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Re: Corel/Debian Linux Installer

On Aug 16, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> No, it isn't. There isn't a single good reason to partition a disk into
> little chunks on a end-user workstation - and these days there are some
> valid but generally not very important reasons to do it on a server.

Here's a few:

* Even if it's a workstation, it may not be maintained by the person who
sits at it, and it may have more than one account on it.  A user
shouldn't be able to incapacitate it, which may well occur when /tmp or
/var gets filled.

* If you have a workstation farm (as we do), it's nice to have a uniform
size /usr, or at least a known minimum size; that way we can ensure that
our standard package selection will fit on every machine.  If users can
write to the same partition as /usr, we can't make this assumption any
more.  Upgrades are also way easier if user files don't exist on any
system partitions.

* If you can make /usr readonly (even if only effectively), then backups
are much faster and simpler.  We backup /var and sometimes / on many of
our workstations, and wouldn't want to include /usr and /tmp... if
you're using dump, you have to take the whole filesystem.

We actually create 5 partitions (+swap): /, /tmp, /var, /usr, and
/usr/cnoc (in addition to any local partitions used as home or local
storage).  /usr/cnoc is for system software and data; by reserving the
space for our own use we ensure that we'll always have room for key
tools and logs even if we've turned over control of the package system
to a local maintainer or /var gets full.

> It used to be a good idea to partition like this because drives were small
> and unreliable, so you bought a /usr, /var, /home DRIVE simply to have
> enough space.

That may well have been a motivating factor at one point, but I assure
you it was not the only one.

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