Break the 2TB limit in Linux with gdisk

Without going into too much detail, for over 30 years the MBR has been the hard drive partition standard, which has a 2TB limit. GPT replaces MBR with one of it’s key benefits, exceeding the 2TB limit. While the fdisk tool is dated, there are several other tools that handle 2TB drives and beyond.

One such tool, is gdisk, part of the gptfdisk rpm. This is one way to install and use gdisk on a CentOS 6 server.

Download gdisk (one method)

cd /opt
# Download and install
if [ $(arch) = "i686" ]; then
# 32-bit
yum localinstall -y gdisk-0.8.7-125.1.i686.rpm
# 64-bit
yum localinstall -y gdisk-0.8.7-125.1.x86_64.rpm

Download gdisk (another method) Updated: 9/16/2015

cd /opt
# Download and install
if [ $(arch) = "i686" ]; then
# 32-bit
yum install -y
# 64-bit
yum install -y

To use gdisk, type gdisk, n, enter,enter,enter,8e00 enter,w, y

gdisk /dev/sdc

Command (? for help): n
Partition number (1-128, default 1):
First sector (34-6143999966, default = 2048) or {+-}size{KMGTP}:
Last sector (2048-6143999966, default = 6143999966) or {+-}size{KMGTP}:
Current type is ‘Linux filesystem’
Hex code or GUID (L to show codes, Enter = 8300): 8e00
Changed type of partition to ‘Linux LVM’

Command (? for help): w

Final checks complete. About to write GPT data. THIS WILL OVERWRITE EXISTING PARTITIONS!!

Do you want to proceed? (Y/N): y
OK; writing new GUID partition table (GPT) to /dev/sdc.
sd 2:0:1:0 [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
The operation has completed successfully.

Now that the /dev/sdc has been partitioned with one partition using all 3TB, let’s verify that

gdisk -l /dev/sdc

GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.7

Partition table scan:
MBR: protective
BSD: not present
APM: not present
GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
Disk /dev/sdc: 6144000000 sectors, 2.9 TiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 8906A0EF-A1F7-43F5-97FA-EB68BB4CD47C
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 6143999966
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2014 sectors (1007.0 KiB)

Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name
1 2048 6143999966 2.9 TiB 8E00 Linux LVM

Format the new partition and label it something useful maybe, localnas. This may take some time, a few minutes.

mkfs.ext4 -L localnas /dev/sdc1

This is one way to mount it permanently.

mkdir /nas
blkid /dev/sdc1
echo "UUID=$(blkid -o value /dev/sdc1 | grep "-") /nas ext4 defaults 1 2" >> /etc/fstab
#echo "UUID=xxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxx-xxxxx /nas ext4 defaults 1 2" >> /etc/fstab
mount -a

To verify that newly created space

df -h
Filesystem                          Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/vg_centos6test-lv_root   18G  2.2G   15G  14% /
tmpfs                               242M     0  242M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1                           485M   35M  426M   8% /boot
/dev/sdc1                           2.0T  199M  1.9T   1% /nas