Linux Partition HOWTO

Tony Harris

Kristian Koehntopp

Revision History
Revision 3.310 July 2001
Corrected Section 6, calculation of cylinder numbers
Revision 3.21 September 2000
Dan Scott provides sgml conversion 2 Oct. 2000. Rewrote Introduction. Rewrote discussion on device names in Logical Devices. Reorganized Partition Types. Edited Partition Requirements. Added Recovering a deleted partition table.
Revision 3.112 June 2000
Corrected swap size limitation in Partition Requirements, updated various links in Introduction, added submitted example in How to Partition with fdisk, added file system discussion in Partition Requirements.
Revision 3.01 May 2000
First revision by Tony Harris based on Linux Partition HOWTO by Kristian Koehntopp.
Revision 2.43 November 1997
Last revision by Kristian Koehntopp.

This Linux Mini-HOWTO teaches you how to plan and create partitions on IDE and SCSI hard drives. It discusses partitioning terminology and considers size and location issues. Use of the fdisk partitioning utility for creating and recovering of partition tables is covered. The most recent version of this document is here.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
1.1. What is a partition?
1.2. Constraints
1.3. Other Partitioning Software:
1.4. Related HOWTOs
1.5. Additional information on your system:
2. Devices
2.1. Device names
2.1.1. Naming Convention
2.1.2. Name Assignment
2.2. Device numbers
3. Partition Types
3.1. Partition Types
3.2. Foreign Partition Types
3.3. Primary Partitions
3.4. Logical Partitions
3.5. Swap Partitions
4. Partitioning requirements
4.1. What Partitions do I need?
4.2. Discussion:
4.3. File Systems
4.3.1. Which file systems need their own partitions?
4.3.2. File lifetimes and backup cycles as partitioning criteria
4.4. Swap Partitions
4.4.1. How large should my swap space be?
4.4.2. Where should I put my swap space?
5. Partitioning with fdisk
5.1. Partitioning with fdisk
5.1.1. Notes about fdisk:
5.1.2. Four primary partitions
5.1.3. Mixed primary and logical partitions
5.1.4. Submitted Examples
6. Recovering a Deleted Partition Table
7. Formating Partitions
7.1. Activating Swap Space
7.2. Mounting Partitions
7.3. Some facts about file systems and fragmentation