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Windows-to-Linux roadmap: Part 6 Working With Partitions
By Chris Walden - 2004-07-08 Page:  1 2 3 4

Using Disks and Devices in Linux

IBM e-business architect Chris Walden is your guide through a nine-part developerWorks series on moving your operational skills from a Windows to a Linux environment. In this part, we explore Linux's hierarchical directory structure, and investigate mounting and devices.

Working with files and storage devices in Linux is different from Windows. There are files and a hierarchical directory structure, but beyond that you will need to develop a different way of thinking.

Listing 1. Directory structure


/
|-- bin
|-- boot
|-- dev
|-- etc
|-- mnt
|-- opt
|   |-- IBM
|   |   |-- WebSphereStudio
|   |   `-- db2
|   |-- IBMHttpServer
|-- root
|-- sbin
|-- tmp
|-- usr
|   |-- X11R6
|   |   |-- bin
|   |   |-- include
|   |   |-- lib
|   |   |-- man
|   |   `-- share
|   |-- bin
|   |-- dict
|   |-- doc
|   |-- etc
|   |-- include
|   |-- lib
|   |-- libexec
|   |-- local
|   |   |-- OpenOffice
|   |   |   |-- sbin

No drive letters!

There are no drive letters in Linux. This is actually quite useful. If you've worked on a Windows system in a complex networking environment on a robust machine with several devices, you may have found the alphabet lacking. In Linux, there is just one file structure. It starts with root (/) and all local file systems, all local devices, and all remote file systems are represented as subdirectories in this structure.

When Linux first boots, it builds this file structure based on information in the /etc/fstab file. Where Windows assigns drive letters to hard drive partitions and other storage devices, Linux assigns them directories in the root file structure. The structure of the hierarchy is completely configurable and can be changed on the fly.


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First published by IBM developerWorks


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