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Understanding Linux partitions

linux partitions
On a typical Linux server, the hard drive will be divided into partitions. It is very important to know what the main partitions are and what they do.

/ – Known as the root partition, this is where all of the system files belong. You will find /usr, /lib, /etc, and many other critical system directories all under the root partition.

/swap – The swap partition is a virtual memory storage directory that Linux will use when your memory has been filled. On systems with large amounts of RAM, the swap may be used very sparingly.

That is it. Although it might seem complicated, those are the only two partitions you need to get Linux up and running. There are, however, other partitions that you can create for specific directories. Partitioning them may add security and stability to your server.

/usr – This holds executable binaries, kernel source, and documentation
/var – Mail spool directories, logs, and sometimes virtual web server directories are held here.
/tmp – This holds temporary files (having its own partition can keep attackers from using it to gain access to the server)
/boot – This holds the kernel image and boot loader
/home – Keep user home directories separate from the root file system.

Tomorrow, we will cover more information about setting up each partition.

Photo Source: Flickr

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