[PC-BSD Dev] 9.0 Recommendation: partitioning

Roger Marquis marquis at roble.com
Thu Sep 23 12:13:15 PDT 2010

One thing I would like to see changed in 9.0, or earlier, is the
partitioning.  Last time I installed PC-BSD the default was to create
partitions for /usr and /var.  I recommend a single partition (per disk)
for several reasons:

  1) Intra-disk partitions other than swap have not been necessary since
  the introduction of 1GB drives, back in 1993.

  2) /usr is a particularly problematic partition because the system won't
  boot if there is any problem mounting it.

  3) In 18 years of consulting we've seen the incidence of diskfull
  support tickets nearly eliminated because most sites no longer create
  legacy intra-disk partitioning.  Of the trouble tickets we still see for
  this all are due to installs which created these unnecessary partitions
  (and most of those use symlinks to work around the situation, creating
  the systems administration equivalent of spaghetti code).

  4) Intra-disk partitions may be indicated when a specific filesystem may
  otherwise fill up a more important partition, however, those are best
  addressed with NFS or additional disks.  Most server and nearly all
  desktop installs work best without partitions other than swap.

  5) All root-mounted partitions will impact system performance because
  stat() calls start at the root directory and root stat() is impacted by
  root mountpoints.  For this reason cdrom and floppy should be mounted
  under either /mnt/$dir or /media/$dir.

  6) The vast majority of Unix and Linux distributions today do not create
  partitions other than swap by default.

Roger Marquis

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