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Arca Noae’s plan for supporting GPT disk layouts in ArcaOS

Through the release of ArcaOS 5.0.6, all OS/2 distributions have only supported MBR (Master Boot Record) partitioning schemes, that is, up to four partitions on a disk, with the possibility of creating multiple logical volumes in one extended partition. This partitioning scheme is also limited to a maximum of 2TB per disk.

The GPT (GUID Partition Table) breaks out of these restrictions by supporting an almost unlimited number of partitions (without the need for logical volumes) and disks exceeding 2TB.

Supporting GPT is another major step for multiboot configurations where the disk has already been partitioned using this style, which will allow ArcaOS to install alongside other GPT-aware operating systems (Windows 10, modern Linux distros, etc.), without the need to install a second MBR-partitioned disk or to wipe, re-partition, and reformat all volumes on the existing disk.

Arca Noae’s approach to supporting GPT will be multi-phased, with the first phase of development currently underway and anticipated for release with ArcaOS 5.1. The design specification of our initial GPT support is to allow for partitions up to the current 2TB maximum size, with multiple partitions of this size possible on disks larger than 2TB. Our specification further provides that ArcaOS be able to create, delete, and modify GPT partitions which are identified by their GUIDs as being “OS/2-type” partitions, and lastly, that GPT support be available for both traditional BIOS (for data volumes) and UEFI-based systems (for boot and data volumes).

Arca Noae makes no guaranty as to availability of GPT support for ArcaOS 5.1. When available, GPT support will be an ArcaOS feature only, with no plans to make the technology available for other OS/2 distributions.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace those aging Warp 4 or eComStation installations and get to know what’s new and improved. If you’ve never run OS/2 before, you’ll be amazed. If you last used OS/2 in the 1990’s, you’ll be even more amazed. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

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