userspace discovery of partitions

From: Andrew Clausen (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 13:57:35 EST

Hi all,

As discussed a while ago (see thread starting at, I
wrote a frontend to libparted that does nothing but probe all
block devices for partition tables, and tells the kernel what
partitions it finds. It optionally prints a short summary.

The hope is to be able to remove partition table parsing from the
kernel, and share partition table code with libparted.

It's called partprobe, and is distributed with Parted. Get it from:

When partprobe/libparted are compiled with --enable-discover-only
--disable-nls etc (see README), it comes to about 73k (35k
compressed), not including libc or libuuid. Unfortunately, this is
still quite large to be including in things like initramfs. Is
it worth paying this price?

libparted currently supports 7 partition table formats (vs 11 in
linux 2.4). It uses the blkpg interface in 2.4 to communicate
partition info. (see libparted/linux.c, linux_disk_commit)


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