Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (914 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] out of curiosity - / grow from 10 to 12GB
On 05/06/17 12:56 PM, Peter Mc Donough wrote:
Years ago, when I started with Linux, SuSe in fact, it was customary to have
several system-partitions on an HDD, for example for / /swap /boot /tmp /usr
/var and /home anyway, the reasons for it, I forgot. It was probably the size
HDDs, reliability and one may have needed more than one HDD for a decent

I don't know about "customary", and I don't know about "reliability".

Yes, back in the 1970s when a RK02 was 5M, having a separate drive for /usr
(which is where the user accounts lived in the days before USG introduced /home)
was pretty much a necessity. By the time we had UNIX (think: "SCO") on a PC
drives were a good deal larger and was running the IS, user accounts and
application built with a Progress RDBMS on a single drive on a PC. I made good
money doing that back in the 1985/87 timeframe.

Reliability, then, came from backups, not just of the software, the database,
but having a backup machine and parts in the closet.

In due course we came to have reliability though better products and though
RAID. I think that approach still holds.

Compartmentalization is quite another matter.
Sometimes it simplifies matters such as backup and restore.
More often than not it is about some aspect of reliability.
I gave the example in another post of a simple DoS script.
The principle holds for programming errors as well as for malice.

One of the classical reasons for having separate /tmp and /var and /srv has to
do with security. I've mentioned the idea of mounting "nosuid,nodev,noexec".
Why? A malicious user can create a (possibly) symbolic link to a file not
otherwise accessible to him or her in a directory such as /tmp. If you don't
have a seperate /tmp you can't mount it "nosuid,nodev,noexec". The same logic,
quite obviously applies to a malicious user breaking in via a network service to
/srv. These and other can also apply in /usr/tmp or if the user has an account,
under /home.

Of course in a shared service environment there may be other reasons that have
to do with administration. LVM Thin Pools are one example.

I'm sure other users can think of many reasons for compartmentalization even in
a single user environment.

Inigo: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it
-- The Princess Bride
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