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18 partitions here (on IDE, which allows 64)

18 partitions here (on IDE, which allows 64)

Posted Mar 18, 2004 22:25 UTC (Thu) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
In reply to: Lots of SCSI disks/Partitions by wolfrider
Parent article: Lots of SCSI disks

> Can anybody come up with a good real-world
> reason to have >15 partitions on one device?

I recently ran into that question here, on my (luckily IDE, as IDE allows
64 partitions) 250G drive, as I considered installing Gentoo dual-boot on
my current Mandrake system. I do have a second, older, disk, but it
contains a backup installation useful for when my main drive won't boot
because I hosed something up, and for critical personal data backup. I
don't want to change that, at least until/unless Gentoo becomes my primary
distrib so I don't have the possibility of having the regular Mandrake
system hosed by updates, while Gentoo may also not yet be operational or
is itself hosed.

Now, this wouldn't apply to corporate installations, and SCSI tends to be
used more in that environment than in the home, since IDE is cheaper if
more limited and slower, but yes, there ARE reasons to have more than 16
partitions, for some of us.

FWIW, here's my layout and why I needed more than 16 partitons (hmm,
looks better tabulated, but don't want to bother with the html).

hda## mntpt comment
01 /boot
02 /
03 /mnt/rtm rootmirror, always keep a / backup
04 -- extended partition mapping
05 swap
06 /usr
07 /var
08 /tmp
09 /opt
10 /usr/local
11 /home
12 /mnt/news dedicated usenet cache
13 /mnt/mail dedicated mail partition
14 /mnt/mm dedicated multimedia

Those are my Mandrake partitions. As I got set to install Gentoo, I
remembered reading about a 16 partition limit, and had to go look it up
and find (to my great relief) that IDE had a larger 64 partition limit.
Here's how I set that up (as listed in my mandrake fstab: boot, tmp, mail,
news, opt, swap, mm, and home, are to be shared)

15 /mnt/g g=gentoo, thus, the gentoo root
16 /mnt/g/mnt/rtm root-mirror for gentoo
17 /mnt/g/usr gentoo's /usr
18 /mnt/g/var
19 /mnt/g/usr/local

That still doesn't include dedicated /var/log partitions, one for each
distrib, likely shared public www, p2p, and ftp partitions, if I were so
inclined, or any MSWormOS partitions, since I am MS free (the only
proprietary-ware I believe I still have is my original Master of Orion
game, which I continue to play on occasion using a DOSBox VM). In
addition, further distribs or other OSs, the BSDs, for instance, if I were
to install any of them, would take up further multiple partitions.

BTW, on that 250G drive, with the above 19 partitions (well, 18, since
hda4 is virtual), I still have over 100G of unpartitioned free space to
eventually expand into, so I'm definitely glad, with that sort of space
around, that IDE does more than 16 partitions. <g>


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Re: 18 partitions here (on IDE, which allows 64)

Posted Mar 23, 2004 2:38 UTC (Tue) by roelofs (guest, #2599) [Link]

Can anybody come up with a good real-world reason to have >15 partitions on one device?

FWIW, here's my layout and why I needed more than 16 partitons (hmm, looks better tabulated, but don't want to bother with the html).

I've also had 20 or more on a single system; some of the reasons:

  • I like to have system dirs mounted read-only where possible; it's hard to mount / as "read-only except for var and etc and tmp".
  • I like to download directly into a CD-sized partition for ~ quick burning of archives without moving a lot of files around (and I like to have at least two or three such partitions since I don't always get the sorting/burning done right away, nor the cleaning-out part after the burn).
  • In the old days, Linux didn't handle swap partitions bigger than 128 MB. I usually had three or four.
  • OS/2 partitions (including boot mangler), DOS partitions, etc...

These days I still do the read-only and CD-R things, but I'm trying to trim things where possible. My backup disks are single-partition monsters (read-only, of course, and spun down 99% of the time).


18 partitions here (on IDE, which allows 64)

Posted Mar 23, 2004 6:26 UTC (Tue) by wolfrider (guest, #3105) [Link]

--I see your point... However, I suppose my "need" for more partitions has been largely bypassed due to using Vmware Workstation. (Note - I have no affiliation, blahblahblah; just a satisfied customer.)

--For testing purposes, or even virtual servers, Vmware is really well done - separate "disks" are merely files on an existing partition, which makes backups really easy. (Although you can in fact give the virtual machine access to the real disk hardware; I was using this method to access my Win98 files in-situ from a VM for a while.)

--By using Vmware, I was able (for instance) to beta-test the Knoppix DVD without allocating any additional disk space (even though I didn't have a DVD burner at the time) simply by booting the VM directly from the ISO file; vmware can treat an ISO as a CDROM drive.

--If you have a need/want for constantly testing new distros (Linux, *BSD, etc - I've become something of a live-cd addict) without the repartitioning involved, I would seriously consider trying Vmware. It's ~$300 for the 1st purchase, but only $99 for upgrades -- and they have a 30-day free trial IIRC. It's come in quite handy over the years - I'm still on version 3.x, and I believe the current rev is 4.x now. (I might have to upgrade eventually though; my 3.x is having trouble with Linux kernel 2.6.x.)

(Side note - I've run VM's with only 128MB of RAM installed, on a Pentium 233; but it runs better with higher specs. On my AMD Duron 900 with 512MB, you can hardly tell the difference between a VM and the native OS. YMMV. About the only thing vmware is NOT good at, are 3D-intense apps - such as FPS games - and 3.x has a few problems with sound. I think they fixed the sound issue in 4.x tho.)

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