Linux / Solaris Partition Information

Suggested partitioning includes separation into several partitions including /, swap, /usr, /opt, and /export/home.

/ (root) -- The root partition contains everything that is not specifically placed on a slice/partition. The rule of thumb here is: Do not put data on this partition that is likely to grow significantly (logs, applications, data, and so on). This partition can be as little as 200MB, however best practice indicates as much as 2GB if space is available.

swap -- swap is the space allocated for the operating system to use as part of its virtual memory to augment physical memory. If something in memory has not been used for a while, the operating system will move it to disk temporarily. Recommendations for this are typically for two to three times the physical memory, however we usually determine the amount available based on physical memory. If you have 512MB, specify 1.5-2.0GB. As physical memory increases, still specify 1-2 times the physical memory so you have enough disk space for the operating system. The following are instructions about setting swap:

a. Check your current swap space setting with swap -l

b. su to root (if not already).

c. Issue mkfile (size required) (filename)

d. Execute swap -a (pathname). this adds the swap file. You must use an absolute path name

e. Check with swap -l to confirm the new swap addition.

/usr -- Typically holds operating system commands and utilities related to the operating system. /usr can also contain the documentation associated with these commands. This partition should be a minimum of 1.5GB for a full installation. Best practice is to specify 2GB and potentially more if you know you will be adding operating system utilities.

/etc --We recommend this be located on the root partition, not on its own partition. The data here may change from time to time, but the typically does not grow significantly.

/var -- Best practice is to create a partition for /var. This contains the syslog data, print spool, mail, and so on. This partition could grow significantly from the required amount of disk space depending on the applications running on the system. We recommend you allow at least 2GB.


If you are installing the application’s syslogging capacity on Solaris, you must stop Solaris’ syslog process. Here are the steps for disabling the syslog service

mkdir /etc/rc2.d/disabled/

mv -f /etc/rc2.d/S74syslog /etc/rc2.d/disabled/


Reboot the solaris server.”

/opt -- The /opt partition holds application software that is added to the system. Redcell would be an application that should be installed here. The size of this partition should depend on the required disk space for applications including Redcell. Both the application’s software and data reside in the same directory structure, however, so you can add more volumes to another partition.

/export/home -- /export/home is typically for user data. Most systems have user home drives specified in this space (for example: /export/home/auser). This should have enough space for all user data.

/<some_partition_name> -- With a RAID configuration, you can specify a large amount of disk space for data purposes.