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I have Windows 7 on my system. On starting PC, it asks me to select Windows 7 or Ubuntu 12.04. In windows, I have 3 parts, Drive C,D,J. When I open Ubuntu, I have category named "Devices". In that, those parts(C,D,J) are there with different names. But a part named "79 GB system" seems to be C drive of Windows but it has some things which are not visible in Windows. So what is this?

Secondly, there is category in Ubuntu named "File system". In that I have all sections like boot, etc, dev, root, run... so, now what is this? What is the relation between that devices and this file system? Where is this file system stored?

When I am storing my C, C++ files in home/username--> then where is it getting stored? in which drive? like C,D or J of windows? I am getting confused with all this. Thanks in advance.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ubuntu does not use drive letters; it sees all of its available space as one large tree. It lists your Windows drive (which is called "C:" in Windows) as one of its "Devices", as you mention, but that is just a matter of convenience: in Ubuntu terms that is probably a folder called /media/long-complicated-drive-name/.
The fact that you can see more files in Ubuntu than in Windows is more like a Windows trick: under Ubuntu you will see all files and directories, whereas Windows hides these from you.
The boot, etc, dev, root, run etc. are system folders where you shouldn't store anything, and in most cases, the system won't even let you. Feel free to organize your own files in the /home/username folder. That one is comparable with the folder called "username" under Windows. Ubuntu does not care how and where you store things in /home/username, except for personal settings which are typically in folders starting with a ".".
From the Windows perspective, whether your Ubuntu system is stored in D: or J:, or somewhere else, is impossible to tell without more information.

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hmm. Like I have made a python file and stored it in home/user-name, then which drive(C,D,J) is it using? I got your point that it considers whole memory as a tree but still where is it storing my files? And, Why don't I see Ubuntu things in Windows? Why does windows hide it from me? – hellodear May 5 '14 at 6:25
If you want your Ubuntu files to show up under Windows, you need to store them in another partition that Windows can read. That needs to be a NTFS or FAT32 formatted partition; the Ubuntu native Ext4 filesystem is not readable to Windows. Windows may even offer to format such a partition for you, which would wipe away your whole Ubuntu system. So as long as you can read your C, D and J drives, that is not where /home/username is stored. As an alternative for creating a separate partition, consider Ext2Fsd – Jos May 5 '14 at 7:03
That means my files totally out of any partition(C,D,J), right? Ububtu is stored in some other partition which is not readable to Windows? Right? Ubuntu has made some partition out of my hard disk and using that for storing purposes? – hellodear May 5 '14 at 7:34
From Windows, open the drives C, D and J. If you can see the contents of the drives (files, folders), that is not where Ubuntu is stored. What exactly happened depends on what you chose during installation of Ubuntu. If you want to know, make a list of drives from Windows with their size (total and available), then go to Ubuntu and compare this with the output of the df command, explained below. – Jos May 5 '14 at 7:38
Yup. Done that and I got this. Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on > /dev/sda6 17257504 8051292 8340216 50% / > udev 1019448 4 1019444 1% /dev > tmpfs 410680 856 40824 1% /run > none 5120 0 5120 0% /run/lock > none 1026696 208 1026488 1% /run/shm > /dev/sda1 42220876 29979852 12024 72%> > > /media/243AADD43AADA372 > /dev/sda3 76817404 44678268 39136 59% > /media/30728C93728C5F88 > /dev/sda5 18887792 12329864 655 66% /media/New – hellodear May 5 '14 at 7:44

If you know your filename you can search where the mountpoint is with:

find / -iname <filename> 2>/dev/null

This will show you the full path for the file IF the windows disks are mounted to begin with. With the path in posession, it'd be an easy job of getting it done. However, if you need to verify the mounts you can do the below:


It should give you the mounted devices on the system. On my Ubuntu, the output is:

`ubuntu:~$ df
Filesystem      1K-blocks      Used  Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/loop0       29496487   9139181   20357306  31% /
udev              7659848         4    7659844   1% /dev
tmpfs             1533884       920    1532964   1% /run
none                 5120         0       5120   0% /run/lock
none              7669416        80    7669336   1% /run/shm
/dev/sda3        51199996  13263736   37936260  26% /host
/dev/sdb2      1953382396 173874560 1779507836   9% /media/NeverDie
/dev/sdc1         3916912   1260704    2656208  33% /media/CRYPTO
/dev/sdd1        15617008        40   15616968   1% /media/E4D3-8E30
/dev/sda5       874358780 670689976  203668804  77% /media/Warehouse
ubuntu:~$ `

So, you'd have to see if the expected windows unit is mounted. Else, you'll have to find the device (probably /dev/sd and mount it).

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Linux has a nasty tendency to be very confusing regarding drives in comparison to windows. The best way to figure out what drive is what is to use a partition manager and looking a the sizes like you where already doing. Disks is nice for that. Ubuntu is probably using two "partitions" or the drives that windows sees. One is likely a small disk for storing working memory if your RAM is full. the other is where ubuntu self is.

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-1 (I have not enough reputation on this SE site to downvote, but this comment serves for that purpose): "Linux has a nasty tendency to be very confusing regarding drives in comparison to windows" Emmmm linux confusing compared to windows???? Linux device labels are commonly extracted following the order of the partition table, so the first partition is /dev/sdx1, the second is /dev/sdx2, etc. Compare this with Windows, which has no order at all, and just puts C on the Windows installation partition, ignoring other devices and partitions – Manu343726 May 4 '14 at 22:25
@Manu343726 But, there is no sdx1 or sd2 in my Dev folder. Can you please elaborate? Thanks for your response. – hellodear May 5 '14 at 6:20
Drives are named according to their type: sd is for SATA drives. The drives are called sda, sdb, sdc, etc. in the order in which they are found, but this is not something you should rely upon. Partitions are numbered 1, 2, 3... per drive. The x in @Manu343726's example is just a wildcard for a, b, or whatever you have. – Jos May 6 '14 at 9:01

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