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When using cfdisk to partition for Arch Linux, I found that after the 4th partition, I can't make any more.

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I'm using VMWare Player as a VM, and I'm using a single fake HD file. Earlier I thought it was that I was using split HD files, but I'm wrong. Is there any way around this?

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See the Arch Wiki partitioning article: "Primary partitions can be bootable and are limited to four partitions per disk or RAID volume." – jasonwryan Apr 4 '13 at 0:28
Wow, I'm blind... Thanks for showing me the wiki C: – SuperCheezGi Apr 4 '13 at 0:31
That is a limitation of the DOS partitioning scheme (I don't know if that is the right name): At most 4 primary partitions. – vonbrand Apr 4 '13 at 0:37
up vote 4 down vote accepted

PC partitions are a bit limited and awkward for historical reasons. You can only have 4 primary partitions, sda1 through sda4. The reason is that the primary partition table in the boot sector has only room for 4 entries. If you want to have more partitions, you need them to be logical partitions. Logical partitions are contained in an extended partition, so to have a logical partition, you must have an extended partition. That extended partition requires an entry in the boot sector, of which all 4 are already taken.

Delete one of the primary partitions, create an extended partition, and make as many logical partitions as you want. (Well, up to 11 of these, as Linux only supports partitions numbered up to 15.)

Linux doesn't care whether it's using primary partitions or logical partitions.

Since the disk is presumably going to be used only under Linux, my recommendation is to forget about PC partitions. The point of them is that they are understood by every operating system. If you aren't sharing the disk between multiple operating systems, they're irrelevant. Use Linux's native partitioning system instead: LVM. Make the whole disk an LVM physical volume, make a volume group containing just that physical volume, and create as many logical volumes inside that volume group as you like.

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Thanks, this helped C: – SuperCheezGi Apr 5 '13 at 21:37

Can not create more than 4 primary partition, in case you need more than 4 partition then follow this steps:

  1. Create 3 Primary Partition
  2. Create 1 Extended Partition
  3. Then you create N of Partition from the Extended Partition.

Thanks, Ela

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While your answer is correct, it is not as thorough as Gilles' and will not add anything to people's understanding of the issue... – jasonwryan Apr 4 '13 at 6:28

Partition table size in MBR is 64 bytes , 16 bytes for each partition , that why we can create only 4 primary partition.

Extended Partition also count Primary partition , in Extended you can create Multiple logical volume up 63. but if you are going to create using fdisk then it can not handle partition after 16th and you can't create more than 1TB using fdisk. so you can use parted or gparted for the same.

from 1-4 partition is reserve for primary , if you create two primary partition(sda1,sda2) and next logical partition partition sda5

Refer this page for more information

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