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Date:      Sun, 09 Nov 2014 14:34:45 +0000
From:      Arthur Chance <>
To:        Matthew Seaman <>,
Subject:   Re: Where do user files go these days?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <>

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On 09/11/2014 12:15, Matthew Seaman wrote:
> On 09/11/2014 05:44, Polytropon wrote:
>>> Thanks.  In every system I can remember, /home was a separate file
>>>> system (when it existed at all), and I didn't see /usr/home in hier(7),
>>>> so I wondered.
>> Correct; "man hier" doesn't mention it because it's
>> a "user thing" mostly, as the OS and system services
>> do not use it (or require it to function properly).
>> Sharing /usr with home as one partition is (in most
>> cases) less critical than putting all "functional
>> subtrees" into one and the same partition, so some
>> disk-filling "runaway process" could stop /tmp, /var
>> and even / from working properly...
> I do wonder about the layout generated for home directories by the
> installer nowadays.  It is the case that everything expects user home
> directories to be in /home/username -- except for the layout in the
> installer.
> Now, moving /home into /usr/home and making a compatibility symlink
> might make sense for some partitioning schemes with UFS, but it
> certainly doesn't when installing with ZFS or with an all-in-one style
> UFS partition.  It's not like we're constrained in the number of
> partitions we can put on one drive in anything like the same way in
> these days of GPT either.
> In fact, having a zroot/usr/home makes managing boot environments more
> complex than it needs to be -- you'ld want /usr/bin and /usr/lib and
> almost certainly /usr/local to be part of a BE, but not /usr/home.
> Having a zroot/home mounted as /home makes so much more sense.
> Don't get me started though -- there are worse problems with managing
> what should be in a B.E. and what should not, and trying to reconcile
> all that with hier(7).  Much of /var should be part of a B.E., but not
> /var/mail or /var/log or /var/db/mysql.  Similarly /usr/local/pgsql
> should be outside a B.E.  This leads to all sorts of arcane trickery
> like creating a zroot/var ZFS with canmount=off,mountpoint=/var to
> overlay zroot/ROOT/BENAME/var with canmount=on,mountpoint=/var all so
> you can mount zroot/var/mail from outside the boot environment.

I'm glad to find it's not just me who wondered about /var and boot 
environments. I've got /var/tmp, /var/crash and /var/db/entropy outside 
the b.e. as well, although with hindsight I'm not sure about crash.

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