Subject: Re: A new partition handling scheme: wedges
To: Greg Hudson <ghudson@MIT.EDU>
From: Perry E. Metzger <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 01/26/1998 17:57:14
Greg Hudson writes:
> 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?

They shouldn't have to, and the whole point of wedges is it shatters
the need for that, especially with the right tools. HOWEVER, I'm not
sure MBRs are the be all and end all of i386 labeling.

> It doesn't help that the disklabel program is so querulous about
> labelling a disk for the first time

But of course, the tools needn't suck.

> 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.

That isn't strictly needed, and in any case is fully automatable.

The point here is just to continue to maintain a way to slice up and
type BSD partitions within MBR slices -- NOT to force users to put DOS
partition info into the MBR to make accessing a DOS slice
possible. wedgeconfig completely obviates the need for that.