can't make an 'a' slice except with auto-defaults

Steve Franks bahamasfranks at
Wed Feb 3 17:26:08 UTC 2010

On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 8:18 AM, Jerry McAllister <jerrymc at> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:59:15PM -0700, Steve Franks wrote:
>> On a running system.  I mean, I know I should quit being a &%^#& and
>> read the manpage for bsdlabel, but sysintall really does have a nice
>> tui.    'C'reate slice goes straight to 'd', even on a 'fresh' disk.
>> I see in the handbook, this is alluded to, but some intermediate level
>> between begginer and expert (bsdlabel just strikes me as way too easy
>> to trash the disk I'm running off of while trying to make a backup),
>> would be nice...512M just won't fit the kernel+symbols.
>> <fuming, reading man bsdlabel ;) >
> Well, Create slice would be an fdisk(8) thing, not bsdlabel.
> bsdlabel creates partitions within a slice.
> But, generally you cannot run fdisk on a disk that is in use on a
> running system - which generally means that it is the boot device,
> has filesystems mounted or has part of the currently designated swap
> space.  You will need to plug in a boot cd or bring up the fixit system
> for that.   The fixit system runs from memory - creates filesystems
> and mount points in memory rather than on disk, so it can talk to
> any disk.
> New, if you are working on a non-used (extra) disk, eg one that is not
> the boot device nor has any mounted filesystems or swap space
> on it, then you should be able to fdisk and bsdlabel that from
> a running system.
> I have no idea what you mean by "'C'reate slice goes straight to 'd'"
> It does not match anything I remember being possible.  I don't happen
> to have any system handy at the moment that I can muck with disks on.
> ////jerry

Ok, terminology crash.  As someone pointed out, I'm talking about
label, here, not fdisk, and partitions, not slices (had those two
backwards in my head).

Basically, as far as I can tell, on a running system, there is no
combination of keystrokes in sysinstall's label editor that will
create an "ad[1-9]s1a", except the 'a' key which produces a 512M s1a.
All other keystrokes (namely 'c') go straight to "ad[1-9]s1d" when a
second disk is placed in a system booted from ad0s1a.  I'm just trying
to make a fresh disk ready for dump/restore with a 1G /, so I guess
sysinstall is out as an option at this time.


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