Linux: Partitioning Disks📄 OneThingWell.dev wiki page | 🕑 Last updated: Aug 1, 2022
There are a few Linux tools that you can use to work with partitions, but the best overall choice is
parted. It's worth getting yourself familiar with it.
If you don't have it already, you can install the package with something like:
apt/dnf install parted
Let's open parted in interactive mode on our disk (as root):
parted --align optimal /dev/sda
First, let's see some info about our disk:
In my case:
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: gpt Disk Flags: Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
As you can see, I'm using an empty 1TB disk as an example. This disk has both physical and logical sector sizes of 512B.
Some modern disks have 4k physical sectors, i.e.:
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
In that case, you have to be more careful with aligning your partitions, but don't worry, parted can help us with that (that's why we used "--align optimal" switch).
Nowadays, there are not many compelling reasons to use MBR anymore, and my recommendation is to go with GPT if possible (it's generally possible to boot from GPT partitions even on older BIOS systems).
OK, Let's make a new GPT partition table.
Note: Before executing this, double-check that you're working on a correct disk because this command will destroy your existing partition table.
To create new partitions, we're going to use parted's mkpart command in this form:
mkpart part-label (fs-type) start end
part-labelis the partition label - you'll be able to access the partition later through
/dev/disk/by-partlabel/mylabel(note: a lot of people are incorrectly using "primary" here as a partition type (as they would in the MBR mode), which just sets the partition label to "primary")
endare starting and ending positions for our new partition - to make things simple, we're going to use MiB as a unit.
First, we're going to create a small partition required for booting grub in legacy BIOS mode. If you plan to only boot your system in UEFI mode, you can skip this step, but since it takes only 1MB, it's handy to have it around (i.e. if you'll ever have trouble booting in UEFI mode).
mkpart bios_grub 1MiB 2MiB
We also need to set bios_grub flag on that partition:
set 1 bios_grub on
Next, we need an EFI system partition for EFI bootloader and drivers.
mkpart esp fat32 2MiB 300MiB
We also need to set
set 2 esp on
You can use this same partition also as your /boot partition (in that case, around 300MiB is usually enough).
Or you can keep /boot and /efi separate (but keep in mind that not all bootloaders support that). In that case, just create an additional partition for /boot (around 200MiB), and /efi can be ~100MiB.
At this point I recommend creating one partition in the rest of the unpartitioned space, which we'll use as a container for everything else (more on that later):
mkpart rest 301MiB -1MiB
(negative number means we're starting from the opposite side of the disk)
let's see the result:
Depending on the values you chose, it should look something like this:
Disk /dev/sda: 953870MiB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: gpt Disk Flags: Number Start End Size File system Name Flags 1 1.00MiB 2.00MiB 1.00MiB bios_grub 2 2.00MiB 315MiB 313MiB fat32 EFI System Partition boot, esp 3 315MiB 953869MiB 953554MiB
As you can see, almost all our space is allocated to "/dev/sda3" partition. To avoid future repartitioning of the disk, you can use that as a container for LVM, BTRFS, or other types of volumes.
We'll go through that (and encrypting partitions with LUKS) in the next posts.
To exit parted, just type
quit or press Ctrl+D.
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