[arch-releng] GPT support in AIF

John T. Wilkinson john.t.wilkinson at dartmouth.edu
Tue Dec 7 20:27:32 CET 2010

On 12/07/2010 12:06 PM, Heiko Baums wrote:
> Am Tue, 07 Dec 2010 11:06:45 -0700
> schrieb "John T. Wilkinson"<john.t.wilkinson at dartmouth.edu>:
>> 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.
> Not quite right as far as I know. It was primarily intended for
> EFI/UEFI, but now runs with BIOS, too.
I know there have been attempts to patch grub to work with GPT, and grub 
2 is supposed to include support, but I think there are still issues and 
this does not always work (see http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/bios.html 
for example), hence my statement that booting from GPT with a bios is 
not "well supported" currently.

> But first installing a system and then make GPT partitions wouldn't
> make much sense particularly if you need to install the system onto a
> partition bigger than 2 TB even if this partition only contains /home.
>> 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.
> There should not only non-boot GPT partitions. It should be possible
> to be able to building the whole partitioning scheme as GPT.
> I don't know if it would be possible to mix MBR and GPT partitions
> anyway.
> Heiko
This is how things are often done on servers with a lot of storage, I've 
done it multiple times myself with large raid arrays:  setup a small 
disk to hold the OS and boot from using an MBR during install, then 
after install, setup a larger disk (or more often RAID array) using GPT 
that is used for data.


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