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I would like to do an encrypted install of Ubuntu on a 2 Terabyte drive (i.e., using LUKS/DMcrypt). In order to not have to type in passwords too often, the partitioning scheme will be 50 GB for / and about 1 TB for /home (and the rest for Windows 7), just for clarity.

Even though by now LVM is regarded as being stable, I don't want to bother having more room for errors by introducing unnecessary layers of complexity.

For both Ubuntu partitions I want encrypted ext3 with the default blocksize of ext3 (4k?).


When I look at most partition schemes here on this site or elsewhere, I usually see at most about 400 or 500 GB partitions (maybe I didn't see enough). There may be different reasons for this, but is reliability an issue here?

Are larger ext3 partitions, like about 1 TB, harder to handle for the OS or filesystem driver or at some other level? If I make the partition too large, will it be harder to repair in case of corruptions? Are there some default settings for ext3 that I should change for 1 TB partitions?


What maximum partition size for ext3 do you recommend and why?


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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It really depends on what you are doing. For normal desktop use (some documents, images, movies, music files) 1TB ext3 partition is just fine without any custom settings.

If you are planning to have something more complicated (really huge number of files, for example with backuppc or certain data processing softwares) it might be good idea to set higher amount of inodes.

Parameter -N for mkfs.ext3 allows changing number of inodes, but only while creating filesystem, not later on:

   -N number-of-inodes
          Overrides the default calculation of the number of inodes that should be reserved for the filesys-
          tem  (which is based on the number of blocks and the bytes-per-inode ratio).  This allows the user
          to specify the number of desired inodes directly.
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Thanks for reassuring! – Hansi Feb 13 '11 at 9:04

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