Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2007 21:05 UTC, submitted by Nix_User
PC-BSD LinuxHelp has reviewed PC-BSD. "PC-BSD is turning out to be an excellent alternative to other desktop operating systems. After testing and using PC-BSD for some time now, I can't but admire the sheer amount of work that is put into creating, developing and molding an OS for the lay person albeit with a strong slant towards FreeBSD. The fact that PC-BSD is able to accomplish all the tasks expected by an end user - be it using the Internet for communication, listening to music, watching movies or using it for recreation purposes holds it in good stead as a viable desktop operating systems."
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Extended partitions suck? How so?
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 23rd May 2007 20:02 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Instead of labeling extended partitions as a strange, lame, Microsoft-derived "standard" that is absolutely useless, why not actually go into detail on the facts, or at least post a couple good links? Can you come up with any good reasons as to why they suck so bad, why they only "fit in" with Windows, and why FreeBSD "slices" are so great?

Being a former Windows user who has just switched to Linux only a few years ago, I've had some experience with extended partitions in the past. These days, with a separate Windows and My Documents partition, and separare Linux /, /usr and swap partitions, and maybe a couple more for sharing between OSes, extended partitions have become more more useful than ever. I regularly have at least 6 partitions on my main drive.

From what it sounds, FreeBSD slices seem to be an alternate way of doing the same thing as extended partitions, with slight differences... the biggest probably being, instead of using a different type of partition, it uses regular primary ones and divides them instead.

Or... are you just spewing nonsense just because Microsoft made extended partitions?

Reply Score: 1

antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Or... are you just spewing nonsense just because Microsoft made extended partitions?

In terms of how the disk is used, there are only two main differences between a primary and a logical partition or volume. The first is that a primary partition can be set as bootable (active) while a logical cannot. In reality You can have up to 4 extended partitions. Many OSes (Windows) can only deal with one though. Microsoft says there can be one extended partition. So be it. Linux is ****ed as usual.

FreeBSD on x86 systems suffers from the same limitation of four primary partitions; however, in FreeBSD parlance, the 'parimary partitions' are the 'slices' 1 - 4; in addition, in FreeBSD parlance, the *working* equivalent of DOS 'extended partitions' are called 'partitions.' That is, FreeBSD 'partitions' in FreeBSD perform the same task as DOS 'extended partitions' in DOS. This difference in terminology often confuses newcomers to FreeBSD. To further confuse newcomers, DOS extended partitions, as well as primary partitions, are recognized as slices under FreeBSD. Although, FreeBSD is limited to 4 bootable FreeBSD slices, it can mount more than four slices, be they FreeBSD slices, or slices corresponding to other OS partitioning schemes. In this manner, FreeBSD is far more flexible.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Your explaination of FreeBSD's and PC-BSD's terminology is completely correct. Let me add and comment to:

"Although, FreeBSD is limited to 4 bootable FreeBSD slices, it can mount more than four slices, be they FreeBSD slices, or slices corresponding to other OS partitioning schemes. In this manner, FreeBSD is far more flexible."

While access to extended partitions is no problem for FreeBSD, its installation requires a primary partition because FreeBSD slices can only be primary partition. Wow, confusing! :-)

FreeBSD does allow you to hold files in partitions and slices, but it does not force you to.

A typical installation could consist of the following partitions:

/dev/ad0s1a = /
/dev/ad0s1b = swap partition
/dev/ad0s1d = /tmp
/dev/ad0s1e = /var
/dev/ad0s1f = /usr
/dev/ad0s1g = /home

According to this example, ad0s1g refers to ATA disk 0, slice 1, partition g. If you want to use a second HD for /home, you could set /dev/ad1s1 = /home (ATA disk 1, slice 1, whole device) or /dev/ad1 = /home (ATA disk 1, whole device). The same way is used to refer to USB sticks formatted as UFS (e. g. /dev/da0), but if they are of msdos format, the reference to the first slice (DOS: the first partition) is needed (e. g. /dev/da0s1). The "c" for "whole device" (e. g. /dev/ad2c) is not needed anymore. You can refer to CD drives in the same way (e. g. /dev/cd0, /dev/acd0t01), so if you record an AVI file to a CD without (!) an ISO-9660 container, you can "mplayer /dev/acd0" to play the disc, but NB most players can't play this strange format; it is possible to use this type of disc if no VCD can be created, but it is not intended to "mount /cdrom && mplayer /cdrom/movie.avi && umount /cdrom".

To repeat: Slices equal DOS partitions, partitions can be compared to logical volumes inside an DOS extended partition. Examples:

HD1 = { (prim 1) (prim 2) }
HD2 = { (prim 1) (ext 1 -lv 1- -lv 2-) }

In FreeBSD, partitions (inside a slice) are used to seperate system components.

HD1 = { (/) swap (/tmp) (/var) (/usr) }
HD2 = { /home }

This leads to advantages (easy backup, improved consistency while HDD problems occur), but disadvantages (no resizing), too. LVM (Vinum) is ready to help here.

Reply Parent Score: 4