mac-fdisk(8) man page revision [included]
> On Tue, 6 Nov 2001, Ethan Benson wrote:
> > On Tue, Nov 06, 2001 at 03:24:55PM -0500, Walter Tautz wrote:
> > > > Having difficulty getting it to work. I.e the yaboot step
> > > > with ofboot does not succeed when the computer is told to
> > > > reboot from the install. I ran the command:
> > no. rtfm.
> Sorry, your right. However may I have the audacity to say that the
> mac-fdisk document referred to in the main install documentation
> for debian powerpc (stable version) is not as complete as the one
> at your site as your version clearly makes provisions for both
> potato and woody. In any event I apologize for being a lazy
> ass. Keep up the good work and let me know how I can be helpful--
> I guess the first step would be the read the damn manuals... :-;
Here is a long overdue revision of the mac-fdisk man page.
.TH MAC-FDISK 8 "1 December 2001" "Debian" "Apple Disk Partitioning Manual"
mac-fdisk \- Apple partition table editor for Linux
.B "[ \-h | \--help ] [ \-v | \--version ] [ \-l | \--list device ... ]"
.B "[ \-r | \--readonly ] device ... "
is a command line type program which partitions disks using the standard Apple
disk partitioning scheme described in "Inside Macintosh: Devices".
is usually one of the following:
/dev/sda is the first hard disk on the SCSI bus (i.e. the
one with the lowest id), /dev/sdb is the second hard disk, and so on.
name followed by a partition number.
The partition number is the index (starting from one) of the partition
map entry in the partition map (and the partition map itself occupies the
is the partition described by the second entry in the partiton map on /dev/sda.
.B \-v | \--version
Prints version number of the
.B \-h | \--help
Prints a list of available commands for the
.B \-l | \--list
Lists the partition tables for the specified
.B \-r | \--readonly
from writing to the device.
.SH "Editing Partition Tables"
An argument which is simply the name of a
should edit the partition table of that device. Once started,
presents an interactive command prompt to edit the partition table.
The partition editing commands are:
h list available commands
p print (list) the current edited partition table status
P print ordered by base address
i initialize the partition map
s change size of partition map
b create new 800K Apple_Bootstrap partition (used by yaboot)
c create new standard Linux type partition
C create new partition, specifying the partition type
d delete a partition
r reorder partition entry
w write the partition table to disk
Commands which take arguments prompt for each argument in turn.
You can also type the arguments separated by spaces
and those prompts will be skipped. The
commands will prompt for confirmation. None of the editing you do will
actually affect the state of the disk you are partitioning until the
command is issued. Then the map in its edited state will be
permanently written to the disk.
Partitions are always specified by their number, the index of the
partition entry in the partition map. Many commands will change the
index numbers of partitions which follow the affected partition; you are
encouraged to use the
command to print the partition table as frequently as necessary.
Here is a more-or-less typical output for the print command:
Command (? for help): p
# type name length base ( size ) system
/dev/sdb1 Apple_partition_map Apple 63 @ 1 ( 31.5k) Partition map
/dev/sdb2 Apple_Driver43 Macintosh 54 @ 64 ( 27.0k) Driver 4.3
/dev/sdb3 Apple_Driver43 Macintosh 74 @ 118 ( 37.0k) Driver 4.3
/dev/sdb4 Apple_Driver_IOKit Macintosh 512 @ 192 (256.0k) Unknown
/dev/sdb5 Apple_Patches Patch Partition 512 @ 704 (256.0k) Unknown
/dev/sdb6 Apple_HFS untitled 3072000 @ 1216 ( 1.5G) HFS
/dev/sdb7 Apple_HFS untitled 2 333026 @ 3073216 (162.6M) HFS
/dev/sdb8 Apple_Free Extra 10 @ 3406242 ( 5.0k) Free space
Block size=512, Number of Blocks=3406252
1: @ 64 for 22, type=0x1
2: @ 118 for 36, type=0xffff
(initialize) command prompts for the size of the device. You can just
type Return to accept the offered size, which should be correct.
command is a shortcut to create the bootstrap partition used on PowerPC
NewWorld machines. It is equivalent to creating an 800k
type partition using the
command described below. The sole purpose of this partition is to
store the boot loader. In multiboot environments, the first bootable
partition found on the disk takes precedence unless a specific boot
partition is set in OpenFirmware, so it's best to create the bootstrap
partition first, or move it to a position before any
partitions using the
command described below. Then you will still able to boot Linux after
the occasional OpenFirmware reset.
(create new partition) command has three arguments. As mentioned
above you can type the arguments following the command, separated by
spaces, or respond to prompts for each argument:
1) The base address of the start of the partition.
You can specify a number in blocks (most likely reading from the
existing partition map) or you can also type a partition number
followed by the letter 'p' to indicate that the new partition
should take the place of that existing free space partition.
2) The length of the partition.
Again, you can specify a number in blocks or type a partition
number followed by the letter 'p' to indicate use of the entire
partition. You can also type a number followed by 'k', 'm', or
'g' to indicate the size in kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes
respectively. (These are powers of 1024, of course, not powers
3) The name of the partition.
This can be a single word without quotes, or a string surrounded
by single or double quotes. It is best to name any swap partition
you create `swap'; other partition names are up to you. The names
are not visible to Linux.
command is identical to the
command, with the addition of a partition type argument after the
other arguments. The partition type used for Linux swap and data partitons
(this is the partition type created by the
command). Under normal circumstances, you should not need to use this
command deletes the partition number specified, replacing that partition
with partitionable free space.
(reorder) command allows the index number of partitions to be changed.
The index numbers are constrained to be a contiguous sequence.
will enforce this constraint by recalculating the partition numbers
after each insert, delete or reorder operation. OpenFirmware looks for
bootable partitions in the order specified by the index. The
partitions are not moved on the disk. This command takes two
arguments, the number of the partition to be moved and the partition
number it should become.
command writes the partition map out to disk. Note that partition
maps for disks with mounted partitions cannot immediately be
reinterpreted by the kernel. In order to use the new partition map you
must reboot. Within the Debian installer system,
is normally invoked before any partitions are mounted, thus a reboot is not
necessary before continuing the installation.
command terminates the program. If there was no
command issued during the program run, then there will be no effect on the disk.
Some people believe there should really be just one disk partitioning utility.
should be able to create HFS partitions that work. Currently, if a
pre-existing HFS partition is resized, MacOS will continue to use the
partition size stored in the HFS 'superblock' instead of using the size from
the partition table (the MacOS volume on the partition remains valid even
though the sizes don't match anymore). This can have undesired side effects
especially when creating a smaller HFS partition followed by a few Linux
partitions in place of the previous HFS partition space. To avoid this
issue, create MacOS partitions within MacOS and then don't resize them
.SH "SEE ALSO"
.BR fdisk (8),
.BR mkswap (8),
.BR mkfs (8)
Eryk Vershen (firstname.lastname@example.org), man page revised by Chris Tillman (email@example.com)