gdisk Command: Tutorial & Examples

Guided Partition Table Manipulation

gdisk is a powerful command-line tool used to create, modify, and manage disk partitions on Linux servers. It operates on the Guided Partition Table (GPT), which is a modern replacement for the older Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme. GPT offers several advantages, including support for disks larger than 2TB, better data integrity through redundant partition tables, and support for up to 128 primary partitions.

Managing disk partitions is crucial for server administrators as it allows them to organize storage efficiently, install multiple operating systems on the same disk, and separate critical data from the operating system files. Whether you are setting up a new server or resizing partitions on an existing system, gdisk comes to the rescue.

How gdisk Works and Why It's Important

gdisk directly manipulates the GPT data structures, making it an ideal tool for advanced users and system administrators who need fine-grained control over their disk partitions. It provides a text-based, interactive interface that guides users through the partitioning process, ensuring a safer and more reliable experience.

The GPT layout consists of protective MBR, primary GPT header, secondary GPT header, primary GPT table, and secondary GPT table. gdisk allows users to create, delete, resize, and modify partitions, as well as change partition types and attributes.

Using gdisk is especially essential when setting up servers with large storage requirements, managing dual-boot systems, or dealing with complex storage configurations, such as RAID arrays.

Typical Problems Solved by gdisk

  1. Disk Partitioning for Multi-OS Environments: When setting up a server with multiple operating systems (e.g., Linux and Windows) on the same disk, gdisk ensures smooth and reliable partitioning to avoid conflicts between different OS installations.

  2. Expanding Disk Space: If your server is running out of disk space on a particular partition, gdisk enables you to resize existing partitions or create new ones to accommodate more data.

  3. Converting MBR to GPT: If you have an older disk with an MBR partitioning scheme and want to take advantage of the benefits of GPT, gdisk can help you convert it without data loss.

Examples of Using gdisk

Example 1: Creating a New Partition

To create a new partition using gdisk, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal on your Linux server.

  2. List available disks with the lsblk command to identify the disk you want to partition ( e.g., /dev/sda).

  3. Run gdisk on the target disk:

    sudo gdisk /dev/sda
  4. Gdisk will present an interactive command prompt. Type n to create a new partition.

  5. Specify the partition number, starting sector, and ending sector according to your requirements.

  6. Set the partition type code for the new partition (e.g., 8300 for Linux filesystem).

  7. Save the changes by typing w and exit gdisk.

Example 2: Changing Partition Type

Let's say you want to change the type of an existing partition to 8200 (Linux swap). Here's how you can do it with gdisk:

  1. Open a terminal and run gdisk on the target disk:

    sudo gdisk /dev/sda
  2. Type t to change the partition's type and enter the partition number.

  3. Input the new type code (e.g., 8200 for Linux swap).

  4. Save the changes with w and exit gdisk.

Remember that incorrect use of gdisk can lead to data loss, so always double-check your actions before saving changes.


gdisk is a powerful and essential tool for managing disk partitions on Linux servers. Its support for GPT allows administrators to handle large disks efficiently and create complex partition setups with ease. From creating new partitions to changing partition types, gdisk empowers users to make the most out of their server's storage capabilities. Always exercise caution when using gdisk, as disk manipulation carries inherent risks, especially when dealing with critical data. However, with proper understanding and careful usage, gdisk can be a reliable companion for your server partitioning needs.

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