The issue is really quite simple. The solaris install, on x86 at least, chooses to use slice-0 for the root partition. That slice is not created by a default format/fdisk, and so we have the web strewn with

prtvtoc path/to/old/slice2 | fmthard -s - path/to/new/slice2

As a way to cause the two commands to "access" the entire disk. If you have to use dissimilar sized disks because 1) that's the only media you have, or 2) you want to increase the size of your root pool, then all we end up with, is an error message about overlapping partitions and no ability to make progress.

If I then use dd if=/dev/zero to erase the front of the disk, and the fire up format, select fdisk, say yes to create solaris2 partitioning, and then use partition to add a slice 0, I will have problems getting the whole disk in play.

So, the end result, is that I have to jump through hoops, when in the end, I'd really like to just add the whole disk, every time. If I say

    zpool attach rpool c8t0d0s0 c12d1

I really do mean the whole disk, and I'm not sure why it can't "just happen". Failing to type a "slice" reference, is no worse of a 'typo' than typing 's2' by accident, because that's what I've been typing with all the other commands to try and get the disk partitioned.

I just really think there's not a lot of value in all of this, especially with ZFS, where we can, in fact add more disks/vdevs to a keep expanding space, and extremely rarely is that going to be done, for the root pool, with fractions of disks.

The use of SMI and absolute refusal to use EFI partitioning plus all of this just stacks up to a pretty large barrier to "simple" and/or "easy" administration.

I'm very nervous when I have a simplex filesystem setting there, and when a disk has "died", I'm doubly nervous that the other half is going to fall over.

I'm not trying to be hard nosed about this, I'm just trying to share my angst and frustration with the details that drove me in that direction.

Gregg Wonderly

On 12/16/2011 2:56 AM, Andrew Gabriel wrote:
On 12/16/11 07:27 AM, Gregg Wonderly wrote:
Cindy, will it ever be possible to just have attach mirror the surfaces, including the partition tables? I spent an hour today trying to get a new mirror on my root pool. There was a 250GB disk that failed. I only had a 1.5TB handy as a replacement. prtvtoc ... | fmthard does not work in this case

Can you be more specific why it fails?
I have seen a couple of cases, and I'm wondering if you're hitting the same thing.
Can you post the prtvtoc output of your original disk please?

and so you have to do the partitioning by hand, which is just silly to fight with anyway.


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