When I type
mount on the
root of my Ubuntu system I get the output
/dev/xvdal on / type ext4 (rw,noatime)
I want to know what is the meaning of
/dev/xvdal in this?
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You are on a Xen VPS(or virtual machine);
xvd* are simply the Xen disk storage devices (Xen Virtual block Device). They appear instead of sda, etc. when you are using the more efficient paravirtualized Xen disk drivers instead of straight-up SCSI disk emulation. If you list the installed modules (drivers) on a Xen HVM, this driver will show as
xen_blk if you are running on a very old Xen version--pretty rare).
In short, treat
xvda1 exactly as you would
sda1 on a regular PC.
/dev/xvda1 rather than
Virtual storage devices, representing cloud storage (or paravirtualized storage generally, as izx has pointed out), are typically exposed in Ubuntu through
/dev/xvda1 is the first partition of the first such device (just as
/dev/sda1 is the first partition of the first SCSI or SCSI-like storage device).