Installer: missing GEOM/gpart capabilities slicing disk?

O. Hartmann ohartman at
Sat Nov 28 11:29:49 UTC 2009

Daniel O'Connor wrote:
> [ -current CC dropped ]
> On Mon, 9 Nov 2009, O. Hartmann wrote:
>> I try to install a fresh new FreeBSD 8.0-RC2 (from snapshot-DVD) on a
>> barndnew harddrive. As far as I recall partitioning a disk is now
>> done via gpart and the limitation of having only 8 (-2) partitions
>> from a through h except b and c is now obsoleted. When dropping into
>> the installation process, I realised that the 8 partition boundary is
>> still present.
>> Is there a howto (I searched the wiki and lists without success)? I
>> read a lot about how to install FreeBSD on op of a complete ZFS
>> infrastructure, but key issue seems to be a hands-on partitioning of
>> the target haddrive via the fixit procedure.
> sysinstall does not [yet] do GPT partitions, I believe someone is 
> working on patches but I have no idea what state they are in.

Oh, I regret this. GPT partitions seem to me to be much more powerful
than the old MBR. Hope we can get GPT support/replacement soon.

> Also, I didn't think that bsdlabel was limited to 8 partitions, however 
> I'm not certain.

Manpage of bsdlabel(8) tells us that it can hold 8 entries in the
partitioning table. I'm not quite sure, but months ago I read something
about a change/patch allowing up to 26 entries (limitation to the
alphabet). Days ago I installed a fresh new FreeBSD 8 on a new harddisk
to get rid of some legacy geometry errors. I was wondering why still the
 a - h-label constraint in bsdlabel was still present.

> BTW gpart does many partition types not just MBR and GPT.


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