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Old 16th October 2009
Greg_Morgan Greg_Morgan is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 13
Default Hard disk utilization


I am a newbie to Unix like Operating Systems.

I recently installed a BSD operating system on my home PC. I did a calculation of my effective hard disk utilization as a percentage. I was unhappy to see that I am averaging only 46.67% utilization while using a very lean operating system.

I seek your advice to remedy this situation.

Please note:
I understand that it is not an OS problem. I am not bashing the OS.
I sincerely appreciate the developers for having created a wonderful product.
I am amazed by their magnanimity to give away such an elegant product. Their work of art is a gem of engineering. I wish I could design & develop so well.

I think that there are only two components to my observation:
a) green horn admin (me ;-)) resulting in improper distribution & real estate waste
b) bogus metric or incorrect formula

My questions are these:
a) Is this utilization amount normal?(ie.) Do most users of this forum see numbers in this range (range being +/- 2%) ?

b) How do I interpret this metric?
Is this metric telling me that I have reached rock bottom and that henceforth my utilization % will ONLY increase when I add
more disk space as there is NO proportional increase in setup (setup=kernel + apps + base infrastructure)

if I add a 20 GB hard disk say 20GB and if I allocate
10GB for /app_data and 10 for /home then, my utilization will bump to > 47%?
and that this utilization % will increase as I add more hard disk space.

c) Is my calculation reasonable or should I be using a different formula or tangible metric to evaluate my utilization of this computer?

d) Are my partition slices reasonable?
(asked another way)
Are my partition slices way off, grossly inefficient due to my ignorance of Unix-like OS? I am not trying to carve things to the nearest MB.

Am I to infer that I need to be tracking utilization percentages (via df -h) over a period of 1-2 years and then craft the partition sizes so there is lesser wastage?

e) Would you recommend that I use a volume manager instead of using hard slices as I have got it now?

Details of the machine and its intended usage:
Desktop PC with 75GB HDD, 1GB RAM.
I plan to use this computer as a home desktop.
I intend to install subversion (to store my digital files like photos, documents etc.), gnucash & other popular desktop apps.

I made these partitions. No dual booting. Computer dedicated to BSD.
My partitions (aka slices) are:

/ : 0.5 GB
swap : 2.0 GB
/altroot : 0.5 GB
/var : 2.0 GB
/tmp : 1.0 GB
/usr : 6.0 GB
/app_data: 25.0 GB
/home : 35.0 GB
/freearea: 3.0 GB

The slice /app_data will hold all data files that are controlled by the app. For example, the SVN repositories will be here but a dump of those repositories will be in /home. I plan to backup /home regularly. If I have a hard disk crash or corruption, I can re-install OS & apps and then restore my data from backup.

/freearea is primarily to handle filesystem full situations. At other times, It will be used to build userland, ports & X (as /var & /tmp have noexec)

Currently I am losing a lot of space as I have the same data in two different formats (in /app_data & dump form in /home).

Would you recommend that I do things differently?

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