Out of curiosity I pulled a scratch machine from 'the closet of anxiety'
(it was labelled as having a dab disk) found another disk and some
memory and the openSuse 12.2 installation DVD, oh and a DVD drive that
worked, and ....
Set up an install that used BtrFS, grub2 and systemd
I left it to run overnight and came in just now and found a big
red/orange error message saying that it hadn't be able to install the
user - that's me, 'anton'.
I rebooted and it was all there. It booted (using grub2) and systemd.
I logged in as root and hand created the 'anton' account and all was
I had partitioned the 10G drive as swap plus a single BtrFS partition.
No separate /boot. The partitioner complained that I should have a
separate /boot that was ext3 or ext4. I've had problems with that
before so even if I were to do that I know there would be problems later.
So I have one big partition. I've played with BtrFS before in a LVM
partition, but it struck me that the design and advantages of BtrFS come
into play when you have the big mix of files.
I do have some reservations.
Classically there have been good reasons for partitioning.
I recall one vulnerability that arise if /tmp was on the same fs as the
root. Good reason to have a /tmp that is nosetuid, possibly even
noexec. In fact the principle of least privileged means you should
apply those two to trees that have no reason to have executables or
privilege. Certainly /usr/share -- documentation, manuals, fonts,
icons, come into that category. There's a good case that /srv/httpd/
should be restricted too, after all the scripts there are to be
interpreted (by perl or php or python or ruby or whatever) rather than
I'll look into these security concerns when I get to play about with
this scratch machine over the coming weeks.
Right now all I can say is 'it works'. So far. Next to bring it to the
desk and tie it to the LAN...
If you have questions about running Suse purely on BtrFS I'll try to
answer them. Please don't ask performance questions, this is a crappy
old machine. slow disk, slow cpu, slow memory. I'm concerned with
functions and hurdles.
"What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple.
Whether you are willing to do it, that's another matter."
-- Peter Drucker
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