One of the good points of Linux is that is easy to customize the partitioning scheme of the disk and put each directory (/home, /var, etc) in different partitions and/or different disk.

Then we can use different file system/configurations for each of them for make them better. Examples:

  • noatime is a mount option to not write access time on the files.
  • data=writeback is an option to lazy write metadata on new files.
  • ext3/4 has journaling that make the partition more secure in case of a crash.
  • bigger blocks make the partition waste more space, but make it faster to read and may become more fragmented. (not sure)

Then: What are the best filesystem/configurations for each directory?

Note: given the answer of Patches, will only discuss /, /home and /var only.

/var -> It's modified constantly, it write logs, cache, temporal, etc.
/home -> stores important files.
/ -> stores everything else (/etc and /usr should be here)

  • Please, there is other posts about filesystems, but there are not specific about linux, directories. ----- Please don't answer things like this filesystem is the best of all. I'm trying to learn about priorities in Linux Hierarchy and adventages of filesistem, so introduce specific adventages.
    – eloyesp
    Apr 10, 2011 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


You should not host /usr or /etc on seperate partitions. /etc on a seperate partition simply will not work on most systems without a lot of work. Having a seperate /usr on modern Linux machines will appear to work, but break a lot of functionality, as systemd author Lennart Poettering explains:

Most of the failures you will experience with /usr split off are graceful failures: they won't become directly visible, however certain features become unavailable due to these failures. Quite a number of programs these days hook themselves into the early boot process at various stages. A popular way to do this is for example via udev rules. The binaries called from these rules are sometimes located on /usr/bin, or link against libraries in /usr/lib, or use data files from /usr/share. If these rules fail udev will proceed with the next one, however later on applications will then not properly detect these udev devices or features of these devices. Here's a short, very in-comprehensive list of software we are aware of that currently is not able to provide the full set of functionality when /usr is split off: udev-pci-db/udev-usb-db and all rules depending on this (using the PCI/USB database in /usr/share), PulseAudio, NetworkManager, ModemManager, udisks, libatasmart, usb_modeswitch, gnome-color-manager, usbmuxd, ALSA, D-Bus, CUPS, Plymouth, the locale logic of most programs and a lot of other stuff.

/var and /home work just fine on their own partitions, and putting the latter on its own partition is highly reccomended.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.