Chapter 6. Using Disks and Other Storage Media

Table of Contents
6.1. Two kinds of devices
6.2. Hard disks
6.3. Floppies
6.4. CD-ROMs
6.5. Tapes
6.6. Formatting
6.7. Partitions
6.7.1. The MBR, boot sectors and partition table
6.7.2. Extended and logical partitions
6.7.3. Partition types
6.7.4. Partitioning a hard disk
6.7.5. Device files and partitions
6.8. Filesystems
6.8.1. What are filesystems?
6.8.2. Filesystems galore
6.8.3. Which filesystem should be used?
6.8.4. Creating a filesystem
6.8.5. Mounting and unmounting
6.8.6. Checking filesystem integrity with fsck
6.8.7. Checking for disk errors with badblocks
6.8.8. Fighting fragmentation
6.8.9. Other tools for all filesystems
6.8.10. Other tools for the ext2 filesystem
6.9. Disks without filesystems
6.10. Allocating disk space
6.10.1. Partitioning schemes
6.10.2. Space requirements
6.10.3. Examples of hard disk allocation
6.10.4. Adding more disk space for Linux
6.10.5. Tips for saving disk space

"On a clear disk you can seek forever. "

When you install or upgrade your system, you need to do a fair amount of work on your disks. You have to make filesystems on your disks so that files can be stored on them and reserve space for the different parts of your system.

This chapter explains all these initial activities. Usually, once you get your system set up, you won't have to go through the work again, except for using floppies. You'll need to come back to this chapter if you add a new disk or want to fine-tune your disk usage.

The basic tasks in administering disks are:

Chapter 7 contains information about virtual memory and disk caching, of which you also need to be aware when using disks.