slice X?

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Sun Feb 29 14:09:58 PST 2004

> I have installed FreeBSD before, but it has been a while since I've
> messed around with it.  I am attempting to install on my secondary
> desktop machine which also runs Linux.
> ad0s1-ad0s3 are linux partitions as well as ad0s4 which is an extended
> partition (containing more linux partitions).
> When I try to create a new slice, it gives it the name 'X' which causes
> a problem when I try to create new partitions on that slice:
> Unable to create partitons on device: /dev/X
> I didn't see anything about this in the FAQ.
> Anyone have any ideas?

Only 4 _primary slices_ are allowed on any disk.  From your narrative
above, it sounds like you already have that many used up on the disk 
 - eg ad0s1, ad0s2, ad0s3, ad0s4.   If so, the system will not allow 
you to create any more -  an ad0s5 or beyond.  Since FreeBSD must be 
installed in a primary slice, you will have to do something about
your current disk use.

You will need to add a new disk or reorganize the existing disk to
consolidate its use so you can free up one slice designation.
Do you really need that many separate slices dedicated to Linux?
Do you have 4 different versions of Linux running on the machine?

I am not a Linux user, but if you have only one version of Linux
running (or 2 or 3) can't it just use one slice which is subdivided 
to make separate file systems - essentially the way it is done in 
FreeBSD?    If so, then you would need only one primary slice per 
version of Linux and one for FreeBSD.   If you really need all those 
primary slices for Linux, then you will need another disk in order
to add FreeBSD.

I haven't tried to create more than 4 primary slices on a disk so I
don't know what the error messages look like.   If it makes things
look like it created a slice called 'x', then it is kind of poor
about how it reports things.  It will not have created a usable
slice no matter what it appears to call things.   It most properly
should tell you the operation failed or is not possible.

So, of course, if it didn't really create the slice, it will not
be able to create partitions withing that slice.   

Note in this, the difference between a primary slice and a partition
which subdivides a slice.   Your narrative appears to use the terms
consistent with the FreeBSD standard, so I am assuming you know this, 
but this issue seems to result in many misunderstandings.     The MS
world calls a partition and, unfortunately so does a few FreeBSD
utillities that fail to follow the FreeBSD standard.   All of which
can add to the confusion.


> Thanks,
> Aaron

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