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Using the partedUtil command line utility on ESXi and ESX (1036609) | VMware KB

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/03/13

Reminder to self when checking “new” disks to see what partitions they contain before formatting them as VMFS.

There is a truckload information at [WayBackUsing the partedUtil command line utility on ESXi and ESX (1036609) | VMware KB.

A few tips; example output is further below:

  • Disks are listed under /vmfs/devices/disks/ where there are two entries per device: a path leading to the device, and a link to that path which starts with vml. which I filter out with grep.
  • If a disk under under /vmfs/devices/disks/ ends with :# where # is a number, then it is a partition
  • Just skip partedUtil get as partedUtil getptblwill give you exactly the same information,
    • plus an extra initial line indicating what kind of partition table it is. KB 1036609 has a longer list, but these are the ones you usually see:
      • unknown: the disk has no partition table yet (usually), or the type of partition table cannot be determined (hardly)
      • gpt: there is a GUID Partition Table
      • msdos: there is a Master Boot Record partition table
    • on ESXi 6.x two extra columns listing the partition GUID and partition type description
  • The output of partedUtil is unformatted, which means it is easy to parse, but hard to read for humans. You can pipe through sed 's/ /\t/g' (as there is no tr on the ESXi busybox)

Some more background reading

On scripting:

  • The shell is sh (always been there)
  • There is Python (ESXi 5.1 has Python 2.7.8; ESXi 6.5 has Python 3.5.3; it has likely been available in earlier versions too).

On device names:

On errors:

    1. ~ # find /vmfs/devices/disks/ | grep T1500LM0032D9YH148
      /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148__________________________________Z110C4Q0a
      ~ # partedUtil getptbl /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148__________________________________Z110C4Q0
      unknown
      182401 255 63 2930277168
      ~ # 

I know of three VMFS types:

  • VMFS-3: Supported in ESXi 3.X, 4.X, 5.x & 6.x; deprecated as of 6.0 (cannot be created as of 6.0), has quite some limitations.
  • VMFS-4: got never released.
  • VMFS-5: Can be converted from VMFS-3
  • VMFS-6: Cannot be converted from other VMFS types

Some interesting links about the various VMFS types:

Busybox has been updated over time:

 

Examples and output

Example outputs on one of my systems, of which I stripped most of the disks as they’re not really relevant here.

[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] ls -1 /vmfs/devices/disks/ | grep -v '^vml\.'
naa.5000c50087762d1b
...
naa.600605b00aa054a0ff000021022683ae
naa.600605b00aa054a0ff000021022683ae:1
...
t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148__________________________________Z110C4Q0
t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_850_PRO_2TB_________________S2KMNCAGB04321L_____
t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_850_PRO_2TB_________________S2KMNCAGB04321L_____:1
...
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372:1
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372:5
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372:6
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372:7
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372:8
t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372:9
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil getptbl /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148__________________________________Z110C4Q0 
unknown
182401 255 63 2930277168
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil get /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____ST1500LM0032D9YH148__________________________________Z110C4Q0 
182401 255 63 2930277168
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil get /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____SAMSUNG_MZHPV512HDGL2D00000______________S1X1NYAGB09589______
62260 255 63 1000215216
1 2048 1000214527 0 0
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil getptbl /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____SAMSUNG_MZHPV512HDGL2D00000______________S1X1NYAGB09589______
gpt
62260 255 63 1000215216
1 2048 1000214527 AA31E02A400F11DB9590000C2911D1B8 vmfs 0
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil getptbl /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372
gpt
3738 255 63 60062500
1 64 8191 C12A7328F81F11D2BA4B00A0C93EC93B systemPartition 128
5 8224 520191 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
6 520224 1032191 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
7 1032224 1257471 9D27538040AD11DBBF97000C2911D1B8 vmkDiagnostic 0
8 1257504 1843199 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
9 1843200 7086079 9D27538040AD11DBBF97000C2911D1B8 vmkDiagnostic 0
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil get /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372
3738 255 63 60062500
1 64 8191 0 128
5 8224 520191 0 0
6 520224 1032191 0 0
7 1032224 1257471 0 0
8 1257504 1843199 0 0
9 1843200 7086079 0 0
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil getptbl /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372 | sed 's/ /\t/g'
gpt
3738    255 63  60062500
1   64  8191    C12A7328F81F11D2BA4B00A0C93EC93B    systemPartition 128
5   8224    520191  EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7    linuxNative 0
6   520224  1032191 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7    linuxNative 0
7   1032224 1257471 9D27538040AD11DBBF97000C2911D1B8    vmkDiagnostic   0
8   1257504 1843199 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7    linuxNative 0
9   1843200 7086079 9D27538040AD11DBBF97000C2911D1B8    vmkDiagnostic   0
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil get /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.SanDisk00Ultra_Fit000000000000004C530001240406103372 | sed 's/ /\t/g'
3738    255 63  60062500
1   64  8191    0   128
5   8224    520191  0   0
6   520224  1032191 0   0
7   1032224 1257471 0   0
8   1257504 1843199 0   0
9   1843200 7086079 0   0
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil --help
Usage: 
 Get Partitions : get  
 Set Partitions : set  ["partNum startSector endSector type attr"]* 
 Delete Partition : delete  
 Resize Partition : resize    
 Get Partitions : getptbl  
 Set Partitions : setptbl   ["partNum startSector endSector type/guid attr"]* 
 Fix Partition Table : fix  
 Create New Label (all existing data will be lost): mklabel   
 Show commonly used partition type guids : showGuids 
 Get usable first and last sectors : getUsableSectors  
 Fix GPT Table interactively : fixGpt  

[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] partedUtil showGuids
 Partition Type       GUID
 vmfs                 AA31E02A400F11DB9590000C2911D1B8
 vmkDiagnostic        9D27538040AD11DBBF97000C2911D1B8
 vsan                 381CFCCC728811E092EE000C2911D0B2
 virsto               77719A0CA4A011E3A47E000C29745A24
 VMware Reserved      9198EFFC31C011DB8F78000C2911D1B8
 Basic Data           EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7
 Linux Swap           0657FD6DA4AB43C484E50933C84B4F4F
 Linux Lvm            E6D6D379F50744C2A23C238F2A3DF928
 Linux Raid           A19D880F05FC4D3BA006743F0F84911E
 Efi System           C12A7328F81F11D2BA4B00A0C93EC93B
 Microsoft Reserved   E3C9E3160B5C4DB8817DF92DF00215AE
 Unused Entry         00000000000000000000000000000000
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] cat /local/bin/what-is-my-shell.sh 
if test -n "$ZSH_VERSION"; then
  PROFILE_SHELL=zsh
elif test -n "$BASH_VERSION"; then
  PROFILE_SHELL=bash
elif test -n "$KSH_VERSION"; then
  PROFILE_SHELL=ksh
elif test -n "$FCEDIT"; then
  PROFILE_SHELL=ksh
elif test -n "$PS3"; then
  PROFILE_SHELL=unknown
else
  PROFILE_SHELL=sh
fi
echo $PROFILE_SHELL
echo $SHELL
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] /local/bin/what-is-my-shell.sh 
sh
/bin/sh
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] python --version
Python 3.5.3
[root@ESXi-X10SRH-CF:~] 

–jeroen

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