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Bug#269042: 269042 Addendum: how to preserve Tru64 prepartitioning from the installer?


I think I understand what may be going on; bug 267652 hints at the underlying
problem, and should probably be expanded.  In order for a Tru64 (OSF, a BSD
derivative) label to be preserved, the 'aboot' bootloader for debian must
not overwrite block 0 of the disk.  But partman does not even *see* the BSD
label unless partition 'a' includes block 0.  Thus, if partman can see the
label, and the user chooses the 'a' partition to install aboot on, the label
will necessarily be corrupted from the standpoint of Tru64.  While you *could*
leave an empty 'a' partition at the beginning of the disk, Tru64 labels are
limited to 8 partitions.  In order to be able to use 7 of the 8 partitions (c is
the whole drive and thus cannot be used), traditionally alpha users start their
'a' partition about 1Mb *after* block 0.

So the *real* problem may be that partman will not accept a BSD disklabel on
which the first partition does not start at block 0.  In this light I don't
think it is necessary to open up a separate bug report.

It would still be nice to have a method to skip the "Partition Disks" menu
item in the installer, for those of us who want to maintain our previous
linux disk configurations.  I have verified that an existing partition
list with 'a' NOT beginning at block 0 *does* infact work just fine with
sarge; only partman doesn't like it.

Thank you very much for your time,

On Wed, 1 Sep 2004, Sven Luther wrote:

  > On Wed, Sep 01, 2004 at 09:16:05AM -0400, Toni L. Harbaugh-Blackford [Contr] wrote:
  > > Sven-
  > >
  > > Thanks for the quick response.
  > >
  > > On Wed, 1 Sep 2004, Sven Luther wrote:
  > >
  > >   > On Wed, Sep 01, 2004 at 08:22:36AM -0400, Toni L. Harbaugh-Blackford [Contr] wrote:
  > >   > > Hi-
  > >   > >
  > >   > > 'partman' corrupts a Tru64 disklabel for disks that are prepartitioned.
  > >   >
  > >   > Adding tru64 partition table support (or fixing existing support ?) would
  > >   > solve this issue. I have no idea want kind of partition tables are used on
  > >   > Tru64 though.
  > >
  > > Tru64 uses BSD disklabels, so that the Alpha can be booted from SRM.
  > > According to an incomplete discussion on the debian-alpha list, partman
  > > should be able to handle the Tru64 labels.
  > >
  > > But partman corrupts those labels in such a way that Tru64 can no longer read
  > > them; however, the labels are 'good enough' for SRM, so that debian still boots.
  > This is a bug of at least important severity. Could you (or someone else)
  > please fill a bug report (or follow up on another bug report already filled
  > about this problem), and provide appropriate information on how to fix this.
  > Notice that the only reason i am not pushing this to RC severity is the
  > relative nearness of the release, but since it can cause unrelated data loss,
  > it should really be of this kind.
  > > Really, partman would not need to be fixed if section
  > >
  > >    'A.5. Debian Partitioning Programs'
  > This is bullshit, since when do we believe in doing some lamentable workaround
  > instead of doing the right thing and fixing the issue ? Or are the alpha guys
  > also suffering from the debian-powerpc symptom of people liking to document
  > their workaround in random web pages, instead of fixing it ?
  > Friendly,
  > Sven Luther

Toni Harbaugh-Blackford                   harbaugh@abcc.ncifcrf.gov
System Administrator
Advanced Biomedical Computing Center (ABCC)
National Cancer Institute
Contractor - SAIC/Frederick

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