it was said:

by: "Jay O'Brien" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

> I'm confused, and I ask for your collective help.
> I successfully built a FreeBSD system using
defaults. It works fine, 
> so far. I will start over and rebuild the system
now, carefully 
> documenting each step. I will make some changes the
second time. What 
> I have right now is not mission critical, I'm just
using it to learn.
> I've learned that I need another partition to which
I can write tar 
> backups and then ftp them to one of my windows
machines on my LAN. So, 
> I've tried to identify the optimum configuration for
the rebuild of my 
> machine to accommodate that need. I have a 120GB IDE
HD, so I don't have 
> space problems. I presently have 128MB of RAM, but
it looks like I 
> should plan to accommodate an increase to 1024GB in
the future.
> I plan to host a few web pages, and hope to be able
to ultimately run 
> a MTA and mail lists using majordomo or mailman in
the future. I have 
> static IPs and permission to run a server on my
internet access.
> I've tried to absorb input from the FreeBSD on-line
handbook, from Greg 
> Lehey's "The Complete FreeBSD", and from Michael
Lucases' "Absolute BSD".
> What I read either conflicts or I just can't
comprehend. Maybe I shouldn't 
> have tried to compare these sources?
> A Reference says keep the root section small,
another says include /usr and 
> /var in root, there's a discussion of the relative
speed of the outside of 
> a spinning HD to the middle of the HD, there's not
an agreement on the 
> size of the swap space, and, as I said, I'm
> Here's where I am, and I would appreciate your
collective comments. I'm 
> persuaded to use 1026MB for swap, 8GB for root (/),
30GB for /backup tars, 
> and the remainder for /home.  The /tmp, /usr, and
/var directories would 
> be included in the 8MB root. Web pages and mailing
lists would be in home. 
> I would be able to backup directories (or
subdirectories) to tar files in 
> the backup directory of sizes that wouldn't choke my
windows machines when 
> ftp'd to them for storage.
> When I rebuild my system, I don't want to do it
again for a while. Should 
> I make root bigger? Should I have /tmp, /usr, and
/var as separate 
> partitions as the default install did for me when I
built the system I'm 
> learning on at present? 
> If you had it to do all over again, given my
parameters, what would you do?
> Jay O'Brien
> Rio Linda, CA USA


First, I'll assume you intend to have a single IDE
drive and that won't change for the life of this
setup. Second, I'll accept your standard of what would
_I_ do and not discuss the merits or philosophical
differences of Messers. Lucas's and Lehey's
recommendations. Finally, I'll assume you meant that
you'll eventually have 1024MB (i.e. 1GB) of RAM, not
1024GB (i.e. 1TB). 
To begin, a 120GB drive is HUGE for a FBSD system
relative to a Windows system, so you don't need to
dole out space in a miserly fashion. However, you do
need to be able to back up your data, so don't go nuts
I tend to make my root partition 1GB. I have never
needed this much space and could get by half that, but
it's a nice round number, so why not?
Because you will eventually have 1GB of RAM, I would
allocate a /swap partition equal to twice the maximum
RAM the motherboard can hold. Don't underestimate how
long you will own the machine or the effort you will
put into squeezing the last ounce of performance in
the years to come. (Home machines tend to linger long
after corporate machines have been surplussed.) And
soon or later you'll be needing to post a core dump,
so you may as well be ready for it.
You say that you intend to "host a few web pages, and
...ultimately run a MTA and mail lists." This means
you need a goodly amount of space in /var for the mail
_and_ the logs associated with the mail/web/firewall
programs, say 20-25GB (~20 percent of total drive
The "few web pages" will become several domains as
time goes by, say 15-20GB (~15 percent of total drive
space) for /home or /www, whatever you call it.
The space needed for /usr isn't really substanial, say
The hard part is figuring how much space you need for,
"I would be able to backup directories (or
subdirectories) to tar files in the backup directory
of sizes that wouldn't choke my windows machines when 
ftp'd to them for storage." I have no idea what this
entails, so say another 20-25GB for that.
Thus, I have allocated between ~70-86GB. Leave the
rest unallocated. Over time, one or more of these
estimates will be too low. When that happens, you will
be able to add space to the appropriate partition(s)
and use growfs(8) to remedy the situation.
This setup should last you a year or so. By then
you'll want to optimize your setup, maybe have
separate mail and web servers, whatever. It all
depends on how much of your life FBSD takes over.



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