Origin of "partition" in storage devices

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Mon Jan 31 13:38:08 CST 2022

On Mon, Jan 31, 2022 at 12:01 PM Tom Gardner via cctalk <
cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:

> There is a discussion of the origin of the term "partition" in storage
> devices such as HDDs at:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Disk_partitioning#Where_did_the_term_%22p
> artition%22_originate
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Disk_partitioning#Where_did_the_term_%22partition%22_originate>
> ?
> It seems clear it was used in memory well before HDDs but when it got
> started there is unclear.
> * IBM PC DOS v2 was an early user in 1983 with FDISK and its first PC
> support of HDDs
> * UNIX, Apple OS's and IBM mainframe all seem to come later.

SunOS had partitions from the start (1982). These may have been carried over
from the Ubisoft port, but I've not been able to confirm that. If so, they
date a little
earlier. HP/UX had them in about this same time period, but my sources for
are not very good.


> Partitioning as a "slice" probably predates IBM PC DOS v2
> Would appreciate some recollections about DEC usage, other minicomputers
> and
> the BUNCH.
> You can either post directly to Wikipedia or let me know; links to
> references would greatly be appreciated
> Tom

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