What is GPT (GUID Partition Table).


Understanding the intricacies of disk partitioning is crucial for effective system management in Linux. The GPT (GUID Partition Table) has become the preferred choice for partitioning large-capacity storage devices. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of GPT in Linux, exploring its features, benefits, and providing practical examples for better comprehension.

  1. GPT Basics:

    GPT is a partitioning scheme that replaces the older MBR (Master Boot Record) standard. It is designed to overcome MBR limitations, offering support for larger disk sizes, more partitions, and improved data integrity.

  2. Checking Existing Partition Table:

    Before working with GPT, it’s essential to determine the current partition table on your disk. You can use the gdisk tool for this purpose:

    $ sudo gdisk /dev/sdX

    Replace /dev/sdX with the appropriate disk identifier. The p command in gdisk will display the current partition table.

  3. Creating GPT Partitions:

    To create a new GPT partition, you can use the gdisk or parted tools. Let’s use gdisk as an example:

    $ sudo gdisk /dev/sdX

    Once in gdisk, use the n command to create a new partition. Follow the on-screen prompts to specify the size, type, and other parameters.

  4. Formatting GPT Partitions:

    After creating a GPT partition, it needs to be formatted with a file system. Use the mkfs command, for instance, to create an ext4 file system:

    $ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdXY

    Replace /dev/sdXY with the actual GPT partition identifier.

  5. Mounting and Unmounting GPT File Systems:

    Mounting and unmounting GPT partitions is similar to other partition types. Use the mount and umount commands:

    $ sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
    $ sudo umount /mnt

    Ensure the file system is unmounted before making significant changes to the GPT partition.

  6. Viewing GPT Information:

    The parted command provides a user-friendly interface for viewing GPT information:

    $ sudo parted /dev/sdX print

    This command displays detailed information about the GPT layout, including partition sizes and file system types.

  7. Resizing GPT Partitions:

    To resize a GPT partition, you can use tools like resize2fs for ext file systems or xfs_growfs for XFS file systems, similar to MBR partitions.

    # Resize ext4 GPT partition
    $ sudo resize2fs /dev/sdXY
    # Resize XFS GPT partition
    $ sudo xfs_growfs /dev/sdXY

    Ensure the file system is unmounted before resizing.


Understanding GPT in Linux is essential for efficient disk management. With the examples and commands provided, you now have a foundation for creating, formatting, and managing GPT partitions. Always exercise caution when working with partitions, especially when modifying existing ones, and consider backing up important data before making significant changes to your storage configuration.

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