Disk layout for XO-1.5

david at lang.hm david at lang.hm
Tue Jul 28 16:00:01 EDT 2009

On Tue, 28 Jul 2009, Chris Ball wrote:

> Hi, [adding fedora-olpc-list to CC]
>   > Are we stuck with 1.1GiB or do we think we can reduce that further?
> Well, there are a few things going on here.  We have activities and
> content (and will probably add more activities and content) that's
> currently part of the 1.1GiB, but is actually in /home, and isn't
> going to count towards our "system partition" use.  So we need to
> split that out in our calculations; currently 162MiB of the 1.14GiB
> used is in /home, so we're actually just under 1GiB.
> It seems likely that we can reduce the system partition size by one
> or two hundred MiB without extreme effort, but I haven't looked into
> where the space is going yet.  However, after we do that we're going
> to want to add more applications, such as OpenOffice, so I wouldn't
> want to commit to staying under 1GiB for a single system partition.
> (It wouldn't be necessarily *bad* to use more than that, if the
> things we're going to add are valuable and we've cut out the cruft
> we're not actually using.)

so you are moving away from abiword (which I understand write is a 
derivitive of) and adding openoffice??

given the capabilities of these machines, and the bloat of openoffice, I'm 
not sure that's a wise move.

> So, let's go ahead with the discussion about whether we want to use
> partitions and what they should be called/what filesystems we should
> use for them, without committing on a size just yet.  If one of the
> fedora-olpc readers could come up with a report listing our installed
> RPMs by size on disk, that would rock.

while it is traditional to use seperate partitions, on a 4G flash drive is 
it really worth the cost of guessing sizes wrong?

advantages to using partitions

1. filling up one partition won't affect others (making it easier to 
run tools to recover space)

2. you can wipe one parition in an upgrade without affecting data in other 

3. it's possible to set different permissions on different paritions 
(nodev, etc), which increases security if users only have access to write 
on those partitons.

disadvantages to using partitions

primarily boils down to one

you have to decide ahead of time how big to make the partitions, and 
changing this later is non-trivial. if you guess wrong you can end up 
running out of space in one place while you have extra space in others.

In my opinion, there are two reasonable approaches

1. multiple system paritions so that you can have two completely 
independant systems on the box and dual boot between them

2. single partition

since this is only a 4G drive, I would tend to go with #2.

in the current discussion the proposal is to leave 1/4 of the disk space 
unallocated, but unavailable to the users 'just in case' it's needed for 
the OS later.

the multiple system partition approach has a similar problem, but there it 
gets a lot more value for the space.

the fact that it takes ~1G for a minimal desktop system is very 

David Lang

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