SUMMARY: Disk drive naming scheme

From: Mona Wong (mona@szechuan.UCSD.EDU)
Date: Mon Apr 24 1995 - 19:50:17 CDT

------ Original posting ----------------

> Hi Sun managers:

> We are trying to decide how to name our various drives which
> are NFS available.

> We have about 8 machines and each machine has a filesystem that
> is on NFS.

> We are looking for clever and interesting ways of naming our
> drives and am open to all ideas.

> Mona Wong

------ Response #1 ---------------------

From: Lenny Turetsky <>

Rather than showing off pointless creativity (creativity is only
valuable insofar as it accomplishes something valuable -- it is a
means, not an end), why not give them names based on their function?

For example, you could call them things like:
        GNUsoft for GNU software
        UCSDsoft for your own software
        UgradHome undergrad home dirs
        GradHome grad student home dirs

I've worked at a place where they named their drives after presidents,
colors, etc., but it was only confusing and pointless.

Please bear in mind that the purpose of naming things is to help you
(and your successors) identify them.


 | Yale Economics Dep't | Lenny Turetsky |
 | System Administrator | |
 | My employers paid for some of my time and energy. |
 | My opinions were never for sale. |

------ Response #2 ---------------------

From: Dan Stromberg - OAC-CSG <>

I prefer to forget about naming the drives, and associate
directory/usergroup sponsors (people) with multiple directories on
each disk. Each sponsor's name then becomes a mount point, via the
automounter. Sponsor's with more than one directory, tend to get
names like sponsor, sponsor2, sponsor3...

Typically, a sponsor will be a faculty member, and all of his or her
grad students. A sponsor, is this sense, might also be a software

Dan Stromberg - OAC/CSG

------ Response #3 ---------------------

From: (Martin Achilli)
To: mona@szechuan.UCSD.EDU

Personally I use this scheme:

I mount disks for a particular host under the
/home/<machine_name>/<number> directory. For example for machine zeus
I have disks mounted as /home/zeus/1 /home/zeus/2 etc.. you could also
replace the simple number with a number-partition label like /home/zeus/1a
I think though that details about disk type/partition should not be used
because they make things more complicated.
When I moun these disks via nfs I mount them again as /home/zeus/1
/home/zeus/2 etc.. This means that the whole disk partition is exported
to the clients, but that is not a concern for me.


Martin Achilli -
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - I.N.B.
c/o Medicina Nucleare, Osp. San Raffaele
20132 Milano, Italy
tel: +39/2/26433648 fax: ../26415202

------ Response #4 ---------------------

From: Paul Caskey <>

Name each partition after the name of the machine it's on. Or name them
after the seven dwarves plus Snow White.

Paul Caskey                    | "There's nothing remarkable about it.  All
System & Network Administrator |  one has to do is hit the right keys at the        |  right time and the instrument plays itself."  |                        -- J. S. Bach

------ Response #5 ---------------------

From: "Christopher L. Barnard" <cbarnard@CS.UChicago.EDU>

If you use the automounter, you won't have to bother with that. I've got my NFS exported filesystems scattered across five different servers, and only techstaff knows where they actually reside thanks to the automounter. Everything appears to be /stage/whatever. Its great.

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Christopher L. Barnard O When I was a boy I was told that | | / \ anybody could become president. | | (312) 702-8850 O---O Now I'm beginning to believe it. | | --Clarence Darrow | | Cyber Rights Now: Accept No Compromise. | +----------PGP public key available via finger or PGP keyserver---------+

------ Response #6 ---------------------

From: (Stephen Potter)

My personal preference is to name them in some sort of sequence, neglecting the hostname entirely. Generally, you can also through a purpose name in there to keep your sequence numbers down if you have a lot of disks. Something like:

/export/homes0 /export/homes1 /export/homes2 /export/admin1 /export/admin2 etc etc

I then use automount and NIS maps to control their mounting and use. That way, if something happens to a machine and I have to move the disk, all I have to do is move it, go into the NIS map, change its localation and off it goes. Total downtime: ten to fifteen minutes, including the amount of time needed for automount to automatically unmount the drive. Of course, if you want to be really special, you can also create NIS maps for the users home directories, for whatever other purposes you might have and then have an automount tree like:

/homes/{user} /admin/{dirname} (like make /admin/security/{crack, cops, satan, etc}, /admin/src) And, of course, the ever present (and ever necessary) /depot/*


-- Stephen P Potter Varimetrix Corporation 2350 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 4 Palm Bay, FL 32905 (407) 676-3222 CAD/CAM/CAE/Software

------ Response #7 ---------------------

From: (Paulo Licio de Geus)

We use the following:

disks mounted locally as /l/xxx, where xxx can be (XX = number):

repXX = general repository: applications, docs homeXX = homedirs projXX = project's homedirs, where you have all sorts of things, including homedirs

This is nice, since our homebrew backup system can easily be configured to backup daily all partitions named homeXX or projXX, and backup weekly all partitions called repXX and all other system partitions, for which we don't change names.

We export those partitions as a whole, and inside those partition names we put proper directory names, i.e. /l/rep03/dtp is a dir housing all DTP applications; /l/home05 might have grad94 and grad95, i.e. undergraduate students following those years and so on.

Take a look at our automount maps:


#Mount-point Map Mount-options # /network -rw,intr /n -rw,intr # /home auto.home -rw,intr,nosuid /h auto.home -rw,intr,nosuid # /- /etc/ -rw,intr /net -hosts -nosuid # /proj auto.proj -rw,intr /p auto.proj -rw,intr



#key mount-options location adm atibaia:/l/rep03/& ahand atibaia:/l/proj02/& ex pipe:/l/rep21/& grad jaguari:/l/home05/& grad89 jaguari:/l/home05/& grad90 jaguari:/l/home05/& grad91 jaguari:/l/home05/& grad92 jaguari:/l/home05/& grad93 jaguari:/l/home05/& grad94 jaguari:/l/home05/& grad95 jaguari:/l/home05/& ic jaguari:/l/home05/& lac pascal:/l/home80/& lac1 pascal:/l/home81/& lac2 pascal:/l/home82/& msc marumbi:/l/proj01/& phd jaguari:/l/home05/& phd2 marumbi:/l/proj01/& pos-spec jaguari:/l/home05/& ra exec:/l/home03/& spec jaguari:/l/home05/& staff atibaia:/l/rep03/& sys parana:/l/rep15/&



#key mount-options location ahand atibaia:/l/proj02/& bio atibaia:/l/proj02/& cadmc ecl:/l/rep01/& cadmc2 cmos:/l/rep02/& cats hans:/l/proj03/& cursoadm hans:/l/proj03/& db marumbi:/l/proj00/& db2 marumbi:/l/rep07/& dicio stack:/l/rep06/& dicio2 atibaia:/l/proj02/& geometry atibaia:/l/proj02/& isode wait:/l/rep04/& khoros modula-3 atibaia:/l/proj02/& sonic marumbi:/l/proj00/& uadm nova:/l/rep00/& vide nova:/l/rep00/& vide2 tiete:/l/rep12/&


#key mount-options location X parana:/l/rep15/& X11R5 parana:/l/rep15/& ahand parana:/l/rep15/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL ahand-all parana:/l/rep15/& answerbook-sunos-4.1.3 tomasz:/l/rep11/& alliance ecl:/l/rep01/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL alliance-all ecl:/l/rep01/& bits tiete:/l/rep12/& calc fork:/l/rep05/& case hans:/l/proj03/& cesar -ro \ /pub ccsun:/pub/pub \ /pub1/gopher-data ccsun:/pub/pub1/gopher-data \ /pub2 delos.cna:/pub \ /pub4 ccsun:/pub/pub4 comm parana:/l/rep15/& docs fork:/l/rep05/& draw cmos:/l/rep02/& dtp ttl:/l/rep14/& ftp.unicamp -ro \ /pub ccsun:/pub/pub \ /pub1/gopher-data ccsun:/pub/pub1/gopher-data \ /pub2 delos.cna:/pub \ /pub4 ccsun:/pub/pub4 ftp tiete:/l/rep12/ftp.root ftp2 tiete:/l/rep12/& ftp3 cmos:/l/rep02/& gnu parana:/l/rep15/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL gnu-all parana:/l/rep15/& hard cmos:/l/rep02/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL hard-all cmos:/l/rep02/& image tiete:/l/rep12/& info jaguari:/l/rep13/& informix tiete:/l/rep12/& install euler:/l/rep81/& install-sunos euler:/l/rep82/& lac pascal:/l/rep83/& lang parana:/l/rep10/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL lang-all parana:/l/rep10/& local parana:/l/rep10/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL local-all parana:/l/rep10/& mac nova:/l/rep00/& mail parana:/l/rep15/& net parana:/l/rep15/&/$ARCH-$OSNAME-$OSREL net-all parana:/l/rep15/& news tiete:/l/rep12/& patches euler:/l/rep80/& printers stack:/l/rep06/& prog parana:/l/rep15/& sound pipe:/l/rep21/& sparcprinter stack:/l/rep06/printers/& sybase.stp parana:/l/rep15/& sybase parana:/l/rep15/&.full text iguacu,iguacu2:/l/s10/& uims iguacu,iguacu2:/l/s10/& s10 iguacu,iguacu2:/l/& s11 parana:/l/rep10/& s13 fork:/l/rep05/& system jaguari:/l/rep13/& temp0 tiete:/l/rep12/tmp temp1 atibaia:/l/proj02/tmp temp2 jaguari:/l/rep13/tmp temp3 euler:/l/rep81/tmp temp4 euler:/l/rep82/tmp temp5 marumbi:/l/proj01/tmp temp6 marumbi:/l/proj00/tmp temp7 marumbi:/l/rep07/tmp temp8 euler:/l/rep80/tmp temp9 tiete:/l/spl00/root.tmp

ARCH, OSNAME and OSREL are standard on Solaris, so we define the missing variables OSNAME and OSREL for SunOS machines before calling automount. This way we hide different binaries for SunOS4, SunOS5, Irix and else from the user (the user will need things like /n/gnu/bin in their PATH's, and by typing emacs he will get the correct binary whatever platform he's sitting on).

In /l/rep15/gnu we have several dirs:

mips-IRIX-5.2/ sun4-SunOS-4.1.3/ sun4-SunOS-4.1.3_U1/ sun4-SunOS-5.3/ sun4-SunOS-5.4/

Inside them we put the whole gnu tree. To save disk space we run a script after installation, "dirmerge", substituting hard links for files that are identical on the trees.


-- postmaster/manager Paulo Licio de Geus INTERNET: Depto de Ciencia da Computacao voice: +55 192 39-3115/8695/8442 DCC - IMECC - UNICAMP fax: +55 192 39-7470/5808 caixa postal: 6065 13081-970 Campinas SP Brazil

------ Response #8 ---------------------

Mona, FYI we use /dev/sd0a 94439 24456 60540 29% / /dev/sd0g 490406 311215 130151 71% /usr /dev/sd5c 1739045 1472212 92929 94% /Home/lewey-d /dev/sd6c 1739045 1197641 367500 77% /Home/lewey-e /dev/sd7c 1739045 1471081 94060 94% /Home/lewey-f /dev/sd8c 1739045 1025877 539264 66% /Home/lewey-c /dev/sd9c 1739045 1319815 245326 84% /Home/lewey-b /dev/sd10c 1739045 775792 789349 50% /Tool/lewey-a /dev/sd11c 1739045 1308730 256411 84% /Tool/lewey-b /dev/sd12c 1739045 1556632 8509 99% /Home/lewey-a

This is on a server named "lewey" so we can tell what machine the file system is on at a glance. The file's are automounted as lower case so that the names are unique, ie:/Home/lewey-d is /home/lewey-d on every machine except lewey. Hope this helps. Roi

-- \ Roi Gift Sys Admin \ Ext : 1696 \ Siemens Medical Systems, Inc. \ Pager : (206) 955-2357 \ Ultrasound group \ FAX : (206) 557-1779 \ 22010 S.E. 51st Street \ phone : (206) 557-1696 \ Issaquah, WA 98027-7002 \ email :

------ Response #9 ---------------------

Where i work we use a "hole"(ish) metaphor for our disk names - so far we have :

chasm canyon gorge abyss pit dungeon (plus some others like 'answerbook' that don't fit in this scheme)

Tom Ellard of Severed Heads called their new CD 'Gigapus' which he says is the name of a 1gb hard disk he bought for one of his computers...

Or how about : - plant names - colors - famous people - favourite bands - favourite foods (et al.)

Hope This Helps(tm), Andrew. -- - Andrew J. Cosgriff - - SysAdmin, UNICO Computer Systems. Mail Server - "send file help" as subject PGP and/or MIME ok "Excuse me while I pop upstairs to the basement" (M.C. Escher)

------ Response #10 --------------------

From: Dave Fetrow <>

Clever is generally bad. e.g. naming them after the machine works until they are moved. Likewise naming them after rooms, the groups that use them, etc.

We just do:

/home/user0 /home/user1



-Dave Fetrow

------ Response #11 --------------------

From: (Jay Lessert)

We just do /disks/hostname#.

To go a little shorter, you might do /net/hostname or even /n/hostname.

We use automount, so our NIS maps look something like:

auto.master: /disks auto.disks -rw,intr,secure

auto.disks: betor0 -rw,intr betor:/betor0 dax0 -rw,intr dax:/dax0 dsn0 -rw,intr,grpid dsn:/dsn0 dsn1 -rw,intr,grpid dsn:/dsn1 dsn2 -rw,intr,grpid dsn:/dsn2 dsn3 -rw,intr,grpid dsn:/dsn3 dsn4 -rw,intr,grpid dsn:/dsn4 duras0 -rw,intr duras:/duras0 duras1 -rw,intr duras:/duras1 [etc., etc.]

Simple, easy to remember and obvious.

Jay Lessert Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (voice)1.503.681.0118 Hillsboro, OR, USA (fax)1.503.693.0540

------ Response #12 --------------------

From: (Birger A. Wathne)

First of all: The drives should be mounted locally at some other location than the intended final mount point. Something like /export/automount/....

Then use automount with NIS maps to mount them at their final destination. This way, you won't have to do local overrides on the automount maps.

I would plan on having a few top-level directories:

/home - Here, you use the automounter to mount each users home dir as /home/username. It doesn't matter if he's on pluto:/export/automount/home1/username one day and asterix:/export/automount/home3/username the next. The Solaris 2.x admintool will help you maintain this automount map automatically when editing user data. /apps (or /netopt or whatever) - Here, you install applications. As this one could get big, you could consider doing something like the /home, but you'll have to maintain it yourself 8add a new entry to the nis map for each application). Enables you to move apps around, mount an installation for the correct architecture (using env variables in the automount maps), etc. Also avoids soft links that clutter your disks if you have to move apps because you run out of space. /project - Here, you maintain whatever your company/institute/etc does. Individual projects get a directory here. Set up group ownership and gid sticky bit so users in the assigned group can share project files. Far better than having projects cluttering home dirs. Having projects on individuals home dirs makes it difficult to tune performance, as project directories in development environments will have very heavy I/O at times. Moving them to a separate hierarchy will make it easier to determine if the project work is the culprit for heavy I/O, or if the combined load of normal user activities is becoming too high. /quality - Most sites should have a separate tree for quality routines. E.g. ISO 9000 routines, documentation rules, etc.


------ Response #13 --------------------


A somehwat standard way to deal with this in the unix world is to use a naming structure that goes something like:

/net/hostname/<disk's path on local host>

which also conforms to the standard automount naming conventions.

Andy R.

To: mona@szechuan.UCSD.EDU Subject: Re: Disk drive naming scheme

------- Thanks to all those who responded! -------------------

Mona Wong UCSD

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