FreeBSD slices and the Boot Manager

Ian Smith smithi at
Mon Jul 29 08:58:44 UTC 2013

On Mon, 29 Jul 2013 01:04:04 +0200 (CEST), Conny Andersson wrote:
 > Hi Devin,
 > Apropos sade (sysadmins disk editor). I have it at /usr/sbin/sade and I am
 > running a FreeBSD 8.3. I also mounted FreeBSD 8.1 and FreeBSD 8.2 and found
 > sade at /usr/sbin/ even in these older FreeBSDs.

I can't recall if sade was in 6.x but it certainly is in 7.x.  I think 
Devin meant to say 'in 9 and earlier'.  Yes it's taken from the fdisk 
and bsdlabel sections of sysinstall, but existed long before there was 
talk of deprecating sysinstall, apart from Jordan's self-deprecatory 
comments some 18 years ago suggesting it should be updated/replaced, as 
found under BUGS in sysinstall(8) up to at least 8.2, but not in 9.x:

     This utility is a prototype which lasted several years past its expira-
     tion date and is greatly in need of death.

 > Regards,
 > Conny
 > > On Sun, 28 Jul 2013, Teske, Devin wrote:
 > > 
 > > In this case, sade is (or was) a direct by-product of the death of
 > > sysinstall(8). It only exists in 9 or higher.
 > > 
 > > In-fact... sade was (up until recently in HEAD) actual code removed from
 > > sysinstall(8).
 > > 
 > > NOTE: In HEAD, sade(8) is now a direct path to "bsdinstall partedit"

Well that will be alright if 'bsdinstall partedit' now does the hitherto 
missing sade functions, particulary Disklabel Editor functions such as 
allowing one to toggle newfs on particular (BSD) partitions, toggle 
softupdates, use custom newfs options, and delete-and-merge partitions?

 > > I don't know what the long-term goals are for sade, but it's a nice
 > > 4-letter acronym that's a nice keystroke saver (at the very least).

As I said, unless you're into the arcane maths needed to run fdisk and 
bsdlabel manually, sade (or its functions in sysinstall) is the only 
safe and sane way to manage MBR disks.  I'd love to be proven wrong ..

And credit to you, Devin, for developing bsdconfig to replace most of 
sysinstall's other post-installation functions.  I'll have a play with 
that when I upgrade my 9.1 to 9.2 fairly soon.

cheers, Ian

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