Partitioning: Primary vs Logical

April 20, 2006 at 12:07 pm 5 comments

One common question asked by Linux users during partitioning is: Should I use primary or logical partitions. The answer is that in most cases it really does not matter.

The structure of the boot record limits the maximum number of primary partition on a disk to 4. You may replace one of the 4 primary partition with 1 or more logical partitions. Only one primary partition can be designated active (also call bootable).

Linux does not care whether you use logical or primary partitions, only that you place /boot on a active primary partition (because you can't make a logical partition active). If you have dual boot, the windows must be placed on an active partition.

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Entry filed under: linux.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sean  |  August 17, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Quote: “Linux does not care whether you use logical or primary partitions, only that you place /boot on a active primary partition (because you can’t make a logical partition active). If you have dual boot, the windows must be placed on an active partition.”

    I thought that you could only have one active partition per drive?

    Reply
  • 2. paulsiu  |  August 23, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Sean,

    You can have only one active (bootable) partition per drive, but you can have 4 primary partition, but only one of the primary can be active.

    Reply
  • 3. Vincent  |  November 16, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Hi, this is post while searching for an answer for my question. I want to dual-boot my laptop so I’m trying to install linux on a hardrive with vista already installed. Howerver when i went to write the partitions to the table using cfdisk it said more than one primary partiton is marked bootable and DOS MBR can’t boot it. How do i get around this becuase obvious i need my vista partition be able to boot and also the /boot partition for linux. Any ideas?

    Reply
  • 4. Vincent  |  November 16, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Nevermind, found my answer…haha, sorry, i’m a total linux newbie

    Reply
  • 5. raja  |  December 25, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    dfg

    Reply

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