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What is Disk partition?

Disk Partition means dividing a single hard disk into multiple logical drive using partition editors such as fdisk, parted tools. Once a hard disk divided into several partition, directories and files of different categories may be store in different partition or location.

Many new system admin create only two partition one is on /root and second one is swap for entire hard disk. So all directories like /bin, /usr, /var are created under the /root partition. Later on there may a need to create a new partition for these directories or for other mount points ,  so admin should know how to create a new disk partion.

Partition Types:

Primary Partition: The number of partition was limited from the very beginning and we can have only four partition and now these partition are called as Primary partition.

Extended Partition: The extended partition is a way to overcome the limitation of the four primary partition on a drive. Here you can create more then four partition, You can create lots of partition.

Logical Partition: A logical partition is a partition that has been created inside of an extended partition


Linux users make a distinction of the Filesystem stating that a filesystem is the programmatic scheme used to organize and find files on a partition. Whilst the file system refers to all the files on your computer.

What this essentially means is that the Filesystem is the structure used to see, find and use your files using Ubuntu, whilst the File System is both all the separate files in that structure and those files format.

File System Operating System Description
FAT Legacy Legacy File System that was universally adopted. Came in 12 FAT12, 16 FAT16 and 32 FAT32.
NTFS Windows New Tech File System – replaced FAT on Windows systems. It is still needed to read Windows partitions.
Ext2 Linux Second Extended filesystem – used by many Linux distro’s.
Ext3 Linux Third Extended filesystem – default choice for Ubuntu distro’s. Journaling added.
Ext4 Linux Fourth Extended filesystem – used by many Linux distro’s. Extends storage limits.
JFS Linux Journaled File System – was introduced by IBM and is still supported but has been replaced by Ext4.
XFS Linux/Irix 64bit option mostly supported now as an option in Red Hat.
ReiserFS Linux/SUSE This was a file format that was in use across several distro’s, but has largely been replaced by Ext3.

Linux Directories Partition

Directory Name Content
/bin Contains the common programs, shared by the system, the system administrator and the users.
/boot This has the start up files and the kernel, vmlinuz. In some recent distributions it also has grub data. GRUB is the GRand Unified Boot Loader.
/dev Contains references to all the CPU peripheral hardware. They are represented as files with special properties.
/etc This has the most important system configuration files, this directory is similar to the control panel in Windows.
/home This is the home directory for the common users.
/initrd This contains information for booting in some distributions. Do Not Remove.
/lib This holds the library files, it includes files for all kinds of programs needed by the user.
/lost+found Every partition has a lost+found in its upper directory. Files that were saved during falures reside here.
/misc For miscellaneous uses.
/mnt Standard mount point for external files systems, such as media players, digital cameras and CD ROMs.
/net Standard mount point for entire remote file systems.
/opt Typically this will have third party software and any extra files required.
/proc This is a virtual files system containing information about system resources. You can get more information about the meaning of the files in proc by entering the command man proc in a terminal window. The file proc.txt discusses the virtual file system in detail.
/root This is the system administrator user’s home directory. Remember there is a difference between / the root directory and /root the home directory of the root user.
/sbin This contains programs for use by the system administrator.
/tmp This is temporary space for use by the system. It is regularly wiped so remember not to keep anything you want to retain here.
/usr This has programs, libraries and documentation for all the user related programs.
/var This is the storage for all the variable files and the temporary files created by users. Things like the log files, the mail queue, the print spooler area, space for the internet cache or to keep an image of a CD/DVD before burning it.

Disk Partition:

Normally there are three types of partition:

Normal(Physical) Partition: This is primary partition. There’s two ways to create a normal partition.

  1. MBR: This scheme support a max of four partition and eleven of extended partition. It means we can create max 15 partition. MBR allocated 32bit for logical partition and max disk partition size limit is 2TB.
  2. GPT: GPT is standard for laying out partition table on physical hard disk. GPT is default to support up to 128 partition. GTP allocated 64bit and max partition size is 8ZB.

Swap Partition: A swap partition is an area of a disk which can be used with linux kernel memory management subsystem. Swap space are used to supplement the system RAM by holding inactive pages and services of memory. “In simple term we can use a part of hard disk as a RAM”

LVM Partition: LVM is “dynamic partitions”, meaning that you can create/resize/delete LVM partitions(they’re called “Logical Volumes” in LVM-speak) from the command line while your Linux system is running: no need to reboot the system to make the kernel aware of the newly-created or resized partitions. Basically it is created for future use.

Create a normal partition:

First command to see the created partition is:

[email protected]:~#lsblk
##lsblk stands for list of blocks ##

Check the partition table using fdisk command.

Using fdisk command one can identify his device that whether it is your internal Hard disk or external hard disk.



[email protected]:~# fdisk -l
 Disk /dev/sda: 26.8 GB, 26843545600 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3263 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1           6       48163+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2               7         515     4088542+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3             516        3133    21029085   83  Linux
/dev/sda4            3134        3263     1044225    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            3134        3263     1044193+  82  Linux swap / Solaris

we have seen that already partition up to /dev/sda5 has been created.
So now we have to create a new partion that will start from /dev/sda6

Before Partition we need to know about our hard disk in use. We use here some commands to know the detail information of hard disk we are using and we are going to partitioning.

[email protected]:~#cat /proc/scsi/scsi
Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
  Vendor: ATA      Model: ST3160215AS      Rev: 4.AA     ------>> My hard Disk
  Type:   Direct-Access                    ANSI SCSI revision: 05
Host: scsi4 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
  Vendor: Kingston Model: DataTraveler G2  Rev: 1.00    ---->> My usb Device
  Type:   Direct-Access                    ANSI SCSI revision: 02

We do partition or you can say disks are partitioned to make a separate File System according our need.

[email protected]:~# fdisk /dev/sda

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 3263.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
   (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help):​

note: here we have taken sda because fdisk -l show us our hard disk is sda type not hda or hdb.

:n      this will create a new partition

:l      this will create a logical partition

:       just press enter to take default
cylinder value.
:+2000M this mean we want to create a partion of size 2gb approx ie 2000Mb.

:w      write the changes and save it and exit

If You don’t want to reboot your linux system for making update for the changes you have made in the partition table above just use partprobe command.

[email protected]:~# partprobe

make a file system in Linux

Mkfs or mke2fs command is used to create file system in linux.

So Create an ext3 file system.(Make File System so that it get recognized by OS)

#mke2fs -j /dev/sda6 or #mkfs -t ext3 /dev/sda6 or #mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda6

This will format the /dev/sda6 partition  and create journal file system ext3 which can be regognised by our Linux operation System

Mount point

Now make a new directory and mount /dev/sda6 newly created partion on it. mountpoint are  directories where file systems are mapped.

#mkdir /new
#mount /dev/sda6 /new

Now above command will mount /dev/sda6 on /new directory.
So now whatever you write in new directory will be saved in newly created partition /dev/sda6

To verify whether the filesystem has been mounted or not.

#df -h

This will show you clearly that your /dev/sda6 is mounted on /new directory

Creating a Swap Partition:

[email protected]:~# lsblk
[email protected]:~# fdisk /dev/vdb2
:n ## new partition ##
:e ## extended ##
:n ## new ##
:l ## for logical partition ##
:+1G ## size of partition in GB ##
:t ## type of partition ##
:5 ## partition number ##
:82 ## Hex code for Swap partition ##
:w ## for save ##
[email protected]:~# partprobe
[email protected]:~# mkswap /dev/vdb2 ## To create file system ##
[email protected]:~# swapon /dev/vdb2 ## for temporary mount ##

[email protected]:~# free -m ## to check the swap partition ##

For permanent mount :

[email protected]:~# blkid /dev/vdb2 ## copy the block id of swap and past it in /etc/fstab file ##
[email protected]:~# echo "UUID------- swap swap deafault 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

Deleting a Partition

First unmount the partition and remove the entry from /etc/fstab u have made above

#umount /dev/sda6

Then use fdisk command to delete the partition

#fdisk /dev/sda:d    here d is used to delete the partion:6     it means delete the partion /dev/sda6:w     save the abve changes and exit

update change without a reboot.


Now check the partition table whether it is updated or not.

#fdisk -l

You will find /dev/sda6 has been deleted.

How to see the filesystem type creation command exists for your system?

[email protected]:~#

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