[PC-BSD Dev] Subject: Re: 9.0 Recommendation: partitioning

Roger Marquis marquis at roble.com
Sun Sep 26 21:57:10 PDT 2010

> The application can be for security, net-boot/headless, testing builds,
> quick migration, quick deployment, and others.

These are not applications typical of a PC-BSD installation. The modal
PC-BSD end-user is not a professional systems administrator.  Default
partitioning should reflect this.

> Multiple partitions offer flexibility in multi-user environment that single
> partition can not.

No, this is patently false.  Paritions can always be added.  They cannot,
however, be removed from the root disk without reinstallation (unless growfs
has recently started working reliably).

> BSD was built from the ground up for multi-user environment.

Wholly irrelevant.  Partitioning is not dependent on the number of users.
This is also why default partitioning of end-user desktops has been
single-partition at companies like HP, Sun, and Yahoo for decades.  They
are single-partition because the sysadmin's at these companies base their
partitioning on statistics mined from the trouble ticket database.

> As for your "statistically significant correlation between intra-disk
> partition and diskfull trouble tickets", that simply said poor planning is
> statistically relevant.

You can't expect non-sysadmin end-users to be able to plan their future
disk usage.  If you implement a default partitioning scheme that makes
such unsupportable assumptions, well, let's just it will reflect poorly
on the OS when a PC-BSD user's mp3/mp4 collection fills their /usr
partition while their roomates's Linux or Windows still PC has plenty of
free space with the same collection and the same disk.

Roger Marquis

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