How to partition a hard drive using “parted” command?

Parted – A useful information!

Recently I had to work on a “Parted” based server. Not always we’ll get chances to work on “parted” based servers. Hence I thought of documenting it. Parted is a command which helps you to modify hard-disk partitions. More than a command, it’s a GNU utility. Using Parted we can add, delete and edit partitions along with the file systems located on them.

More than that, suppose think of a criteria that you need to partition a 6TB hard-disk on a Linux server. Most possibly we’ll think of fdisk utility. I’ve to say sorry, because fdisk can’t partition hard-drives more than 2TB in a Linux server. Fdisk will parttion only upto 2TB and around 4TB will remain as unused space.

Hence, in that situation “parted” is the only solution. So, you can refer to this article if you need to partition a hard-drive which is greater than 2TB.

If you’re first time to “parted”, be careful in doing it because the changes are written to the disk immediately. So please make sure you’ve selected the correct disk before start working on it. Here in this example, the disk size is only 500 GB but I’m using parted to partition it.

First, we can check if “parted” is available on the server. For that we can use the following command:

# parted

You’ll get a similar output if you have parted command available.

If “parted” isn’t available on your server, you can install it using the following yum command in a RHEL server:

# yum install parted

Now, we can check the partitions available on the hard-drives. For that we can use “print” command in “parted” prompt. By-default, “parted” selects the first drive /dev/sda.

# parted
  print

This will also shows the model number of the hard-disk, size of the hard-disk, partition table and the partitions.

To quit the “parted” prompt, we can use “quit”. Also to switch to different hard-drives we can use “select” command.

# parted
  select /dev/sdb 

Now, we can see how we can partition a hard-disk using “parted” command. Here, I’m going to partition /dev/sdb.

1. Set disk label.

We can use “mklabel” command to set the partition table to GPT. “GPT” means GUID partition table format. To set the disk label, enter the “parted” prompt and then use the following commands:

#parted 
 select /dev/sdb
 mklabel gpt
 print ---> This is to verify whether gpt is set as the partition table.

2. Partitioning using “parted”

We can directly enter the /dev/sdb “parted” prompt or we can use “parted” command then “select /dev/sdb” to enter into it.

# parted /dev/sdb 
  mkpart primary 0GB 500GB
  print 

Here, as my hard-disk size is 500 GB, I’m using it as the end point. Use according to your requirement.

3. Format the partition

Now we can use “mkfs” to format it.

# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1

4. Mounting the partition

Now, we can create a directory and mount it. In my case I’m using it as a backup drive.

# mkdir /backupx
# mount /dev/sdb1 /backupx

For permanent mounting, we need to add it in /etc/fstab.

That’s it! Hope you like the article!

Heba Habeeb

Working as a Linux Server Admin, Infopark, Cochin, Kerala.

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