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7.21.4. Recommended Partitioning Scheme

7.21.4.1. x86, AMD64, and Intel® 64 systems

Unless you have a reason for doing otherwise, we recommend that you create the following partitions for x86, AMD64, and Intel® 64 systems :
  • A swap partition
  • A /boot partition
  • A / partition
  • A swap partition (at least 256 MB)
    Swap partitions are used to support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to a swap partition when there is not enough RAM to store the data your system is processing. In addition, certain power management features store all of the memory for a suspended system in the available swap partitions.
    If you are unsure about what size swap partition to create, make it twice the amount of RAM on your machine. It must be of type swap.
    Creation of the proper amount of swap space varies depending on a number of factors including the following (in descending order of importance):
    • The applications running on the machine.
    • The amount of physical RAM installed on the machine.
    • The version of the OS.
    Swap should equal 2x physical RAM for up to 2 GB of physical RAM, and then an additional 1x physical RAM for any amount above 2 GB, but never less than 32 MB.
    So, if:
    M = Amount of RAM in GB, and S = Amount of swap in GB, then
    If M < 2
    	S = M *2
    Else
    	S = M + 2
    
    Using this formula, a system with 2 GB of physical RAM would have 4 GB of swap, while one with 3 GB of physical RAM would have 5 GB of swap. Creating a large swap space partition can be especially helpful if you plan to upgrade your RAM at a later time.
    For systems with really large amounts of RAM (more than 32 GB) you can likely get away with a smaller swap partition (around 1x, or less, of physical RAM).
  • A /boot/ partition (100 MB)
    The partition mounted on /boot/ contains the operating system kernel (which allows your system to boot Fedora), along with files used during the bootstrap process. Due to limitations, creating a native ext3 partition to hold these files is required. For most users, a 100 MB boot partition is sufficient.

    ext4 and Btrfs

    The GRUB bootloader does not support the ext4 or Btrfs file systems. You cannot use an ext4 or Btrfs partition for /boot/.

    Note

    If your hard drive is more than 1024 cylinders (and your system was manufactured more than two years ago), you may need to create a /boot/ partition if you want the / (root) partition to use all of the remaining space on your hard drive.

    Note

    If you have a RAID card, be aware that some BIOSes do not support booting from the RAID card. In cases such as these, the /boot/ partition must be created on a partition outside of the RAID array, such as on a separate hard drive.
  • A root partition (3.0 GB - 5.0 GB)
    This is where "/" (the root directory) is located. In this setup, all files (except those stored in /boot) are on the root partition.
    A 3.0 GB partition allows you to install a minimal installation, while a 5.0 GB root partition lets you perform a full installation, choosing all package groups.

    Root and /root

    The / (or root) partition is the top of the directory structure. The /root directory/root (sometimes pronounced "slash-root") directory is the home directory of the user account for system administration.
Many systems have more partitions than the minimum listed above. Choose partitions based on your particular system needs. For example, consider creating a separate /home partition on systems that store user data. Refer to Section 7.21.4.1.1, “Advice on Partitions” for more information.
If you create many partitions instead of one large / partition, upgrades become easier. Refer to the description the Edit option in Section 7.21.2, “The partitioning screen” for more information.
The following table summarizes minimum partition sizes for the partitions containing the listed directories. You do not have to make a separate partition for each of these directories. For instance, if the partition containing /foo must be at least 500 MB, and you do not make a separate /foo partition, then the / (root) partition must be at least 500 MB.
Directory Minimum size
/ 250 MB
/usr 250 MB, but avoid placing this on a separate partition
/tmp 50 MB
/var 384 MB
/home 100 MB
/boot 75 MB
Table 7.3. Minimum partition sizes

Leave Excess Capacity Unallocated

Only assign storage capacity to those partitions you require immediately. You may allocate free space at any time, to meet needs as they occur. To learn about a more flexible method for storage management, refer to Appendix D, Understanding LVM .
If you are not sure how best to configure the partitions for your computer, accept the default partition layout.
7.21.4.1.1. Advice on Partitions
Optimal partition setup depends on the usage for the Linux system in question. The following tips may help you decide how to allocate your disk space.
  • If you expect that you or other users will store data on the system, create a separate partition for the /home directory within a volume group. With a separate /home partition, you may upgrade or reinstall Fedora without erasing user data files.
  • Each kernel installed on your system requires approximately 10 MB on the /boot partition. Unless you plan to install a great many kernels, the default partition size of 100 MB for /boot should suffice.

    ext4 and Btrfs

    The GRUB bootloader does not support the ext4 or Btrfs file systems. You cannot use an ext4 or btrfs partition for /boot.
  • The /var directory holds content for a number of applications, including the Apache web server. It also is used to store downloaded update packages on a temporary basis. Ensure that the partition containing the /var directory has enough space to download pending updates and hold your other content.

    Pending Updates

    Because Fedora is a rapidly progressing collection of software, many updates may be available late in a release cycle. You can add an update repository to the sources for installation later to minimize this issue. Refer to Section 7.23.1, “Installing from Additional Repositories” for more information.
  • The /usr directory holds the majority of software content on a Fedora system. For an installation of the default set of software, allocate at least 4 GB of space. If you are a software developer or plan to use your Fedora system to learn software development skills, you may want to at least double this allocation.

    Do not place /usr on a separate partition

    If /usr is on a separate partition from /, the boot process becomes much more complex, and in some situations (like installations on iSCSI drives), might not work at all.
  • Consider leaving a portion of the space in an LVM volume group unallocated. This unallocated space gives you flexibility if your space requirements change but you do not wish to remove data from other partitions to reallocate storage.
  • If you separate subdirectories into partitions, you can retain content in those subdirectories if you decide to install a new version of Fedora over your current system. For instance, if you intend to run a MySQL database in /var/lib/mysql, make a separate partition for that directory in case you need to reinstall later.
The following table is a possible partition setup for a system with a single, new 80 GB hard disk and 1 GB of RAM. Note that approximately 10 GB of the volume group is unallocated to allow for future growth.

Example Usage

This setup is not optimal for all use cases.
Partition Size and type
/boot 100 MB ext3 partition
swap 2 GB swap
LVM physical volume Remaining space, as one LVM volume group
Table 7.4. Example partition setup

The physical volume is assigned to the default volume group and divided into the following logical volumes:
Partition Size and type
/ 13 GB ext4
/var 4 GB ext4
/home 50 GB ext4
Table 7.5. Example partition setup: LVM physical volume

Example 7.1. Example partition setup


 
 
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