Installer assumes partition of type 0xBF is swap

Bug #239276 reported by Gregg Sporar on 2008-06-11
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
parted (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I have a triple-boot system: Windows Vista, OpenSolaris 2008.05, and Ubuntu 8.04.

Vista was installed first, then OpenSolaris, then Ubuntu 8.04 (from the standard live CD). I used the manual partitioning option in the Ubuntu installer in order to specify which partition to install Ubuntu on.

After I booted Ubuntu 8.04, I could no longer boot OpenSolaris.

The Ubuntu 8.04 installer *changed* my type 0xBF partition to type 0x82 and used the partition as swap space. It wrote a swap entry to /etc/fstab for that partition so on the first boot of Ubuntu my OpenSolaris install got torched.

Is the installer supposed to do that for type 0xBF partitions? If so, please change it - I don't know of any reference on partition ID numbers that shows 0xBF as an indicator of a Linux swap partition. The value 0xBF indicates Solaris (see, for example:

I noticed that the Ubuntu installer listed the partition as "swap" but because of the poor visibility of the installer's exact plans for that partition (, I did not realize it was going to actually *use* the partition. :-/ So admittedly, a bit of this is stupid user error because I did not click on the button to pop up the additional dialog box. But there would have been no chance for a stupid user error if the installer would correctly recognize a 0xBF partition as something that by default it should *not* use.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

This is really bizarre, because the installer shouldn't care much about partition types at all - libparted generally goes by partition contents for file system detection. The relevant signatures are "SWAP-SPACE" and "SWAPSPACE2" - surely it should be hard to confuse those with non-swap?

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Could I please get copies of /var/log/installer/syslog and /var/log/installer/partman from this installation? Just attach them to this bug report.

Changed in parted:
status: New → Incomplete
Gregg Sporar (gregg-sporar) wrote :

>Could I please get copies of /var/log/installer/syslog and /var/log/installer/partman from this installation?

Unfortunately, I no longer have the files from the installation that caused the problem - for unrelated reasons I subsequently re-installed Ubuntu 8.04. At the time that I did that re-install of Ubunutu, that partition was already marked as 0x82. So the log files I have right now do not reflect the error.

I have also re-installed OpenSolaris 2008.05, so in order to re-create the files that you want I would have to once again install Ubuntu 8.04 and have it trash my working OpenSolaris install. Unfortunately, I don't have time to deal with re-installing and then re-configuring my OpenSolaris installation right now.

I would be happy to *start* a re-install of Ubuntu 8.04 *if* there is a point during the install that I could proceed to where enough information could be captured to be useful to you, without actually changing *any* of the contents of my hard drive.

Gregg Sporar (gregg-sporar) wrote :

I was able to reproduce the bug in a VirtualBox environment. So the disk drive size is not the same, but the positions of the partitions *is* the same as what I initially reported. I used VirtualBox to:

1. Run the Ubuntu 8.04 installer so that I could use it to partition the (virtual) drive.

2. Run the OpenSolaris 2008.05 installer to set the partition type of the third primary partition to 0xBF and install OpenSolaris 2008.05 onto that partition.

3. Run the Ubuntu 8.04 installer to install Ubuntu 8.04, thereby wiping out my OpenSolaris 2008.05 install because of the incorrect usage of the third primary partition as a swap partition. I verified that the Ubuntu 8.04 installer changed the partition type from 0xBF to 0x82.

I will attach the requested files.

Gregg Sporar (gregg-sporar) wrote :
Gregg Sporar (gregg-sporar) wrote :

Can you try this in Ubuntu 8.10 and tell us if the problem still occurs?

Marking invalid due to inactivity.

Changed in parted:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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