New BSD Installer

Mike Andrews mandrews at
Tue Feb 14 21:11:38 UTC 2012

On 2/14/2012 3:05 PM, Devin Teske wrote:
> Please don't get rid of fdisk or bsdlabel as they are (and forever will be)
> required to do things like:
> 1. scripted formatting of a thumb drive
> 2. automated probing of disk information (fdisk -p)
> 3. Other tasks that are not suitably handled by curses-based utilities
> For example, the following command will create a second Windows partition on a
> thumb drive without user interaction:
> 	echo "p 2 0x0c * *" | fdisk -f - /dev/da0
> If you take away fdisk, how am I supposed to achieve the above?

/sbin/gpart add -t 12 -i 2 da0

(Untested, but that should work...)

gpart is very scriptable, and still handles MBR and bsdlabel partitions 
if you need to work with removable media or volumes that will never be 
larger than 2 TB.  "gpart list" and "gpart show" would get you all the 
machine-parsable stuff you'd ever need.

The 2 TB limit is *the* reason to move from MBR+bsdlabel to GPT though.  
Even without RAID, 3 TB disks exist already. :)  With FreeBSD's boot 
code, you don't even need an EFI-capable machine to boot from a 
GPT-partitioned device.  For non-removable media, it's time to move on.  
Really.  :)  Even on smaller 250 GB disks, I'm using GPT just because 
there's no reason not to... it's just cleaner and it was easier to write 
gpart scripts than it was to script fdisk/bsdlabel scripts anyway.

More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list