The Linux/UNIX file system looks like one large tree structure. The top of the tree is called "root". All computer geeks know the tree structures have thier root at the top right? Each directory in the structure can be a separate file system. File systems can be seamlessly mounted into the tree structure.
Making use of multiple file systems improves both security and performance. Heavily used directories can be on seperate disks to reduce thrashing. A good rule of thumb is one busy directory per physical disk. Also mount options can greatly improve system security. System programs can be read-only file systems to prevent tampering.
Things to consider when deciding on how to partion the disk.
- How much free disk space?
- How many physical disks?
- One big Linux file system or several smaller ones?
- A typical Linux install requires between about 300 MB to 3,000 MB of disk space
- How much swap space is required for memory?
Disk storage is divided into units called cylinders. This is an arbitrary unit defined by the drive electronics and the BIOS. BIOS can provide 2 different views of a disk.
1.) Large number of cylinders
2.) Fewer than 1,024 cylinders
Never change this setting once the disk has data installed **
Bootable components of Linux must be in a partition that fits completely within the first 1,024 cylinders. A small first partion mounted as /boot solves this problem.
Here is a list of components of the Linux file system comonly separated.
- / - The root system can be small
- /boot - Contains the kernel and boot manager files and is very small
- /usr - contains most application software and may be read only
- /opt - can be used to hold optional application packages
- /var - contains spool areas, which can get very big
- /tmp - contains temporary storage, which can get very big
- /home - contains user home directories