Mount Points and Partitions Carl_Niskern at
Tue Nov 27 08:56:00 CST 2001

This is a question I have received several times when helping others
study for their RHCE. Here is a more in depth explanation.

/ is the root of the file system and everything is mounted on it.
	It is the only truly "required" mount point as anything not
	defined will be created on it.
/boot should be separate so that kernel maintenance is easier.
	The 1024 cylinder thing is true under 7.1 and older with LILO 
	but 7.2 with GRUB makes that a non-issue.
swap should be a partition instead of a file because if there 
	is swap corruption you just "swapoff -a" then "mkswap /dev/sd??" 
	to format it clean and "swapon -a".	Also swap partition size
	should be around double system memory up to 1Gb and the same
	as system memory up to 2Gb on any server that takes lots of
	consecutive connections. Never test memory error handling.
/usr is where the applications normally get installed to. If you
	plan on an "Everything" install you want about 2.5Gb. It is not
	a good idea to store a database file here though as they grow.
/tmp is for temporary files used by the system or users. Since anyone
	can write to this area, someone could send junk to it filling
	the mount point. This could destabilize your system if /tmp is
	not defined as a separate partition.
/var is where log files and other "variable" files are stored. If there
	is ever a problem that causes log files to be created or updated
	too fast you can quickly fill a file system and you see issues
	similar to a full /tmp. Also the ftp and web files are stored 
	here since RH 7.0.
/home is where your user home directories will be. You can easily
	define how much room they get on the system by adjusting this
	size. You can also set quotas easily against /home only this way.
/usr2 or /data or /whatever_you_want_to_name_it will be the area that 
	you store your own data or maybe install custom applications.

As Mr. Fjeldheim says, all of this is to make restoration easier.
And a good partitioning scheme makes an administrators job that much
easier in the long run, especially since most Linux installs are
not disturbed for years.

Carl Niskern

**/ The way some people find fault, you'd 
    think there was some kind of reward. **/

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stig_Fjeldheim at [mailto:Stig_Fjeldheim at]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 3:05 AM
> To: "kok_seng_lim"
> Cc: linux-poweredge at
> Subject: RE: Mount Points and Partitions
> Mr. Lim, 
> >UP (Utility Partition) - 32 MB - DOS
> >/ - 512 MB - Linux Native
> >/boot - 20 MB - Linux native
> >swap - variable - Linux swap
> >/usr - 2560 MB - Linux native
> >/tmp - 64 MB - Linux native
> >/var - 1536 MB - Linux native
> >/home - 1024 MB - Linux native
> >/usr2 - Glowing - Linux native
> >
> >I'm still a newbie in Linux and has been using Windows 
> >platform all along.
> >I wonder:
> >
> >1) By fixing so many partitions and sizes as suggested, what are the
> >advantages? I thought it will limit the effective used of hard 
> >disk space!
> The main advantage would be the ability to be able to restore only one
> partition at a time, say, if your /home partition would 
> somehow go corrupt,
> you only have one partition to fix/restore. You can also 
> unmount/remount
> parts of your system, while still leaving it in a working 
> state. Remounting
> /home as read only to perform a fsck on it would be an 
> example of this. 
> Partitioning will take up very little excessive hard drive 
> space, so that
> shouldn't be a problem at all.
> >2) Is there any other partition configuration that is much 
> >more suitable?
> What the basic idea behind it is to keep the /boot area 
> within the first
> 1024 cylinders on the disk. From there you can partition 
> pretty much as you
> want, but a normal server installation would perhaps have the 
> following
> setup:
> /boot
> /
> /home
> /tmp
> /usr
> /var
> The space on these would vary according to your needs, but 
> perhaps the same
> as above except selecting the "Use Remaining Space" for the 
> /usr partition. 
> >3) What is the recommended swap size for the server, as a 
> Lotus Domino
> >Application server serving around 50 - 100 users concurrently?
> I am not familiar with how much memory each connection to the 
> lotus server
> would take up, but if it was as much as 10, that'd still only 
> amount to
> about 750MB of the system memory for 75 users. Allocating 
> space for swap is
> an often-discussed topic, but most have their own personal 
> preference. I'd
> put 256 MB for swap, and see how it performs. If you find you 
> need more
> swap, adding another swap partition later is an easy task.
> Regards,
> Stig Fjeldheim [RHCE, MCSE, LCP]_____
> Server Technician, Dell Nordic Region
> _______________________________________________
> Linux-PowerEdge mailing list
> Linux-PowerEdge at

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