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2<!DOCTYPE sections SYSTEM "/dtd/book.dtd"> 2<!DOCTYPE sections SYSTEM "/dtd/book.dtd">
3 3
4<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license --> 4<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
5<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 --> 5<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
6 6
7<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/handbook/hb-install-alpha-disk.xml,v 1.27 2008/01/04 17:36:52 neysx Exp $ --> 7<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/handbook/hb-install-alpha-disk.xml,v 1.28 2008/04/01 08:53:46 nightmorph Exp $ -->
8 8
9<sections> 9<sections>
10 10
11<version>8.2</version> 11<version>9.0</version>
12<date>2008-01-04</date> 12<date>2008-04-01</date>
13 13
14<section> 14<section>
15<title>Introduction to Block Devices</title> 15<title>Introduction to Block Devices</title>
16<subsection>
17<title>Block Devices</title>
18<body>
19 16
20<p>
21We'll take a good look at disk-oriented aspects of Gentoo Linux
22and Linux in general, including Linux filesystems, partitions and block devices.
23Then, once you're familiar with the ins and outs of disks and filesystems,
24you'll be guided through the process of setting up partitions and filesystems
25for your Gentoo Linux installation.
26</p>
27
28<p>
29To begin, we'll introduce <e>block devices</e>. The most famous block device is
30probably the one that represents the first SCSI HD in a Linux system, namely
31<path>/dev/sda</path>.
32</p>
33
34<p>
35The block devices above represent an abstract interface to the disk. User
36programs can use these block devices to interact with your disk without worrying
37about whether your drives are IDE, SCSI or something else. The program can
38simply address the storage on the disk as a bunch of contiguous,
39randomly-accessible 512-byte blocks.
40</p>
41
42</body>
43</subsection> 17<subsection>
18<include href="hb-install-blockdevices.xml"/>
19</subsection>
20
44<subsection> 21<subsection>
45<title>Slices</title> 22<title>Slices</title>
46<body> 23<body>
47 24
48<p> 25<p>
634Otherwise read on to learn about the available filesystems... 611Otherwise read on to learn about the available filesystems...
635</p> 612</p>
636 613
637</body> 614</body>
638</subsection> 615</subsection>
639<subsection>
640<title>Filesystems?</title>
641<body>
642 616
643<p>
644Several filesystems are available. Most of them are found stable on the
645Alpha architecture.
646</p>
647
648<note>
649<c>aboot</c> only supports booting from <b>ext2</b> and <b>ext3</b>
650partitions.
651</note>
652
653<p>
654<b>ext2</b> is the tried and true Linux filesystem but doesn't have metadata
655journaling, which means that routine ext2 filesystem checks at startup time can
656be quite time-consuming. There is now quite a selection of newer-generation
657journaled filesystems that can be checked for consistency very quickly and are
658thus generally preferred over their non-journaled counterparts. Journaled
659filesystems prevent long delays when you boot your system and your filesystem
660happens to be in an inconsistent state.
661</p>
662
663<p>
664<b>ext3</b> is the journaled version of the ext2 filesystem, providing metadata
665journaling for fast recovery in addition to other enhanced journaling modes like
666full data and ordered data journaling. It uses an HTree index that enables high
667performance in almost all situations. In short, ext3 is a very good and reliable
668filesystem.
669</p>
670
671<p>
672<b>ReiserFS</b> is a B+tree-based filesystem that has very good overall
673performance and greatly outperforms both ext2 and ext3 when dealing with small
674files (files less than 4k), often by a factor of 10x-15x. ReiserFS also scales
675extremely well and has metadata journaling. ReiserFS is solid and usable as
676both general-purpose filesystem and for extreme cases such as the creation of
677large filesystems, very large files and directories containing tens of
678thousands of small files.
679</p>
680
681<p>
682<b>XFS</b> is a filesystem with metadata journaling which comes with a robust
683feature-set and is optimized for scalability. We only recommend using this
684filesystem on Linux systems with high-end SCSI and/or fibre channel storage and
685an uninterruptible power supply. Because XFS aggressively caches in-transit data
686in RAM, improperly designed programs (those that don't take proper precautions
687when writing files to disk and there are quite a few of them) can lose a good
688deal of data if the system goes down unexpectedly.
689</p>
690
691<p>
692<b>JFS</b> is IBM's high-performance journaling filesystem. It has recently
693become production-ready and there hasn't been a sufficient track record to
694comment positively nor negatively on its general stability at this point.
695</p>
696
697</body>
698</subsection> 617<subsection>
618<include href="hb-install-filesystems.xml"/>
619</subsection>
620
699<subsection id="filesystems-apply"> 621<subsection id="filesystems-apply">
700<title>Applying a Filesystem to a Partition</title> 622<title>Applying a Filesystem to a Partition</title>
701<body> 623<body>
702 624
703<p> 625<p>

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