Sunday, January 27, 2013

Unveiling the Significance of Disk Partitioning in Linux

Disk Partitioning is a general practice followed by Linux users to split their hard disk space into two or more logical sections. This is typically done to isolate user data from program files and operating system files. Disk partitioning in Linux is performed with the help of partition editors, such as fdisk. A majority of Linux sys admins are inclined to keep two partitions on the hard drive, i.e. root partition and swap partition. However, this approach is not reliable. The idea of having multiple partitions on your hard drive always proves to be worthwhile. The following things may benefit you if you are using Linux on a server:

Enhanced Reliability
If your operating system installation goes corrupt or the underlying file system turns bad, you can easily have your system up and running in no time. You data will remain unaffected even if the operating system files are damaged.

You can have a dedicated swap partition to enhance performance. Working with smaller file systems can help reduce errors and the risk of corruption.

Stability and Efficiency
Having several partitions with different file systems can help to improve disk space efficiency. You can format your hard disk with different block sizes according to the size of files to be stored on the drive.

Suppose you are using 120 GB SCSI hard disk containing only two partitions: '/' and swap. If you perform an operation that consumes all of your disk space, it can result in total disaster. The file system can face a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack). It will temporarily become unavailable to the user. For instance, you may run the following script using cron in your /tmp directory:

man bash > $(mktemp)
It can consume all disk space available in /var/log/. You may run the risks of following if you do not consider having a partition schema:
  • Unable to do performance tuning
  • Unable to mount /usr as read only for security reasons
  • Denial of Service Attack

Not having a partition schema increases the risks of file system corruption, which indeed causes data loss on your Linux system. If you run into a similar problem, take help of professional Linux data recovery software. These software have dedicated mechanisms for fixing file system corruption and safely recovering all your irreplaceable data stored on the Linux hard disk. In addition, they support all the mainstream Linux distributions, such as Debian, Unix, Red Hat, and more.