"Partitioning is a means to divide a single hard drive into many
logical drives. A partition is a contiguous set of blocks on a
drive that are treated as an independant disk. A partition table
(the creation of which is the topic of this HOWTO) is an index that
relates sections of the hard drive to partitions."
"Why have multiple partitions?
Encapsulate your data. Since file system corruption is local to
a partition, you stand to lose only some of your data if an
Increase disk space efficiency. You can format partitions with
varying block sizes, depending on your usage. If your data is in a
large number of small files (less than 1k) and your partition uses
4k sized blocks, you are wasting 3k for every file. In general, you
waste on average one half of a block for every file, so matching
block size to the average size of your files is important if you
have many files.
Limit data growth. Runaway processes or maniacal users can
consume so much disk space that the operating system no longer has
room on the hard drive for its bookkeeping operations. This will
lead to disaster. By segregating space, you ensure that things
other than the operating system die when allocated disk space is