[conspire] Partitioning problem

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 6 01:02:36 PST 2006

Here's something to chew over:  How would you partition these drives for
a Web server / multiuser Internet host?  (And no, I'm not going to use

o  73GB 68pin SCSI
o  18GB 68pin SCSI
o  18GB 68pin SCSI

Background:  I'm intending to rebuild linuxmafia.com on a VA Linux model
2230 2U.  (Thank you, Reg Charney!)  Above are my beefiest SCSI drives.
The 2U can theoretically house four drives, but I don't want to push its
cooling -- or make it noisier than necessary.

Current disk usage (2 x 9GB drives, in 1998 VA Research 500):

Filesystem     Used  Mounted on
/dev/sda1        3M  /boot
/dev/sda5      119M  /
/dev/sda6      200M  [recovery partition]
/dev/sda7      123M  [swap]
/dev/sda8      205M  /var/log
/dev/sda9      276M  /usr/local

/dev/sdb1      766M  /home
/dev/sdb5       <1M  /tmp
/dev/sdb6      123M  [swap]
/dev/sdb7     1237M  /var
/dev/sdb8      729M  /usr

I'm thinking 73GB as boot drive /dev/sda; others as mirrored 18GB pair
/dev/mdX housing the important stuff.  Speaking of which...
Here are subtrees I back up:

Tree                      Used  Description
/root                       8M  Root user's homedir
/etc                        8M  System config
/usr/lib/cgi-bin            3M  CGI scripts
/var/lib/mysql             29M  MySQL databases
/var/spool/exim4          413M  Exim & SA-Exim internal files
/var/spool/news            27M  Leafnode NNTP news spool
/var/spool/mail            35M  SMTP mail spool
/var/lib/mailman/lists     <1M  Mailman list definitions
/var/lib/mailman/archives 188M  Mailman list archives 
/usr/local                244M  Locally installed files and records
/var/www                  438M  Public http, ftp, rsync tree
/home                     758M  Users' homedirs

I'm thinking something like this:

Filesystem    Size     Mounted on
/dev/sda1     100M     /boot
/dev/sda5    1000M     /tmp
/dev/sda6     500M     [swap]
/dev/sda7    1000M     /var/log
/dev/sda8    5000M     /var
/dev/sda9    1000M     /
/dev/sda10   1000M     [recovery partition]
/dev/sda11   5000M     /usr
[rest unallocated, for now]

/dev/md0     2000M     /var/www
/dev/md1     1000M     /var/lib
/dev/md2     2000M     /var/spool
/dev/md3      500M     [swap]
/dev/md4      500M     /etc
/dev/md5     6000M     /home
/dev/md6     6000M     /usr/local

One guiding aim is to group trees most likely to need disk seeks
immediately on either side of the swap partition, trying to minimise
head movement ("seeking").  Also, I try to divide seeking between
drives; thus the swap allocation.


(The "recovery partition" is a duplicate basic OS installation, normally

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