What I do for a new machine?

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 15:04:05 UTC 2011

On 2 December 2011 14:35, LinuxIsOne <linuxisone at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 9:29 AM, Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com> wrote:
>> You don't need /boot any more. It was useful about a decade or more
>> ago when many BIOSes had limitations such as being unable to boot from
>> cylinders on the hard disk numbered above 1024, or were unable to boot
>> from sections above a certain size limit - at various times, there
>> were limitations above 32MB, 512MB, 8GB, 32GB and 120GB.
>> Now, don't worry about it.
>> You need / and swap. Having /home as well is useful.
>> For / - depending on the size of your disk - 16GB is generous and 32GB
>> is massive. For swap, use 2× the amount of physical RAM, as a
>> guideline. That is very generous. All the rest of the space you can
>> give to /home.
>> The simplest system is:
>> Primary partition (e.g. /dev/sda1) = /
>> Extended partition = all the rest of the space
>> 1st logical partition (e.g. /dev/sda5) = /home
>> 2nd (e.g. /dev/sda6) = swap
>> Some people claim there is a performance drop due to swap at the end
>> of the disk. This is not true. I have tested it, directly,
>> extensively, with thorough benchmarks. There was no measurable
>> difference to the 2nd decimal place in the mid-1990s and disks were a
>> LOT slower then. Now, it does not matter at all.
> That is good, but just as a point of information please let me know if
> I separate also like Olivier said -
> ext4 / = 20 GB
> ext4 /boot = 5 GB
> ext4 /home = 180 GB (encrypted)
> ext4 /opt = 10 GB
> ext4 /tmp = 10 GB
> ext4 /usr/local = 10 GB
> ext4 /var = 10 GB
> swap = 5 GB (encrypted)

I see no benefit, and a lot of extra complexity, and arguably a waste
of disk space.

If you want to dual-boot at some time - perhaps to try out the next
version of Ubuntu without wiping this one - then it will be /much/
harder with such a setup. It is harder to create, harder to maintain,
will be harder to copy to another drive if you upgrade, and there is
no real benefit.

There arguably are, or *were*, benefits to this approach on big Unix
servers, especially in the old days, 2-3 decades ago. Now, when data
recovery means booting off a LiveCD, there is no benefit but a lot of

My advice would be: no, don't do it. There is no point.

/ (root), home and swap is all you need. You don't *need* a separate
/home but it can be very handy.

Liam Proven • Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
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