Partitions?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Sensei, May 9, 2005.

  1. Sensei

    Sensei Guest

    Hi.

    I'm convinced to replace my dead thinkpad with a powerbook 12"... but
    now I'm concerned about two issues... I'm using linux since 97, so... I
    could be quite naive.

    At the first boot, can I partition the hard disk to have /Users (home
    directories) on another partition?

    Can I move on another partition the swap file (I know mac doesn't use a
    swap partition)?
     
    Sensei, May 9, 2005
    #1
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  2. Sensei

    Guest

    Sensei <> writes:

    > At the first boot, can I partition the hard disk to have /Users (home
    > directories) on another partition?


    Not really at first boot, but it is certainly possible to
    partition the drive and move stuff around.

    It's a huge pain in the ass and there's no good reason to do it,
    though.

    So don't bother.

    --
    Plain Bread alone for e-mail, thanks. The rest gets trashed.
    No HTML in E-Mail! -- http://www.expita.com/nomime.html
    Are you posting responses that are easy for others to follow?
    http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2000/06/14/quoting
     
    , May 9, 2005
    #2
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  3. Sensei

    Sensei Guest

    wrote:
    > Not really at first boot, but it is certainly possible to
    > partition the drive and move stuff around.


    Perfect!

    > It's a huge pain in the ass and there's no good reason to do it,
    > though.
    >
    > So don't bother.
    >


    Mmh... the main reason for doing that is the fragmentation problem,
    since /Applications and / shouldn't be touched so much... while home
    directories will be quite busy... not talking about the shrinking and
    enlarging swap file...

    Did you try to benchmark the change? I'd really like to know if it's
    worth it...

    I'm used to really ugly systems, the word ``pain in the ass'' does not
    belong to osx :)
     
    Sensei, May 9, 2005
    #3
  4. Sensei

    Sensei Guest

    G.T. wrote:
    > If you mean the first boot after install, yes. Google Netinfo Manager and
    > moving user directories.


    Very nice! Thanks, netinfo is (more or less) what I wanted.

    > There are several websites explaining the various methods for moving the
    > swap file on Jaguar and Panther. For Tiger I don't know yet but I'm sure
    > it's still possible.


    That's a problem... I think my powerbook will come with 10.4...
     
    Sensei, May 9, 2005
    #4
  5. Sensei

    John Drako Guest

    On Mon, 9 May 2005 12:17:08 -0400, Sensei wrote
    (in article <82Mfe.875522$>):

    > wrote:


    >> Not really at first boot, but it is certainly possible to partition
    >> the drive and move stuff around.

    >
    > Perfect!
    >
    >> It's a huge pain in the ass and there's no good reason to do it,
    >> though.
    >>
    >> So don't bother.
    >>

    >
    > Mmh... the main reason for doing that is the fragmentation problem,
    > since /Applications and / shouldn't be touched so much... while home
    > directories will be quite busy... not talking about the shrinking and
    > enlarging swap file...


    Mac OS X defragments files less than 20 MB on the fly, so there is no
    advantage there. And the system optimizes the file location on the drive
    to give the biggest performance for frequently accessed files.

    > Did you try to benchmark the change? I'd really like to know if it's
    > worth it...


    I haven't read one article that makes a good case for partitioning the
    boot drive with Mac OS X. It's mostly a pain in the ass for no tangible
    benefits.

    > I'm used to really ugly systems, the word ``pain in the ass'' does
    > not belong to osx :)


    Very true. One of the best things about OS X is that you don't need to
    worry about the things that you're already worrying about :)
     
    John Drako, May 9, 2005
    #5
  6. Sensei

    Guest

    Sensei <> writes:
    > wrote:


    > > It's a huge pain in the ass and there's no good reason to do it,
    > > though. So don't bother.


    Okay, maybe not a *huge* PITA, but it's generally unnecessary.

    > Mmh... the main reason for doing that is the fragmentation problem,


    There is no fragmentation problem. See, for example:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25668

    http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

    and the especially interesting:

    http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/apme/fragmentation/


    If fragmentation is the only reason you want to partition,
    you're definitely wasting your time.



    --
    Plain Bread alone for e-mail, thanks. The rest gets trashed.
    No HTML in E-Mail! -- http://www.expita.com/nomime.html
    Are you posting responses that are easy for others to follow?
    http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2000/06/14/quoting
     
    , May 9, 2005
    #6
  7. Sensei

    Sensei Guest

    John Drako wrote:
    > Mac OS X defragments files less than 20 MB on the fly, so there is no
    > advantage there. And the system optimizes the file location on the drive
    > to give the biggest performance for frequently accessed files.


    Good to know, I have no real low-level experience with hfs/hfs+.

    > I haven't read one article that makes a good case for partitioning the
    > boot drive with Mac OS X. It's mostly a pain in the ass for no tangible
    > benefits.


    Ok, I will leave the partition as it is.

    > Very true. One of the best things about OS X is that you don't need to
    > worry about the things that you're already worrying about :)


    That's why I'm buying a mac :)
     
    Sensei, May 9, 2005
    #7
  8. Sensei wrote:
    > G.T. wrote:
    >
    >> If you mean the first boot after install, yes. Google Netinfo Manager
    >> and
    >> moving user directories.

    >
    >
    > Very nice! Thanks, netinfo is (more or less) what I wanted.
    >
    >> There are several websites explaining the various methods for moving the
    >> swap file on Jaguar and Panther. For Tiger I don't know yet but I'm sure
    >> it's still possible.

    >
    >
    > That's a problem... I think my powerbook will come with 10.4...


    I've been using an iBook for two years and experimented with the
    different file systems and some of the partitioning schemes suggested
    for swap space etc. and have ended up with a simple single partition
    installation. The hassle of messing around with different partitions
    which ususually end up being the wrong size just isn't worth it.

    IMO,

    Andy
     
    Andy Mulhearn, May 9, 2005
    #8
  9. Sensei

    clvrmnky Guest

    On 09/05/2005 12:32 PM, John Drako wrote:
    > On Mon, 9 May 2005 12:17:08 -0400, Sensei wrote
    > (in article <82Mfe.875522$>):

    [...]
    > I haven't read one article that makes a good case for partitioning the
    > boot drive with Mac OS X. It's mostly a pain in the ass for no tangible
    > benefits.
    >

    The last time I did a clean install, I made a little partition for OS 9,
    which I keep around for games and such. For some reason even a virgin
    install of OS 9 would occasionally corrupt the drive when I booted from
    it, causing the next boot to OS X to fail. I'd be repairing the drive
    all the time. Now OS 9 can fubar itself all it wants and I don't have
    to care. I can wipe and reinstall it with impunity, as well.

    This is the only reason I have for having more than one partition.

    >
    >>I'm used to really ugly systems, the word ``pain in the ass'' does
    >>not belong to osx :)

    >
    >
    > Very true. One of the best things about OS X is that you don't need to
    > worry about the things that you're already worrying about :)
    >

    In this case, having an OS 9 partition means I can stop worrying about it.
     
    clvrmnky, May 9, 2005
    #9
  10. Sensei

    Van Bagnol Guest

    In article <>,
    John Drako <> wrote:

    > I haven't read one article that makes a good case for partitioning the
    > boot drive with Mac OS X. It's mostly a pain in the ass for no tangible
    > benefits.


    What about keeping the old OS version on hand should a version upgrade
    affect task-critical applications? I'd like to be able to boot up either
    in Panther or Tiger (or Tiger and cat-of-the-future) until kinks are
    worked out with the new version.

    Van
    --
    Van Bagnol / n p c o m p l e t e at bagnol dot com / c r l at bagnol dot com
    ....enjoys Theatre / Windsurfing / Skydiving / Mountain Biking
    ....feels "parang lumalakad ako soo loob ng panaginip"
    ....thinks "An Error is Not a Mistake ... Unless You Refuse to Correct It"
     
    Van Bagnol, May 9, 2005
    #10
  11. Sensei

    John Drako Guest

    On Mon, 9 May 2005 16:07:38 -0400, Van Bagnol wrote
    (in article <>):

    > In article <>,
    > John Drako <> wrote:
    >
    >> I haven't read one article that makes a good case for partitioning the
    >> boot drive with Mac OS X. It's mostly a pain in the ass for no tangible
    >> benefits.

    >
    > What about keeping the old OS version on hand should a version upgrade
    > affect task-critical applications? I'd like to be able to boot up either
    > in Panther or Tiger (or Tiger and cat-of-the-future) until kinks are
    > worked out with the new version.


    If you have one drive only, that makes some sense.

    I'm accustomed to having at least two internal drives and often couple
    of external firewire ones. So I usually install the new system on a
    different drive than the current boot one.

    What I meant with the bit that you quoted was that partitioning the
    drive, the way linux people are used to, makes no sense on OS X.

    But keeping two or more separate partitions for complete, separate
    system environment, like one for Tiger and another for Panther and maybe
    another for OS 9 (if your system boots from it) is useful for
    experimentation.
     
    John Drako, May 10, 2005
    #11
  12. Sensei

    Simon Slavin Guest

    On 09/05/2005, Sensei wrote in message
    <6mJfe.1353620$>:

    > At the first boot, can I partition the hard disk to have /Users (home
    > directories) on another partition?


    You can move people's home directories at any time. In fact it's
    simpler to do it far later than first boot.

    But, although I understand why you're asking about this, it's not
    really appropriate under OS X. The things you're used to it
    improving don't improve under OS X.

    > Can I move on another partition the swap file (I know mac doesn't use a
    > swap partition)?


    Swap file/s/, not file. Yes, again you can tell the OS to use a
    different directory for swapfiles, and that directory can be on
    any volume you like. But again, there's no advantage to doing
    this under OS X. Real experts have tried it, looked at the
    results on speed and fragmentation, and noted no improvements.

    You have some catching-up to do. OS X, although it resembles
    a BSD-style Unix, is different enough that your usual Unix habits
    will be wrong. A couple of examples are that you /never/ enable
    the root account under OS X, and that the OS defragments files
    on the fly. There are many other characteristics like this that
    make it worthwhile using OS X exactly as designed for a bit
    before using any Unix tricks you've learned elsewhere.

    Simon.
    --
    Using pre-release version of newsreader.
    Please tell me if it does weird things.
     
    Simon Slavin, May 11, 2005
    #12
  13. Sensei

    David Magda Guest

    Simon Slavin <> writes:

    > volume you like. But again, there's no advantage to doing this
    > under OS X. Real experts have tried it, looked at the results on
    > speed and fragmentation, and noted no improvements.


    I would think that putting swap files on a separate disk would help
    things. Less disk contention and all that.

    --
    David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca>, http://www.magda.ca/
    Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under
    the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well
    under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI
     
    David Magda, May 12, 2005
    #13
  14. Sensei

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, David Magda
    <> wrote:

    > I would think that putting swap files on a separate disk would help
    > things. Less disk contention and all that.


    on an entirely seperate harddrive it may have a beneficial effect
    because you can have simultaneous read/write to different drives.

    putting the swap on a second partition of the *same* drive is stupid.
     
    nospam, May 12, 2005
    #14
  15. Sensei

    D P Schreber Guest

    On 2005-05-12, nospam <> wrote:
    > In article <>, David Magda
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >> I would think that putting swap files on a separate disk would help
    >> things. Less disk contention and all that.

    >
    > on an entirely seperate harddrive it may have a beneficial effect
    > because you can have simultaneous read/write to different drives.



    We went through all this when 10.0 came out. There are _no_ measurable
    benefits to fiddling with swapfile locations in this way.
     
    D P Schreber, May 12, 2005
    #15
  16. Sensei

    Ron Goodman Guest

    [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
    the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]

    With RAM being as cheap as it is, better to just add some more than to
    mess around with where the swap files live.
     
    Ron Goodman, May 13, 2005
    #16
  17. Sensei

    Simon Slavin Guest

    On 11/05/2005, David Magda wrote in message
    <>:

    > Simon Slavin <>
    > writes:
    >
    > > volume you like. But again, there's no advantage to doing this
    > > under OS X. Real experts have tried it, looked at the results on
    > > speed and fragmentation, and noted no improvements.

    >
    > I would think that putting swap files on a separate disk would help
    > things. Less disk contention and all that.


    Except that while the computer is reading/writing a swapfile
    it's not doing anything else. So there's no contention problem.

    Simon.
    --
    Using pre-release version of newsreader.
    Please tell me if it does weird things.
     
    Simon Slavin, May 14, 2005
    #17
  18. Sensei

    Bob Harris Guest

    In article <d6667q$n2n$5$>,
    Simon Slavin <>
    wrote:

    > On 11/05/2005, David Magda wrote in message
    > <>:
    >
    > > Simon Slavin <>
    > > writes:
    > >
    > > > volume you like. But again, there's no advantage to doing this
    > > > under OS X. Real experts have tried it, looked at the results on
    > > > speed and fragmentation, and noted no improvements.

    > >
    > > I would think that putting swap files on a separate disk would help
    > > things. Less disk contention and all that.

    >
    > Except that while the computer is reading/writing a swapfile
    > it's not doing anything else. So there's no contention problem.
    >
    > Simon.


    Technically, not true.

    If you are in the middle of doing some other I/O operation, such as
    downloading a long file, uploading a file (maybe via BitTorrent),
    launching an application, reading/writing a document file, doing a
    backup, playing iTunes (which I do all the time), etc...

    Then once the OS queues up the I/O request to page in from the page file
    or page out to the page file, then the OS is free to service other
    threads, and one of those threads may decide to do I/O to another file.
    If the controller and disk for that file are not currently occupied,
    then that I/O will occur in parallel to the paging I/O.

    However, on a single disk system, only one I/O will be happening at any
    given time.

    But even in a single disk system, the device drivers might have multiple
    I/O requests queued up, and the choice of which of those I/O's to
    satisfy first maybe not occur in the exact order they were made. The
    driver may decide that the I/O which is nearest to the current disk head
    location in the direction the head has been moving is going to be acted
    on first, as the time it takes to seek to a new location is far longer
    than the time it takes to actually read or write the data once you get
    there. And the further the heads have to seek the longer it takes, so
    if all the queued requests traveling from one edge to the other can be
    satisified in one pass, this is more efficient then jumping around in
    the order the requests were made.

    But on a single user system, it is true that a lot of the time there is
    only one application making any demands on the disk drive, so I/O's may
    be working very sequentially.

    Bob Harris
     
    Bob Harris, May 15, 2005
    #18
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