Disk layout for XO-1.5

Mitch Bradley wmb at laptop.org
Tue Jul 28 16:06:09 EDT 2009

Another important advantage to partitions is that the existence of a 
boot partition isolates the firmware from changes in the filesystem used 
for the root.

Advantage #2 that you cite below is also quite valuable - it makes it 
easy to preserve user data while replacing/recovering/updating the 
system software using the "blast on a fresh image" method.

david at lang.hm wrote:
> 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 partitions
> 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 
> disappointing.
> David Lang

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