Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Dale <rdalek1967@×××××.com>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] Re: About suggesting to create a separate partition for portage tree in handbook
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 03:13:50
In Reply to: [gentoo-dev] Re: About suggesting to create a separate partition for portage tree in handbook by Duncan <>
1 Duncan wrote:
2 > Dale posted on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:35:40 -0500 as excerpted:
3 >
4 >> Joshua Saddler wrote:
6 > Agreed, tho ACTUALLY having the documentation available, AND LINKING to
7 > it in the handbook ("For an in-depth discussion, read..."), would be a
8 > good thing.
9 >
10 >> Well, way back when I first installed Gentoo, I actually read some
11 >> before I even started. I learned through all that reading that /,
12 >> /boot, /home, /usr, /usr/portage and /var are best on their own
13 >> partition. Each of those are for different reasons.
14 >
15 > Same here. It's a bit of a point of pride for me that before I even had
16 > my own gentoo system installed (some problem due to my wanting posix
17 > threading, then relatively new to Linux, over Linux threads; didn't work
18 > for me with 2004.0, worked great with 2004.1), I had read the handbook,
19 > etc, and was replying on the lists to questions from folks who obviously
20 > hadn't read up...
23 I started with 1.4. Dang I'm getting old. It's one reason I would hate
24 to leave Gentoo.
27 >
28 > But I already had a good idea what I wanted my partition layout to look
29 > like based on my Mandrake experience. The questions I needed to ask,
30 > because they were NOT covered in the manual (or anywhere else in the
31 > documentation I could find at the time), and because they were self-
32 > evidently going to have rather different answers on gentoo than on
33 > mandrake, were things like:
34 >
35 > Just how big IS the portage tree?
36 >
37 > What about the package tree?
38 >
39 > What about the sources tree?
42 I think I found that info somewhere before I installed. Plus, one could
43 ask someone on IRC too. If they have it on a separate partition, the
44 results of df would be good enough and quick.
47 >
48 > After a couple partition reorganizations, I ended up with sources inside
49 > the portage tree, but packages on its own partition, making it easier to
50 > keep packages backed up, something the portage tree and sources don't
51 > need as the net's a far more sufficient backup for them than I could ever
52 > manage locally.
53 >
54 >
55 > For years I've thought that a bit more emphasis should be placed on
56 > FEATURES=binpkg, given the many ways it can save your ass and/or make
57 > troubleshooting a current version issue far easier. And while I agree
58 > that the installation section of the handbook, in any case, isn't the
59 > place for complex discussion of the many system partitioning schemes and
60 > their positives/negatives, information such as the above, exactly what
61 > sort of realistic sizes can be expected for the portage tree itself, for
62 > sources, and for binpkgs (if the feature is enabled), should be covered.
63 >
64 > That's because most gentoo users have at least some experience on other
65 > distros before they come to gentoo, and thus likely already have a
66 > preferred partitioning setup... if they care about it at all. All they
67 > really need is information about the relative sizes of gentoo-specific
68 > features, the ebuild tree, sources, and binpkgs, and perhaps a bit better
69 > coverage of the binpkgs option (which I'd simply link-punt in the install
70 > section as well, but cover it a bit better under the working with portage
71 > section, with the install-section link pointing there).
72 >
73 >> The root partition is obvious, I would hope anyway. ;-) The boot
74 >> partitions comes in handy if you don't automount it or have more than
75 >> one distro installed. Home is obvious. People recommended /usr because
76 >> it could a) be mounted read only and b) it can be enlarged if needed
77 >> since it tends to grow a lot. Portage since it is tons of small files
78 >> and tends to fragment a lot. The var partition is so that if some error
79 >> message repeats itself overnight and fills up the partition it at least
80 >> doesn't lock up the whole system. I actually had this one happen to me
81 >> once. For some reason, even logrotate didn't catch it, tar up and
82 >> delete the old ones. I woke up to a mess that only going to single user
83 >> would fix. The best thing I did was to have /var on its own partition.
84 >
85 > FWIW, that's /var/log on it's own partition here, for exactly the reason
86 > you mention. But /var itself is on rootfs here, these days.
89 That would work too. At the time, /var was recommended.
92 >
93 >> When people are planning to install Gentoo and they have not done at
94 >> least some research, I think they should get to keep the pieces.
95 >> Installing Gentoo is not something to do on a whim. It should be
96 >> planned and thought through even if the person is completely new to
97 >> Gentoo. I read up for at least a month before ever even starting.
98 >
99 > Again agreed,
100 >
101 > But really, to some degree it's something that's only learned from
102 > experience. If anything, what I'd suggest for the installation manual
103 > partitioning section would be a variant on the programmer's dictum:
104 >
105 > "Plan to throw one away, because you're either going to end up doing it
106 > anyway after you make your mistakes and figure out the way you /should/
107 > have done it, or putting up with a sub-optimum setup if you don't throw
108 > one away, and planning for it from the beginning will make the process
109 > easier when the time comes."
110 >
111 > I know I've gone thru several partition layout iterations here, before I
112 > came up with something very close to what I'd consider optimal... that
113 > has stayed that way for several years.
114 >
115 > =:^)
118 If someone told me they was going to do a install similar to mine,
119 without all the udev, init thingy and /usr confusion, I would give a lot
120 of info but also recommend this. Install onto a spare drive then run du
121 on /usr, /var and such. Take that information and create partitions on
122 the permanant OS drive then copy the install over. That way you have
123 the best possible info based on your own install and what you plan to use.
125 They would then have a nice and neat system. If they use LVM, they can
126 even enlarge/shrink things as needed. This could be very true
127 considering the talk of moving portage files around. Sounds like /var
128 may be about to grow.
131 >
132 >> I agree with having a simple manual for the folks that want to install
133 >> just to look and then have a separate manual, wiki even, for more
134 >> serious set ups. This can include things like RAID, LVM and having more
135 >> than a couple partitions. Of course, Gentoo is almost endless in
136 >> options.
137 >
138 > Agreed. The only thing I'd add would be that the simple installation
139 > should have "for more information" type links to the more complex
140 > discussions of each step/decision, at the appropriate place. Then people
141 > like Dale and I will read them, and but they'll be clearly marked "for
142 > more information" or similar, so those uninterested in that sort of
143 > discussion can easily skip it. =:^)
144 >
147 No problem there. If folks could put info on a wiki, it would be nice.
148 Example, 'I have KDE, Fluxbox, and this is the space required xxxx
149 Gbs.' Or 'I have Fluxbox and apache installed and I use xxxxGbs.' Then
150 list what /usr, /var and others are in Gbs. That would save some people
151 from having to redo their drives. Let the docs point to that for the
152 ones interested.
154 What a wish list. ;-)
156 Dale
158 :-) :-)
160 --
161 I am only responsible for what I said ... Not for what you understood or
162 how you interpreted my words!
164 Miss the compile output? Hint:
165 EMERGE_DEFAULT_OPTS="--quiet-build=n"