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Thread: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Hi

    I am trying to build a set of desktops with a pre-seed from an ISO image and it works fine until I try to be fancy and slicy up my disk. I get the message:
    "Failed to partition the selected disk", and suggests that maybe I have too many (primary) partitions. I thought I was well under the limit. I can click through and it installs, but it will only create some of my partitions and lvm volumes.

    This is how my pre-seed recipe looks like:
    Code:
    ubiquity partman-auto/expert_recipe string                    \
          custom-lvm ::                                           \
                  1000 1000 1000 ext4                             \
                          $primary{ } $bootable{ }                \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                          mountpoint{ /boot }                     \
                  .                                               \
                  1000 2000 100% linux-swap                       \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ swap }               \
                          method{ swap } format{ }                \
                  .                                               \
                  6000 10000 60000 ext4                           \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ root }               \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                          mountpoint{ / }                         \
                  .                                               \
                  2000 2000 4000 ext4                             \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ var }                \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                          mountpoint{ /var }                      \
                  .                                               \
                  2000 2000 4000 ext4                             \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ var_log }            \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                          mountpoint{ /var/log }                  \
                  .                                               \
                  2000 2000 4000 ext4                             \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ var_log }            \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                          mountpoint{ /var/log/audit }            \
                  .                                               \
                  256 10000 1000000000 ext4                       \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ home }               \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          options/nodev{ nodev }                  \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                          mountpoint{ /home }                     \
                  .                                               \
                  1024 1 1024 ext4 $lvmok{ }                      \
                          mountpoint{ /tmp }                      \
                          $lvmok{ } lv_name{ lv_tmp }             \
                          method{ format } format{ }              \
                          options/nodev{ nodev }                  \
                          options/nosuid{ nosuid }                \
                          options/noexec{ noexec }                \
                          use_filesystem{ } filesystem{ ext4 }    \
                  .                                               \
    And this is what I get:

    Code:
    $ lsblk 
    NAME                   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
    loop0                    7:0    0  89,1M  1 loop /snap/core/8268
    loop1                    7:1    0  54,7M  1 loop /snap/core18/1668
    loop2                    7:2    0  44,9M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1440
    loop3                    7:3    0 160,2M  1 loop /snap/gnome-3-28-1804/116
    loop4                    7:4    0   4,2M  1 loop /snap/gnome-calculator/544
    loop5                    7:5    0  14,8M  1 loop /snap/gnome-characters/399
    loop6                    7:6    0   956K  1 loop /snap/gnome-logs/81
    loop7                    7:7    0   3,7M  1 loop /snap/gnome-system-monitor/127
    sda                      8:0    0    20G  0 disk 
    ├─sda1                   8:1    0   953M  0 part /boot
    ├─sda2                   8:2    0     1K  0 part 
    └─sda5                   8:5    0  19,1G  0 part 
      ├─ubuntu--vg-swap    253:0    0   976M  0 lvm  [SWAP]
      ├─ubuntu--vg-root    253:1    0   7,3G  0 lvm  /
      ├─ubuntu--vg-var     253:2    0   1,9G  0 lvm  /var
      └─ubuntu--vg-var_log 253:3    0   1,9G  0 lvm  /var/log
    sr0                     11:0    1  1024M  0 rom
    From what I see, this is three partitions, one logical, and I only want to create additional logical volumes within that logical volume, which should not hit any partition limits, AFAIK.

    Someone knows what I'm doing wrong, and even better, know how to to what I want?

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Use GPT partition table, not MSDOS. GPT supports at least 100 primary partitions and none of that extended-primary + logical partition crap.

  3. #3
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Hmm. Maybe I should. How do you force usage of GPT? Is it just adding "$gptonly{ }" on each mount point?

  4. #4
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by andreasdavour View Post
    Hmm. Maybe I should. How do you force usage of GPT? Is it just adding "$gptonly{ }" on each mount point?
    I just know that MBR/MSDOS partitions have limitation that are a hassle and that GPT doesn't. I've never done partman anything stuff. You have me thinking, if it is easy for partitioning, it would be worth doing.

    https://gist.github.com/robertstarmer/7332658 seems to have examples.

    The pre-seed stuff seems overly complex for my needs. Generally, I use all the available storage for LVM, then lvreduce "root" to 25G and lvcreate /home and swap and /var/lib/libvirt LVs to be mounted for extra stuff while leaving most of the VG unallocated. On some systems, I don't bother with a separate /home/ at all - if there aren't any users, for admin stuff, I might need 50MB for scripts and notes.
    Reducing the "root" LV early post install is important. Of course, having all the LVs setup as I like before any reboot would be very nice.

  5. #5
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Thanks. I will try it a bit and see if it might be what I wanted.

    I am building a bunch of machines, so I have to do all the fancy disk slicing automatically. It would have been nice if the GUI could save out a partman recipe.

  6. #6
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by andreasdavour View Post
    Thanks. I will try it a bit and see if it might be what I wanted.

    I am building a bunch of machines, so I have to do all the fancy disk slicing automatically. It would have been nice if the GUI could save out a partman recipe.
    Heck, until 20.04, I found setting up LVM during installation too much hassle. The 20.04 installer is 100x better - I almost cried. Perhaps in another 10 yrs, it will get to the level that CentOS had in 2012?

    Canonical is all about easy defaults. They'd dumbed down so many things in the attempt to be more inviting for new users as to have gone way too far for some needs. The "Do something else" in the desktop installers was a nice way to say - "Advanced Partitioning", but still too limited for many needs. On a server install, I need much more control.

  7. #7
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Yeah, I wish I could use CentOS...

    It looks like maybe gpt is the way to go, but just slap on $gptonly{ } did not work.

    It might be that example only works on 20.04.

  8. #8
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Or it could be the 15 other commands at the top which setup the base for partitioning?
    As you say, partman may not support it for auto-partitioning, but GPT has been supported since at least 2012, perhaps longer on the OS. I know there was a time when fdisk didn't support gpt.

    There is a tool that will convert MSDOS partitioning into GPT. Maybe after the partitions are setup, then running that would work? You can keep legacy boot with GPT. I've been doing that since at least 2012. Early BIOSes had an issue, but if you aren't doing HP stuff, I'd be surprised if it didn't work today.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Yeah, I tried to include all the bits above setting it up. These things are subtle, and no docs at all...

  10. #10
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    Re: "Too many primary partitions" when installing with pre-seed - 18.04 desktop

    Anyone else have any hints, I'm all ears. I have tried to make this work with gpt, but it just fails.

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