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Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Understanding Partitions

As a historical accident, i386 and amd64 systems have two different types of partitions. OpenBSD refers to the first as MBR partitions and the second as disklabel partitions (or just partitions).

MBR Partitions

MBR partitions, also known as primary partitions, are universally understood by operating systems that run on i386 hardware. Every hard drive has four MBR partitions. In most cases, only one partition has any space allocated to it; the other three partitions have zero size. If you want to install multiple operating systems on a single disk, then each operating system needs its own MBR partition.

Most operating systems manage MBR partitions with a program called fdisk. It’s not the same program, mind you—OpenBSD’s ...

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