On the need for a proper unattended partitioning tool

Jurjen Bokma

July 2007

In most unattended installation tools, partitioning is problematic. Most can only rewrite complete partition tables, although some[42] do preserve partitions. The Windows installer only has a very limited understanding of partitioning. And always one must carefully point out which partition to preserve.

There is a need for a tool that allows us to list criteria for partitions to be preserved, and criteria for partitions to be created. The tool should probably use prioritization and rules to create a situation as close to what we want as it can.

It would be nice if this tool were a distribution-independent script, so we could load it from any installer as a pre-installation hook, and use it to prepare the disk(s) for the limited abilities of the installation programs. This would also free us from the need to place the machine into different PXE groups during different phases of its installation.

Could PartEd do the trick?

[42] most notably FAI, perhaps KickStart as well?