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Old 10-19-2001, 08:03 AM   #1
skaltavista
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Question Can we partition for Linux, and not DOS?


I am thinking of partitioning my IDE/ATA hard drive such that the partitions do not begin or end on cylinder boundaries.

This is considered dangerous, but I'd like to know exactly why. The best indications I could find about this are in the README for Linux's fdisk, where it is stated that partitioning in this way "does not normally affect Linux" but that "other operating systems (including DOS) may try to 'correct' the partition boundaries."

My questions are:
1. Is it true that Linux can handle ext2 (and swap) partitions which begin and end anywhere (i.e. with any sector)? If so, what is the README referring to when it says "normally"? Under what conditions would Linux be affected?

2. What is the extent of the danger from other operating systems? Does the danger come only from running their versions of fdisk, or can normal, everyday use somehow result in a "partition correction"? Do other operating systems "correct" all partitions on a disk, or just those that are native to them?

Thanks for any information you can provide, the clearer and more detailed the better. If I can gather together enough for a comprehensive explanation, I'm thinking of sending it as a contribution to the Linux Partition HowTo.
 
Old 10-22-2001, 02:58 AM   #2
rootboy
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Re: Can we partition for Linux, and not DOS?

Quote:
Originally posted by skaltavista
I am thinking of partitioning my IDE/ATA hard drive such that the partitions do not begin or end on cylinder boundaries.

This is considered dangerous, but I'd like to know exactly why. The best indications I could find about this are in the README for Linux's fdisk, where it is stated that partitioning in this way "does not normally affect Linux" but that "other operating systems (including DOS) may try to 'correct' the partition boundaries."

Probably because DOS (that includes later incarnations of it aka "Windows") might/will get confused as to where things start.

This is going to be bad mojo when it comes to accessing data...


Did you read this?

http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/linux/Large-Disk-6.html


And anything else you could possibly want...

...is right here:

http://www.computercraft.com/docs/evsterms.html

Okay, almost everything Go here and read the FAQ:

http://www.xosl.org/


John
 
Old 10-22-2001, 07:49 PM   #3
skaltavista
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Thanks for the links! I'll check them out.

I did discover the latest version of the Large Disk HowTo - I've always thought of Mr. Brouwer as Partition God. When he states: "Fortunately, for Linux there is no alignment requirement at all" that pretty much clinches it for my first question: I figure that ext2 or swap partitions can begin or end with any sector.

However, I'm well aware that if DOS is to be used, its partitions have to be specified according to what it expects. My concern is mostly for Linux partitions which are on the same disk as the DOS partitions. For example, let's say we have a correctly-specified DOS partition, followed by a Linux partition which begins on a cylinder boundary (because it follows the DOS partition) but does not end on one. If I boot DOS, will it "notice" this and "correct" it? Or does it only care about "its own" partitions?
 
Old 10-22-2001, 08:39 PM   #4
DMR
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DOS doesn't recognize ext2/ext3/reiserfs/etc. partitions, so it won't muck with them.
 
  


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