Dale posted on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:35:40 -0500 as excerpted:
> Joshua Saddler wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 Mar 2012 19:49:00 +0200 Pacho Ramos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>> I am a bit surprised handbook still doesn't suggest people to create a
>>> separate partition for /usr/portage tree. I remember my first Gentoo
>>> systems had it inside / and that lead to a lot of fragmentation, much
>>> slower "emerge -pvuDN world" [and] a lot of disk space lost
>>> Could handbook suggest people to put /usr/portage on a different
>>> partition then? The only doubt I have is what filesystem would be
>>> better for it, in my case I am using reiserfs with tail enabled, but
>>> maybe you have other different setups.
>> not gonna happen, for reasons that SwifT & others already mentioned.
>> this is the sort of non-simple, non-trivial text/info/instructions that
>> would be better suited to an "optimizing your FS layout" article on the
>> gentoo wiki, or similar.
Agreed, tho ACTUALLY having the documentation available, AND LINKING to
it in the handbook ("For an in-depth discussion, read..."), would be a
> Well, way back when I first installed Gentoo, I actually read some
> before I even started. I learned through all that reading that /,
> /boot, /home, /usr, /usr/portage and /var are best on their own
> partition. Each of those are for different reasons.
Same here. It's a bit of a point of pride for me that before I even had
my own gentoo system installed (some problem due to my wanting posix
threading, then relatively new to Linux, over Linux threads; didn't work
for me with 2004.0, worked great with 2004.1), I had read the handbook,
etc, and was replying on the lists to questions from folks who obviously
hadn't read up...
But I already had a good idea what I wanted my partition layout to look
like based on my Mandrake experience. The questions I needed to ask,
because they were NOT covered in the manual (or anywhere else in the
documentation I could find at the time), and because they were self-
evidently going to have rather different answers on gentoo than on
mandrake, were things like:
Just how big IS the portage tree?
What about the package tree?
What about the sources tree?
After a couple partition reorganizations, I ended up with sources inside
the portage tree, but packages on its own partition, making it easier to
keep packages backed up, something the portage tree and sources don't
need as the net's a far more sufficient backup for them than I could ever
For years I've thought that a bit more emphasis should be placed on
FEATURES=binpkg, given the many ways it can save your ass and/or make
troubleshooting a current version issue far easier. And while I agree
that the installation section of the handbook, in any case, isn't the
place for complex discussion of the many system partitioning schemes and
their positives/negatives, information such as the above, exactly what
sort of realistic sizes can be expected for the portage tree itself, for
sources, and for binpkgs (if the feature is enabled), should be covered.
That's because most gentoo users have at least some experience on other
distros before they come to gentoo, and thus likely already have a
preferred partitioning setup... if they care about it at all. All they
really need is information about the relative sizes of gentoo-specific
features, the ebuild tree, sources, and binpkgs, and perhaps a bit better
coverage of the binpkgs option (which I'd simply link-punt in the install
section as well, but cover it a bit better under the working with portage
section, with the install-section link pointing there).
> The root partition is obvious, I would hope anyway. ;-) The boot
> partitions comes in handy if you don't automount it or have more than
> one distro installed. Home is obvious. People recommended /usr because
> it could a) be mounted read only and b) it can be enlarged if needed
> since it tends to grow a lot. Portage since it is tons of small files
> and tends to fragment a lot. The var partition is so that if some error
> message repeats itself overnight and fills up the partition it at least
> doesn't lock up the whole system. I actually had this one happen to me
> once. For some reason, even logrotate didn't catch it, tar up and
> delete the old ones. I woke up to a mess that only going to single user
> would fix. The best thing I did was to have /var on its own partition.
FWIW, that's /var/log on it's own partition here, for exactly the reason
you mention. But /var itself is on rootfs here, these days.
> When people are planning to install Gentoo and they have not done at
> least some research, I think they should get to keep the pieces.
> Installing Gentoo is not something to do on a whim. It should be
> planned and thought through even if the person is completely new to
> Gentoo. I read up for at least a month before ever even starting.
But really, to some degree it's something that's only learned from
experience. If anything, what I'd suggest for the installation manual
partitioning section would be a variant on the programmer's dictum:
"Plan to throw one away, because you're either going to end up doing it
anyway after you make your mistakes and figure out the way you /should/
have done it, or putting up with a sub-optimum setup if you don't throw
one away, and planning for it from the beginning will make the process
easier when the time comes."
I know I've gone thru several partition layout iterations here, before I
came up with something very close to what I'd consider optimal... that
has stayed that way for several years.
> I agree with having a simple manual for the folks that want to install
> just to look and then have a separate manual, wiki even, for more
> serious set ups. This can include things like RAID, LVM and having more
> than a couple partitions. Of course, Gentoo is almost endless in
Agreed. The only thing I'd add would be that the simple installation
should have "for more information" type links to the more complex
discussions of each step/decision, at the appropriate place. Then people
like Dale and I will read them, and but they'll be clearly marked "for
more information" or similar, so those uninterested in that sort of
discussion can easily skip it. =:^)
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman