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Old 1st May 2013
ocicat ocicat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,298


Note that the use of the word "partition" needs clarification. OpenBSD partitions all (including swap...) reside within a single primary MBR partition (by convention, Intel & Microsoft defined only four..). How this single OpenBSD partition is sliced to form "a", "b" (which by design is the swap partition...), etc. can be controlled by disklabel(8).

Historically, there are three lettered partitions within the OpenBSD partition which by convention should not be modified without a complete understanding of the underlying implications:
  • "a" denotes the boot partition which contains the kernel. DIsks which are not booted from might not have a "a" partition.
  • "b" denotes the swap partition. Not all disks need to define swap space. However for insurance reasons, a system needs to have some swap space somewhere defined especially to deal with situations where the system crashes or needs to swap to disk.
  • "c" denotes the entire disk. In most cases, there is no need to modify how this partition is defined.
More pertinent information can be found in Section 4 & Section 14 of the official FAQ.
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