one of the very advanced utilities in *nix, is mount. mount is a filesystem operation.
the directory structure in a *nix system heirarchy is of the form /(root) withinwhich there are other folders like boot, etc, dev, home etc... it is not necessary to have the entire file-system on one device(for eg harddisk) or one partition. it is possible to extend the file system at any mount point for expansion, and the users will be totally unaware of the underlying implementation. let me try an exampleas things seem very cryptic right now.
on my hdd, i have d: (windows) and e: of filesystem type fat32. i store my documents etc on these partition. and need to access them through linux as well. so i just"mount" the partitions within my linux heirarchy. consider the command.
# mount -t vfat /dev/hda6 /tmp/d
here /dev/hda6 is the d: partition which is of type vfat(fat32). /tmp/d is a directory. with this command, the entired: partition is placed under /tmp/d directory. now, wheni browse the /tmp/d directory, all my d: files are visible, with complete read/write support.
now the important thing here is to understand the numbering for partitions under the /dev(device) directory. i will break up hda6. hd means harddisk. a in hda means the primary master device on the bus. if you had a primary slave, it would be denoted as hdb. for secondary devices, they would be hdc and hdd. now 6 in hda6 means the sixth partition.
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 1217 9775521 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 1218 1230 104422+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda3 1231 4734 28145880 f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda4 4735 4865 1052257+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda5 1231 1969 5935986 b Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda6 1970 2708 5935986 b Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda7 2709 3728 8193118+ b Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda8 3729 4734 8080663+ 83 Linux
this is the print for my hda using fdisk. to view a similar partiion table for your hdd use fdisk as follows..
# fdisk /dev/hda
then use 'p' as an option to print the partion table.
mohn, you can surf on windows and save the files/tutorials and then access them in linux. now if you have only ntfs partitions, you'll have to recompile the kernel in red hat for ntfs support or get better advice from hrishi. newest mandrake might have ntfs pre-compiled.
have you ever mount-ed ntfs with total read/write hrishi? you can probably suggest some more stuff in mount.
also just a comment, this feature of mounting stuff allows to extend the file system very efficiently unlike windows where drive letters make things slightly more complicated.