[Mageia-dev] time to switch from raw partitions to lvm?

Buchan Milne bgmilne at staff.telkomsa.net
Tue Feb 22 09:07:18 CET 2011

----- "Wolfgang Bornath" <molch.b at googlemail.com> wrote:

> 2011/2/21 Buchan Milne <bgmilne at staff.telkomsa.net>:
> > On Monday, 21 February 2011 11:49:27 Thomas Lottmann wrote:
> >> I am still not convinced of how easy this can be. For having
> attempted
> >> to manage (and learn) how to manage LVM partitons with CentOS, it
> is
> >> quite complicated. So it certainly has many advantages, but I'm
> awaiting
> >> an intuitive disk manager like Diskdrake to manage this stuff
> without
> >> the need of preliminary knowledge.
> >
> > Yes, with diskdrake, it's no problem. Anaconda's LVM interface is
> quite
> > confusing and complex. After installation, AFAIK, you can't access
> the same
> > interface. system-config-lvm (if it's still around) was also pretty
> unusable.
> >
> > But, we have diskdrake, so why are the problems of CentOS an issue?
> Because (as I remarked earlier) there are people who have other Linux
> flavors on their harddisk before they try Mageia - what if they do
> their partitioning with those (i.e. CentOS)?

Irrelevant. If there is free space, you can use LVM or not. Note CentOS defaults to LVM as of 5.x. If the whole disk is partitioned as a PV (likely with CentOS), then you will be forced to use LVM anyway ...

> Again, people do not work all the same.

Irrelevant. If this was the case, we would *FORCE* everyone to use LVM, or a large single root filesystem, or a complex layout, or something else. But we aren't discussing forcing of anything, just what the *default* option should be.

> There are people who do their
> partitioning with 3rd-party apps like gparted or others.

Then they should not use the default, if they think they know better.

> There are
> people who like to have a bootloader in the root partition of each
> Linux they install (using chainloader in the first Linux' grub), etc.

Shame, IMHO putting bootloader in root partition is a bad idea. But, they can still do this. They can even install a bootloader in the boot partition of each distro, and use chainloader (which is what I do). No one is proposing preventing them from doing this.

> IMHO it is a bad idea to make LVM default, because there are too many
> cases around where people would not want LVM.

IMHO, the majority of users *should* use LVM. The 10% who have specific reasons not to, will of course still be able to use normal partitions. The problem currently is that I suspect 90% of the users who should be using LVM, don't. Then, they need assistance from others to resize their /, or /home, or another filesystem that they sized incorrectly during installation.

Users shouldn't need to "learn to partition", or "practice installing", by doing installations over and over until they figure out that / should be at least 10GB, but most likely not larger than 30GB, depending on whether they compile a lot (e.g. build packages or not).

Is this really user-friendly? By this I mean, friendly to users who *haven't* used Linux before, not those who are installing their 10th distro on the same machine for the 15th time.

> LVM as an option is a
> far better solution and let the user decide what he wants.

The user will still *always* be able to decide what he wants. The question is, what to do for users who don't know what to decide. IMHO, for a first time user, it is *much* better to give them a "Use available space, with growable filesystems" or similar, than a statically partitioned, based on difficult-to-get-right heuristics.


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