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FreeBSD features the <citerefentry><refentrytitle>growfs</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry> command, which makes it possible to increase the size of file system on the fly, removing this limitation.
File systems are contained in partitions. This does not have the same meaning as the common usage of the term partition (for example, <trademark class="registered">MS-DOS</trademark> partition), because of FreeBSD's <trademark class="registered">UNIX</trademark> heritage. Each partition is identified by a letter from <literal>a</literal> through to <literal>h</literal>. Each partition can contain only one file system, which means that file systems are often described by either their typical mount point in the file system hierarchy, or the letter of the partition they are contained in.
FreeBSD also uses disk space for <firstterm>swap space</firstterm> to provide <firstterm>virtual memory</firstterm>. This allows your computer to behave as though it has much more memory than it actually does. When FreeBSD runs out of memory, it moves some of the data that is not currently being used to the swap space, and moves it back in (moving something else out) when it needs it.
Some partitions have certain conventions associated with them.
Partition
Convention
<literal>a</literal>
Normally contains the root file system.
<literal>b</literal>
Normally contains swap space.
<literal>c</literal>
Normally the same size as the enclosing slice. This allows utilities that need to work on the entire slice, such as a bad block scanner, to work on the <literal>c</literal> partition. A file system would not normally be created on this partition.
<literal>d</literal>
Partition <literal>d</literal> used to have a special meaning associated with it, although that is now gone and <literal>d</literal> may work as any normal partition.
Disks in FreeBSD are divided into slices, referred to in <trademark class="registered">Windows</trademark> as partitions, which are numbered from 1 to 4. These are then divided into partitions, which contain file systems, and are labeled using letters.
<primary>slices</primary>
<primary>partitions</primary>
<primary>dangerously dedicated</primary>
Slice numbers follow the device name, prefixed with an <literal>s</literal>, starting at 1. So <quote>da0<emphasis>s1</emphasis></quote> is the first slice on the first SCSI drive. There can only be four physical slices on a disk, but there can be logical slices inside physical slices of the appropriate type. These extended slices are numbered starting at 5, so <quote>ada0<emphasis>s5</emphasis></quote> is the first extended slice on the first SATA disk. These devices are used by file systems that expect to occupy a slice.
Slices, <quote>dangerously dedicated</quote> physical drives, and other drives contain <firstterm>partitions</firstterm>, which are represented as letters from <literal>a</literal> to <literal>h</literal>. This letter is appended to the device name, so <quote>da0<emphasis>a</emphasis></quote> is the <literal>a</literal> partition on the first <literal>da</literal> drive, which is <quote>dangerously dedicated</quote>. <quote>ada1s3<emphasis>e</emphasis></quote> is the fifth partition in the third slice of the second SATA disk drive.
Finally, each disk on the system is identified. A disk name starts with a code that indicates the type of disk, and then a number, indicating which disk it is. Unlike slices, disk numbering starts at 0. Common codes are listed in <xref linkend="disks-naming"/>.
When referring to a partition, include the disk name, <literal>s</literal>, the slice number, and then the partition letter. Examples are shown in <xref linkend="basics-disk-slice-part"/>.
<xref linkend="basics-concept-disk-model"/> shows a conceptual model of a disk layout.
When installing FreeBSD, configure the disk slices, create partitions within the slice to be used for FreeBSD, create a file system or swap space in each partition, and decide where each file system will be mounted.
Disk Device Names
Drive Type
Drive Device Name
<acronym>SATA</acronym> and <acronym>IDE</acronym> hard drives
<literal>ada</literal> or <literal>ad</literal>
<acronym>SCSI</acronym> hard drives and <acronym>USB</acronym> storage devices
<literal>da</literal>

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(itstool) path: sect1/indexterm
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Source string location
book.translate.xml:7901
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a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
Translation file
books/handbook.pot, string 1273