Linux Talk | Partition Schemes, Swap Space and File Fragmentation

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PARTITIONING

There are many options for partitioning drive space in Linux. Each has its own advantages. Here are just a few examples:

Default

PART FS MOUNT SIZE

sda1 ext4 / Drive space minus swap
sda5 swap none RAM size plus 100 MB

Advanced

PART FS MOUNT SIZE

sda1 ext4 / 15 to 32 GB
sda2 swap none RAM size plus 100 MB
sda3 ext4 /home Remaining drive space

My scheme for boasting VM performance

sda1 ext4 / 32 GB
sda2 swap none 8 GB
sda3 ext4 /home 600 GB
sda4 xfs /vm 300 GB

SWAP PARTITIONS AND FILES

Swap space provides memory for the kernel to use at times when physical RAM is running out. Swap can be set aside in its own partition or it can be in a swap file within a file system. Some programs use swap space independently of the kernel. Swap is also used to dump the contents of RAM when there is a hard crash. There must be a separate swap partition that is slightly larger than the total system RAM space in order to use hibernation.

To create a swapfile:

First cd into / then run these commands as root;

dd if=/dev/zero of=swapfile-name bs=1024k count=MB-num
mkswap swapfile-name
swapon swapfile-name

To mount the swap file at boot time add this line to /etc/fstab:

/swapfile-name none swap sw 0 0

EXT4 AND XFS FILE FRAGMENTATION

Do you need to defrag your drives? Probably not. SSD should NEVER be dfragged. You may want to check fragmentation status with:

sudo e4defrag -c path-name or device name

Most likely, the fragmentation score will be 0.

Those with very large files or drives that are running at more then 75 per cent capacity may want to run a defrag.

sudo e4defrag path-name or device name

Do not expect a big performance boost, though. Ext4 and XFS both run faster even with fragmented files.

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