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Re: Minimum size for /home?

On 20100304_135430, 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?
> -- 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.
> 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

For squeeze, a fresh install of a desktop system with Xwindows, Gnome, Iceweasel,
etc. puts less than 1,000,000 bytes of config files into /home. The iceweasel
stuff grows over time because you will probably want to save some bookmarks. 

I recommend that you use your second method and just merge this stuff into the
root partitions for each of the two distros. 

But there can be problems, e.g.: Photo library software typically puts a large
cache of thumbnails into a dot-hidden file in /home. If you save photos it is
generally easy to make the software save the pictures in a special location 
(i.e. your shared partition) but the undocumented dot-files generally go some
place that is not under your control. 

Paul E Condon           

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