bsdlabel geometry params

Gary Aitken freebsd at
Mon Jun 4 13:53:58 UTC 2012

According the the handbook, one should do the following to set up a new disk:

1 dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da1 bs=1k count=1
2 fdisk -BI da1 #Initialize your new disk
3 bsdlabel -B -w da1s1 auto #Label it.
4 bsdlabel -e da1s1 # Edit the bsdlabel just created and add any partitions.
5 mkdir -p /1
6 newfs /dev/da1s1e # Repeat this for every partition you created.
7 mount /dev/da1s1e /1 # Mount the partition(s)
8 vi /etc/fstab # Add the appropriate entry/entries to your /etc/fstab.

In step #4, bsdlabel gives you a label with zeros for fsize, bsize, bps/cpg
Is it necessary to fill these in, or is there a way to get some reasonable defaults?
"newfs -N" will give you numbers for bsize and fsize, but what about bps/cpg?

What does the install process do for this step?  I don't remember ever having to deal with it.


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