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O'Reilly Network: Dividing Your Data

Mar 04, 2001, 13:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dru Lavigne)

"In the next few articles, I'll look at how FreeBSD stores data on your hard disk. To store data on a hard drive, the drive must first be divided into logical storage units, and each unit must be assigned an address. The file system will save data to these storage units and keep track of which storage units contain which files.

"Like any other version of Unix, FreeBSD uses "inode" (index number) tables to record where files are physically located on disk. Before any inode tables can be created, the disk storage units must be created and given addresses. Let's summarize the steps involved in this process:

  • The fdisk utility is used to view and create the BIOS partition table which defines up to four disk "slices."
  • The disklabel utility is used to view and create the Unix partition table which defines up to eight Unix "partitions."
  • The newfs utility is used to actually create a "filesystem" on each Unix partition.
  • Every filesystem will then maintain its own inode table."

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