Fdisk is a command-line tool that is used to create, modify, and delete disk partitions on a Linux system. If you’re new to Linux, understanding fdisk can be intimidating. But don’t worry – we’ll take you through the basics in this guide.
What is a Disk Partition?
A disk partition is a logical division of a hard drive. You can create multiple partitions on a single hard drive, and each partition can have its own file system and data. In Linux, disk partitions are represented by device files with a number appended to the end. For example, the first partition on the first hard disk is represented by /dev/sda1.
Getting Started with Fdisk
Before we dive into the commands and use-cases of fdisk, it’s important to understand how to use fdisk on a Linux system. Here are some basic commands to get started:
sudo apt install fdisk # for Debian-based systems
sudo dnf install fdisk # for Red Hat-based systems
Once fdisk is installed, you can use it to manipulate partitions on a hard drive. To start, you need to understand disk devices and disk partitions.
Understanding Disk Devices and Disk Partitions
A disk device in Linux is represented by a device file, which can be found in the /dev directory. For example, the first hard disk on a Linux system is represented by /dev/sda.
Basic Commands in Fdisk
Here are some basic commands in fdisk:
sudo fdisk /dev/sda # open fdisk for editing /dev/sda
n # create a new partition
p # select primary partition
[default for first sector] # start partition at default sector
[default for last sector] # end partition at default sector
w # write changes to disk
This example creates a new primary partition on the first hard disk (/dev/sda). Once you’ve created a partition, you can format it with a file system like ext4 using the mkfs command.