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Some Linux and non-Linux tools for partitioning a disk.

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Linux Partitioning Tools

The distinction between Linux and non-Linux partioning tools is probably more a reflection of which operating system they run under than which operating systems they can create partitions for, although I've seen a general recommendation that you use a partioning tool from the operating sytem you plan to install.

Note that there are fdisk versions for Linux and for dos / Windows.

I've used Partition Commander to create partitions initially for dos / Windows but I've later gone back and installed Linux in some spare partitions left for that purpose.

I'm aware of the following tools usable under Linux for partitioning:

  • fdisk -- interactive only
  • cfdisk -- interactive, but supposedly has a command line option which I could not find in man cfdisk
  • sfdisk -- interactive or works with commands from standard input (in a script)
  • parted -- GNU parted looks great -- very flexible, can run interactively or non-interactively, can also clone drives or partitions, and the documentation (the manual is very worthwhile reading for the education on a number of points related to partitions (I never realized that things like boot, LBA, hidden were "properties" of a partition, or that some of these are only used by dos / Windows). It was not installed by default on my Mandrake 9.0 system.
  • fips (might actually be a dos / Windows program (i.e., executable) -- this was recommended to me as something that could resize partitions -- turns out it can only split them (i.e., shrink them), not expand them -- might also be focused at dos partitions

Among the fdisks (" ",c, and s), I saw one description (IIRC) with fdisk as the most elementary, cfdisk as more elegant, and sfdisk has more for a hacker (and more dangerous)

I ran into a couple commands I had never seen before while googling for some of this stuff -- here are typical command lines and a link to where I found them:

Non Linux Partition Tools

  • Partition Magic, perhaps version 7 has been mentioned as something that can do some Linux partitioning, with the caveat that once you partition with a disk with it, you will always have to use that tool as it has some quirks compared to a pure Linux tool. (IIUC, one of the problems can be that different partioning tools may choose different geometries for the same disk: cylinders -- heads -- sectors (or something like that).)

  • I used Partition Commander for Dos / Windows partitioning, and it worked fine for me -- version was 1.03, and it ran into either a 2 GB or 8 GB limit (on hard disk size) (forget which -- I think it was the 8 GB limit) -- I've used Partition Commander to create partitions initially for dos / Windows but I've later gone back and installed Linux in some spare partitions left for that purpose.


See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.



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  • () RandyKramer - 27 Jun 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

[[Main.RandyKramer#27 Jun 2002][]]

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Topic revision: r6 - 2003-02-19 - RandyKramer
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