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 this section, we'll learn about the different ways that Funtoo Linux can be installed on -- and booted from -- a 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 PC BIOS, all our hard drives used Master Boot Records to boot the system, and our hard drives were partitioned into different regions using the MBR partition scheme. That was just how it was done. 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 define disk partitions on disks larger than 2.2TB. All of the sudden, we had a variety of options for installing and booting 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 options available to you for configuring a hard drive to boot Funtoo Linux. This Install Guide uses, and recommends, the old-school method of BIOS booting and using an MBR. It works and (except for rare cases) is universally supported. 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. So, out of compassion for people who fall into this predicament, this Install Guide documents UEFI booting too.
Our recommendation is still to go old-school unless you have reason not to. The boot loader we will be using to load the Linux kernel in this guide is called GRUB, so 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 recommend not using the MBR at all for booting, as some systems support this, but others don't. Instead, we recommend using UEFI to boot GRUB, which in turn will load Linux. We refer to this method as the UEFI + GRUB (GPT) method.
And yes, there are even more methods, some of which are documented on the Boot Methods page. We used to recommend a BIOS + GRUB (GPT) method but it is not consistently supported across a wide variety of hardware.
The big question is -- which boot method should you use? Here's how to tell.
- Principle 1 - Old School
- If you can reliably boot System Rescue CD and it shows you an initial light blue menu, you are booting the CD using the BIOS, and it's likely that you can thus boot Funtoo Linux using the BIOS. So, go old-school and use BIOS booting, unless you have some reason to use UEFI, such as having a >2.2TB system disk. In that case, see Principle 2, as your system may also support UEFI booting.
- Principle 2 - New School
- If you can reliably boot System Rescue CD and it shows you an initial black and white menu -- congratulations, your system is configured to support UEFI booting. This means that you are ready to install Funtoo Linux to boot via UEFI. Your system may still support BIOS booting, but just be trying UEFI first. You can poke around in your BIOS boot configuration and play with this.
- What's the Big Difference between Old School and New School?
- Here's the deal. If you go with old-school MBR partitions, your
/bootpartition will be an ext2 filesystem, and you'll use
fdiskto create your MBR partitions. If you go with new-school GPT partitions and UEFI booting, your
/bootpartition will be a vfat filesystem, because this is what UEFI is able to read, and you will use
gdiskto create your GPT partitions. And you'll install GRUB a bit differently. That's about all it comes down to, in case you were curious.
- Also Note
- To install Funtoo Linux to boot via the New School UEFI method, you must boot System Rescue CD using UEFI -- and see an initial black and white screen. Otherwise, UEFI will not be active and you will not be able to set it up!
Some motherboards may appear to support UEFI, but don't. Do your research. For example, the Award BIOS in my Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 rev 1.1 has an option to enable UEFI boot for CD/DVD. This is not sufficient for enabling UEFI boot for hard drives and installing Funtoo Linux. UEFI must be supported for both removable media (so you can boot System Rescue CD using UEFI) as well as fixed media (so you can boot your new Funtoo Linux installation.) It turns out that later revisions of this board (rev 3.0) have a new BIOS that fully supports UEFI boot. This may point to a third principle -- know thy hardware.
Old-School (BIOS/MBR) Method
Use this method if you are booting using your BIOS, and if your System Rescue CD initial boot menu was light blue. If you're going to use the new-school method, click here to jump down to UEFI/GPT.
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:
root # 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 root # 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.
root # 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:
root # 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.
You're done with partitioning! Now, jump over to Creating filesystems.
New-School (UEFI/GPT) Method
Use this method if you are booting using UEFI, and if your System Rescue CD initial boot menu was black and white. If it was light blue, this method will not work.
The gdisk commands to create a GPT partition table are as follows. Adapt sizes as necessary, although these defaults will work for most users. Start
root # gdisk /dev/sda
Within gdisk, follow these steps:
Create a new empty partition table (This will erase all data on the disk when saved):
Command: o ↵ This option deletes all partitions and creates a new protective MBR. Proceed? (Y/N): y ↵
Create Partition 1 (boot):
Command: n ↵ Partition Number: 1 ↵ First sector: ↵ Last sector: +500M ↵ Hex Code: EF00 ↵
Create Partition 2 (swap):
Command: n ↵ Partition Number: 2 ↵ First sector: ↵ Last sector: +4G ↵ Hex Code: 8200 ↵
Create Partition 3 (root):
Command: n ↵ Partition Number: 3 ↵ First sector: ↵ Last sector: ↵ (for rest of disk) Hex Code: ↵
Along the way, you can type "p" and hit Enter to view your current partition table. If you make a mistake, you can type "d" to delete an existing partition that you created. When you are satisfied with your partition setup, type "w" to write your configuration to disk:
Write Partition Table To Disk:
Command: w ↵ Do you want to proceed? (Y/N): Y ↵
The partition table will now be written to disk and gdisk will close.
Now, your GPT/GUID partitions have been created, and will show up as the following block devices under Linux:
- /dev/sda1, which will be used to hold the /boot filesystem,
- /dev/sda2, which will be used for swap space, and
- /dev/sda3, which will hold your root filesystem.
This section covers both BIOS and UEFI installs. Don't skip it!
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.
Let's keep this simple. Are you using old-school MBR partitions? If so, let's create an ext2 filesystem on /dev/sda1:
root # mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda1
If you're using new-school GPT partitions for UEFI, you'll want to create a vfat filesystem on /dev/sda1, because this is what UEFI is able to read:
root # mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sda1
Now, let's create a swap partition. This partition will be used as disk-based virtual memory for your Funtoo Linux system.
You will not create a filesystem on your swap partition, since it is not used to store files. But it is necessary to initialize it using the
mkswap command. Then we'll run the
swapon command to make your newly-initialized swap space immediately active within the live CD environment, in case it is needed during the rest of the install process:
root # mkswap /dev/sda2 root # swapon /dev/sda2
Now, we need to create a root filesystem. This is where Funtoo Linux will live. We generally recommend ext4 or XFS root filesystems. If you're not sure, choose ext4. Here's how to create a root ext4 filesystem:
root # mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3
...and here's how to create an XFS root filesystem, if you choose to use XFS:
root # mkfs.xfs /dev/sda3
Your filesystems (and swap) have all now been initialized, so that that can be mounted (attached to your existing directory heirarchy) and used to store files. We are ready to begin installing Funtoo Linux on these brand-new filesystems.
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.
Mount the newly-created filesystems as follows, creating
/mnt/funtoo as the installation mount point:
root # mkdir /mnt/funtoo root # mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/funtoo root # mkdir /mnt/funtoo/boot root # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/funtoo/boot
Optionally, if you have a separate filesystem for
/home or anything else:
root # mkdir /mnt/funtoo/home root # 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:
root # chmod 1777 /mnt/funtoo/tmp