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Re: Minimum size for /home?

postid wrote:
I'm setting up a laptop for triple boot: WinXP; Debian Lenny with KDE
and lots of bells and whistles; Debian Lenny with Fluxbox and just the
essentials. I may swap one of those three for a different distro later.
Here's the planned layout:

hda1 -------- WinXP
hda2 -------- / for first distro
hda3 -------- / for second distro
hda4 -------- extended
  hda5 -------- /home for first distro
  hda6 -------- /home for second distro
  hda7 -------- shared data partition
  hda8 -------- swap

All data will be stored in the shared data partition, except for what's
in the dot files (e-mail, etc.) in the /home partitions. (I'm not using
a shared /home partition since I want to avoid config conflicts.) I have
limited hard-drive space.

Here are the questions:

-- How small can I make the /home partitions?

What length was that piece of string you wanted?

-- With data being stored in its own partition, what are the limiting
factors for /home partition size? I suspect it's e-mail attachments that could bloat /home the quickest.

Only you can know that. But presumably you can offload most attachments to an external drive fairly quickly.

On the other hand, I could just let /home be a part of / for each distro (as below) and back up the dot files regularly.

hda1 -------- WinXP
hda2 -------- / for first distro
hda3 -------- / for second distro
hda4 -------- extended
  hda5 -------- shared data partition
  hda6 -------- swap

The usual reason for wanting a separate /home is to minimise work if you reinstall an OS. Again, only you know...

You don't need primary partitions for anything but Windows, and technically only for the three or four boot files in Windows. If you place the /homes immediately following the distros, and make the earlier distro the one you're likely to want to keep, then you have the best flexibility in resizing if/when you change distros. With the first distro offline, you can pull off the first /home and resize the partition before replacing the data. You can proportion the new second / and /home as you wish, with more experience now.

You could also used a small shared extN boot partition and use LVM for the others (apart from Windows, of course) and resize whenever you wish. It's still not trivial, but it's possible without rebuilding the partition table. With Linux, also, you can pull everything off, resize the partitions (within reason!), rewrite the partition table and put it all back, and have a reasonable expectation that it will work. Don't even think about that with Windows.


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