I just bought a gently used laptop and I am trying to figure out why this is. It has a single SSD that when running fdisk -l shows as Disk: /dev/sda. Under it though are 5 "devices" under that disk, each can only be partitioned to the imposed limits on the "device" Eg: /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 etc...

It used to be a Windows 8 machine before I tried it and despised everything it stood for, so I am trying to load Arch Linux on it at the moment. Some of these devices range from 150MB to 267GB. The MOBO is UEFI which is new to me, the Arch boot loader wants me to create the boot partition with something other than fdisk, FAT32. They recommend at least 500MB for the boot partition which seems absurdly expensive for a boot partition, but I digress. I wanted to make one of these 200MB devices the boot partition as FAT32, the 20GB device as my root partition in ext4, and the 265GB device as a single partition with a number of logical volumes each ext4 for /var /tmp and /home.

There isn't a single device on this disk that I want to use for boot that is quite 500MB and I don't want to share the 20GB device by splitting it into separate partitions for boot and root. If I use the whole 20GB device for just /boot however it would seem an unfortunate waste.

Is it possible to create the /boot partition as a logical volume on the larger device? Is there anything I would have to worry about with regards to UEFI and Gummiboot on Arch Linux?

  • 1
    no. not possible. also, lvm is a pretty nasty tech anyway.
    – mikeserv
    Dec 16, 2014 at 0:03
  • why would you be opposed to shar[ing] the 20GB device by splitting it... anyway? I don't understand that at all. It sounds like you're not very clear on what partitioning means, and maybe a little in the dark about UEFI as well. Look here and follow the links to rodsbooks.com
    – mikeserv
    Dec 16, 2014 at 0:24
  • @mikeserv Well I wanted the 20GB device as a single partition for root. That leaves the larger device unadulterated for /home and media making upgrades or OS changes easier. What I ultimately did last night was set the 400MB device to be the /boot partition anyway. I did find in Arch Wiki documentation where they explicitly stated LVM cannot be used for the /boot partition. Dec 16, 2014 at 12:19
  • @mikeserv I am very much in the dark about UEFI, I have only installed Linux before on a BIOS firmware and MBR partitions. UEFI and GUID partitions are very new to me. Dec 16, 2014 at 12:20
  • I just meant - what have you got against partitioning the 20gb disk? And what I said about lvm - ok, it isn't in-and-of-itself nasty, but when it swallows whole disk arrays and becomes a single point of failure, well.... Yeah, that's why I pointed you to those links - did you follow them?
    – mikeserv
    Dec 17, 2014 at 0:48

1 Answer 1



UEFI Bios tries to find a partition in a GPT-partitioned boot device. This partition needs to be tagged with "EFI System" (see fdisk's "t" command for all options) and also needs to be formatted with FAT filesystem.

You'll find a good explanation here...

Command (m for help): p
Disk /dev/sda: 167.7 GiB, 180045766656 bytes, 351651888 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt

Device      Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sda1    2048    534527    532480   260M EFI System
/dev/sda2  534528 351651839 351117312 167.4G Linux LVM

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