Origin of "partition" in storage devices

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Mon Jan 31 15:43:52 CST 2022

    > From: Paul Koning

    > When did Unix first get partitions?

'Partitions' the mechanism, or partitions the term for the mechanism?

The former appeared about V5:


when an RP03 was added; pre-V7, UNIX filesystems were limited to 2^16 blocks,
so the 406*10*20 blocks of an RP03 had to be split up into partitions (called
'sections' or 'pseudo-disks' in the documentation) to make all of it useable.

The latter? No idea...

Partitions may have appeared in DOS/Windows for much the same reason; with 32
KB clusters, FAT16 filesystems were limited to 2GB. I distinctly recall
having to use partitions when I bought a 13GB hard drive for my Windows 95
machine (FAT32 only came in with Windows 95 OSR2).


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