Feature suggestions: optionally placing home folder into separate partition during ubuntu install

Daniel Gross daniel.gross at utoronto.ca
Thu Dec 30 05:47:48 UTC 2010

Hello João, 

Thank you for your response. 

I agree with you that ultimately having proper backup is THE solution
for data loss. 

At the same time there are many factors that mitigate data loss. Keep in
mind that data loss is a probabilistic event, and you want to increase
the odds in your favor. 

For example, the ext4 file system format is newer than ext3. Having the
boot partition run on ext4 while keeping the data partition on ext3 may
for example increase the odds that data on the ext3 partition is more
recoverable than on an ext4 partition. 

Having home on a separate partition thus allows you to vary file system
formats to meet such needs. 

Also, the problem that i had was related to physical sectors becoming
unavailable on the boot partition, which corrupted data in such a way
that the partition became inaccessible. A second partition on the same
physical hard disk continued to work error-free.

If i had my home partition on the second partition i could have mounted
it without error using a live CD.

So, what i am saying is, data loss can be mitigated by certain kinds of
setups, and thats, essentially, what we all try to do.

Ideally, as i said, is having all off-site managed professionally at a
data center where data is backed up in such a way that the odds are very
much in your favor (but even there data can still be lost when very
unusual events occur).



On Wed, 2010-12-29 at 22:23 +0000, Joao Pinto wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 6:38 PM, Daniel Gross
> <daniel.gross at utoronto.ca> wrote:
>         Hello Phill,
>         I think you can compare the benefit of having user folder on a
>         separate
>         partition to users having a backup.
>         Most of the time a user does not need the backup. But when the
>         unforeseen event occurs that requires a restore, then those
>         users who
>         have a backup will clearly benefit.
>         Similarly, those users who loose access to the boot partition
>         (such as
>         due to a hard disk crash) will clearly benefit from having the
>         data on a
>         separate partition. At last in my case i could have restored a
>         working
>         system much more easily without data loss.
>         In the future when bandwidth will increase and off site backup
>         of all
>         data stored on a, say, 300 GB hard drive become common, then i
>         guess a
>         separate data partition will lose its necessity.
>         thanks,
>         Daniel
> Daniel,
> having a separate partition for /home does not not improve data
> protection in any way, it does not provide backups and the data access
> is not isolated.
> Your case would not be better with a different partition, whatever
> caused you the ext4 corruption could happen to your home partition as
> well, or both.
> For disaster situations like yours (unrecoverable file system
> corruption) a proper solution is to have backups.
> -- 
> João Luís Marques Pinto
> GetDeb Team Leader
> http://www.getdeb.net
> http://blog.getdeb.net

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