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Old 11-13-2011, 11:11 PM
Marko Vojinovic
 
Default Bios boot partition question

Hi folks! :-)

After a successful installation of F16 on my machine with (of course) custom
partition layout, I decided to read the F16 release notes. ;-) And there I
found this passage:

<quote>
Starting in Fedora 16, on non-EFI x86 (32 and 64 bit) systems, anaconda will
default to creating GPT disklabels (partition tables) instead of MSDOS
disklabels. On these systems, when booting from a GPT-labelled disk, it is
strongly recommended (not necessarily required in all cases, depending on the
system's BIOS/firmware) to create a small (1MiB) BIOS boot partition. This
partition will be used by the bootloader (GRUB2) for storage.
Automatic partitioning will create the partition when appropriate, but users
who choose custom partitioning will have to create this partition for
themselves.
This BIOS boot partition is only necessary on non-EFI x86 systems whose boot
device is a GPT-labelled disk.
</quote>

Given that I haven't bothered to read this prior to the installation, I didn't
create the bios boot partition when I customized my partition layout. :-)

Now, I gather from the text above that the boot partition is necessary only
for "non-EFI" systems with a "GPT-labelled" disk. What does this mean? How can
I check whether my system is EFI or no, and whether the disk is using GPT
labels or not?

Furthermore, my system appears to boot without problems without the bios boot
partition, but is it possible that I may experience trouble later down the
road? Just how *necessary* is that partition, and do I really need one?

Best, :-)
Marko

P.S. If it matters, the installation was performed from a KDE Live CD/USB,
64bit.



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Old 11-13-2011, 11:24 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default Bios boot partition question

On Mon, 14 Nov 2011 00:11:03 +0000
Marko Vojinovic wrote:

> Now, I gather from the text above that the boot partition is necessary only
> for "non-EFI" systems with a "GPT-labelled" disk. What does this mean? How can
> I check whether my system is EFI or no, and whether the disk is using GPT
> labels or not?

All excellent questions which I would have thought deserved at least
a bit of text in the release notes rather than just firing a barrel
full of acronyms at you :-).

Basically though, if you are using an existing disk that is
already partitioned, you don't have a GPT disk. Apparently
GPT is a brand new partitioning scheme that breaks free of
the old DOS scheme (and is necessary to take advantage of
the disks bigger than 2TB that are getting common these days).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

If you actually needed a bios boot partition and didn't make
one, your system would not boot (I know from experience :-).
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