Hard disk partition


Saptarshi Nag

If I run the command gparted in ubuntu.It shows the partitions of the hard disk.Now there are several partition names used and there are some other terms ,e.g.,dev/sda1,dev/sda2 etc. and some terms like ntfs,ext4 etc.Please explain the terms,what do they mean?



sda is the first device, sdb the second, sdc the third, etc.
If there are two hard-drives, one will be sda and the other will be sdb. With one hard-drive and a USB device inserted into a port, the hard-drive will be sda and the USB device will be sdb. If two USB devices are plugged into a computer with one hard-drive, the hard-drive is sda, one USB is sdb and the second USB is sdc. And so on.

The number identifies the partition. sda1 is the first partition on device sda, sdb2 is the second partition on device sdb, etc.

Are you confused yet? I am.:)

ext3, ntfs, etc. are different formats. The Slackware installation guide has a brief but good explanation of the different formats.

Saptarshi Nag

Here where is the partition dev/sda4?And explain the filesystem terminologies. :)
Screenshot from 2014-02-10 22:32:03.png


/dev/sda4 is reserved for a Primary partition (four allowed), of which there are three; the Extended partition (only one allowed), sda3, contains your three Logical partitions. File Systems sometimes end with "fs" attached, as ntfs -- the "new technology fs" developed by MS so long ago, and which is a dirty fs, sometimes necessitating a wipe with zeros before linux (esp Slackware distros) can be installed on the partition on which ntfs resided.

Hint: use Labels to help you keep track of what is on a partition.

Do a search on "Linux file systems" to learn the rest.


It looks like you have an error with /dev/sda2.

If you use a GPT formatted hard drive instead of MBR, you can avoid the concept of primary/logical partitions. GPT and MBR are like formats for the whole hard drive overall. There is more to the definition of GPT and MBR, but that is a quick and easy explanation.

Each type of filesystem has a different way of storing files and metadata, and each have their advantages and disadvantages.