[arch-releng] GPT support in AIF

John T. Wilkinson john.t.wilkinson at dartmouth.edu
Tue Dec 7 19:06:45 CET 2010

On 12/07/2010 10:54 AM, Dieter Plaetinck wrote:
> On Tue, 7 Dec 2010 17:19:23 +0100
> Heiko Baums<lists at baums-on-web.de>  wrote:
>> Am Tue, 7 Dec 2010 09:35:29 -0600
>> schrieb C Anthony Risinger<anthony at extof.me>:
>>> how about pulling btrfs-progs into core as well?  and on that note,
>>> where does btrfs stand in terms of AIF?
>> I'd like to see btrfs in [core] and AIF, too.
>> While we're on it, what's about supporting GPT (GUID Partition Table)
>> in AIF? Since the harddisks are getting bigger nowadays it will soon
>> be necessary as far as I know, because an MBR partition can only have
>> a size of 2 TB.
>> Heiko
> I'm not very familiar with this topic.
> Nor am i familiar with the related topic of block boundary sizes and
> stuff.
> Although tpowa tried to explain to me, this is what I wrote down:
> * don't use sfdisk or cfdisk, they don't support 1MB bootsectors (which
>    is a new standard for 4k sector drives, better alignment and win7)
> * parted and fdisk do.
> * mbr is soon dead
> * https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_4_KiB_sector_issues
> * parted is also good for GPT and uefi usage
> * fdisk does not support GPT
> * but parted has no (ncurses) UI
> so yeah, lets figure out if this info is still up to date, and how we
> should proceed. it looks like we shoud just use parted, if we can
> find/make an ncurses frontend for it, all problems should be magically
> solved.
> Dieter
I believe this is accurate.  I have used GPT for large raid arrays on 
other Linux distros.  The prevailing way to deal with GPT is to leave it 
out of the installer, configure the OS on a non GPT partition, then 
after install to use parted to make the GPT partitions.  I believe to 
boot to a GPT partition you need EFI or UEFI, booting to GPT from a 
regular bios is not well supported, and most motherboards presently do 
not have EFI/UEFI except for some enterprise servers.

A good first step that would put Arch beyond other distros from what 
I've seen would be support for non-boot GPT partitions in the installer 
via parted.


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