected failure-cases introduced.  Especially since the benefits
are mostly only for power users who will likely set up their own
partitioning scheme.

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