Sunday, January 06, 2013

scripting disk partitionning in Linux - take 2

It is possible to use parted to script/automate disk partitioning in Linux, as described in "Command-line partitioning and formatting".

Another way is to use sgdisk from the GPT fdisk programs.

In Debian and derivatives, it can be installed with sudo apt-get install gdisk.

The current version 0.8.1 from the Ubuntu 12.04 repository would partition only the first 2TB of a 4 TB. disk. So you may need to get a more recent version from the downloads page. I got version 0.8.5 for x64, and that worked very well.

The following will create and format a single NTFS partition on an entire drive:

disk=/dev/sdb            # Make sure you got this right !!
echo "disk $disk will be completely erased."

sudo sgdisk -Z $disk
sudo sgdisk --new=0:0:-8M -t 1:0700 $disk
sudo sgdisk -p $disk
sudo mkntfs --verbose --fast --label "$label" --no-indexing --with-uuid ${disk}1

-Z removes any left-over partitions

--new=0:0:-8M creates a single partition from the start of the disk to 8MB before the end (just in case it's useful to not end on the very last sector)

-t 1:0700 sets the first partition we just created to type "Microsoft Basic Partition", which is the type we want for a simple NTFS partition. Linux would be -t 1:8300. Use sgdisk -L to get a list of partition types.

Note that for comfortable (and safer) manual partitioning, there is also cgdisk. It is like the old cfdisk, but works with new disks over 2TB.

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