Fun and games with 3TB hard drives.

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at
Sat Oct 1 09:12:18 UTC 2011

On Saturday 01 October 2011 03:31:53 Fernando Cassia wrote:
> So I eventually realized it´s not really the end-user´s job to  know
> about the cylinder limits of DOS-style partition tables beforehand.
> And that if they fire fdisk on a bigger than 2TB hard drive, a warning
> message "hey, look, this tool has a limit on what it can do on the big
> hard drive just detected" would go a long way to solve frustration and
> waste of time, as experienced by the OP.

If an end-user doesn't know the limitations of DOS partition tables, what 
business does he have using fdisk in the first place? If you want to use a low-
level tool for the job, first go educate yourself on how it should be used and 
what it can/cannot do. IOW, read the man page.

Linux distros in general were designed and implemented by people who do not 
have a problem with learning new stuff and reading documentation (or even 
source code). As a natural consequence, Linux is a priori not designed for 
noobs and newbies who do not want to learn.

Also at the distribution level, maybe with the exception of Ubuntu. Fedora in 
particular has never been a good choice for novice users, but rather for 
experienced ones. And an experienced user is *assumed* *to* *know* what is a 
man page and that he should probably read it and learn it, when doing 
something for the first time.

So I'd say it *is* an end-users job to know about the cylinder limits o DOS-
style prartition tables, if he is to use fdisk on a 3TB drive for the first 
time in his life. There are many ways to set up a 3TB drive, some of which 
will work with fdisk, while others will not. If the OP has a specific purpose 
for his new drive, and wants a specific setup, he also needs to know (or 
otherwise get himself informed) about the limitations and tools that 
can/cannot do what he wants. Tools like fdisk were not designed to be used by 
novice users, and therefore assume some level of knowledge on the users' side.

Over the years of using Linux, I came to expect that GUI apps will usually be 
self-explanatory, while CLI apps will have a man page that one should read at 
least once before using the app. It is a good habit to check the man page of 
every command you are about to type into a console, especially if you are 
doing it as root, for system configuration purposes.

Best, :-)

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