[nSLUG] Debian Wheezy partitioning...

Frank Geitzler frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca
Thu Oct 2 12:54:51 ADT 2014

Stephen, I can't speak as an expert, but I can mention some things which
have worked for me.  First, I recommend that you have a stand-alone
backup drive.  I run ubuntu/windows7 on a laptop I bought about three
years ago, and when I purchased the laptop Staples had a 500Gb Seagate
drive which I purchased for an additional $75.  
    I partitioned my ubuntu dual-boot with a separate /home partition,
with greatly-appreciated assistance from a fellow NSLUG member.  If you
are spending a lot of time developing, I am sure you want to want to
protect your investment in case something happens to your laptop disk
drive, or to the entire laptop, so I recommend you back up your home
partition frequently.  
    Whenever I do a major update or upgrade, I simply connect the
external drive via USB, create a new sub-directory for the new backup
(deleting the oldest backup, if I am running low on space), CD
(change-directory) to the new backup directory on the external drive,
and then open a terminal window, obtain administrative authority with
sudo, and copy the entire home directory to the newly created backup
directory on the standalone drive with a command similar to the
    'cp home "/media/Expansion
Drive/laptop_bkp/Laptop_Home_Folder_Backup_September_01_2014/home" -a -p
-r -v'
I know that is verbose, but I keep a text log of backups and
installations, and can do a 'cut-and-paste' to copy the command from the
text log to the terminal window, and then make minor changes to the name
of the new backup before pressing <Enter>.  
    Additionally, I suggest that you encrypt your home partition, since
laptops can be stolen (and hard drives do die), and you probably have
sensitive information there.  If you do encrypt the partition, I
recommend that you keep an external record of the encryption key -I
encryped my home partition, but I didn't record the key, and have been
very concerned every time I do an update, in case my home directory does
somehow become unrecoverable.  I don't know if simply restoring the
backup completely to a new computer would work -but I do hope so.
On Thu, 2014-10-02 at 11:13 -0300, Dave Flogeras wrote:

> 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
> aware)
> - 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,
> Dave
> 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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> > nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> > http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug
> >
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