Subject: Re: why is partition c always the full disk?
To: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/13/1998 15:31:23
On Tue, 14 Jul 1998, Robert Elz wrote:

>     Date:        Mon, 13 Jul 1998 16:51:02 -0400 (EDT)
>     From:        der Mouse  <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
>     Message-ID:  <199807132051.QAA13102@Twig.Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
>   | It'd probably be easier to go to 16 partitions
> That probably ought become the default for everything (with the only
> real exception being where compat with other systems is required).
> Unix discs had 8 partitions back when a common disk was 5Mb big.   Now
> we are 3 orders of magnitude bigger than that, I suspect that a doubling of
> the number of partitions is past due...

The thing is that the minor number for devices is only 8 bits. If you
increase the number of partitions, then you decrease the number of drives
a system can have.

> Note - this would not require anyone to actually use the things, and those
> people who prefer a few large partitions (to maximise flexibility) can go
> on doing that with 13 or 14 unused possible partitions just as they can with
> 5 or 6 ... but for those who prefer the structure that keeping data isolated
> in its own partition enforces, they really ought be able to make better use
> of that.

The tricky part, in addition to finding extra space for the extra minor
bits, is to somehow make it so that the old device nodes still work right.

The decision on how to deal with this is to wait for NetBSD to support
"slices." At that point, the major number of the device will be changed,
and the new major number will support 32 partitions per drive.

Take care,