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So I have a home server with 4 hdds:

hdd1: 60Gb (SSD - OS drive)
hdd2: 4TB (data drive)
hdd3: 2TB (data drive)
hdd4: 1TB (data drive)

So I intend installing ubuntu server onto hdd1 (ssd drive) with other drives simply being a data drives. So now I'm thinking about partitioning those data drives....

Do I even need to partition data drives? Can I just format them to ext4 and mount them?

Is partitioning always needed?

marked as duplicate by slm, jasonwryan, Anthon, rahmu, psusi Jan 20 '14 at 4:39

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Do I even need to partition data drives? Can I just format them to ext4 and mount them?

Although I haven't done it specifically with spinning disk drives, I am pretty sure the answer is no, you don't have to partition them, and yes, you can just format the whole device with one filesystem and mount it. It certainly works with, e.g. USB sticks. What it means is /dev/sdx will be a mountable filesystem, as opposed to having a /dev/sdx with a mountable partition /dev/sdx1.

However, I'd urge you not to do this with hard drives, since it leaves them completely inflexible. You will not be able to repartition anything if you don't have a partition table to start with.

Also, setting up a boot device this way will involve some complications probably not worth bothering with if you are using (e.g.) a normal linux distro.

  • I think you're right. another thing I've just realized is alignment. On large drives if i'm not mistaken we have to align to 2048 bytes or something along those lines and I cannot do that without partitioning the drive. – Dannyboy Jan 20 '14 at 13:52

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