Automating Drive Formatting

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Wed Nov 23 18:52:59 GMT 2005

Michael Collette <Michael.Collette at> writes:

> I'm looking for some way to script together an automatic formatting of a hard
> drive.  Having a fair amount of difficulty locating some good information on
> doing this.
> For example, let's say there's an unknown IDE drive that's at least 40G in
> size.  On that drive I want to create 1 partition with 3 labels.  2 of the
> labels get 10G, and the 3rd gets whatever is left.
> My reason for doing this is that we've set up a couple of servers that are
> running diskless, but are bogging down a bit with getting everything via NFS.
> I'm trying to get a diskless box note the installed drive, check to see if
> it's in the format I expect, and if not perform the bsdlabel, newfs, and all
> that.
> I know the basic info is somewhere accessible, or sysinstall wouldn't have
> this stuff available.  Just need a shove in the right direction please.

There are a *lot* of ways to roll-your-own, 
but have you tried "man sysinstall"?

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