using a separate boot partition

P4 2.4gHZ 2.0GB Ram

I have tried to do some reading on this by googling and such, but it is all a bit overwhelming and so many posts/articles want to deal with dual booting which I am not planning to do on this machine.

I am trying to find some info on whether it is better to have a separate boot partition. As in, separate from root partition. I have read that a separate boot partition makes for a quicker start and better recovery if system crashes.
I will shortly be installing openSuse 11.2(KDE) [currently on 11.0] and I want to optimise the partition scheme so that it is the most efficient.
I have a 160GB HDD that will be housing this new installation, so space is not a problem. I am only user on this machine.
Currently, it is just partitioned as such:
2.0GB - swap [because I read it should equal Ram]
32.0GB - /
40.0GB - /home
76.8GB - extra storage [Not really necessary as I have 2 other HDD on system 1 - 320GB and 1 - 200GB]

Also, is it recommended to have separate partitions for /tmp /var or any other /nnn ?

I know a lot of this is user preference, but a suggestion of partition scheme would be nice
If anyone knows of any articles/posts that would explain this in simple terms.
Thank You

Personal opinions here will differ because everyone’s needs are different.
For me a /boot partition is a waste of time and an unnecessary complication.
Frankly, with the rate of change in openSUSE I can’t see any value as far as I’m concerned in having partitions other than the default:
and swap of course.

*Anything beyond this might have value in mission critical and or server situations or if running SLED
I always boot from code to the MBR pointing to /root partition - this applies regardless if windows is present or not.

This is my opinion for what it’s worth.

Agree with caf4926.

There are no benefits in a separate /boot for you.

thank you for answering - caf4926, ken_yap, syampillai

Keep it simple, it is.
swap, /, /home.
Can anyone tell me how I determine the optimum size for /?

If you use a separate /usr partition, you can keep / relatively small ( about 1 GB ). Otherwise it would be somewhere between 10 and 20 GB to be safe, I guess.

A separate /boot was needed on older BIOS, where partitions beyond Cylinder 1024 were not bootable. There isn’t such restriction anymore. Another advantage is that a smaller partition is easier to repare in case the filesystem get damaged. But the journaling filesystem in Linux nowadays does a very good. I agree with what the others said in this thread : you don’t need a separate /boot (unless you want to use another Grub which cannot boot ext4).

You don’t need a separate /var either, unless you’re planing to configure an open mailserver.

As caf4926 said, you will get different personal opinions. I personally would add a separate 4 GB /tmp partition to your partition scheme and symlink /var/tmp to that partition.