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Bug#237152: Ultra Enterprise 450 installation report

Anton Zinoviev dijo [Wed, Mar 10, 2004 at 11:55:41AM +0200]:
> > - Partitioning: The system has 4x36.4GB hard disks, I decided to install
> >   only in the fourth disk. If I ask the installer to 'Create new
> >   partition' and accept the default (36.4GB) value, I get immediately
> >   two error messages saying "ERROR!!! Can't have the end before the
> >   start!", and then "Unable to satisfy all constraints on the
> >   partition". This does not happen if I ask the partition to be only
> >   30GB - Might it have something to do with the Sun disklabel scheme?
> I know nothing about Sun disklabels, but it must be something either
> with them or with their support in parted.

Ummm... Well, support in Parted seems to be stable for Sun
machines. From Debian's parted package description:

  Parted currently supports DOS, Mac, Sun, BSD, GPT, MIPS and PC98
  disklabels/partition tables, as well as a 'loop' (raw disk) type
  which allows use on RAID/LVM.

Parted's page in GNU [1] tells +- the same:

  Supported disk labels: raw access (useful for RAID and LVM), MS-DOS
  partition tables, Intel GPT partition tables, MIPS partition tables,
  PC98 partition tables, Sun and BSD disk labels and Macintosh
  partition maps.

I cannot find authoritative information on this, but I found a post to
debian-sparc [2] stating that there can -at least- be 15 partitions on
a Sparc disklabel under Linux - and even if Linux can't handle more
than that (because of minor number exhaustion - /dev/sda15 is (8,15),
/dev/sdb is (8,16) ), the Sun disklabel format does allow for more.

I found a _very_ old message in NetBSD [3] where it mentions having
this limitation, but I would expect it to be gone by now.

I tried to -just for the sake of it- create over 8 partitions using
fdisk - I got this right away:

  Command (m for help): p

  Disk /dev/sdc (Sun disk label): 27 heads, 107 sectors, 24620 cylinders
  Units = cylinders of 2889 * 512 bytes

     Device Flag    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
  /dev/sdc3             0     24620  35563590    5  Whole disk

  Command (m for help): n
  Partition number (1-8): 

...So it seems this limit is -at least somehow- real. I will look for
further information, but if it is real, at least the installer should
not try to create over seven partitions (plus wholedisk), right?

> > I chose automatic partitioning. If I ask the partitioner to
> >   use the scheme with many partitions (/usr, /usr/local, /var, /var/mail,
> >   etc.), and got an error telling me there was no space to create the
> >   last (eigth) partition. The installer took sdd3 (which should be a
> >   wholedisk partition) - Of course, I cancelled the partitioning and
> >   proceeded with the simpler root-and-home scheme offered. This time, it
> >   worked correctly.
> > 
> >   In /var/log/partman, I got:
> >   (...)
> >   parted_server: OUT: 8   21607686144-22032207359 424521216       primary ext3       /dev/scsi/host    1/bus0/target3/lun0/part8  
> >   parted_server: OUT: -1  22032207360-36417116159 14384908800     primary    free    /dev/scsi/host    1/bus0/target3/lun0/part-1
> > 
> >   The problem seems to be parted (or one of the d-i modules) not being
> >   able to see beyond three bits worth of partitions :(
> I can not guess what is wrong wrong in the log?

After the eight partition (/dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target3/lun0/part8 -
Excuse me for the extra spaces in what I pasted, blame my terminal)
was created, the next partition that parted tries to create is
/dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target3/lun0/part-1 - This seems like an overflow
for a signed three-bit value. (now, why would it be signed? :-/ )

> Do you know if/how parted works with Sun disklabels?

I don't know. I don't usually deal with that kind of machines, I got
someone to lend it to me. :-(

[1] http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/parted.html

[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-sparc/2002/debian-sparc-200208/msg00034.html

[3] http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-bugs/1996/08/05/0003.html

Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.cx - (+52-55)5630-9700 ext. 1366
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF

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