Now that we have seen the partitions created automatically, what does Anaconda allow you to do, if you decide to create partitions manually. The first step to creating partitions manually, is to select “Create Custom Layout” from the partitions methods step.
The next set of screenshots are used to show what will happen if you attempt to create partitions, but miss a few steps, or use the wrong installation image. Note that a Live CD image was used for this tutorial, and the objective is to install Fedora 16 on a btrfs file system. The target disk is ready, so to start, select it and click Create.
Normally, if you wanted to install a Linux distribution on a btrfs file system, you would create a boot partition, one for Swap, a third for root, formated with btrfs. But that is for a system using MBR table. To create a GPT-based system, the first partition has to be a Standard partition with the bios_boot flag. Note that this step will have to be repeated for all partitions that will be created.
Here, you can specify the properties of the partition. For “File System Type,” select “BIOS Boot.” For “Size,” 1 MB is recommended. That is all you need to specify to create a “BIOS Boot” partition.
With the first partition created, select the free space and click Create.
As in the previous step, we are going to create a Standard partition. Create.
This partition will be mounted at /boot. By default, Anaconda allocates 500 MB to this partition. OK.
For the last partition, select the mount point (/), btrfs as the “File system Type” and “Fill to maximum allowable size, if you intend to use the rest of the available space. Optionally, you may encrypt the partition. OK.
This is the final set of partitions. But will this work?
Apparently, it will not because the Live CD editions of Fedora 16 do not support creating anything other than the default LVM partitioning scheme. Also, if you noticed, there is no Swap partition. The reason is explained in the image below. Now we know what will not work if we try to create partitions manually. In a follow up article, a step-by-step guide on how to install Fedora 16 on an encrypted btrfs file system will be presented.
Extra tips from Official Fedora channels:
Starting in Fedora 16, on non-EFI x86 (32 and 64 bit) systems, Anaconda will default to creating GPT disklabels (partition tables) instead of MSDOS disk labels. On these systems, when booting from a GPT-labelled disk, it is strongly recommended (not necessarily required in all cases, depending on the system’s BIOS/firmware) to create a small (1 MiB) BIOS boot partition. This partition will be used by the bootloader (GRUB2) for storage.
Automatic partitioning will create the partition when appropriate, but users who choose custom partitioning will have to create this partition for themselves. This BIOS boot partition is only necessary on non-EFI x86 systems whose boot device is a GPT-labelled disk.