Copyright © 1999-2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.
This file documents the use of GNU Parted, a program for creating and manipulating partition tables.
This document applies roughly to version 3.1 of GNU Parted.
The original version was written by Andrew Clausen in text format. Richard M. Kreuter translated it into Texinfo format in 2002, to be heavily edited by Leslie P. Polzer in 2006.
GNU Parted is a program for creating and manipulating partition tables.
This documentation is written with the assumption that the reader has some understanding of partitioning and file systems.
GNU Parted was designed to minimize the chance of data loss. For example, it was designed to avoid data loss during interruptions (like power failure) and performs many safety checks. However, there could be bugs in GNU Parted, so you should back up your important files before running Parted.
The GNU Parted homepage is http://www.gnu.org/software/parted. The library and frontend themselves can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parted. You can also find a listing of mailing lists, notes for contributing and more useful information on the web site.
Please send bug reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. When sending bug reports, please include the version of GNU Parted. Please include the output from these commands (for disk /dev/hda):
# parted /dev/hda print unit s print unit chs print
Feel free to ask for help on this list — just check that your question isn't answered here first. If you don't understand the documentation, please tell us, so we can explain it better. General philosophy is: if you need to ask for help, then something needs to be fixed so you (and others) don't need to ask for help.
Also, we'd love to hear your ideas :-)
If you're installing or compiling Parted yourself, you'll need to have some other programs installed. If you are compiling Parted, you will need both the normal and devel packages of these programs installed:
If you want to compile Parted and e2fsprogs, note that you will need to make install and make install-libs e2fsprogs.
If you are compiling Parted, and you don't have readline, you can disable Parted's readline support with the --disable-readline option for configure.
Note that parted will automatically detect libreiserfs at runtime, and enable reiserfs support. libreiserfs is new, and hasn't been widely tested yet.
Hopefully, this list will grow a lot. If you do not have one of these platforms, then you can use a rescue disk and a static binary of GNU Parted.
GNU Parted is free software, covered by the GNU General Public License Version 2. This should have been included with the Parted distribution, in the COPYING file. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.
Libparted is considered part of GNU Parted. It is covered by the GNU General Public License. It is NOT released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).
If you want to compile GNU Parted, this is generally done with:
$ ./configure $ make
However, there are a few options for configure:
If you want to run GNU Parted on a machine without GNU/Linux installed, or you want to modify a root or boot partition, use GParted Live: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php.
Unfortunately, partitioning your disk is rather complicated. This is because there are interactions between many different systems that need to be taken into consideration.
This manual used to introduce the reader to these systems and their working. This content has moved to the GNU Storage Guide.
Parted has two modes: command line and interactive. Parted should always be started with:
# parted device
where device is the hard disk device to edit. (If you're lazy and omit the DEVICE argument, Parted will attempt to guess which device you want.)
In command line mode, this is followed by one or more commands. For example:
# parted /dev/sda mklabel gpt mkpart P1 ext3 1MiB 8MiB
Options (like --help) can only be specified on the command line.
In interactive mode, commands are entered one at a time at a prompt, and modify the disk immediately. For example:
(parted) mklabel gpt (parted) mkpart P1 ext3 1MiB 8MiB
Unambiguous abbreviations are allowed. For example, you can type “p” instead of “print”, and “u” instead of “units”. Commands can be typed either in English, or your native language (if your language has been translated). This may create ambiguities. Commands are case-insensitive.
Numbers indicating partition locations can be whole numbers or decimals. The suffix selects the unit, which may be one of those described in unit, except CHS and compact. If no suffix is given, then the default unit is assumed. Negative numbers count back from the end of the disk, with “-1s” indicating the sector at the end of the disk. Parted will compute sensible ranges for the locations you specify (e.g. a range of +/- 500 MB when you specify the location in “G”). Use the sector unit “s” to specify exact locations. With parted-2.4 and newer, IEC binary units like “MiB”, “GiB”, “TiB”, etc., specify exact locations as well. See See IEC binary units.
If you don't give a parameter to a command, Parted will prompt you for it. For example:
(parted) mklabel New disk label type? gpt
Parted will always warn you before doing something that is potentially dangerous, unless the command is one of those that is inherently dangerous (viz., rm, mklabel and mkpart). Since many partitioning systems have complicated constraints, Parted will usually do something slightly different to what you asked. (For example, create a partition starting at 10.352Mb, not 10.4Mb) If the calculated values differ too much, Parted will ask you for confirmation.
When invoked from the command line, Parted supports the following syntax:
# parted [option] device [command [argument]]
Available options and commands follow. For detailed explanations of the use of Parted commands, see Command explanations. Options begin with a hyphen, commands do not:
GNU Parted provides the following commands:
Note that after version 2.4, the following commands were removed: check, cp, mkfs, mkpartfs, move, resize.
Determine whether the starting sector of partition n meets the disk's selected alignment criteria. align-type must be ‘minimal’, ‘optimal’ or an abbreviation. When in script mode, if the partition does not meet the alignment requirement, exit with status 1; otherwise (including on older kernels for which alignment data is not available), continue processing any remaining commands. Without --script, print either ‘N aligned’ or ‘N not aligned’.
Example:(parted) align-check minimal 1 1 aligned
Changes a flag on the disk. A flag can be either “on” or “off”. Some or all of these flags will be available, depending on what disk label you are using:
- (GPT) - this flag enables the boot flag on the GPT's protective MBR partition.
The disk's flags are displayed by the print command on the "Disk Flags:" line. They are also output as the last field of the disk information in machine mode.(parted) disk_set pmbr_boot on
Set the PMBR's boot flag.
Prints general help, or help on command.
Example:(parted) help mklabel
Print help for the mklabel command.
Creates a new disk label, of type label-type. The new disk label will have no partitions. This command (normally) won't technically destroy your data, but it will make it basically unusable, and you will need to use the rescue command (see Related information) to recover any partitions. Parted works on all partition tables. 1
label-type must be one of these supported disk labels:
- loop (raw disk access)
Example:(parted) mklabel msdos
Create an MS-DOS disk label. This is still the most common disk label for PCs.
Creates a new partition, without creating a new file system on that partition. This is useful for creating partitions for file systems (or LVM, etc.) that Parted doesn't support. You may specify a file system type, to set the appropriate partition code in the partition table for the new partition. fs-type is required for data partitions (i.e., non-extended partitions). start and end are the offset from the beginning of the disk, that is, the “distance” from the start of the disk.
part-type is one of ‘primary’, ‘extended’ or ‘logical’, and may be specified only with ‘msdos’ or ‘dvh’ partition tables. A name must be specified for a ‘gpt’ partition table. Neither part-type nor name may be used with a ‘sun’ partition table.
fs-type must be one of these supported file systems:
- fat16, fat32
- hfs, hfs+, hfsx
Example:(parted) mkpart logical 0.0 692.1
Create a logical partition that will contain an ext2 file system. The partition will start at the beginning of the disk, and end 692.1 megabytes into the disk.
Sets the name for the partition number (GPT, Mac, MIPS and PC98 only). The name can be placed in quotes.
Example:(parted) name 2 'Secret Documents'
Set the name of partition 2 to `Secret Documents'.
Displays the partition table on the device parted is editing, or detailed information about a particular partition.
Example:(parted) print Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0.000-2445.679 megabytes Disk label type: msdos Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags 1 0.031 945.000 primary fat32 boot, lba 2 945.000 2358.562 primary ext2 3 2358.562 2445.187 primary linux-swap (parted) print 1 Minor: 1 Flags: boot, lba File System: fat32 Size: 945.000Mb (0%) Minimum size: 84.361Mb (0%) Maximum size: 2445.679Mb (100%)
It is only after Parted exits that the Linux kernel knows about the changes Parted has made to the disks. However, the changes caused by typing your commands will probably be made to the disk immediately after typing a command. However, the operating system's cache and the disk's hardware cache may delay this.
Rescue a lost partition that used to be located approximately between start and end. If such a partition is found, Parted will ask you if you want to create a partition for it. This is useful if you accidently deleted a partition with parted's rm command, for example.
Example:(parted) print Disk geometry for /dev/hdc: 0.000-8063.507 megabytes Disk label type: msdos Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags 1 0.031 8056.032 primary ext3 (parted) rm Partition number? 1 (parted) print Disk geometry for /dev/hdc: 0.000-8063.507 megabytes Disk label type: msdos Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags
OUCH! We deleted our ext3 partition!!! Parted comes to the rescue...(parted) rescue Start? 0 End? 8056 Information: A ext3 primary partition was found at 0.031MB -> 8056.030MB. Do you want to add it to the partition table? Yes/No/Cancel? y (parted) print Disk geometry for /dev/hdc: 0.000-8063.507 megabytes Disk label type: msdos Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags 1 0.031 8056.032 primary ext3
It's back! :)
Removes the partition with number number. If you accidently delete a partition with this command, use mkpart to recover it. Also, you can use the gpart program (see Related information) to recover damaged disk labels.
Note for msdos disk labels: if you delete a logical partition, all logical partitions with a larger partition number will be renumbered. For example, if you delete a logical partition with a partition number of 6, then logical partitions that were number 7, 8 and 9 would be renumbered to 6, 7 and 8 respectively. This means, for example, that you have to update /etc/fstab on GNU/Linux systems.
Example:(parted) rm 3
Remove partition 3.
Selects the device, device, for Parted to edit. The device can be a Linux hard disk device, a partition, a software RAID device or LVM logical volume.
Example:(parted) select /dev/hdb
Select /dev/hdb (the slave device on the first ide controller on Linux) as the device to edit.
Changes a flag on the partition with number number. A flag can be either “on” or “off”. Some or all of these flags will be available, depending on what disk label you are using:
- (GPT) - Enable this to record that the selected partition is a GRUB BIOS partition.
- (GPT) - this flag is used to tell special purpose software that the GPT partition may be bootable.
- (Mac, MS-DOS, PC98) - should be enabled if you want to boot off the partition. The semantics vary between disk labels. For MS-DOS disk labels, only one partition can be bootable. If you are installing LILO on a partition that partition must be bootable. For PC98 disk labels, all ext2 partitions must be bootable (this is enforced by Parted).
- (MS-DOS) - this flag can be enabled to tell MS DOS, MS Windows 9x and MS Windows ME based operating systems to use Linear (LBA) mode.
- (Mac) - this flag should be enabled if the partition is the root device to be used by Linux.
- (Mac) - this flag should be enabled if the partition is the swap device to be used by Linux.
- (MS-DOS, PC98) - this flag can be enabled to hide partitions from Microsoft operating systems.
- (MS-DOS) - this flag can be enabled to tell linux the partition is a software RAID partition.
- (MS-DOS) - this flag can be enabled to tell linux the partition is a physical volume.
- (MS-DOS) - this flag can be enabled so that the partition can be used by the Linux/PA-RISC boot loader, palo.
- (MS-DOS) - this flag can be enabled so that the partition can be used as a PReP boot partition on PowerPC PReP or IBM RS6K/CHRP hardware.
- (MS-DOS) - Enable this to indicate that a partition can be used as a diagnostics / recovery partition.
The print command displays all enabled flags for each partition.
Example:(parted) set 1 boot on
Set the ‘boot’ flag on partition 1.
Selects the current default unit that Parted will use to display locations and capacities on the disk and to interpret those given by the user if they are not suffixed by an unit.
unit may be one of:
- sector (n bytes depending on the sector size, often 512)
- kibibyte (1024 bytes)
- mebibyte (1048576 bytes)
- gibibyte (1073741824 bytes)
- tebibyte (1099511627776 bytes)
- kilobyte (1000 bytes)
- megabyte (1000000 bytes)
- gigabyte (1000000000 bytes)
- terabyte (1000000000000 bytes)
- percentage of the device (between 0 and 100)
- cylinders (related to the BIOS CHS geometry)
- cylinders, heads, sectors addressing (related to the BIOS CHS geometry)
- This is a special unit that defaults to megabytes for input, and picks a unit that gives a compact human readable representation for output.
The default unit apply only for the output and when no unit is specified after an input number. Input numbers can be followed by an unit (without any space or other character between them), in which case this unit apply instead of the default unit for this particular number, but CHS and cylinder units are not supported as a suffix. If no suffix is given, then the default unit is assumed. Parted will compute sensible ranges for the locations you specify (e.g. a range of +/- 500 MB when you specify the location in “G”, and a range of +/- 500 KB when you specify the location in “M”) and will select the nearest location in this range from the one you wrote that satisfies constraints from both the operation, the filesystem being worked on, the disk label, other partitions and so on. Use the sector unit “s” to specify exact locations (if they do not satisfy all constraints, Parted will ask you for the nearest solution). Note that negative numbers count back from the end of the disk, with “-1s” pointing to the last sector of the disk.
Note that as of parted-2.4, when you specify start and/or end values using IEC binary units like “MiB”, “GiB”, “TiB”, etc., parted treats those values as exact, and equivalent to the same number specified in bytes (i.e., with the “B” suffix), in that it provides no “helpful” range of sloppiness. Contrast that with a partition start request of “4GB”, which may actually resolve to some sector up to 500MB before or after that point. Thus, when creating a partition, you should prefer to specify units of bytes (“B”), sectors (“s”), or IEC binary units like “MiB”, but not “MB”, “GB”, etc.
Example:(parted) unit compact (parted) print Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0kB - 123GB Disk label type: msdos Number Start End Size Type File system Flags 1 32kB 1078MB 1077MB primary reiserfs boot 2 1078MB 2155MB 1078MB primary linux-swap 3 2155MB 123GB 121GB extended 5 2155MB 7452MB 5297MB logical reiserfs (parted) unit chs print Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0,0,0 - 14946,225,62 BIOS cylinder,head,sector geometry: 14946,255,63. Each cylinder is 8225kB. Disk label type: msdos Number Start End Type File system Flags 1 0,1,0 130,254,62 primary reiserfs boot 2 131,0,0 261,254,62 primary linux-swap 3 262,0,0 14945,254,62 extended 5 262,2,0 905,254,62 logical reiserfs (parted) unit mb print Disk geometry for /dev/hda: 0MB - 122942MB Disk label type: msdos Number Start End Size Type File system Flags 1 0MB 1078MB 1077MB primary reiserfs boot 2 1078MB 2155MB 1078MB primary linux-swap 3 2155MB 122935MB 120780MB extended 5 2155MB 7452MB 5297MB logical reiserfs
If you want to find out more information, please see the GNU Parted web site.
These files in the Parted distribution contain further information:
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Copyright (C) year your name. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free Documentation License''.
If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the “with...Texts.” line with this:
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If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.
If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.
This manual was based on the file USER included in GNU Parted version 1.4.22 source distribution. The GNU Parted source distribution is available at ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parted.
Initial Texinfo formatting by Richard M. Kreuter, 2002.
Maintainance by Andrew Clausen from 2002 to 2005 and by Leslie P. Polzer from July 2005 onwards.
This manual is distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.1 or later, at your discretion, any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. See Copying This Manual, for details.
 Everyone seems to have a different word for “disk label” — these are all the same thing: partition table, partition map.