Subject: Why root and usr in separate partitions?
To: None <>
From: Scott Horton <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/28/2001 22:43:10
This is just a generalized *nix question, really.

I'm not new to *nix, but I've never spent the requisite time to become
knowledgeable about it.  Generally, I've just done enough to solve a
problem, then went back to other things.

I *have* however, been at it for a while (TRS-80 Model 16 Xenix running on
was probably my first exposure) - and I've noticed that there's a
longstanding tradition of breaking up a perfectly nice single hard drive
into lots of little partitions for different sections of the file system,
such as root, /usr, /home, and so forth.  I've always wondered about this -
it seems kind of wasteful, especially in an OS that allows you to define
your own block and cluster sizes (unlike FAT16, FAT32, etc).  I do
understand that SWAP is normally a separate partition, because it's not
(usually) a traditional filesystem.

So - my question - in a single-disk system, why this longstanding tradition
of breaking the filesystem up into multiple partitions?  (There!  I've
unveiled my ignorance of *nix filesystems in general!)


Scott Horton
111 E. Forest Ave
Columbia, MO 65203