Fwd: FreeBSD 7.1 Content

Oliver Fromme olli at lurza.secnetix.de
Thu Sep 11 12:47:34 UTC 2008

Ian Smith wrote:
 > % man sysinstall | tail says it all.  However sysinstall has enough bits 
 > (modules, really) that don't suck to make its presence still worthy.
 > The wrappers around fdisk and bsdlabel alone are worth a lot, despite a 
 > notion that 'real men' figure out cylinder and slice offsets themselves.  

It's not that bad.

I agree that fdisk's "user interface" is not pretty.
But the most common usage is simply "fdisk -BI" to
initialize a new disk to be used by FreeBSD.  This
is a simple, non-interactive command, so there's no
reason to use sysinstall for that.

And bsdlabel (formerly disklabel) is actually quite
user-friendly.  In the most common cases (preparing
a fresh disk or slice), you don't have to calculate
anything at all.

When "bsdlabel -e" drops you into your favourite
editor (assuming you have set $EDITOR to something
you're familiar with), just enter the partition
letters that you need, and their respective sizes.

Note you can use "M" and "G" suffixes for MBytes and
GBytes; you don't have to calculate sector counts.
You can even use percent values, so entering "50%"
for the size will use half of the free space on that
slice (after subtracting all fixed-size partitions),
and "100%" will use all the remaining space, as does

Just enter "*" for all the offsets, and they will
automatically allocated sequentially.  Again, you
don't have to calculate anything, unless you really
want to.  The bsdlabel tool is pretty fool-proof,
it checks all data and will warn you if partitons
overlap or extend beyond the end of the slice, or
if the "c" partition doesn't cover the whole slice.
In that case it will refuse to continue, and offer
to go back to the editor.

Certainly there could be a "nicer" interface for
all of that (I'm not saying sade(8) is useless),
but I think bsdlabel does its job pretty well,
and it is _not_ difficult to use, contrary to what
many people seem to believe.

Best regards

Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co. KG, Marktplatz 29, 85567 Grafing b. M.
Handelsregister: Registergericht Muenchen, HRA 74606,  Geschäftsfuehrung:
secnetix Verwaltungsgesellsch. mbH, Handelsregister: Registergericht Mün-
chen, HRB 125758,  Geschäftsführer: Maik Bachmann, Olaf Erb, Ralf Gebhart

FreeBSD-Dienstleistungen, -Produkte und mehr:  http://www.secnetix.de/bsd

"I made up the term 'object-oriented', and I can tell you
I didn't have C++ in mind."
        -- Alan Kay, OOPSLA '97

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