Manage Storage in Linux

The IT Pro Challenge, Manage Storage in Linux, virtual lab introduces the fdisk utility and Terminal commands to create and handle storage space in the CentOS7 system. This virtual lab contributes skills necessary for System Administrators and other IT staff to partition and structure disk drives correctly, in addition to viewing storage data.

45 minutes
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The Manage Storage in Linux hands-on lab, part of the Linux: Command-Line and File System-Challenge Series, educates users on how to display storage information, partition a drive, assign filesystems to the partitions, and mount to specific directories. The learner also configures storage settings upon starting up the system.

Trainees gain essential skills administering and checking disk and filesystem set-up on a Linux CentOS7 server. The lab runs 30 to 45 minutes and requires completion in one sitting. The challenge does not allow pausing in the middle. Beginners who have run or constructed commands in Linux Terminal and used the vim text editor have the background needed to achieve all goals and objectives in the lab.

Completion of this challenge gives learners Command-Line abilities and familiarity with GNU parted utilities.

Most IT positions require knowledge about managing storage, partitions, and boot sectors. After a system loads a BIOS, a basic input/output system loaded onto a chip to communicate with the hardware, the master boot record (MBR) runs. The MBR tells the computer how drives divide and to launch the operating system. MBRs also describe the storage architecture on the computer.

Partitioning gives administrators the power to put different operating systems or file systems or create multiple software environments on the same machine. Often, one drive division mirrors another, redundant in case one part of the disk gets corrupted. By configuring disk partition and file systems, saved data can be placed on and retrieved from the drive. Corrupted files or partitions happen when the computer can no longer match the stored information that the user requested. Having a backup or mirror partition provides a non-corrupted version restored for the user.

Understand the scenario:

In this lab, you are a system administrator on a Linux server. You need to manage partitions on the server. First, you display the storage layout on the server. Next, you create, format, and mount two partitions. Finally, you configure the partitions to mount automatically when the system boots.

View the Current Partitions and Filesystems Using the ‘fdisk’ and ‘parted’ Commands:

This section sets up the lab by getting root privileges and opening the Terminal command line on the CentOS 7 Linux machine. Learners get fundamental information about a disk, its partition and file systems using ‘fdisk,’ ‘parted,’ ‘cat,’ ‘blkid,’ and ‘lsblk’ commands. The lab emphasizes the value of the universally unique identifier (UUID).

Each storage device and partition comes with a UUID that never changes. Remove the storage hardware from one machine and put it on another. The UUID remains the same. Knowing the UUID ensures that the correct disk or partition loads.

Add Partitions to the /dev/sda Disk:

Several subtasks to create partitions, filesystems and directories make up this lab module. Learners also mount the new partitions to specific file paths created. Upon completing this section, users will have hands-on experience with two different file systems: ext4 and XFS.

The ext4, created in 2006, protects partitions from corruption by journaling or recording metadata about file storage configurations. If the system crashes, it uses the journal to retrieve the last known integral saved data. The ext4 has higher performance and can deal with a higher file volume. XFS, a stable and reliable file system, provides an alternative to ext4.


At the end of this challenge, learners know how to retrieve partition configurations and create new partitions. Users also make filesystems on these partitions and attach them to directories. The learner sets up the system to load the new partition automatically upon system boot.