FreeBSD Slices on a PC Compatible Logical Device

Jerold McAllister jerrymc at
Sat Sep 9 18:36:17 PDT 2006

David Lloyd writes: 

> Hi There, 
> I partitioned my PC Compatible machine like this: 
> /dev/hda1 - Normal partition
> /dev/hda2 - Normal partition
> /dev/hda3 - ~100 gigabyte logical partition 
> There's no sectors left to make another normal partition. 
> From what I can gather in the documentation, a FreeBSD slice (in this
> case one made for/by FreeBSD 6.1) needs to be in a normal partition.
> I've read the relevant parts of: the handbook, The Complete FreeBSD and
> I have also seen what the FreeBSD 6.1 installer would attempt to do. 
> All of my reading seems to state that FreeBSD requires a "normal"
> partition to make its slice(s) in. 
> That said, I seem to have a few options: 
> 1. Somehow rearrange my partitions so that I can get a normal partition
>    - GNU Parted would work except it doesn't seem to like XFS partitions 
> 2. Reinstall my primary operating system (which happens to be Debian
>    SID) and partition the disk such that I -can- put FreeBSD in an
>    appropriate partition 
> 3. Run FreeBSD under something like VMWare 
> My other alternative would be to take a great leap and use FreeBSD
> exclusively and work out how to migrate my "home" data to FreeBSD. 
> Therefore, my questions would be: 
> 1. Is there a way (other than using VMWare) to get FreeBSD onto a
>    partition inside the large logical partition I have? 
> 2. If not, does anyone know of any free (as in beer) tools that would be
>    able to move Linux partitions about with XFS filesystems?
>    - I don't think GNU Parted likes XFS filesystems 
> 3. Would VMWare be a solution to my dilemma? 
> 4. Is there an option that I haven't considered [apart from panickin!]? 

Generally, FreeBSD needs a primary slice to boot and run.
I assume what you are calling 'normal partition' is what is
called a primary slice. 

My suggestion is to shrink that 'logical partition' and make
a 4th slice that is primary and put FreeBSd there, unless one of
those other 'normal partitions' are are not needed.  Then, just use
the installer to delete what is in the slice and create it with
a FreeBSD slice and go from there.    Alternately you can add
a disk. 


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