Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Command-line partitioning and formatting

Automatic non-interactive formatting in Linux is possible with parted.
The following creates 1 single ext3 partition on an entire disk. Of course, if you assign the wrong disk to the $disk variable, it will be a bad day...
# Select the disk device and chose a label for the partition
# ptype=msdos for disks up to 2 TB. ptype=gpt for disks over 2 TB
disk=/dev/sdx; label=my_part_label; ptype=msdos
I have added sleep commands, so I can just copy/paste the whole thing and still have a chance to Ctrl-C if I change my mind at the last second.

# print the current partition(s) state
parted $disk print ; sleep 10

# create a gpt ot msdos partition table (depending on $ptype variable defined above)
parted -a optimal $disk mklabel $ptype ; sleep 5

# create the partition, starting at 1MB which may be better
# with newer disks
parted -a optimal -- $disk unit compact mkpart primary ext3 "1" "-1" ; sleep 5

# format it
mke2fs -j -v -L "$label" ${disk}1 && echo "OK. That's it"

Update: see also scripting disk partitionning in Linux - take 2 for another way, using sgdisk instead of parted.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Windows installers options for silent installs

Different installers use different command-line options for silent or unattended installs. Since I had started these notes, I have found a good overview on unattended.sourceforge.net.

Inno Setup

can be identified with the "Inno Setup" string appearing in various places in the installer's .exe. The options are described here. The most useful ones are:
  • /SAVEINF="filename"
    Save installation settings to the specified file.
  • /LOADINF="filename"
    Load the settings from the specified file after having checked the command line.
  • /SP-
    Disables the This will install... Do you wish to continue? prompt at the beginning of Setup.
    When Setup is silent the wizard and the background window are not displayed but the installation progress window is. When a setup is very silent this installation progress window is not displayed. Everything else is normal so for example error messages during installation are displayed.
  • /DIR="x:\dirname"
  • /LANG=language
    Specifies the language to use. language specifies the internal name of the language as specified in a [Languages] section entry.

Nullsoft's NSIS

can be identified with the "NSIS" string appearing in various places in the installer's .exe. The options are described here, but there seem to be only 2 useful ones:
  • /S
    Silent installation
  • /D=C:\Bla
    Set output folder

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