Some Linux questions.
I am very new to linux, I have the following questions.
1. Are the fips, disk druid and fdisk all tools for disk partition?
2. I only have experiences with Windows, I can't understand the Mount Point in Linux.
3. What is Mater Boot Record, what file format for it, What are the relations between the MBR and other OSes such as Windows, Linux and Solaris etc.?
Thanks for help!
2. mount points.. oi.. okay.. instead of thinking of your HDD's, floppy drive, and CD-ROM(s) as separate drives, think of them as separate pieces of one big filesystem.. in order to put the files on the disks into this big filesystem, you have to tell Linux that it exists.. this is done by mounting the disk at a certain directory.. this then makes the new media a part of the filesystem... when you umount a disk, it tells linux that the data on that media no longer needs to be a part of the filesystem.. this makes for easier organization of data and faster access time to various disks (someone correct me if i'm wrong on that).. there's probably quite a bit more to it than i know, but this is basically how i understand it (it's all second-nature to me now because i've been using linux for so long..)
3. the master boot record (MBR) is where the bootloader for your computer is installed.. there is no certain "format" for it.. it is a program that runs without the aid of an OS.. the term "boot" is actually short for "bootstrap" which is used to describe the process of booting in this way: "The computer pulls itself up by its bootstraps." That is, the bootloader loads the OS and starts some basic disk i/o routines so that the OS can load.. after the OS starts loading, the bootstrap program relinquishes control of the system and removes itself from memory so that the OS can control i/o calls, devices, and other things that various programs ask it to do.
2. I don't think that it makes for faster access times, but it does make a lot of things a lot easier. For example, having pathnames that only have two syntactic elements makes manipulating them a lot easier for programmers. Also, since the mount points can be arbitrarily re-defined, it makes a lot of things very much easier for administrators (it allows administrators to do a lot of things that is impossible to do in, for example, Windows).
In order to understand mounting, you probably have to understand device files. In Windows, for example, you cannot easily access the raw contents of your hard drive. In Linux, however, the files in the /dev directory are not real files, but actually direct gateways to the device drivers. If you open /dev/hda, you will get the exact contents of your primary master IDE drive. /dev/hda3 would be the third primary partition on that drive. /dev/fd0 is the floppy drive. /dev/sda would be your first SCSI hard drive, if you have SCSI. The device files aren't only disk drives, though. For example, /dev/dsp is an interface to your sound card. Writing data to it will cause your sound card to play that data. /dev/ttyS0 is likewise an interface to your COM1 serial port. /dev/null is a special "device" that isn't connected to anything in your computer - writing to it will simply discard the data.
In any case, mounting. A sample command to mount something could look like this:
That takes your floppy drive and makes the filesystem on it accessible under /mnt/floppy. The "-t vfat" part is used to tell the filesystem driver that the filesystem type on the floppy is a FAT filesystem. The filesystem type often doesn't need to specified, though, since the mount command can often autoprobe it.
mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
When you're done with the filesystem, you must run "umount /mnt/floppy". That is partly because Linux caches data, in order to gain much greater performance. When you're done with the floppy, you must umount it to synchronize the cached data with the disk. It is also necessary to umount filesystems because if you didn't, the system would still think that the floppy was there, which could cause many problems.
3. Just to clarify, the MBR is defined to be the first sector of the booting hard drive. The second sector on the hard drive defines that partition table. As lordnothing said, the MBR doesn't have a specific "file format", since it is not strictly a file. It's just 512 bytes of data (a disk sector is always 512 bytes) that contain a machine-language program that loads the rest of the system.
I guess maybe the Windows OS have the same steps using the similar commands 'mount' or 'umount' in linux, when you use CD-ROM or floppy drive under Windows, but normal user can't see the steps of mounting or umounting.
In a way windows does have a similar process. But everythings GUI controlled by one massive OS. When you access the CD drive through explorer it tries to mount it. If it can't then it gives you an error message like - no CD in drive.
However, *nix is different. everything in *nix (C for that matter) is treated as a file writing to a text file is no different to writing to a printer. So everything fits in to a single directory structure. Having a directory for all mountable drives is just a standard that has developed you have /mnt/floppy instead of a:. Also *nix is a network OS, this is fundamental to the way it works so using the mount idea you can mount drives from anywhere on any media to anywhere. for example you might mount your passwords and users files off another machine thereby providing centralised user administration. All computers in one office might share a CDROM but each of them would have a /mnt/cdrom folder. Using this basic concept and some clever networking you can create a networked environment which feels like a standalone one to the end user.
With regard to the MBR. All you need to know is that every drive has one. some viruses can break it. and if you ever go back to windows and need to remove Linux you will have to over write your MBR with the windows one.
Webopedia.com defines MBR as "Short for Master Boot Record, a small program that is executed when a computer boots up. Typically, the MBR resides on the first sector of the hard disk. The program begins the boot process by looking up the partition table to determine which partition to use for booting. It then transfers program control to the boot sector of that partition, which continues the boot process"
for more about mount points try this http://www.felgall.com/lincmd2.htm
Well, Windows doesn't have any mount/umount functionality exported to user-space - it's all handled by the kernel. W2k and up has a very limited such interface that works under certain circumstances, but the kernel is still what's in control of everything about it. While that does make it easier for the end-user, it is severely inflexible when compared to UNIX/Linux method.
1. No, there is also have fun