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Does it really perform better than a single partitioned installation?

Why?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 18 '11 at 7:13

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No. Unless you are running crazy high-demand servers. –  user28209 May 18 '11 at 7:09
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3 Answers

Even if the performance increase is non-existent, there are several reasons to split up your installation:

  • If one file system corrupts, the rest of your data is intact
  • A process gone (i. e. writing excessive log files) only fills one partition
  • You can mount your /home directory in several installations

etc.

Wikipedia has a great summary on the benefits of multiple partitions.

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Multiple partitions are helpful when you want to upgrade your distribution, change to another distribution etc, especially a separate "/home" partition. All your data resides on the /home partition, so its very easy to reinstall a distribution without losing any of your data.

More info here - http://www.control-escape.com/linux/lx-partition.html

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I mainly use the multiple partition for a couple of reasons:

  • Upgrading or changing distros is easier. Having your /home partition gives you the peace of mind that you can always easily backup (to a /media/Data) and start the upgrade.
  • Backup protection, just in case a file system gets screwed, you have only limited loss.
  • OS information is separated from my data files which is beneficial for organization and loss prevention. If my OS partition gets corrupted, I can easily reinstall the OS.
  • Multi-boot
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