BSDInstall: merging to HEAD

Oliver Pinter oliver.pntr at
Fri Jan 21 09:32:27 UTC 2011

Hi all!

Is there available any bootmgr(boot0)-like boot manager for GPT?

On 1/21/11, Nathan Whitehorn <nwhitehorn at> wrote:
> On 01/20/11 17:21, Doug Barton wrote:
>> On 01/20/2011 14:47, Nathan Whitehorn wrote:
>>> 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.
>> That isn't exactly what I suggested. :)  Imagine the following
>> scenario (which is what I used to do, until our fdisk started using
>> wacky geometries):
>> 1. Get new computer and/or new hard drive
>> 2. Boot freebsd from installation/live media (aka, disc1)
>> 3. Unceremoniously (and in some cases gleefully) delete all existing
>> partition/slices
>> 4. Slice the disk, and write out the changes with "regular" MBR
>> 5. Boot windows, install into the first unused slice/partition
>> Now if by "indicate you intend to run only FreeBSD on the machine"
>> above you mean that you already have questions built into the process
>> that covers what I proposed above, then fine. My point is simply that
>> running the installer on a blank (or newly blank'ed) disk is not by
>> itself a sign that everything that will be installed understands gpt.
> It does. It only does GPT by default if you say "I want to erase my hard
> disk" (or it is already blank), then select "Automatic partitioning". If
> you have an existing partition scheme, it is kept even if you select
> "automatic" (assuming it is bootable on your platform).
> If you want something more complicated (i.e. any kind of dual-booting
> scenario), then you will want to specify partition sizes with the editor
> anyway. Once you exit automatic mode to invoke the editor, it allows you
> to set up bsdlabel-only, MBR+bsdlabel, GPT, installations spanning
> multiple disks, and whatever else you might want to do. If that isn't
> enough flexibility, there is also a "I don't need no stinking partition
> editor" option, where you can set up whatever you like with a shell.
> -Nathan
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