Here's an idea for FreeBSD that would be practical. Since having several partitions on the same disk is standard for FreeBSD and most Unixes, instead of dealing with running out of space on a partition, when you have gigs available on another, why not allow one partition to create an overflow file on another partition, or perhaps a dedicated amount of the swap partition if it's on the same disk, to keep from running out of space? It'd probably have to be limited to one disk, but that wouldn't hinder things too much. Dealing with unmounted filesystems would be annoying but probably doable without too much risk of problems(could even use the swap partition, and on say /usr just have a file for swap?). The most obvious case of how this could be good would be the root partition when you're updating the system, especially with debug symbols or perhaps multiple kernels(say a generic debug, optimized debug, generic, and optimized?).

The best reason for doing something like this, you can keep the partitions for "disk optimization" and still have the ease of use of a single partition like OS X, Ubuntu, or PCBSD.

Maybe this would be good for FreeBSD 8 or 9?

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