Managing Disks and Filesystems
Your operating system, applications, and data all need to be kept on some kind of permanent storage so that when you turn off your computer, it is all still there when the computer is turned on again. Traditionally, that storage has been provided by a hard disk in your computer. To organize the information on that disk, the disk is usually divided into partitions, with most partitions given a structure referred to as a filesystem.
This chapter describes how to work with hard disks. Hard disk tasks include partitioning, adding filesystems, and managing those filesystems in various ways.
After covering basic partitions, I describe how logical volume management (LVM) can be used to make it easier to grow, shrink, and otherwise manage filesystems more efficiently.
Understanding Disk Storage
The basics of how data storage works are the same in most modern operating systems. When you install the operating system, the disk is divided into one or more partitions. Each partition is formatted with a filesystem. In the case of Linux, some of the partitions may be specially formatted for elements such as swap area or LVM physical volumes.
While disks are used for permanent storage, random access memory (RAM) and swap are used for temporary storage. For example, when you run a command, that command is copied from ...