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Old 11-27-2011, 03:37 PM   #1
Mike Zahorik
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New to Linux Trying to understand Drive label structure


I am new to linux. I am using Knoppix 6.2 I am trying to understand the drive (device) structure. I think that my c:\ drive is /media/sda1 and my d:\ is /media/sda5. What does the letters sda stand for? The number 1 seems to mean the first drive, but does my second drive d:\ have the number 5 assigned to it. When looking around I find that these drives are listed in what looks like different directories, \media, \mount, and the like. What are these? Is there a good tutorial somewhere or can someone suggest a good book (paper, I'm an old guy) that can help me with these basic questions. I'd appreciated any help, Thanks Mike
 
Old 11-27-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
Jenni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Zahorik View Post
I am new to linux. I am using Knoppix 6.2 I am trying to understand the drive (device) structure. I think that my c:\ drive is /media/sda1 and my d:\ is /media/sda5. What does the letters sda stand for? The number 1 seems to mean the first drive, but does my second drive d:\ have the number 5 assigned to it. When looking around I find that these drives are listed in what looks like different directories, \media, \mount, and the like. What are these? Is there a good tutorial somewhere or can someone suggest a good book (paper, I'm an old guy) that can help me with these basic questions. I'd appreciated any help, Thanks Mike
the sd stands for SCSI driver or something like that, I don't quite remember off-hand; the "a" is just a label, so you can have sda and sdb if you have two SATA hard drives in the machine, for IDE hard drives you would have hda and so on.
the number indicates partitions on the disk, so sda1 is the first partition on the drive, sda5 is most likely the first logical partition under an extended partition.

/media and /mnt tend to be very similar in my experience, basically they're both places to mount a file system (eg. a CD, USB stick, hard disk, etc)note that in many cases the folder where a filesystem would be mounted exists, even if nothing is mounted there - so a /media/cdrom/ folder may exist and be empty without a CD actually mounted.

http://tldp.org/LDP/intro-linux/html/sect_03_01.html
That should be a good starting place, a good idea once you've got the basics is to search around for key words[eg. via google or duckduckgo] you come across, and keep looking around for new key words you've found etc. if you find a program name (like fdisk) then use
man <program name>
to learn more about it if it's installed in your distribution odds are good there's a man page for it.
 
Old 11-27-2011, 03:57 PM   #3
gentisle
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While you can get some answers here, there are a lot of things you can simply Google such as "what does sda stand for linux". You will frequently get the answer much more quickly by Googling. Also, check out
Code:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record
and the "see also" at the bottom of that page. Linux is not made to the average dumbasp to use it without thinking. You have to be willing to learn about it and experiment with it. Which means you have to have a spare hard drive that you don't mind scrambling. Also check out:

Code:
http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
http://www.gerv.net/hacking/how-to-ask-good-questions/
 
Old 11-27-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
impert
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Hi Mike, and welcome to the forum!

There's a book on knoppix "Knowing Knoppix" advertised on the Knoppix page of distrowatchbut I have no idea how good it is. There are also links to other sources of information.
In Linux sda (strictly /dev/sda) is the first hard disc, sdb the next, and so on. HD's are often split into partitions. There are at most four "primary" partitions on each HD, numbered sda1, sda2, sda3, sda4, sdb1, etc
One only of these (any one) may be an "extended" partition, and contain "logical partitions". These are numbered sda5, sda6, sda7 etc, even if not all of the primary partitions exist.

Your guess that sda1 is C: and sda5 is D: is probably correct. You may be able to check by double clicking on an icon called /media/sda1, or by opening a terminal and typing ls /media/sda1. If it is mounted, you will see a list of files and folders which you will recognise. If it is not mounted, and you want to get to your Windows stuff, you will have to mount it/them.
 
Old 11-27-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
Mike Zahorik
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Understand Drive Label structure

Thank you for all the suggestions. I will look into the book and the internet ideas. I have just learned how to us partimage and I copied my C:\ drive (sda1). Then restored it to another drive and found that I got an exact copy. Pretty slick! I'm sure I'll have more questions as I learn. Seems the more I know, the less I really know. Mike
 
Old 11-27-2011, 05:32 PM   #6
gentisle
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Another book is the Knoppix Hacks which will teach a lot about Knoppix in specific and Linux in general.
 
  


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