Partition counting should use the same method as device counting

Bug #425421 reported by Pjotr12345 on 2009-09-06
20
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
grub
New
Undecided
Unassigned
grub2 (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

In Grub2, partition counting starts at 1. However, device counting starts at 0 (the old method). This difference is very unwise and will cause needless confusion.

Counting of partitions and devices should be exactly the same. Both of them should start counting at 1, or both of them should start counting at 0 (old method). No mix.

Pjotr12345 (computertip) on 2009-09-06
Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed

Am Sonntag, den 06.09.2009, 22:30 +0000 schrieb Pjotr12345:
> Public bug reported:
>
> In Grub2, partition counting starts at 1. However, device counting
> starts at 0 (the old method). This difference is very unwise and will
> cause needless confusion.
>
> Counting of partitions and devices should be exactly the same. Both of
> them should start counting at 1, or both of them should start counting
> at 0 (old method). No mix.
>

Quote from http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/grub-2.en.html
Fix design mistakes in GRUB Legacy, which could not be solved for
backward-compatibility, such as the way of numbering partitions.

In other words, we (as in Debian maintainers and GNU
developers/maintainers) won't change this again.
I strongly hope and believe Ubuntu won't divert from us in this point.

I don't know why Okuji (or the other PUPA developers) decided this but
honourly I don't care.
Maybe you can find some explanation in the grub-devel archives.

--
Felix Zielcke
Proud Debian Maintainer

On Sun, Sep 06, 2009 at 11:06:44PM -0000, Felix Zielcke wrote:
> In other words, we (as in Debian maintainers and GNU
> developers/maintainers) won't change this again.
> I strongly hope and believe Ubuntu won't divert from us in this point.

Indeed we won't.

As for drive numbering, it's generally best for users to avoid having to
interact with GRUB's internal drive numbers at all wherever possible.
UUIDs are a step towards this, although there's still more to do.

Pjotr12345 (computertip) wrote :

@Colin Watson: indeed users shouldn't *need* to interact with Grub's drive numbers or partition numbers.

But when they choose to, they shouldn't be confused by two different counting methods in the same name. Mixing counting methods is a very bad idea.

This not only creates unnecessary confusion for users, but may also cause bugs in peripheral software later on. Software developers may not always be sufficiently aware of this mixed counting method.

Given the reaction of Felix Zielcke: may I suggest that partition counting in Grub2 will start from 0 again, just like in the old Grub? I think that would be the best solution for everybody.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

I'm sorry, I don't expect that we'll change this. Counting partitions from 0 was a mistake because it was inconsistent with how the operating system typically counts them; I see this as a much more significant inconsistency than that between drives and partitions.

Changed in grub2 (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
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