If you have good knowledge on what partitions are and how they work then this will be of interest of you. Even if you don’t have any knowledge of partitions, I suggest you read along, as you will encounter partition names the more you explore Linux, so you should have some understanding on what they are and what each one does.

What is a Partition?

Partitions are blocks of storage within your systems hard drive / solid state drive. Each partition has a specific job, which is best explained using examples.

Image result for partition table

It’s not expected that you understand the above image, just as long as you understand that each separated block is a partition, and each partition is given a name. In this case it is sda1 to sda7.

Linux Partitions

Now, the more you use Linux the more you may hear names such as root, home, swap and boot. What do these mean and why are they important? We will go over that now.

Root Partition: The root partition is the main storage partition for your system and contains all the important files that are required to run your system as well as any software you download, unless you decide to create a separate partition for your files, and this is called a home partition.

Home Partition: The home partition is an optional partition that allows your non critical system files to be stored away from your critical system files, again this is optional but it is recommended if you are going to do manual partitioning.

Boot Partition: The boot partition is a critical partition that contains the boot loader such as GRUB (Don’t worry if you don’t know what GRUB is; as mentioned, it is a boot loader).

Swap Partition: A swap partition is dedicated storage to act as backup memory if your systems RAM becomes 100% utilized.


This was a quick overview on the types of partitions Linux uses. This should allow you to understand some of the jargon being used within the community, and to also understand your own system a little more.