Because of underlying storage, I need the partitions created by the RHEL/CentOS installer to begin on a multiple of 8 sectors. By default the part command during kickstart (see this page for kickstart reference) offsets them by 63 sectors:

[root@bs-simon ~]# fdisk -lu /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 85.8 GB, 85899345920 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 10443 cylinders, total 167772160 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *          63      160649       80293+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2          160650   166738634    83288992+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3       166738635   167766794      514080   82  Linux swap / Solaris

part does offer --start to specify the starting cylinder, but can someone suggest a way to get part to start on a sector that is a multiple of 8? Or do I just need to give up and partition the disk manually first?

btw, this is to get the linux filesystem blocks to align with underlying VMware VMFS datastore blocks, which align with NetApp LUN blocks.


  • 1
    Sector 63 IS a multiple of 8, when you consider that the counting starts at 0.
    – JeffG
    Mar 10, 2011 at 2:57
  • dupe? serverfault.com/questions/34729/… Mar 10, 2011 at 2:59
  • Not a dupe, this is about customizing the kickstart process, not using fdisk directly.
    – JeffG
    Mar 10, 2011 at 3:01
  • @JeffG, I'm told by NetApp that this number needs to be divisible by 8 "the default start sector of 63 is misaligned" Mar 10, 2011 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


This link provides complex partition for using in kickstart http://www.dark.ca/2009/08/03/complex-partitioning-in-kickstart/


use the %pre section of your kickstart file to calculate at write out a partition table. Use the %include command in the kickstart file to read what was generated during %pre.

Example 1.6.1 on this page http://linux.web.cern.ch/linux/scientific4/docs/rhel-sag-en-4/s1-kickstart2-preinstallconfig.html shows an example of writing the partition scheme during %pre which is calculated at the beginning of the install process and subsequently used via %include.

  • actually this just generates the part commands to be used in the kickstart, which doesn't work for me since it only takes cylinder numbers for start and end Mar 10, 2011 at 4:47

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