Linux OS Support for Disk Drives Beyond 2.2 TeraBytes (TB)

Linux OS Support for Disk Drives Beyond 2.2 TeraBytes (TB)



Discussion of and instructions for updating your computer to be able to use the entire capacity of your larger-than-2TB internal drive in Linux.

Linux, like other operating systems, has a 2.2TB limitation in the Master Boot Record (MBR). Partitions greater than 2.2TB will need to utilize the GUID Partition Table (GPT) structure.

UEFI systems using GPT partitions is supported by newest 64-bit distributions.

Linux kernel version v2.6.35 or newer is known to support >2TiB disk drives.

Legacy BIOS systems using GPT partitions with a hybrid protective MBR are supported by some Linux distributions. Syslinux v4 adds booting from GPT.

Ubuntu 10.04 (64-bit, code name Lucid Lynx) is reported using a single 3TB data drive.

Check for newer versions of GRUB2, GNU Parted, GNOME Partition Editor (GParted), gdisk and gfdisk which have GPT partitioning support.

Here is a comprehensive GPT fdisk Tutorial

Other related categories of storage with possible 2.2TB limitations:

  • Some tools like LILO, GRUB Legacy and fdisk are limited to MBR partitions
  • Software based full disk encryption tools

Product support for disk drives greater than 2.2TB is rapidly evolving. Please contact your suppliers directly for the latest status and capacity support limitations of their products. If you find that any part of this information is out of date or lacking, please let us know so that we may correct it and better serve future readers.





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