drive assignments

Steve Holmes steve at
Wed Nov 21 07:15:55 EST 2001

For drive assignments, I need to explain the following and I hope it
doesn't geet too deep too fast. I honestly can't remember where I first
learned this so that's why I figured to post this kind of stuff to the
list and to our new our new friend here.
First off, Linux doesn't use drive letters, that's a DOS/windows thing.
All drives in Linux begin with a path name like /hda1, /hdb2, /hdc1 or
/sda1, /sdb1, etc. The /hd? names go with IDE drives and /sd? names go
with SCSI type drives. I should say that all these drive names actually
begin with /dev/whatever but for brevity, I'll leave out the /dev part
here; just lazy, I guess. /hda is the first drive on the first IDE
controler. /hdb is the second or slave drive on the first IDE controler.
/hdc is primary drive on the second IDE controler, /hdd would be the slave
drive on the second controler. See the pattern? The same pattern would
hold for SCSI drives however, I'm not sure if you would be limitted to two
drives per SCSI controler. I don't have any SCSI hard drives here so not
very familiar with SCSI protocols.

The number corresponds to partitions on the current drive, hence /hda1
points to the first logical partition and /hda2 is the second and so
forth. Most linux systems would have a minimum of two partitions - one for
swap and one for the main file system. Since your 80gig hard drive is so
big, you might want to create several partitions but I'll leave that
discussion for another thread.

I hope this makes some sense to you.

On Tue, 20 Nov 2001, Glenn Ervin wrote:

> also,
> how can I figure out what to assign to my drives?
> I have an 80gb harddrive.
> I have a r/w CD ROM, DVD, zip disk, and a removable harddrive bay.  I think
> the removable drive is on an IDE controller card.
> Thanks.
> Sincerely,
> O. Glenn Ervin-- (Lenny) N0YJV
> Northeast Nebraska
> gervin at
> or My Work e-mail:
> gervin at
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