How do I activate my sdb5 partition and have it stay active continually.

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at
Tue Jan 6 03:08:19 UTC 2009

On Monday 05 January 2009, Steven Vollom wrote:
>On Monday 05 January 2009 18:36:24 Gene Heskett wrote:
>> On Monday 05 January 2009, Steven Vollom wrote:
>> >> >kedit opened to a blank page and in the title bar it reads /media/sdb1
>> >> > - KEdit <2>, like I have two KEdit windows open.
>> >>
>> >> Oops, close that without saving.
>If I saved that edit, could that have caused a problem?  It seems like I
>remember when opening KEdit there would be a page of data to read.
>> >> Now, please understand that if I had a /media/westernsteer directory, I
>> >> can mount any partition visible to the system on that mount point with
>> >> the mount command.
>I am confused here.
>> I don't think I used any acronyms, what looks like one
>> (mkdir,mount,umount,rmdir,ls) is probably the name of the utility I ran.
>I guess I see sda1 or sdb2 or Floppy0 as a kind of acronym, because I don't
>know what the letters mean yet.

Background:  Here a year or so back, the kernel folks decided to simplify 
hardware access by treating all storage media as a scsi device, scsi standing 
for Small Computer Systems Interface.

This interface spec is quite well worked out, and assumes that the drive is 
quite intelligent.  You tell the drives to copy file 'a' on the first drive 
to filename 'd' on the 2nd drive, and the main cpu is free to go do something 
else, the drives will do the copy, and sending an interrupt back to the cpu 
telling the cpu the results of the copy operation when they are finished.

Other drives aren't quite that smart, so while the interface command structure 
passed to the 'scsi' driver meets the scsi specs, the driver then diddles 
things around and fills in the function gaps that an IDE drive isn't smart 
enough to do, making it look as if it was that smart.  The time used is about 
the same because its the cable bandwidth to the drives that is the major 
speed limit, that, and the rotational latency while the drives platters turn 
to where the file is, and the heads are skewed sideways to the correct track 
on the disk.


The kernel knows these drives by the following framework:
/dev/sda = first disk found at boot and registered
/dev/sdb = 2nd such disk found and registered
/dev/sdc through sdf = the rest of the drives

Now, in order to know which 'partition' on the drive, this is further defined 
/dev/sda1 = first partition on the first drive
/dev/sda2 = 2nd partition on the first drive
/dev/sda3 = 3rd, etc etc to sdaf IIRC.

Repeat this for /dev/sdb1-f, sdc1-f sdd1-f etc etc.

Now, since us humans are sorta dumb, we need to know these by some handy 
nemonic or an actual real label, so that we know where the /boot partition 
is, we create first a / directory, and then mount that label or partition to 
the / label, effectively setting up an alias that we dummies can remember.

Then we make another directory named /boot,, which you can see is made on 
the / label, and we mount (usually the 1st partition of the first disk, 
or /dev/sda1, to this /boot directory, linking those 2 together.This 
continues until all the stuff you need, (/home, /usr, /var, /etc, /opt) the 
operating system needs, has been made available to the operating system.

>It seemed that the page was filled with 
>letters and numbers like that that you would have to know what they mean to
>understand how to understand the page.

Chicken, meet egg. :)  Or is it vice-versa? :-)  To a newbie, the expression 
Arther Clark (or was it Isaac Asimov, I forget now) wrote 70 or so years 
ago, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" 
seems to apply, but it really is just shuffling a few bits around if you were 
standing there playing sidewalk superintendent.

>> The 'westernsteer' was simply a throwaway name for purposes of the demo.
>westernsteer is kind of like Konqueror, conqueror, a name that doesn't mean
>what it says, however is descriptive.

Actually, there used to be a buffet/steakhouse chain by that name, now just 
simplified to the 'Steer' around these parts.  Food is quite decent early in 
the evening but gets stale later.  Lesson: Eat early. :)

>> In the mount command, I used the -t option to specify the type of
>> filesystem to mount as linux has about a dozen variations, with 'ext3'
>> which is ext2 with journaling as the default used by 95+% of the users.
>Whenever possible I have used ext3; I thought it best.

There can be reasons to use a different one, but to me they had better be very 
good ones.  Each has its polished spots, and each has its rust spots.  ext3 
has been 'good enough for the girls I go with' for quite a spell now.  I can 
remember faintly, over a decade back up the log, when ext2 needed help, but 
then so did all the others back then too.

>Thanks Gene,

Well, if I'm pouring more fuel on your fire of miss-understanding, I 
apologize, I never was great shakes at telling the average person how 
television works, but I make sure it does, tv engineering has been my game 
for over 45 years now.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
It's those computer people in X {city of world}.  They keep stuffing things 

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