Subject: Re: A new partition handling scheme: wedges
To: Charles M. Hannum <mycroft@MIT.EDU>
From: Greg Hudson <ghudson@MIT.EDU>
List: tech-kern
Date: 01/26/1998 11:32:21
[In case it isn't obvious, the message below is very i386-oriented.]

Perry wrote:
> Why not keep both MBRs and NetBSD labels on the i386 and continue to
> (usually) pack the NetBSD partitions together into one MBR?

Charles wrote:
> Do you honestly think a PC user wants to know anything about BSD
> `disk labels'?  This single item confuses more people during the
> installation process than anything else.

I want to second this.  I deal with supporting NetBSD at MIT
(NetBSD-Athena, really, but that's not relevant here), and while the
people here are relatively bright and can understand disklabels
without too much trouble, they generally find it incredibly Byzantine.
Why do they have to edit the disklabel and plug in sector offsets and
lengths to access their DOS partitions?

It doesn't help that the disklabel program is so querulous about
labelling a disk for the first time ("disklabel -e" should probably
work, but doesn't) or that NetBSD doesn't currently understand
extended partitions.  But even if you fixed those problems, having to
reconcile the NetBSD disklabel with the MBR every time you make a
change to the latter is poor.