[nSLUG] Debian Wheezy partitioning...

Dave Flogeras dflogeras2 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 11:13:24 ADT 2014

Hey Stephen,

I would highly recommend reading up on LVM2.  I have recently (and
recently only due to my own ignorance) discovered its power; even on a
single disk setup.  I usually have the same dilemma when setting up a
machine, I like having VMs on a separate partition, my dev stuff on
another, as well as home, and since I use Gentoo also the package
manager data, and, and.....  With LVM you can push some of the
guess-work of "how much room will I likely need for VMs" into the
future.  I usually take my best guess of my requirements, and leave
some unallocated room on the disk for later.  It is quite easy to
expand LVM partitions and their filesystems later should you need to
(or even reduce them to reclaim space).

Other benefits include:

- Adding another disk seamlessly (you can add another physical disk,
and make an existing filesystem span both without the filesystem being

- Snapshot-backups, you can (provided you have some unallocated room)
make a temporary snapshot of a partition, and back it up while still
using it.  The snapshot remains frozen in time for consistent backups.

- Migrate data to another disk (let's say you ran out of room, you can
add a disk, migrate the partitions while still using them, then remove
the old disk).  I recently wanted to encrypt a system, so I plugged in
another disk, moved all my volumes over to the new physical disk,
encrypted the original, and migrated back; all while using the system
as normal.  The migration took about a day, but without any downtime.

- Many more, especially in multi disk setups

The only potential downside I can think of is if you wanted to  share
this disk with Windows, I'm not sure of the state of Windows tools for
reading LVM partitions.

It is pretty easy to set up (I use the cmdline tools, but if you're a
GUI guy I imagine there are great tools for that too).

You pay only a tiny price (like an extra pointer lookup at the kernel
level when doing slow disk IO anyway).

Hope that helps in some way,

On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Stephen Yorke <syorke at gmail.com> wrote:
> All,
> I am setting up a development laptop and looking for suggestions on
> partitioning the disc.
> The laptop is nothing special.  P4 Hyper-Threaded, 1GB RAM and an 80GB disc.
> I do install some opt stuff as I can see from a few VMs I have running but
> wanted to hit up the experts on a good setup since I will be doing C/C++
> coding and want to make sure if something crashes, I can easily recover.  My
> code will be in TFS but I want this machine to be around for as long as
> possible.
> Advice greatly appreciated.
> -Stephen
> Sent from my Samsung Ativ S running WP8
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