BSDInstall: merging to HEAD

Nathan Whitehorn nwhitehorn at
Thu Jan 20 22:47:42 UTC 2011

On 01/20/11 16:44, Doug Barton wrote:
> On 01/20/2011 14:15, Chuck Swiger wrote:
>> On Jan 20, 2011, at 1:37 PM, David Demelier wrote:
>> [ ... ]
>>> Why does the installer use GPT partition by default? Do you know 
>>> that GPT is not supported on every (even modern) computer ?
>> Sure.  Legacy PC/BIOS platforms can work with a hybrid GPT which 
>> includes the legacy or "protective" MBR used by pre-EFI systems; 
>> FreeBSD 7 and later, recent Linux, MacOS X 10.4 and later should be 
>> able to boot from disks with that hybrid format.
>> If you need to dual-boot into Windows, however, and your hardware 
>> doesn't provide EFI then you're likely stuck using MBR + PC/BIOS only.
> We should not do anything by default that damages the ability to 
> dual-boot windows (and by windows I really mean "xp or later" since 
> we'll have xp around through 2014). If there are significant 
> advantages to gpt as a default when possible then it will be necessary 
> to ask the user some intelligent questions such as "Will this system 
> be multi-booted?" and if yes, "Will 
> ${lowest_common_denominator:-windows} be installed?"

It does do exactly what you suggest. It only uses GPT by default if you 
have a totally unformatted disk or indicate you intend to run only 
FreeBSD on the machine. Otherwise, you get MBR+bsdlabel just like now.

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