[nSLUG] Debian Wheezy partitioning...

Oliver Doepner odoepner at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 22:16:08 ADT 2014

I usually keep it simple and just use a single root partition. If you use a
swap file instead of a swap partition, you can literally get away with just
a single partition. I don't dualboot, but rather use VMs on Linux host
system, so no separate partition for Windows either.

For backups I would simply use an external disk (usb or esata) and rsync.
The advantage of rsync is the incremental nature. I use it with a flag to
not ever delete anything. I backup only /home, /usr/local and /etc. The
system itself (/usr, /var and so on) is basically defined by the list of
leaf packages which I generate using debfoster ("keepers" list).

I heard LVM has significant overhead and is too complicated for my taste.
At least for a single user laptop or desktop I don't quite see the point.

Can anyone think of drawbacks of this single partition approach?

On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM, <syorke at gmail.com> wrote:

>  I ended up going with:
> /  15 GB
> /home 62 GB
> swap 3 GB
> Thanks again to everyone that responded.
> -S
> *From:* Frank Geitzler <frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca>
> *Sent:* ‎Thursday‎, ‎October‎ ‎2‎, ‎2014 ‎12‎:‎54‎ ‎PM
> *To:* Nova Scotia Linux User Group <nslug at nslug.ns.ca>
> 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 following:
>     '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.
> Frank
> 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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Oliver Doepner
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