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Support Harddrives with more than 2TB capacity

Feature state

openSUSE Distribution


As harddrives with capacities more than 2 TB's are available, we need to ensure that those drives are fully supported.
That includes:
- mainboard chipset drives supporting those drives
- booting from those drives : That requires EFI/UEFI support, as MBR only supports 2TB harddrives as maximum because it's based on 32bit fields
- drive needs to be set up as GPT drive because GUID partitiontable uses 64bit sector numbers
- full capacity is recognized by the system and usable
Recent tests were showing issues with current linux systems.

Could somebody with more inside knowledge could comment on that and if this could cause problems with upcoming openSUSE releases?

User benefit:

As available harddrive capacities are constantly growing, we need to make sure that opensuse can be installed on those systems without a problem.


I haven't got the needed hardware, but if somebody does, could he/she try to install openSUSE 11.3/4 and report issues to get some idea where we are with regards to this issue.


icons/user_comment.png R. M. wrote: (7 years ago)

Drivers that will support new developed hardware is not a problem that openSUSE, or any other distribution can do much about. When driver appear in a Linux kernel it can be tested, debugged, used, but that is the same story with any driver for any hardware device.

I would file that only under product openSUSE distribution and remove 11.4, as boot method change will not happen in 11.4. It is too late for such change.

More important is that openSUSE can be installed on large drives without EFI using current partitioning where system partition is under the limit of 2TB, and once system is booted it can access whole drive provided that there is kernel driver for used chipset.

It would be nice to see where and how are mentioned "recent tests" performed, so that is clear what is tested and what possible problems are found. I can't see other problems besides attempt to use as system partition some that is beyond 2 TB, which is rather unusual requirement considering that openSUSE default installation has 3 partitions:

  • swap
  • system
  • home

Swap is sized as available RAM, plus some space for some programs that use swap, which is up to 10GB, if user wants to hibernate system that has, say, 8 GB RAM.

System partition that has 30 GB is rather very large. I have currently a lot of software installed and system is still under 10 GB. To be able to burn DVDs /tmp directory should be able to take some 5GB temporary iso image, so 15 GB should be fine for majority of users. The /tmp directory can be moved on a separate partition at any time, so that is not issue either.

Home can be the rest of hard disk, which is not a problem to access once system is running.

Ditto, asking for ability to create system partitions above 2 TB is rather sign of bad planning, then real need.

icons/user_comment.png A. S. wrote: (7 years ago)

The MSDOS partition table cannot handle disks with more than 2TB (and 512 byte sector size). This limitation does not only affect booting. Thus when you create or have a MSDOS partition table YaST will only use the first 2TB.

For drives bigger than 2TB you need GPT (YaST will create one if the disk does not have an partition table or you ask YaST to create a new partition table).

icons/user_comment.png R. M. wrote: (7 years ago)

Removed 11.4 as product. See above for the reasons.

icons/user_comment.png A. S. wrote: (7 years ago)

openSUSE 11.3 can handle drives with more than 2TB. If something does not
work we need bug reports. In fact I'm surprised that there haven't been any so

icons/user_comment.png P. J. wrote: (7 years ago)

Harddisks > 2Tb are still not common. Just now I had to check with three suppliers to find one that would ship a 3Tb Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000.

icons/user_comment.png D. B. wrote: (7 years ago)

about 25 in this one search engine

with falling prices, there will be a higher market penetration.

icons/user_comment.png P. J. wrote: (7 years ago)

Yes, they're easier to find now than last year, although I got a couple of WD 3Tb drives delivered just before Xmas. I tested a few things including RAID1 - wrt this feature request, I think we can say that openSUSE supports >2Tb drives just fine.

icons/user_comment.png D. B. wrote: (7 years ago)

did you test a drive a single drive setup in the system, including booting from it?

icons/user_comment.png P. J. wrote: (7 years ago)

Yes, I started out with just one drive in a plain desktop system (two SATA connectors, but only room for one drive). It booted fine, including from different partition locations, up to around the 2Tb limit. I think I reported on this on the -factory list.

icons/user_comment.png A. J. wrote: (7 years ago)

As Arvin said: It should work, so please file bugs if it does not.

Last change: 7 years ago
Score: 5
  • Negative: 1
  • Neutral: 1
  • Positive: 6
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