We installed Debain 6.0 (Squeeze) on a Seagate ST2000DL003 (2 TB SATA HDD) and the installer choose GPT for us. Only came to light when we tried to run fdisk and got "WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted
was not installed by default (!). Investigating further we found dd
cannot be used to back up and restore GPT; for that you need gptfdisk
(a.k.a. gdisk) which is still in beta and does not have a 64-bit .deb.
Clearly GPT is the future but I am not convinced it is mature yet (Bug#599437
) and the online knowledgebase is not yet extensive.
Taking all this into account, I am considering changing to a traditional MBR and included partition table. [Note on terminology: when using a GPT, the MBR is considered distinct from the partition table; when using a legacy partition table, the partition table is commonly considered part of the MBR]
Would this be wise? If the good people at Debian have programmed the installer to use GPT for this HDD, despite GPT's youth, they must have had their reasons. The most informative Debian documentation found is the Debian GNU/Linux Installation Guide, 6.3.3. Partitioning and Mount Point Selection
which says "... Defaults may vary as well. The type of partition table used by default can for example be different for large capacity hard disks than for smaller hard disks. Some options can only be changed when installing at medium or low debconf priority; at higher priorities sensible defaults will be used