24 September 2004
For years, I've religiously partitioned the hell out of my drives when installing Linux on a new machine. It took a while to figure out the proper sizes for my usage, but I've gotten pretty good at it. With my new R40, I got lazy and did only 3 filesystems --
As I've discovered, I was well-served to partition my previous machines' filesystems further. The problem is that if you do get filesystem errors (which I have twice now, due to crashes or whatever), you're much better off if you can keep the effects isolated.
/var is a very dynamic part of your filesystem. Lots of logs, caches, and temp data are being constantly written there. When you experience a crash, if anything's going to go wrong,
/var is a likely place for it to happen. In my laziness, I left
/var as part of
/. This means that filesystem errors caused by partial data in a
/var file can (and did) also affect other more vital parts of the system. Not only did I end up having to reconstruct my
/var/lib directory from remnants left in
/lost+found, but chunks of my
/etc turned up lost as well. I fortunately have backups, so I didn't even really bother trying to reconstruct
/etc too much.
Sanity prevails now, and
/var lives on the idle partition I had left free for Windows XP. A nice reiserfs seems like a better use for that partition anyway.