Advice on Partitions

Optimal partition setup depends on the usage for the Linux system in question. The following tips may help you decide how to allocate your disk space.
  • Consider encrypting any partitions that might contain sensitive data. Encryption prevents unauthorized people from accessing the data on the partitions, even if they have access to the physical storage device. In most cases, you should at least encrypt the /home partition.
  • Each kernel installed on your system requires approximately 10 MB on the /boot partition. Unless you plan to install a great many kernels, the default partition size of 250 MB for /boot should suffice.

    Important — Supported file systems

    The GRUB bootloader in Fedora 17 supports only the ext2, ext3, and ext4 (recommended) file systems. You cannot use any other file system for /boot, such as Btrfs, XFS, or VFAT.
  • The /var directory holds content for a number of applications, including the Apache web server. It also is used to store downloaded update packages on a temporary basis. Ensure that the partition containing the /vardirectory has enough space to download pending updates and hold your other content.


    The PackageKit update software downloads updated packages to /var/cache/yum/ by default. If you partition the system manually, and create a separate /var/ partition, be sure to create the partition large enough (3.0 GB or more) to download package updates.
  • The /usr directory holds the majority of software content on a Fedora system. For an installation of the default set of software, allocate at least 4 GB of space. If you are a software developer or plan to use your Fedora system to learn software development skills, you may want to at least double this allocation.

    Do not place /usr on a separate file system

    If /usr is on a separate file system from /, the boot process becomes much more complex because /usrcontains boot-critical components. In some situations (like installations on iSCSI drives), the boot process might not work at all.
  • Consider leaving a portion of the space in an LVM volume group unallocated. This unallocated space gives you flexibility if your space requirements change but you do not wish to remove data from other partitions to reallocate storage.
  • If you separate subdirectories into partitions, you can retain content in those subdirectories if you decide to install a new version of Fedora over your current system. For instance, if you intend to run a MySQL database in /var/lib/mysql, make a separate partition for that directory in case you need to reinstall later.
  • If you are creating a custom partition layout on a non-EFI x86 system, you are strongly advised to create a separate, 1 MB BIOS boot partition. This is only recommended on the disk you are installing the bootloader on and if any of the following conditions apply:
    • The disk contains a GPT partition table.
    • The installer has already initialized the disk for you.
    • You selected Use All Space in the Disk Partitioning Setup.
    This boot partition will be used by the GRUB boot loader for storage.
The following table is a possible partition setup for a system with a single, new 80 GB hard disk and 1 GB of RAM. Note that approximately 10 GB of the volume group is unallocated to allow for future growth.
The following table is a possible partition setup for a system with a single, new 80 GB hard disk and 1 GB of RAM. Note that approximately 10 GB of the volume group is unallocated to allow for future growth.

Example Usage

This setup is not optimal for all use cases….it’s just a pair of examples.
Example partition setup
Partition Size and type
/boot 250 MB ext3 partition
swap 2 GB swap
LVM physical volume Remaining space, as one LVM volume group
The physical volume is assigned to the default volume group and divided into the following logical volumes:
Example partition setup: LVM physical volume
Partition Size and type
/ 13 GB ext4
/var 4 GB ext4
/home 50 GB ext4

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