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#1 2008-01-04 19:24:34

Smith oo4
Member
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2007-12-30
Posts: 34

How big of a root partition should I have?

I am new to Archlinux and Linux in general. I recently installed my first Arch system but I have not yet installed a desktop environment for I am trying to learn the command line.  I was planning on using this weekend to set up a desktop environment but I cannot decide which one to use, so I will try them all (or at least Gnome and Xfce).  My question is how big of a root partition should I have to give me ample space to play around including having more than one desktop environment installed at once.  I currently have a 20 GB hard drive with my root partition set to 4 GB.
Thank You
Morgan Smith

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#2 2008-01-04 19:36:12

ralvez
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2005-12-06
Posts: 1,546
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

4 GB should be OK for an installation including  GUI,  the only problem I can see is that pacman stores the packages in the / too and they can take a good chunk of space, forcing you to monitor / space.
To give you and idea, I have 7 GB of / and 40% of it is used. I however do not store packages in the /var/cache/pacman/pkg but instead I symlink to another drive.

Hope this helps.
R.

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#3 2008-01-04 19:38:46

F
Member
Registered: 2006-10-09
Posts: 322

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

If you care, here is mine:

Name                            Flags                          Part Type                  FS Type                                     [Label]                               Size (MB)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          sda1                            Boot, NC                        Primary                   Linux ext2                                                                            41.13                     
          sda2                                                            Primary                   Linux swap / Solaris                                                                 271.44
          sda3                                                            Primary                   Linux                                                                              39851.49
          sda4                                                            Primary                   Linux                                                                              39859.71

Where /dev/sda1 is /boot,
/dev/sda2 is swap,
/dev/sda3 is root, and
/dev/sda4 is /home

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#4 2008-01-05 11:50:48

tlaloc
Member
From: Lower Saxony
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 350

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

I have a 10 GB / partition, but only 5.5 GB are currently used. 4 GB may be close to the lower limit - if you like to try out new things (DEs/WMs), you will have to clean the cache quite often (using pacman -Scc).

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#5 2008-01-05 12:00:09

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,357
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

I have 3.4Gb used on my root partition on my laptop.  I'd say use 6 for / and the other 14 for home and you should be fine.  Just remember to clear the pacman cache regularly.

Edit:  Just check my server which has a fairly minimal install + XFCE desktop and it only uses 1.6Gb.  So I guess it depends what you are wanting to install...

Last edited by Allan (2008-01-05 12:04:20)

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#6 2008-01-05 13:15:15

wangjun
Member
From: China
Registered: 2007-11-08
Posts: 8

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

my "df" information
/dev/sda7              4917648    442892   4224948  10% /
/dev/sda11            13630404   1321388  11616620  11% /usr
/dev/sda6               482214     20321    436994   5% /boot
/dev/sda8              1968588     99232   1769356   6% /var
/dev/sda9              4917648    206860   4460980   5% /opt

Hope this helps


为什么我的眼里常含泪水?
因为我对这土地爱得深沉……

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#7 2008-01-05 14:06:56

jacko
Member
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 840

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

quite honestly i had arch installed on a 20 gig HD with a 5 gig root partition and 15 gig /home partition and I ended up running out of room.

When I ran out of room I was copying a huge file to my /home partition from another HD and /tmp got filled to the brim and caused my computer to hang and literally forced me to hard reboot. Since then I just use / for every thing. One partition and most of my headaches went away. trying to guess now what u will need later is like trying to know what u are gonna do everyday for the next year. Quite honestly I do not need a partition telling me how I should use my computer and that's what it felt like when I ran out of room copying a file to a partition that still had room left. sad

that's just my experience though.

Last edited by jacko (2008-01-05 14:07:17)

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#8 2008-01-05 14:31:35

nj
Member
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 93

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda3             4.6G  3.9G  522M  89% /

I have to clear pacman's cache occasionally, but it works fine.

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#9 2008-01-05 19:31:12

Smith oo4
Member
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2007-12-30
Posts: 34

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

Thank you for all the information, from what it sounds like I should increase the size of my / partition.  I was thinking 6 GB should give me lots of room to play around with, I don't know why I chose 4 GB when I installed.  The only thing is that I am not sure about how to do this, can anyone point me to a good How-To or give me instructions.
Also ralvez mentioned:

I however do not store packages in the /var/cache/pacman/pkg but instead I symlink to another drive.

I am not sure what this means, but I am curious about it.  Could someone give a simpler (newbie friendly) explanation about this, for I would like to learn?
Thank You
Morgan Smith

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#10 2008-01-05 23:13:50

ConnorBehan
Trusted User (TU)
From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,356
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

The traditional way to install programs in Arch is to use pacman, as I'm sure you know.  When you run pacman -S <package1>, <package2>, <package3>, pacman will download them from the mirror specified in /etc/pacman.d/* in .tar.gz format.

The packages are first stored in /var/cache/pacman/pkg by default.  They range from only a few kB to over a hundred MB depending on what you're installing.  Once the packages end up in that directory, pacman unpacks them and copies the files to other directories to install them but the original copies still remain in /var/cache/pacman/pkg.  You can clear this at any time by running pacman -Scc.

What he meant by symlinking is that /var/cache/pacman/pkg was setup to not actually be a directory on the root partition.  Rather the packages were stored in another folder on another partition and /var/cache/pacman/pkg was used as a "shortcut" to that place so pacman could not tell the difference.  To make a symbolic link like this run ln -s /where/the/packages/are /var/cache/pacman/pkg

That's my understanding of it but I'm not exactly an Arch veteran either so correct me if I'm wrong.


6EA3 F3F3 B908 2632 A9CB E931 D53A 0445 B47A 0DAB
Great things come in tar.xz packages.

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#11 2008-01-05 23:39:33

jacko
Member
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 840

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

That's my understanding of it but I'm not exactly an Arch veteran either so correct me if I'm wrong.

symlinking is not just a arch thing, its a linux thing in general and is very useful for a lot of reason. Try a google search and u should end up with more then u ever wanted to know.

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#12 2008-01-06 00:53:05

Zer0
Member
From: Windsor, ON, Canada
Registered: 2006-08-25
Posts: 299

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

I agree with 6-7 GB for your root.  I use 10 GB for my root and have yet to fill it up.  Just remember to dump your pacman cache every once in a while... pacman -Scc

I think the most I've ever had root filled at was 6 GB.

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#13 2008-01-06 01:35:20

ralvez
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2005-12-06
Posts: 1,546
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

@Smith oo4,

The symlink thing is very simple, actually.
Let me explain how I do it:
In my home directory (/home/ralvez) which is the biggest partition in my system I create a directory called ".mypackages". Notice the . (dot) before the name, which makes it a hidden directory since  I do not need to see it every day.
Then I copy into that directory all the packages from /var/cache/packman/pkg into .mypackages/pkg

After that I delete the original pkg directory and create a symbolic link to where the packages reside, like this:
a) cd /var/chache/packman
b) ln -s /home/ralvez/.mypackages/pkg pkg

From now on the packages will be sent to your hidden directory in your home partition.

Hope this helps.

R.

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#14 2008-01-06 07:07:48

Aaron
Member
From: PA, USA
Registered: 2007-12-19
Posts: 108
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

Running arch64, I use a little over 10gigs currently for my root partition.

However, that includes a 32bit arch chroot system for flash and such.

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#15 2008-01-06 22:16:21

byte
Member
From: Düsseldorf (DE)
Registered: 2006-05-01
Posts: 2,045

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

ralvez: man pacman.conf, "CacheDir"


1000

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#16 2008-01-06 23:20:39

ralvez
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2005-12-06
Posts: 1,546
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

byte,

Is that a new feature? I never heard of it... and examining /etc/pacman.conf is not in the [options] section, not even commented out.
I'll give it a try some time, but the symlink has always worked well for me. wink

R.

Last edited by ralvez (2008-01-06 23:21:10)

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#17 2008-01-07 22:10:09

ConnorBehan
Trusted User (TU)
From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,356
Website

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

jacko wrote:

That's my understanding of it but I'm not exactly an Arch veteran either so correct me if I'm wrong.

symlinking is not just a arch thing, its a linux thing in general and is very useful for a lot of reason. Try a google search and u should end up with more then u ever wanted to know.

Oh, when I said I could be wrong, I meant that I could be wrong about the stuff I said earlier like pacman downloading pkg.tar.gz files from the mirror, storing them in /var/cache/pacman/pkg, installing them but leaving the original copies in the cache.  I knew the basics of symlinking before I switched to Arch but thanks anyway.


6EA3 F3F3 B908 2632 A9CB E931 D53A 0445 B47A 0DAB
Great things come in tar.xz packages.

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#18 2008-01-09 05:38:16

Oblitus
Member
Registered: 2008-01-08
Posts: 18

Re: How big of a root partition should I have?

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used       Available    Use%    Mounted on
/dev/sda3            1921188      122876     1700720     7%          /
none                    777368        0             777368       0%          /dev/shm *Ignore
/dev/sda2             139999        14819      117951      12%        /boot
/dev/sda5             4806904      1359256   3203464    30%        /usr
/dev/sda6             1921156      184192     1639372    11%        /opt
/dev/sda7             3842376      894292     2752896    25%        /var
/dev/sda8             96124904    9767164    81474788  11%       /home
/dev/sda1             73248332    49753860  23494472  68%       /mnt/windows *I duel boot

Heres mines, "This is how you supposedly needto have it," well from what I read at the Linux Mints forum from a Partitioning expert wink; I can't seem to find the link, but I'll try to look for it.

**UPDATE**

Heres the link http://linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 362f1cdf94 its a pretty long read so be prepare with a cup of coffee. Make sure you read the comments, where you'll find your answer.

Last edited by Oblitus (2008-01-09 05:52:42)

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