FreeBSD 7.0 fdisk issue during installation

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Nov 21 14:23:52 PST 2008

On Fri, 21 Nov 2008 22:41:07 +0100, "Jonatan Evald Buus" <jonatan.buus at> wrote:
> If I understand you correctly, then I should only create 1 slice of the
> entire disk (seeing as FreeBSD will be the only OS) using fdisk and then
> partition the slice using bsdlabels from sysinstall?

Yes, that's the usual way. Sysinstall suggest this way, too,
but you can use fdisk and bsdlabel "manually", if you want.

> Previously I was aiming for 5 slices, each of which had a single partition
> as described below.

Not neccessary, as you see.

By the way, if you would want to have one disk (harddisk) for
your home directories, you wouldn't make any slice on it, you
could create just one partition there, for example:

	/dev/ad0s1b = swap
	/dev/ad0s1a = /
	/dev/ad0s1d = /tmp
	/dev/ad0s1e = /var
	/dev/ad0s1f = /usr
	/dev/ad2    = /home

> From your explanation I take it that "slices" are what Windows refers to as
> "Primary Partitions"?


> If that's the case then I understand the behaviour I experienced.

You understood it correctly.

> Is it possible to make a slice non-bootable?

Yes, by not setting the bootable flag in the slice editor.

> And would there be any benefits (less fragmentation, faster access time
> etc.) in using slices rather than partitions to layout the harddrive or
> should slices only be used to represent a physical harddrive?

I don't think it will give you any speed gains when you
have, let's say, /dev/ad[0s[12345]c instead of /dev/ad0s1[adefg].
Speed limitations usually occur according to the order harddisks
are placed on the (P)ATA bus and how you copy data from one
partition to another, for example, a master -> slave copy usually
is slower than a master -> master copy; copies between partitions
on the same drive tend to be slower than copies between two
physical drives. In daily use, I don't think your suggestion
would be of a significant benefit - if it was, it would have been
done this way for years already. :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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