New installation script

Nathan Whitehorn nwhitehorn at
Sat Aug 6 14:56:00 UTC 2011

On 08/05/11 20:04, Garrett Cooper wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 3:35 PM, Kevin Oberman<kob6558 at>  wrote:
>> I have installed 9-Beta1 using the new installation tool and I am
>> generally happy with it.
>> The new dialog cause me to need a few more key-strokes because I was
>> so used to the
>> old behavior, but it really is more intuitive and I would not want to
>> see the old behavior
>> restored. I'll get used to it soon.
>> I do have a couple of issues with the new installation tool, though.
>> 1. After completing the partition design I am presented with the
>> option to "Save" the
>> partitions. It is not at all cleared that "Save" actually creates the
>> partitions and newfses
>> the file systems. I suggest changing "Save" to "Commit" or Execute".
>> These are far
>> clearer and more frightening. "Save" sounds too safe, not like you are
>> about to update
>> basic disk structure and may be about to make any data on the disk unusable.
>> 2. I was installing 9 into an existing set of partitions. (I
>> understand that this is NOT
>> typical.) First the system asks me about adding a partition. Oops! I
>> selected the only
>> option that was not clearly wrong, "Cancel". I was not at all sure
>> that it was what I
>> wanted, but it was. I have no idea how to improve this and it's
>> probably not worth
>> spending much time think about it. But the next step was confusing.
>> I selected each of the existing partitions that I was going to use and
>> selected modify to
>> enter the name of the partition (/, /var, /usr, /tmp). I then quit and
>> selected the not
>> scarey "Save". I proceeded, but thought the "Save" was rather fast.
>> Then the install failed
>> because the partitions were already populated. I ended up re-booting
>> and then going
>> through each partition and deleting it and then selecting the slice
>> and creating it again.
>> While not a big deal, it seemed like the Modify to name the partitions
>> should have
>> triggered the newfs that was not done.
>> I think my first point is pretty important. The second is far less so.
>> The install went pretty well and I am generally very pleased with the
>> new installer. It's
>> certainly an improvement over the old one! Thanks to the folks who worked on it.
> One of the things that's still a problem as well (since you're talking
> about it here) is that the partition editor assumes that all
> partitions are properly formatted, etc, when specifying just a
> mountpoint. One needs to trash the MBR / GPT metadata and start over
> from the beginning. GPT partitions have issues too with incomplete
> partition schemes (i.e. user deletes a GPT partition out of an
> existing setup, etc) because unfortunately the "boot" partition gets
> created improperly the 2nd+ time around and/or gets created multiple
> times for some whacky reason (I don't know why this happened, but it
> did!).

I'm not entirely sure what you're referring to. Whenever you add a / 
partition on a partitioning scheme that requires a boot partition (APM, 
GPT on some platforms), the installer asks you if you want to add a boot 
partition. The auto-partitioner does this automatically. It does not 
reuse any existing boot partition for two reasons:
- It has no way to know the other boot partition was correctly set up 
and so would need to reinitialize it.
- There is no guarantee that it is even related to FreeBSD. On APM 
disks, we share a boot partition type with OS X and Linux.

The safest thing to do is to make a new one, and let the user delete any 
extraneous old ones, just as they probably have deleted old extraneous / 

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