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"HOME" partition


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#1 paul88ks

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 11:03 PM

Several of you guys use a "HOME" partition on Linux.I s this a completely separate partition created at install?What is the purpose of this,and how,why is it done? I know Cat uses one and i have seen several others doing the same-



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#2 mremski

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 02:01 AM

Some of us go even further than just another partition;  some put a home partition on a separate disk.  Why?  Short answer:  most computer operating systems don't do very well when you run out of disk space.  If you have a single partition, that starts at "/", everything can affect everything.  You start storing lots of pictures in your home directory, you fill up the disk, now the system can't write log files, things grind to a halt (boot into single user, start deleting stuff to recover).

 

How about upgrading the OS?  That's even more fun, because you have to be careful to not just format everything (oh crap, I just wiped out all my pictures).

 

Having a separate home partition saves you from yourself.  You can upgrade or install a new OS easily (or at least with less worry about losing something important).  

 

For the most fun use an SSD for the OS portion, then a regular hard disk for your home partition


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#3 paul88ks

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 02:14 AM

That's fascinating! i had no idea you could do that with Linux! i have several distros lying around on DVDs.I think i will start experimenting on a second drive i have installed,or maybe on my 40 gig external salvaged drive from an old laptop.If you were doing this on a single drive,what would be a good size for the "home"partition vs. the OS partition?

 

I do something similar in Windows-saving music and pictures,docs.etc. to a different partition.

Will this work across several Linux installs?in the same way that a "swap"  partition does?



#4 mremski

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 05:34 AM

Yes, it should work across several Linux installs and it gives you exactly the same benefits you get with your Windows setup.

 

Hmm.  Single drive, it depends on exactly what you are going to be storing there, but I'd typically start with half the drive allocated for /home.

Most installs don't need all that much for the OS piece (depends on how many applications you are going to install), do a "df -h" on your system after it's booted.  The "used" column gives you an idea of how much to allocate.  If your /home is currently on the same partition as /, the used value will include it, but if you do "du -sh /home" you get the amount to subract.  Then double it to be safe and that's what you allocate for the OS piece.  On my work machine running Fedora 16, it has 50G allocated for the / filesystem, used is showing 8.8G just to give you some hard numbers.

 

A 40G SSD is plenty big for just the OS part, then go look at prices of 1TB drives (wicked cheap comparatively) and put /home on that. 

 

My home desktop is a FreeBSD machine that I've been using since version 3.3 or so (15 years at least).  Not the same hardware, but since day 1 I've had /home on a separate disk.  Makes it easy to update:  I go buy a new disk, unplug the old OS one, plug in the new drive install the OS make sure it all works, eventually the old OS disk gets pulled out and saved for next iteration.   I don't lose my user data, I have a working configuration that all I need to do is swap cables to recover.  Yes eventually you wind up with hard drives sitting around, but you can cycle back through them or use them for experimentation. 


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#5 paul88ks

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 03:28 PM

I think you just gave me my solution.Here is the issue i am trying to deal with: I am setting up my Music Studio computer with Ubuntu studio.This is a great OS loaded with Mutimedia software,and this machine will be connected through a Firewire sound card- it's actually a mixer for audio production called a FIREpod. If i buy a smaller SSD mounted internally and use my secong 600 gig drive as a "home" partition I could easily store sound tracks .WAV files there.With Digital Audio Workstations,Latency is something that you want to keep to a minimum.(the time between when an instrument is actually played,and the time it is written to the drive)Otherwise, you can get an "echo effect" while recording. which is a nightmare if you want to be able to record and hear what you are playing at the same time.i think that this kind of setup would address any issues I would have with Latency. I can do that way before Black friday when the sales hit,although i may still want that 1T SSD at a later time!



#6 pcpunk

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 03:44 PM

Wow mremski 15yrs. that is pretty cool!

 

I won't profess to know much about all this but having them seperate seems easier to keep  track of the space that is being used on each, / root, and home /.  Especially in gparted, that shows a nice gui of it all.

 

Paul, I thought you had like 8 distro's or something on one drive, you should know this by now LOL, Just kidding.  I don't know which is better and have read a lot about it.  One thing for sure is you can move to a newer distro and keep all your data and settings on Home Partition.  I have my swap at the end of my small drive because I feel from what I have read that is where it is supposed to be the best.  But! if you should want to use a larger drive as most already have you can put Root, Swap and Home at end.  This way you can make Home bigger later if needed, more work if swap is at end.  Would show a pic of my current drive but am in W7 now.  It would be 17gb / root, 51 home/ and 6gb swap.  I need to reduce swap to free up some space bu,t live and learn.  

 

Found it on a USB, my partitions

 

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#7 paul88ks

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:07 PM

HAHA- I did have about 8 distros when I was fist stating out starting out,just to see which ones i likes best.But as for know Its Win!10/Linux Mint Mate 17.2/Ubuntu Studio/with a 10 gig swap.No dedicated 'home' partition at the moment. i have a little 40 gig-ol laptop drive via USB that i use for trying out distros- currently Ubuntu Gnome,but it's just for playtime.---



#8 mremski

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:48 PM

Some of us remember when Linux required a specific version of a SoundBlaster card if you wanted a CD ROM.  a.out to ELF format transition?  Yeah, I'm guessing most of you have no idea what I'm talking about.  :)

 

The 15 yrs is conservative.  The principles are all the same, I'm glad some of you are finally seeing the light.

 

Paul, Latency  I know it well.  Multiple disk drives can help with that:  operations spread across separate controllers can help (think of a bunch of people trying to get on a subway train:  all queued up behind one door, you're at the mercy of the slowest.  Multiple doors, overall throughput is better.  Overall throughput is latency).

 

Swap:  swap is virtual memory.  Most of the time you shouldn't be hitting swap too much;  it was useful when "big" computers had 128MB (yes that's a M for mega) but with Moore's law taknig effect, memory is cheap (that's why you see GB of ram now) so swap is used mostly for storing core dumps.  "Core dumps"?  WTF I hear you asking:  very useful to figure out why something crashed. (Core memory used to be actual magnetic rings on wires you could touch).  

 

I know it sounds trivial, but really, disk drives are cheap now.  Heck go to newegg or tigerdirect and price out 1TB drives:  less than $100US.  This is incredible for those who remember 500MB drives being the size of a dishwasher.


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#9 paul88ks

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 07:45 PM

 

Some of us remember when Linux required a specific version of a SoundBlaster card if you wanted a CD ROM.  a.out to ELF format transition?  Yeah, I'm guessing most of you have no idea what I'm talking about.

i do remember the first CD burner(not DVD)that i bought was over 200 dollars made by Plextor,back in the day.Soundblaster-Ha haven't heard of that in years!! Technology is moving at an incredible rate of speed!I just replaced my DVD RW for 21 bucks from Frys electronics-



#10 MadmanRB

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 11:01 PM

Having a separate /home partition is one of the reasons why i use linux, not only is it a lifesaver but allows me to do as I please with other distros while leaving my personal files alone.


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