Partitioning Your System

If you chose automatic partitioning and did not select Review, please skip ahead to the Section called Network Configuration.

If you chose automatic partitioning and selected Review, you can either accept the current partition settings (click Next), or modify the setup using Disk Druid, the manual partitioning tool.

If you chose Manually partition with fdisk, please skip ahead to the Section called Partitioning with fdisk.

At this point, you must tell the installation program where to install Red Hat Linux. This is done by defining mount points for one or more disk partitions in which Red Hat Linux will be installed. You may also need to create and/or delete partitions at this time (refer to Figure 3-13).


If you have not yet planned how you will set up your partitions, refer to Appendix E. At a bare minimum, you need an appropriately-sized root partition, and a swap partition equal to twice the amount of RAM you have on the system.

Figure 3-13. Partitioning with Disk Druid

The partitioning tool used in Red Hat Linux 7.3 is Disk Druid. With the exception of certain esoteric situations, Disk Druid can handle the partitioning requirements for a typical Red Hat Linux installation.

Graphical Display of Hard Drive(s)

Disk Druid offers a graphical representation of your hard drive(s).

Using your mouse, click once to highlight a particular field in the graphical display. Double-click to edit an existing partition or to create a partition out of existing free space.

Above the display, you will see the drive name (such as /dev/hda), the geom (which shows the hard disk's geometry and consists of three numbers representing the number of cylinders, heads, and sectors as reported by the hard disk), and the model of the hard drive as detected by the installation program.

Disk Druid's Buttons

These buttons control Disk Druid's actions. They are used to change the attributes of a partition (for example the file system type and mount point) and also to create RAID devices. Buttons on this screen are also used to accept the changes you have made, or to exit Disk Druid. For further explanation, take a look at each button in order:

Partition Fields

Above the partition hierarchy are labels which present information about the partitions you are creating. The labels are defined as follows:

Recommended Partitioning Scheme

Unless you have a reason for doing otherwise, we recommend that you create the following partitions:

Adding Partitions

To add a new partition, select the New button. A dialog box appears (see Figure 3-14).


You must dedicate at least one partition to Red Hat Linux, and optionally more. For more information, see Appendix E.

Figure 3-14. Creating a New Partition

File System Types

Red Hat Linux allows you to create different partition types, based on the file system they will use. The following is a brief description of the different file systems available, and how they can be utilized.

  • ext2 — An ext2 file system supports standard Unix file types (regular files, directories, symbolic links, etc). It provides the ability to assign long file names, up to 255 characters. Versions prior to Red Hat Linux 7.2 used ext2 file systems by default.

  • ext3 — The ext3 file system is based on the ext2 file system and has one main advantage — journaling. Using a journaling file system reduces time spent recovering a file system after a crash as there is no need to fsck[1] the file system. The ext3 file system will selected by default and is highly recommended.

  • software RAID — Creating two or more software RAID partitions allows you to create a RAID device. For more information regarding RAID, refer to the chapter RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) in the Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.

  • swap — Swap partitions are used to support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to a swap partition when there is not enough RAM to store the data your system is processing.

  • vfat — The VFAT file system is a Linux file system that is compatible with Windows 95/NT long filenames on the FAT file system.

Editing Partitions

To edit a partition, select the Edit button or double-click on the existing partition.


If the partition already exists on your hard disk, you will only be able to change the partition's mount point. If you want to make any other changes, you will need to delete the partition and recreate it.

Deleting a Partition

To delete a partition, highlight it in the Partitions section and click the Delete button. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.

Skip to the Section called Boot Loader Installation for further installation instructions.



The fsck application is used to check the file system for metadata consistency and optionally repair one or more Linux file systems.