October 22, 2010

Preferred layout of Linux file system for sandbox VMs

I use VMware Server 2 very often for setting up and running internal development and sandbox environments. When creating the file system, I alternate between the options below.

Option #1: Single mount point

I typically create a single disk with 10 GB, 9 GB mounted directly to / (the root folder), and 1 GB dedicated to SWAP.

This is simple for sandbox environments, as you don't have to worry about having wasted space on separate mount points. Obviously, this adds a little more risk as if you have logs that grow endlessly, it could fill up the file system and hang the server.

Option #2: Multiple mount point

I usually create a base VM image using the layout below, and clone it. I create a disk with 10 GB and lay out the file system according to the following:
/ 750 MB /home 250 MB /tmp 2048 MB /var 1024 MB /usr 5000 MB /boot 100 MB SWAP 1024 MB
The reason /tmp is 2 GB is because some Oracle software requires more than 1 GB to extract/install its software. Also, there is no need for SWAP to be more than 1 GB, particularly on a VM.

What's next?
1. I create a VM based on the file system above (usually Option #2).

2. When creating the VM, I allocate the disk space up front and split the disks into 2 GB files.

3. I apply generic Oracle prerequisites that work with most Oracle products.
See steps 8-14 from here:http://blog.ipnweb.com/2010/09/no-nonsense-installation-of-oracle.html
4. That's how I quickly lay out my sandbox servers!

First... I want to keep my base VM manageable in size (no more than 10 GB), which makes it easy to transfer and clone.

Second... I apply generic Oracle prerequisites so that I don't have to go through the hassle of applying them over again. The steps above work for many Oracle products.

Third... this is my 'base' VM. That means you still need to add additional disks to accommodate your Oracle software.

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