FAQ regarding Partition Management and File Systems

Linux Partition
Linux Partition
Linux Partition

What is partition? 

A partition is a contiguous set of blocks on a drive that are treated as independent disk. 

What is partitioning? 

Partitioning means to divide a single hard drive into many logical drives. 

Why we have multiple partitions? 

  1. Encapsulate our data. Since file system corruption is limited to that partition only. So we can save our data from accidents. 
  2. We can increase the disk space efficiency. Depending on our usage we can format the partition with different block sizes. So we can reduce the wastage of the disk. 
  3. We can limit the data growth by assigning the disk quotas. 

What is the structure of the disk partition? 

  • The first sector of the O/S disk contains the MBR (Master Boot Record). The MBR is divided into 3 parts and it’s size is 512 bytes. 
  • The first part is IPL (Initial Program Loader) and it contains the Secondary Boot Loader. So, IPL is responsible for booting the O/S and it’s size is 446 bytes. 
  • The second part is PTI (Partition Table Information). It contains the number of partitions on the disk, sizes of the partitions and type of the partitions. 

Explain the disk partition criteria? 

  1. Every disk can have max. 4 partitions. The 4 partitions are 3 Primary partitions and 1 Extended partition. 
  2. The MBR and O/S will install in Primary partition only. 
  3. The Extended partition is a special partition and can be further divided into multiple logical partitions. 

How to identify the disks? 

In Linux different types of disks will be identified by different naming conventions. 

  • IDE) drives will be shown as /dev/hda, /dev/hdb, /dev/hdc, …etc., and the partitions are 

/dev/hda1, /dev/hda2, /dev/hda3, …etc., 

  • iSCSI/SCSI and SATA drives will be shown as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, …etc., and the partitions are /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3, …etc., 
  • Virtual drives will be shown as /dev/vda, /dev/vdb, /dev/vdc, …etc., and the partitions are 

/dev/vda1, /dev/vda2, /dev/vda3, …etc., 

IDE —–> Integrated Drive Electronics.iSCSI —–> Internet Small Scale System Interface. SCSI —–> Small Scale System Interface. 

What is file system? 

It is a method of storing the data in an organized fashion on the disk. Every partition on the disk except MBR and 

Extended partition should be assigned with some file system in order to make them to store the data. File system is applied on the partition by formatting it with a particular type of file system. 

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