Add an Additional Disk Drive to Your Linux Server or VM and and partitioning it

Prerequisite: This tutorial covers adding a new disk drive to your linux computer. First it is assumed that the hard drive was physically added to your system.

IDE based systems, can support two drives on each ribbon cable. The cable is attached to either the Primary or Secondary IDE controller. A “jumper” is pressed onto two pins (thus connecting the two pins) on the drive to define the drive as a “Master” or a “Slave” drive. Each cable can support one master and one slave drive. Typically new desktop systems have one hard drive connected as a Master on the Primary controller and one CD-Rom on the second cable configured as a master.


Linux Hard Drive Naming Convention:

IDE drives are referred to as hda for the first drive, hdb for the second etc…IDE uses separate ribbon cables for primary and secondary drives. The partitions on each drive are referred numerically. The first partition on the first drive is referred to as hda1, the second as hda2, the third as hda3 etc …

Linux IDE naming conventions:

Device Description Configuration
/dev/hda 1st (Primary) IDE controller Master
/dev/hdb 1st (Primary) IDE controller Slave
/dev/hdc 2nd (Secondary) IDE controller Master
/dev/hdd 2nd (Secondary) IDE controller Slave

 

 


Command and Response Dialog of Adding a New IDE Drive:

As root perform the following: (as highlighted in bold)

[root]# fdisk /dev/hdb
Command (m for help): m     (Enter the letter "m" to get list of commands)
Command action
   a   toggle a bootable flag
   b   edit bsd disklabel
   c   toggle the dos compatibility flag
   d   delete a partition
   l   list known partition types
   m   print this menu
   n   add a new partition
   o   create a new empty DOS partition table
   p   print the partition table
   q   quit without saving changes
   s   create a new empty Sun disklabel
   t   change a partition's system id
   u   change display/entry units
   v   verify the partition table
   w   write table to disk and exit
   x   extra functionality (experts only)

Command (m for help): n
Command action
   e   extended
   p   primary partition (1-4)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hdb: 240 heads, 63 sectors, 2654 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hdb1             1      2654  20064208+   5  Extended

Command (m for help): w    (Write and save partition table)

[root]# mkfs.ext3  /dev/hdb1
mke2fs 1.27 (8-Mar-2002)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
2508352 inodes, 5016052 blocks
250802 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
154 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
16288 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
        32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
        4096000

Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (8192 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 34 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first.  Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.
[root]# mkdir /opt2
[root]# mount -t ext3  /dev/hdb1 /opt2

Note: A computer system may have multiple drives with primary partitions but only one primary partition may be active on one drive only. The active primary partition is used for booting the system and is referenced by the Master Boot Record (MBR). Each hard drive may only have a maximum of four primary partitions. One may only boot an OS from a primary partition. Extended partitions allow one to place up to 24 partitions on a single drive.

The above example shows the addition of a drive as one whole extended partition used to extend the storage space of the system. It was not created to hold additional operating systems as this would require a primary partition. Primary partitions can be used to extend the storage space of the system as well. It is not precluded from such a function but it will then limit you to four partitions for that hard drive.

 


File: /etc/fstab

Enter the drive into the fstab file so that it is recognized and mounted upon system boot.

File: /etc/fstab

LABEL=/                 /                       ext3    defaults        1 1
LABEL=/boot             /boot                   ext3    defaults        1 2
none                    /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
none                    /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0
none                    /dev/shm                tmpfs   defaults        0 0
/dev/hda2               swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
/dev/hdb1 /opt2 ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/cdrom              /mnt/cdrom              iso9660 noauto,owner,kudzu,ro 0 0
/dev/fd0                /mnt/floppy             auto    noauto,owner,kudzu 0 0