This is a template that is used as part of the Installation instructions which covers: the process of partitioning and filesystem creation. Templates are being used to allow multiple variant install guides that use most of the same re-usable parts.
Prepare Hard Disk
In earlier times, there was only one way to boot a PC-compatible computer. All of our desktops and servers had a standard BIOS, all our hard drives used Master Boot Records, and were partitioned using the MBR partition scheme. And we liked it that way!
Then, along came EFI and UEFI, which are new-style firmware designed to boot systems, along with GPT partition tables to support disks larger than 2.2TB. All of the sudden, we had a variety of options to boot Linux systems, turning what once was a one-method-fits-all approach into something a lot more complex.
Let's take a moment to review the boot options available to you. This Install Guide uses, and recommends, the old-school method of BIOS booting and using an MBR. It works. There's nothing wrong with it. If your system disk is 2TB or smaller in size, it won't prevent you from using all of your disk's capacity, either.
But, there are some situations where the old-school method isn't optimal. If you have a system disk >2TB in size, then MBR partitions won't allow you to access all your storage. So that's one reason. Another reason is that there are some so-called "PC" systems out there that don't support BIOS booting anymore, and force you to use UEFI to boot.
Our recommendation is still to go old-school unless you have reason not to. We call this method the BIOS + GRUB (MBR) method. It's the traditional method of setting up a PC-compatible system to boot Linux.
If you need to use UEFI to boot, we are supporting two options. One still uses the BIOS to boot, but with GPT partition tables to support system disks >2.2TB in size. We refer to this method as the BIOS + GRUB (GPT) method.
There is also another method, which avoids using the BIOS for booting at all. Instead, it uses UEFI, with GPT. We call this the UEFI + GRUB (GPT) method.
Funtoo Linux fully supports traditional MBR partitions, as well as newer GPT/GUID partition formats. See below to determine which partitioning scheme to use:
- Recommended if your system disk is <=2TB in size
- Legacy, DOS partitioning scheme
- Only 4 primary partitions per disk; after that, you must use "logical" partitions
- Does not support 2 TB+ disks for booting
- Compatible with certain problematic systems (such as the HP ProBook 4520)
- Dual-boot with Windows for BIOS systems (Windows handle GPT only on true EFI systems, whatever version it is)
- Multiple boot loader options, e.g. GRUB 2, GRUB Legacy, lilo
Due to the fact that it is more widely supported on PC hardware, it is best to use MBR partitions if possible.
- Recommended if your disk is >2TB in size
- Newer format for Linux systems
- Supports 2 TB+ hard drives for booting
- Supports hundreds of partitions per disk of any size
- Requires legacy BIOS boot partition (~32 MB) to be created if system does not use EFI
- Requires bootloader with support for GPT such as GRUB 2, EXTLINUX, or a patched version of GRUB Legacy
If you have a system disk that is 2TB or greater and want to use the space beyond 2TB, you must partition using the GPT/GUID format. Otherwise, MBR is recommended as the most reliable boot method.
Advanced users may be interested in the following topics:
- GUID Booting Guide
- LVM Install Guide
- Rootfs over encrypted lvm
- Rootfs over encrypted lvm over raid-1 on GPT
- NEW! ZFS Install Guide (Also contains instructions for Rootfs over Encrypted ZFS!)
Below are our partitioning recommendations in table form. For MBR-based partitions, use the MBR Block Device and MBR code columns with
fdisk. For GPT-based partitions, use the GPT Block Device and GPT Code columns with
|Partition||Size||MBR Block Device (
||GPT Block Device (
||Filesystem||MBR Code||GPT Code|
|GRUB boot loader partition||1 MB||not required for MBR||
||For GPT/GUID only, skip for MBR - no filesystem.||N/A||EF02|
|swap||2x RAM for low-memory systems and production servers; otherwise 2GB.||
||Rest of the disk, minimum of 10GB. Note: to compile the
||XFS recommended, alternatively ext4||83||8300|
||User storage and media. Typically most of the disk.||
||XFS recommended, alternatively ext4||83||8300|
|LVM (optional)||If you want to create an LVM volume.||
Partitioning Using fdisk (MBR)
These install instructions assume you are installing Funtoo Linux to an hard disk using Master Boot Record partition tables (MBR). If you are installing Funtoo Linux on a machine where another OS is installed, there is an existing Linux distribution on your system that you want to keep or any other scenario (such as differing swap size requirements), then you will need to adapt these instructions to suit your needs.
fdisk is the tool used to create an MBR partition table. MBR is well-supported on PCs and is recommended if your system disk is 2TB or smaller.
First, it's a good idea to make sure that you've found the correct hard disk to partition. Try this command and verify that
/dev/sda is the disk that you want to partition:
# fdisk -l /dev/sda Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640135028736 bytes, 1250263728 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk label type: gpt # Start End Size Type Name 1 2048 1250263694 596.2G Linux filesyste Linux filesystem
Now, it's recommended that you erase any existing MBR or GPT partition tables on the disk, which could confuse the system's BIOS at boot time. We do this using
This will make any existing partitions inaccessible! You are strongly cautioned and advised to backup any critical data before proceeding.
# sgdisk --zap-all /dev/sda Creating new GPT entries. GPT data structures destroyed! You may now partition the disk using fdisk or other utilities.
This output is also nothing to worry about, as the command still succeded:
*************************************************************** Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPT format in memory. ***************************************************************
Now we will use
fdisk to create the MBR partition table and partitions:
# fdisk /dev/sda
fdisk, follow these steps:
Empty the partition table:
Command (m for help): o ↵
Create Partition 1 (boot):
Command (m for help): n ↵ Partition type (default p): ↵ Partition number (1-4, default 1): ↵ First sector: ↵ Last sector: +128M ↵
Create Partition 2 (swap):
Command (m for help): n ↵ Partition type (default p): ↵ Partition number (2-4, default 2): ↵ First sector: ↵ Last sector: +2G ↵ Command (m for help): t ↵ Partition number (1,2, default 2): ↵ Hex code (type L to list all codes): 82 ↵
Create the root partition:
Command (m for help): n ↵ Partition type (default p): ↵ Partition number (3,4, default 3): ↵ First sector: ↵ Last sector: ↵
Verify the partition table:
Command (m for help): p Disk /dev/sda: 298.1 GiB, 320072933376 bytes, 625142448 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disklabel type: dos Disk identifier: 0x82abc9a6 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 2048 264191 131072 83 Linux /dev/sda2 264192 4458495 2097152 82 Linux swap / Solaris /dev/sda3 4458496 625142447 310341976 83 Linux
Write the parition table to disk:
Command (m for help): w
Your new MBR partition table will now be written to your system disk.
Before your newly-created partitions can be used, the block devices need to be initialized with filesystem metadata. This process is known as creating a filesystem on the block devices. After filesystems are created on the block devices, they can be mounted and used to store files.
You will not create a filesystem on your swap partition, but will initialize it using the
mkswap command so that it can be used as disk-based virtual memory. Then we'll run the
swapon command to make your newly-initialized swap space active within the live CD environment, in case it is needed during the rest of the install process.
Note that we will not create a filesystem on the GRUB boot loader partition, as GRUB writes binary data directly to that partition when the boot loader is installed, which we'll do later.
You can see the commands you will need to type below. Like the rest of this document, it assumes that you are using a GPT partitioning scheme. If you are using MBR, your root filesystem will likely be created on
/dev/sda3 instead and you will need to adjust the target block devices. If you are following our recommendations, then simply do this:
We generally recommend XFS for root filesystems, although ext4 is also a good choice. This tutorial assumes the use of XFS. If you want to use ext4, then be sure that your
/etc/fstab file reflects this.
When deploying an OpenVZ host, please use ext4 exclusively. The Parallels development team tests extensively with ext4, and modern versions of
openvz-rhel6-stable are not compatible with XFS, and you may experience kernel bugs.
To use ext4 as your root filesystem:
# mke2fs -t ext2 /dev/sda1 # mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3 # mkswap /dev/sda2 # swapon /dev/sda2
To use XFS as your root filesystem:
# mke2fs -t ext2 /dev/sda1 # mkfs.xfs /dev/sda3 # mkswap /dev/sda2 # swapon /dev/sda2
Mount the newly-created filesystems as follows, creating
/mnt/funtoo as the installation mount point:
# mkdir /mnt/funtoo # mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/funtoo # mkdir /mnt/funtoo/boot # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/funtoo/boot
Optionally, if you have a separate filesystem for
/home or anything else:
# mkdir /mnt/funtoo/home # mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/funtoo/home
If you have
/var/tmp on a separate filesystem, be sure to change the permissions of the mount point to be globally-writeable after mounting, as follows:
# chmod 1777 /mnt/funtoo/tmp