Sysinstall's fdisk/disklabel should be improved

Valentin Nechayev netch at
Sat Nov 1 09:18:29 PST 2003

 Sun, Oct 26, 2003 at 18:58:52, q (Ulrich Spoerlein) wrote about "Sysinstall's fdisk/disklabel should be improved": 

US> First of all, the Partition Editor has the 'A' option to use all of the
US> available HDD space. It creates a DOS-compatible slice (starting at
US> sector 63 and ending on cylinder boundary). This is completely useless
US> on servers

No, even on servers one may use only 6 data partitions or less, as to fit
in one bsdlabel.

US> and the help menu says that sysinstall will ask if it should
US> create a DOS-compatible slice or not. However no such question is ever
US> asked.

I think help page should be fixed, but not fdisk code.

US> Creating the slice manually, specifying the complete disk as 'size' will
US> also leave the start and end of the disk unpartitioned (again, no
US> question is ever asked).

First track is leaved for compatibility with DOS-styled scheme. It is required
for many BIOSes which want to determine provided geometry by reading PT.
Some last part which can't fit in cylinder in declared geometry, rest unused.
It is feature of DOS compatibility mode and there is no need to warn it.

US> Ok, then the solution would be to drop to a shell and run fdisk by hand.
US> However there is no fdisk/disklabel/newfs in that shell. Even 'ls' is
US> not found. Running the LiveCD will give you a working fdisk/disklabel
US> but the man-pages are not useable (manpath.config can't be found).
US> Succeding in sliceing/partitioning without man-pages will still require
US> to reboot sysinstall, because it doesn't re-read the partition/slice
US> table but uses the in-memory table instead (I didn't find an option to
US> re-read this information from disk)

Does you say for 4.x or 5.x? Behavior you said is for 4.x.

US> Please consider this, right now sysinstall is a tool which can only be
US> used if you know all of it's bugs. IMHO even the OpenBSD installer is
US> sometimes more elegant than sysinstall.
US> Really brave souls should take a look at this list:

sysinstall is ugly, but all you said for it doesn't matter, IMHO.


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