A Brief Linux Interlude – Partitions, Logical Volumes, and Layouts

Tim Miller isn’t a “storage guy” but he wrote a pair of “Linux Interlude” posts focusing on filesystem layouts, LVM, and Docker that are well worth reading. He starts with this bit about making a future-proof Linux filesystem layout in A Brief Linux Interlude – Partitions, Logical Volumes, and Layouts:

To avoid those calamities with the default filesystem layout, I’ve built my own layout – none of which is terribly original as most of the structure follows guidelines from days long gone by.  Given the twitches I outlined above, you might have guessed that the layout looks something like (no matter how big the system drive is):

  • (physical partition) /boot : 1GB
  • / : 10 GB
  • /var : 10 GB
  • /tmp : 5 GB
  • /home : 20 GB


Then we learn more about why all this matters in Another Linux Interlude – Provisioning logical volumes for Docker. Here we see his preferred LVM/Docker layout:


  • /dev/sda1 : /boot (1GB)
  • /dev/sda2 : LVM partition for hostVG (rest of space)
  • rootLV : / (10GB)
  • varLV : /var (10GB)
  • tmpLV : /tmp (5GB)
  • homeLV : /home (20GB)

Since I’m looking to add space to support Docker images, I need to be worried about the /var/lib/docker directory tree. For one container image and instance, 10GB might be fine.  As I indicate in that other blog post though, running out of space in /var isn’t good.  Let’s go ahead and add a new logical volume (LV) so that we protect the rest of /var and can keep an eye on Docker space consumption.

The whole thing is really worth reading!

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at TechFieldDay.com, blog.FoskettS.net, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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