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Re: parted and partition types

From: Hollis Blanchard
Subject: Re: parted and partition types
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 17:51:11 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 10 Nov 2000, Andrew Clausen wrote:

> Hollis Blanchard wrote:
> > 
> > Is it possible to create a Mac partition with type Apple_HFS? When I tried,
> > it seemed Apple_UNIX_SVR2 was the only possibility, but I was trying to
> > make an HFS partition that the Mac OS would see...
> mkpart primary hfs [start] [end]
> doesn't work?  Works here.

Hmm, it wasn't working before, but it's all good now. Does that call hformat or
something? I was booted from a ramdisk with a bad PATH at the time... But it's
fine now, so on to my real question:

> > Also, is it possible to change partition types with parted?
> No.  (Well, you can rm, and mkpart...)
> I would like to do this, but I can't think of a good user interface.
> Parted's UI pretends that partition types don't exist at all.

I was noticing that; it is a noticable ommission...

> It
> seems weird to allow you to change something that "doesn't exist".
> Also, there isn't a 1-1 mapping between file systems and partition
> types.  So, it isn't clear how you could provide user feedback
> in the form of a file system.  The only other (obvious) way you
> could do it is by "Apple_HFS", or whatever.  But this is very
> disk-label specific (on PC98 and DOS labels, it's numbers), so
> the user interface (and the libparted API) starts getting more
> complicated, which is something I want to avoid.

I understand the problem. The DOS partition number do have corresponding text
labels though, so I think it would be possible to print that (along with Apple

> See any way out of the dilemma?

An "advanced" flag? I believe fdisk has such an option, though it's *much*
lower-level than what I'm suggesting...

> > The partition types
> > don't even show up in the 'print' output... that would be nice to have.
> Hard to do simply/portably.  Besides, I can't think of any reasons
> (other than for "expert hackers") why anyone would want it...
> (Provided mkpartfs primary hfs, etc. works)

Well, here's my problem. I want to install ybin (basically a bootloader). ybin
needs to be on an HFS partition (for the firmware to be able to boot), but the
Mac OS automatically mounts Apple_HFS partitions (and can do bad things
sometimes). So ybin likes to be on a partition of type Apple_Bootstrap - that
way nobody except ybin will mess with it.

Now if you remember, I really really want to get rid of pdisk, which has been
unmaintained and buggy for ages. But without it I'm unable to pull this off...

Oh, another problem: for PReP machines (old IBM PPC workstations), the firmware
will only boot from a partition of type 0x41 (PPC Boot). That partition does
NOT contain a filesystem, only a zImage dd'ed there.

I see what you're saying about doing away with partition types entirely, but is
it possible to add an "advanced" flag that will allow their manipulation?


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