C.5. Debian Partitioning Programs

Several varieties of partitioning programs have been adapted by Debian developers to work on various types of hard disks and computer architectures. Following is a list of the program(s) applicable for your architecture.


Recommended partitioning tool in Debian. This Swiss army knife can also resize partitions, create filesystems and assign them to the mountpoints.


A simple-to-use, full-screen disk partitioner for the rest of us.

Note that cfdisk doesn't understand FreeBSD partitions at all, and, again, device names may differ as a result.

One of these programs will be run by default when you select Partition disks (or similar). It may be possible to use a different partitioning tool from the command line on VT2, but this is not recommended.

C.5.1. Partitioning for PA-RISC

PALO, the HPPA boot loader, requires a partition of type “F0” somewhere in the first 2GB. This is where the boot loader and an optional kernel and RAMdisk will be stored, so make it big enough for that — at least 4Mb (I like 8–16MB). An additional requirement of the firmware is that the Linux kernel must reside within the first 2GB of the disk. This is typically achieved by making the root ext2 partition fit entirely within the first 2GB of the disk. Alternatively you can create a small ext2 partition near the start of the disk and mount that on /boot, since that is the directory where the Linux kernel(s) will be stored. /boot needs to be big enough to hold whatever kernels (and backups) you might wish to load; 25–50MB is generally sufficient.