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1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
2<!DOCTYPE sect1 PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.5//EN"
3 "" [
4 <!ENTITY % general-entities SYSTEM "../general.ent">
5 %general-entities;
8<sect1 id="space-creatingpartition">
9 <?dbhtml filename="creatingpartition.html"?>
11 <title>Creating a New Partition</title>
13 <para>Like most other operating systems, LFS is usually installed on a
14 dedicated partition. The recommended approach to building an LFS system
15 is to use an available empty partition or, if you have enough unpartitioned
16 space, to create one.</para>
20 <para>It is possible to install an LFS system (in fact even multiple LFS
21 systems) on a partition already occupied by another
22 operating system and the different systems will co-exist peacefully. The
23 document <ulink url="&hints-root;lfs_next_to_existing_systems.txt"/>
24 contains notes on how to implement this. This document was last updated
25 in 2004. It has not been updated since and it has not been tested with
26 recent versions of this LFS book. The document is more than likely not
27 usable as-is and you will need to account for changes made to the LFS
28 procedures since it was written. This is only recommended for expert LFS
29 users.</para>
33 <para>A minimal system requires a partition of around 6 gigabytes (GB).
34 This is enough to store all the source tarballs and compile the packages.
35 However, if the LFS system is intended to be the primary Linux system,
36 additional software will probably be installed which will require additional
37 space. A 20 GB partition is a reasonable size to provide for growth. The LFS
38 system itself will not take up this much room. A large portion of this
39 requirement is to provide sufficient free temporary storagei as well as
40 for adding additional capabilities after LFS is complete. Additionally, compiling
41 packages can require a lot of disk space which will be reclaimed after the
42 package is installed.</para>
44 <para>Because there is not always enough Random Access Memory (RAM) available
45 for compilation processes, it is a good idea to use a small disk partition as
46 <systemitem class="filesystem">swap</systemitem> space. This is used by the
47 kernel to store seldom-used data and leave more memory available for active
48 processes. The <systemitem class="filesystem">swap</systemitem> partition for
49 an LFS system can be the same as the one used by the host system, in which
50 case it is not necessary to create another one.</para>
52 <para>Start a disk partitioning program such as <command>cfdisk</command>
53 or <command>fdisk</command> with a command line option naming the hard
54 disk on which the new partition will be created&mdash;for example
55 <filename class="devicefile">/dev/sda</filename> for the primary Integrated
56 Drive Electronics (IDE) disk. Create a Linux native partition and a
57 <systemitem class="filesystem">swap</systemitem> partition, if needed. Please
58 refer to <filename>cfdisk(8)</filename> or <filename>fdisk(8)</filename> if
59 you do not yet know how to use the programs.</para>
61 <note><para>For experienced users, other partitioning schemes are possible.
62 The new LFS system can be on a software <ulink
63 url="&blfs-book;postlfs/raid.html">RAID</ulink> array or an <ulink
64 url="&blfs-book;postlfs/aboutlvm.html">LVM</ulink> logical volume.
65 However, some of these options require an <ulink
66 url="&blfs-book;postlfs/initramfs.html">initramfs</ulink>, which is
67 an advanced topic. These partitioning methodologies are not recommended for
68 first time LFS users.</para></note>
70 <para>Remember the designation of the new partition (e.g., <filename
71 class="devicefile">sda5</filename>). This book will refer to this as
72 the LFS partition. Also remember the designation of the <systemitem
73 class="filesystem">swap</systemitem> partition. These names will be
74 needed later for the <filename>/etc/fstab</filename> file.</para>
76 <sect2>
77 <title>Other Partition Issues</title>
79 <para>Requests for advice on system partitioning are often posted on the LFS mailing
80 lists. This is a highly subjective topic. The default for most distributions
81 is to use the entire drive with the exception of one small swap partition. This
82 is not optimal for LFS for several reasons. It reduces flexibility, makes
83 sharing of data across multiple distributions or LFS builds more difficult, makes
84 backups more time consuming, and can waste disk space through inefficient
85 allocation of file system structures.</para>
87 <sect3>
88 <title>The Root Partition</title>
90 <para>A root LFS partition (not to be confused with the
91 <filename class="directory">/root</filename> directory) of
92 ten gigabytes is a good compromise for most systems. It provides enough
93 space to build LFS and most of BLFS, but is small enough so that multiple
94 partitions can be easily created for experimentation.</para> </sect3>
96 <sect3>
97 <title>The Swap Partition</title>
99 <para>Most distributions automatically create a swap partition. Generally
100 the recommended size of the swap partition is about twice the amount of
101 physical RAM, however this is rarely needed. If disk space is limited,
102 hold the swap partition to two gigabytes and monitor the amount of disk
103 swapping.</para>
105 <para>Swapping is never good. Generally you can tell if a system is
106 swapping by just listening to disk activity and observing how the system
107 reacts to commands. The first reaction to swapping should be to check for
108 an unreasonable command such as trying to edit a five gigabyte file. If
109 swapping becomes a normal occurrence, the best solution is to purchase more
110 RAM for your system.</para> </sect3>
112 <sect3>
113 <title>Convenience Partitions</title>
115 <para>There are several other partitions that are not required, but should
116 be considered when designing a disk layout. The following list
117 is not comprehensive, but is meant as a guide.</para>
119 <itemizedlist>
121 <listitem><para>/boot &ndash; Highly recommended. Use this partition to
122 store kernels and other booting information. To minimize potential boot
123 problems with larger disks, make this the first physical partition on
124 your first disk drive. A partition size of 100 megabytes is quite
125 adequate.</para></listitem>
127 <listitem><para>/home &ndash; Highly recommended. Share your home
128 directory and user customization across multiple distributions or LFS
129 builds. The size is generally fairly large and depends on available disk
130 space.</para></listitem>
132 <listitem><para>/usr &ndash; A separate /usr partition is generally used
133 if providing a server for a thin client or diskless workstation. It is
134 normally not needed for LFS. A size of five gigabytes will handle most
135 installations.</para></listitem>
137 <listitem><para>/opt &ndash; This directory is most useful for
138 BLFS where multiple installations of large packages like Gnome or KDE can
139 be installed without embedding the files in the /usr hierarchy. If
140 used, 5 to 10 gigabytes is generally adequate.</para>
141 </listitem>
143 <listitem><para>/tmp &ndash; A separate /tmp directory is rare, but
144 useful if configuring a thin client. This partition, if used, will
145 usually not need to exceed a couple of gigabytes.</para></listitem>
147 <listitem><para>/usr/src &ndash; This partition is very
148 useful for providing a location to store BLFS source files and
149 share them across LFS builds. It can also be used as a location
150 for building BLFS packages. A reasonably large partition of 30-50
151 gigabytes allows plenty of room.</para></listitem>
153 </itemizedlist>
155 <para>Any separate partition that you want automatically mounted upon boot
156 needs to be specified in the <filename>/etc/fstab</filename>. Details
157 about how to specify partitions will be discussed in <xref
158 linkend="ch-bootable-fstab"/>. </para>
160 </sect3>
161 </sect2>
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