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Date:      Wed, 28 Jan 1998 19:32:19 -0600
From:      "Jeffrey J. Mountin" <>
To:        Don Lewis <>
Cc:        freebsd-isp@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Sendmail - low on space
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <"Jeffrey J. Mountin" <>

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At 06:12 AM 1/28/98 -0800, Don Lewis wrote:
>On Jan 27,  4:19pm, "Jeffrey J. Mountin" wrote:
>} Subject: Re: Sendmail - low on space
>} I forget the defaults, but do recall that as packages were added to a
>} system, the wasted space having separate /var and /usr partitions was an
>} issue and forced me to start over fresh. :/
>This is still a problem if you make a combined usr+var partition too
>small.  When you add all those packages, you'll end up without enough
>space for /var.

I was refering to my personal server, so it didn't matter much.

As you and others agree, it's all whole different game with a production server.

>I generally figure out how much space to dedicate to /usr upfront
>(better planning tools would be helpful) and make a guess based on
>experience for /var.  If /var turns out to be too small, it's pretty
>painless to move it to a bigger partition or disk since I don't have
>to touch the stuff in /usr.  Doing admin work is a lot more pleasant
>if /usr is online.

Hah!  Todays plans don't mean much for unexpected growth.

>For safety reasons, I like to mount publically writable partitions with 
>the nosuid/noexec and nodev options.  This isn't possible if you combine
>/usr and /var.
>/dev/sd0s1g             /usr                    ufs     rw,nodev        1 1
>/dev/sd0s1e             /var                    ufs     rw,noexec,nodev 1 1
>In some environments, it may even be possible to mount /usr read-only for
>additional protection.

Damn good point.

>With separate partitions, reboots will often be faster because fsck won't
>need to touch /usr, which has lots of files.  It will only need to check
>the more active /var partition which usually has a much smaller number of

True, but fsck will check all disks for an unclean shutdown.  One thing FBSD doesn't do daily is a fsck of all filesystems, which is a good idea, so checking more or less doesn't matter, IMHO.

>If you have more than one machine, using separate partitions gives you
>the option of sharing /usr over NFS.  The stuff in /var isn't shareable.

Not sure why you want to do this.

>If you want to combine partitions, I'd recommend combining / and /usr, since
>they are both relatively static, and they are the only partitions which
>normally can't be mounted nosuid.  The only downside is that it makes
>growing /usr less convenient.

Thowing all the suggestion away, everyone has been giving their options and suggestions, and it boils down to expandability.  Since I combine /var and /usr, only to later use additional disks for 2-6 mount points, it doesn't matter much how I start.  YMMV.

What about with hardware based RAID w/FBSD?  Can you add more drives to expand a filesystems capacity?  Or would this take a software based RAID.

Certainly would make life easier, more reliable, and easy the worry of lost data.

Jeff Mountin - Unix Systems TCP/IP networking

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