Using G_PART with MBR/BSD instead [was: Re: GPT as default?]

Marcel Moolenaar xcllnt at
Fri Apr 20 17:23:53 UTC 2007

On Apr 20, 2007, at 8:27 AM, Ivan Voras wrote:

> My accepted GSoC project this year is making a graphical FreeBSD  
> installer (see One of the first  
> functional (not related to UI) things the installer does is disk  
> partitioning, and I'm trying to simplify this step.

> The FreeBSD kernel supports GPT, and AFAIK the ability to modify  
> them in-place was recently added with the "unified" GPT slicer.  
> There are two things that are stopping total use of GPT right now:

You can achieve the same (i.e. simplify partitioning), but without going
off into the woods (i.e. try to boot from GPT). The new GEOM  
class currently only understands GPT and APM, but can be easily extended
to support MBR and BSD schemes as well as the SUN scheme. Extending the
GEOM partitioning class that way allows you to work the problem based on
a single unified API, which mostly abstracts the gory details and should
allow you to simplify things. This probably is more fruitful that trying
to change how disks are being partitioned.

The whole idea behind the GPART GEOM class is that it's to be extended
in the way I described. I'm working on a userland tool for it and we
could greatly benefit from each other's work. Which for you means that
you may actually have time to work on the installer, rather than see
you time spent on disk partitioning alone. For me it means that I have
feedback about missing functionality before I finish the tool, which
should help write the tool in such a way that the missing functionality
can be added easily later, if not right away. For FreeBSD the advantage
is that things will start to come together in a logical design and
hopefully end up being implemented completely.

Just a thought,

Marcel Moolenaar
xcllnt at

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