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Linux® For Dummies®, 8th Edition by Richard Blum, Dee-Ann LeBlanc

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Partitions versus Directories

One very important (and geeky) thing to understand about the Linux filesystem is that it may not all be on one single hard drive or hard drive partition, and yet you don’t have to keep track of what drive or partition it’s on like you do in other operating systems. In the Microsoft Windows world, if you use separate hard drives or partitions, you have a specific letter designation for each one. The primary hard drive is C, the next is D, and so on. Under Linux, each of these drives and partitions quietly blends together.

If you partitioned your hard drives on your own during or before the installation process, you know that you needed to specify a mount point for each partition — which is like an empty spot in a puzzle, where the outside partition or media can be plugged into the rest of the filesystem. In the case of a hard drive partition that’s part of your primary main filesystem structure and added at boot time, there’s no need for anyone to notice which directory is on which partition.

However, in other cases, it will be more obvious that what you’re working with is just a docking ship in the night, not part of the main island, as it were. At these points, if you’re working on the command line, you will have to know where to find, say, the CD-ROM that you inserted into the CD-ROM drive (if you’re using the graphical desktop, you just point and click your way there as discussed in Chapter 8). Hint: Look in /media in your filesystem.

The times ...

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