[conspire] Comments on setting up disk partitions.

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Apr 9 11:15:29 PDT 2009

Quoting Paul Zander (paulz at ieee.org):

> Once fdisk has been properly executed, the effective result is sda1,
> sda2, sda3, sda5, sda6,....

Also, just to reiterate, Linux tools to edit the partition table do not
also "format" (mkfs) those filesystems.  The partitioning tools _only_
edit what's in the partitioning table.  mkfs.* / mkswap is a separate step.

People coming from MS-Windows often expect the two things to happen at
the same time automatically, and they don't.

My own routine goes like this:

1.  Boot a live CD (current choice = Sidux).
2.  Run "/sbin/fdisk /dev/sda" to define /dev/sda filesystem 
    entries in the partition table.  Repeat with other disks
    as needed.
3.  Run "mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1", "mkswap /dev/sda2", etc. to 
    create the actual filesystems.
4.  _Only then_ boot the desired Linux installation CD/DVD to 
    carry out installation.

Most people don't do that, and instead go directly into step #4, because 
all distros have friendly routines to define and format filesystems and
specify their mountpoints, often from nice graphical front-end screens 
with niceties like on-the-fly non-destructive partition resizers built

However, I just kinda like using /sbin/fdisk and being in full control.

Cheers,           "I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate
Rick Moen         those who do.  And, for the people who like country music,
rick at linuxmafia.com         denigrate means 'put down'."      -- Bob Newhart

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