An alternative to fdisk, "sfdisk" is especially handy for scripting as it has direct support for reading actions from stdin. However, you need to read the man page very carefully if you are on intimate terms with fdisk, because sfdisk treats some command options quite differently.
Just as a inquiry tool, sfdisk has advantages over fdisk. For example, it can quickly list partitions or sizes:
# sfdisk -l /dev/hda Disk /dev/hda: 4865 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track Units = cylinders of 8225280 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0 Device Boot Start End #cyls #blocks Id System /dev/hda1 * 0+ 23 24- 192748+ 83 Linux /dev/hda2 25 4731 4707 37808977+ 83 Linux /dev/hda3 4733 4861 129 1036192+ 82 Linux swap /dev/hda4 0 - 0 0 0 Empty # sfdisk -s /dev/hda 39082680
You don't even need to tell it where the drives are, though my system does generate an error when it do that:,/p>
# sfdisk -l Disk /dev/hdd: 2434 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track Units = cylinders of 8225280 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0 Device Boot Start End #cyls #blocks Id System /dev/hdd1 * 0+ 12 13- 104391 83 Linux /dev/hdd2 13 45 33 265072+ 82 Linux swap /dev/hdd3 46 2433 2388 19181610 83 Linux /dev/hdd4 0 - 0 0 0 Empty Warning: start=63 - this looks like a partition rather than the entire disk. Using fdisk on it is probably meaningless. [Use the --force option if you really want this]
That makes me a little nervous.. For duplicating setups, it's "dump" mode can be used (probably after modification) as input for another sfdisk.
# sfdisk -d /dev/hda # partition table of /dev/hda unit: sectors /dev/hda1 : start= 63, size= 385497, Id=83, bootable /dev/hda2 : start= 401625, size= 75617955, Id=83 /dev/hda3 : start= 76035645, size= 2072385, Id=82 /dev/hda4 : start= 0, size= 0, Id= 0
Check the man page for more useful options.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence
If you don't know anything about computers, just remember that they are machines that do exactly what you tell them but often surprise you in the result. (Richard Dawkins)