maximum partition size for RHEL

A Cline aaron.cline at
Tue Apr 18 08:19:50 CDT 2006

Starting with RHEL4u1, there was support for Filesystems larger than 1TB.
Prior to that I believe that 1TB was the largest you can go and I do not
know if RedHat backported it into any of the RHEL3 updates.  I believe that
the maximum filesystem size after RHEL4u1 is either 4TB or 8TB, but it
doesn't effect me because our SAN can only do partitions up to 2TB.

Regarding LVM, I'd like some more input on if anyone has had issues with LVM
causing filesystem errors.  Has anyone used an off the shelf solution (like
VxVM) and then switched to LVM, if so, I'd like to hear why and if you are
happy.  Also, does anyone use LVM with EMC's Powerpath?  Do you have issues
with it?

I very much agree that you need to use LVM or some other logical volume
management on partitions from any SAN type device.  I just found out the
hard way that EMC doesn't support resizing partitions if you are using raw
linux partitions on SAN drives.  Food for thought.



On 4/18/06, Eric Warnke <ericew at> wrote:
> I have had nothing but trouble using MSDOS partition types on devices
> larger than 2TB ( eg Apple XRaid ).  Using fdisk/msdos partitions APPEARED
> to work, but on reboot would shrink down to partition-2Tb in size and
> results in fs corruption.  Using parted and gpt works around that issue.
> On systems the size you are talking, you should also be using LVM.  I
> never, initially, make the partition fill the drive.  I leave room for
> snapshots and latter growth.  Using LVM also means that scsi device
> renumbering will not affect your mountpoint ( a huge plus ).
> Cheers,
> Eric
> On 4/18/06, wolf2k5 <wolf2k5 at> wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > We're running several Dell PowerEdge 1850 servers with RHEL3 U7 and
> > RHEL3 U3, some of them running the i686 version, others running the
> > x86_64 version.
> >
> > We use an iSCSI array for data storage, only the server OS is stored
> > on the local HD.
> >
> > Some of the servers use the Linux iSCSI initiator (software), while
> > others use the QLogic iSCSI HBA (hardware).
> >
> > We usually create a pretty big volume (several TBs) on the iSCSI array
> > and then create one or more (up to 4) primary partitions on it.
> >
> > We use the standard partion table (MS-DOS), not the new one (GPT).
> >
> > We use use ext3 as filesystem type.
> >
> > What is the maximum partition size that we can safely use in such
> > environment?
> >
> > I found a good resource about system configuration limits on the RH web
> > site:
> >
> >
> > Unfortunately  it doesn't include the maximum partition size, though
> > it includes  the maximum filesystem size. Can I safely assume that the
> > first value is equal to the latter?
> >
> > IIRC, I read somewhere that the maximum partition size is 2TB.
> > If so, how does RHEL4 support 8TB partitions, as per their web site?
> >
> > Also, we've the ability to create a filesystem directly on the iSCSI
> > volume without creating a partition at all, e.g. mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb
> > instead of mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1.
> > I don't know if that is possible with a regular HD at all, it appears
> > to work fine with an iSCSI volume.
> > What are the pros and the cons of creating a filesystem w/o a partition?
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
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> >
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> >
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