Partition naming, fstab, and geli

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Nov 17 13:45:19 UTC 2009

On Mon, 16 Nov 2009 13:01:26 -0500, Jerry McAllister <jerrymc at> wrote:
> I tend to use 'a' if
> the drive will be entirely one slice and one partition used for some
> special work or scratch space, but stick with 'd..h' if there will be
> more than one partition and just leave 'a' alone - for no other 
> reason than habit.   

And I tend to omit the slice at all. :-)

	# newfs -U /dev/ad1
	# mount /dev/ad1 /somewhere

This is so easy because I very often use sysinstall for
initializing the disk when installing, but any further
disk adding is done via CLI as shown above, because it's
much simpler - and I didn't see any reason to create a
slice - even if I wanted to have more than one partition,
which I often don't want.

> As for 'd' vs 'e', sometime a long time and many generations ago there
> was a convention of reserving 'd' for something.  I don't remember what
> it was.  It was pre FreeBSD 3 and pre 1997 and maybe even pre any FreeBSD
> and applied in some earlier Unix-en before the court cases, but not after.
> That old convention accounts for documentation starting with using 'e' for 
> extra partitions and skipping 'd'.   But, whatever that old convention
> was, it has not been used for so long that it is meaningless nowdays
> and 'd' can be used for whatever extra partition you want.

You say it: I KNEW that there was something someone had
on his mind when reserving 'd' for something special...
but WHAT it exactly was, I don't know.

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

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