New BSD Installer

Jeremy Chadwick freebsd at
Fri Feb 17 00:18:31 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 01:08:28AM +0100, Miroslav Lachman wrote:
> Mike Andrews wrote:
> >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.
> Please don't mix two things together. gpart can replace fdisk and
> bsdlabel, but GPT vs. MBR is a different thing. GPT doesn't play
> nice with GEOM classes which store their metadata on last sector.
> For example, you can't use gmirror of a whole drives and use GPT on
> top of this mirror. (and gmirror is not the only one)

This is quite possibly the most concise, clearest definition of a major
(borderline catastrophic) situation pertaining to GPT + GEOM

I'm going to be more bold than usual: who is fixing this, and when is it
going to be MFC'd to 9, 8, and probably 7 would be a good idea?  If
nobody is fixing this, someone had better light a fire under someone's
ass to fix it.  I'm absolutely amazed this is still a problem.

| Jeremy Chadwick                              jdc at |
| Parodius Networking            |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                 Mountain View, CA, US |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.             PGP 4BD6C0CB |

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