Article Number: 000140053

How to Create a Linux Partition Larger than 2 Terabytes

Summary: Steps for creating a partition larger than 2 TB in Linux.

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Warning: This process involves modifications to the partitions on the hard drive and there is a chance of data loss. A best practice is to back up all data on the system before beginning this process.

Users may want to create a Linux partition that is larger than 2 Terabytes (TB) on a secondary hard drive. The default partition methods in Linux have a 2 Terabyte limitation. The following process was tested using the versions of Linux listed below and may be valid for other distributions of Linux.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL): Versions 5.3, 6.0, and 6.1.
  • Fedora: Versions 14, 15, and 16.
  • CentOS: Version 5 and newer.
  • Ubuntu: Version 10 and newer.

Please follow the process below to create a Linux partition that is larger than 2 Terabytes on a secondary hard drive.

  1. Open the Linux Terminal. An example can be found in this link: How to use the Ubuntu Linux Terminal on your Dell PC.
  2. At the command line, type in the command of "su" and enter the root password to log into the root account.
  3. Type in the command of "parted /dev/sdb" (where "/dev/sdb" is the device name for the drive you want to configure) and press the "Enter" key.
    1. Note that the "parted" utility allows users to view and change the size of existing partitions.
    2. Note that "sdb" indicates the storage drive designated to hold data (usually the secondary hard drive installed on a system).
    3. Note that the "sdb" device should not be in use during this process.
    4. Note that you can display the current partition table if necessary with the command "parted /dev/sdb print".
  4. Type in the command of "mklabel gpt" (where "gpt" is the label for the partition table) and press the "Enter" key.
    1. Note that the "mklabel" command will create a disk label for the partition table.
  5. Type in the command of "mkpart primary 0 3800G" (where "primary" indicates the partition type, "0" indicates the start of the partition and "3800G" indicates the end of the partition) and press the "Enter" key.
    1. Note that the "mkpart" command will make a partition without creating a new file system on the partition.
    2. Note that you will use the correct numbers for the start and end of the partition that you intend to create. Using the example numbers of "0" and "3800G" will create a partition from 0.0 megabytes to 3,800,000 megabytes.
  6. You may receive a notice stating that the current partition is not in alignment with the filesystem Ignore/Cancel.
    1. If so, type in the command "I" to Ignore and press the "Enter" key.
  7. Type "quit" to exit the parted utility and save changes and press the "Enter" key.
  8. You can now add your file system to the new partition.
    1. Type "mkfs.ext4 -L /data /dev/sdb" (where "ext4" indicates the filesystem type, "-L /data" indicates a label of "data") and press the "Enter" key.
    2. Note that the "mkfs.ext4" command is used to create an ext4 filesystem.

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Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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