I was playing around with gdisk utility on my dual boot (windows 10 and fedora) by doing #gdisk /dev/sdaX and found out that for windows partitions, gdisk said MBR present while for linux partitions I wasn't seeing the expected GPT present. This makes me wonder why do separate logical disks need a separate partition scheme? All this time I was under the impression that windows 10 and linux share a common GPT scheme which were located in a location where the firmware or kernel can locate it and it is only update when changes are made to the partition like creation or deletion.

Can someone clarify if this is true?


Generally speaking, you should run partitioning tools on full disk devices, not individual partitions; in your case:

gdisk /dev/sda

I’m not sure why gdisk reports “MBR present” for Windows partitions (I would guess it’s some signature which is matched).

Partitioning schemes are designed for managing entire volumes.

(There are some cases where partitions exist inside partitions, e.g. with logical partitions inside extended partitions, or BSD disklabels inside an MBR partition. They are really implementation accidents, and not really germane to the discussion here; in particular, logical partitions are managed by full-disk partition tools. As another aside, it’s possible to have partitions anywhere using the Linux loop device, but feel free to ignore that here.)

  • One of the reasons that the EFI partitioning scheme is an improvement is that it has unambiguous signatures and checksums to match, which the MBR partitioning scheme largely has not. gdisk (and indeed fdisk and anything else) has no way to distinguish between the primary MBR and secondary MBRs in extended partitions, and the block device for an extended partition will look like a (faulty) MBR-partitioned disc. – JdeBP Dec 21 '18 at 12:10

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