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12.2. General Information on Partitions

A Fedora system has at least three partitions:

  • A /boot partition

  • A / partition

  • A swap partition

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 12.5, “Advice on Partitions” for more information.

If you are not sure how best to configure the partitions for your computer, accept the default partition layout.

The RAM installed in your computer provides a pool of memory for running systems. Linux systems use swap partitions to expand this pool, by automatically moving portions of memory between RAM and swap partitions if insufficient RAM is available. In addition, certain power management features store all of the memory for a suspended system in the available swap partitions. If you manually specify the partitions on your system, create one swap partition that has more capacity than the computer RAM.

Data partitions provide storage for files. Each data partition has a mount point, to indicate the system directory whose contents reside on that partition. A partition with no mount point is not accessible by users. Data not located on any other partition resides in the / (or root) partition.

[Important] Root and /root

The / (or root) partition is the top of the directory structure. The /root (sometimes pronounced "slash-root") directory is the home directory of the user account for system administration.

In the minimum configuration shown above:

  • All data under the /boot/ directory resides on the /boot partition. For example, the file /boot/grub/grub.conf resides on the /boot partition.

  • Any file outside of the /boot partition, such as /etc/passwd, resides on the / partition.

Subdirectories may be assigned to partitions as well. Some administrators create both /usr and /usr/local partitions. In that case, files under /usr/local, such as /usr/local/bin/foo, are on the /usr/local partition. Any other files in /usr/, such as /usr/bin/foo, are in the /usr partition.

If you create many partitions instead of one large / partition, upgrades become easier. Refer to the description of Disk Druid's Edit option for more information.

[Tip] 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 Section 12.3, “Understanding LVM”.

12.2.1. Partition Types

Every partition has a partition type, to indicate the format of the file system on that partition. The file system enables Linux to organize, search, and retrieve files stored on that partition. Use the ext3 file system for data partitions that are not part of LVM, unless you have specific needs that require another type of file system.

12.2.2. Minimum Partition Sizes

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
/tmp 50 MB
/var 384 MB
/home 100 MB
/boot 75 MB

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire