Disk drives and partitions

  • IDE disks are known as /dev/hda, /dev/hdb, /dev/hdc, /dev/hdd, and so on.

  • Any disks using the SCSI emulation layer are known as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, and so on. These include SCSI disks, SATA disks, and, in newer kernels, IDE disks.

  • Three types of partitions:

    Primary

    Filesystem container. At least one must exist, and up to four can exist on a single physical disk. They are identified with numbers 1 to 4, such as /dev/hda1, /dev/hda2, and so on.

    Extended

    A variant of a primary partition, but it cannot contain a filesystem. Instead, it contains one or more logical partitions. Only one extended partition may exist, and it takes one of the four possible spots for primary partitions.

    Logical

    Created within the extended partition. From 1 to 12 logical partitions may be created. They are numbered from 5 to 16, such as /dev/hda5, /dev/hda6, and so on.

  • Up to 15 partitions with filesystems may exist on a single physical disk.

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