I am setting up a file server with Ubuntu and Samba to serve Windows XP and Vista machines. This machine will have two 1TB hard drives in a RAID1 (software) configuration. I'm curious as to what the best format is for each partition. I'm planning on having three partitions: a 30GB partition for the OS, a 5GB partition for swap, and the rest for data. All three partitions will be part of the RAID1 across the two disks. My questions are:

1) Does the above configuration make sense? Is there a better way to do it with my two hard disks? Is it in any way better to use one ext3 partition for the OS and data?
2) I know Ubuntu should be installed on an ext3 partition, and swap is swap, but what about the main data partition? I realize that with Samba, it doesn't matter much in terms of accessibility by Windows machines, but what's the best choice in terms of performance, reliability, and other issues such as fragmentation? I definitely don't want my data partition to become fragmented over time, or if it does, I want the ability to defragment it.
3) It would be nice if in the event of a complete failure of the motherboard or something, if I could pop one of the HD's into an external USB case and read it with a Windows machine. Is this a reasonable thing to consider?

Thanks in advance,

Posted 8 years ago