[conspire] output from gparted doesn't explain missing GiBs

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Apr 1 18:24:14 PDT 2010

Quoting Darlene Wallach (freepalestin at dslextreme.com):

> I profusely apologize for taking the thread offlist, it was *not* on
> purpose. I wasn't paying attention when I replied.

Not a problem, really.  I just wanted to explain that I was quoting from

> I did try GNU parted and could not figure out how to get it to operate
> on /dev/sdb.

I'm _guessing_ that the partition-table management features functions
will work, just not the mkfs-related ones.  (Again, I haven't used any
of this software.)  In other words, do mkpart instead of mkpartfs.

I could certainly be wrong.  All the GNU parted manual says is this,
which is a bit ambiguous:

  Currently ext3 filesystem functionality does not work. To manage ext3
  type filesystems use tools like resize2fs or mke2fs. Note that the
  currently supported ext2 filesystem will be deprecated once ext3 support
  is finalized. Further note that ext3 support will have limited
  functionality that is yet to be defined. Use tools like resize2fs (8)
  and mke2fs (8) to manage these types of filesystems.

resize2fs and mke2fs are utilities to manage the _formats_ of ext2/ext3 
partitions.  That is, they have functionality at the mkfs level.

In fact, on systems where it exists, I believe "mke2fs" tends to be an
additional hard link pointing to mkfs.ext3, i.e., it's the same program.

What you basically need from a _partitioning_ program, by contrast, is
to create and populate the partition table.  Here's a partition table 
created by good ol' /sbin/fdisk:

# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80000000000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9726 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xbb59bb59

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        1216     9767488+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2            1217        1459     1951897+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3            1460        8510    56637157+  83  Linux
/dev/sda4            8511        9726     9767520    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            8511        9726     9767488+  83  Linux

You desire to (1) create a partition table AKA disk label of some sort
-- either GUID Partition Table or old-style IBM/Microsoft-type -- and
(2) populate that table with entries roughly resembling the type-83 ones
(i.e., ext2/ext3) above.

I keep saying "ext2/ext3" because they're the same partition type:  If
it lacks a journal, it's ext2.  If it has one, it's ext3.  But they're
the same, otherwise.

I _think_ GNU parted will do that.  If not, /sbin/fdisk will (subject to
its 4 TB limit), as long as you're happy with an IBM/Microsoft-type
partition table.  Ditto cfdisk.

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