systemd-repart, systemd-repart.service — Automatically grow and add partitions
systemd-repart [OPTIONS...] [
systemd-repart grows and adds partitions to a partition table, based on the configuration files described in repart.d(5).
If invoked with no arguments, it operates on the block device backing the root file system partition
of the OS, thus growing and adding partitions of the booted OS image itself. When called in the initial
RAM disk it operates on the block device backing
/sysroot/ instead, i.e. on the
block device the system will soon transition into. The
service is generally run at boot in the initial RAM disk, in order to augment the partition table of the
OS before its partitions are mounted. systemd-repart (mostly) operates in a purely
incremental mode: it only grows existing and adds new partitions; it does not shrink, delete or move
existing partitions. The service is intended to be run on every boot, but when it detects that the
partition table already matches the installed
files, it executes no operation.
systemd-repart is intended to be used when deploying OS images, to automatically adjust them to the system they are running on, during first boot. This way the deployed image can be minimal in size and may be augmented automatically at boot when needed, taking possession of disk space available but not yet used. Specifically the following use cases are among those covered:
The root partition may be grown to cover the whole available disk space
/home/, swap or
/srv partition can be added in
A second (or third, …) root partition may be added in, to cover A/B style setups where a second version of the root file system is alternatingly used for implementing update schemes. The deployed image would carry only a single partition ("A") but on first boot a second partition ("B") for this purpose is automatically created.
The algorithm executed by systemd-repart is roughly as follows:
repart.d/*.conf configuration files are loaded and parsed,
and ordered by filename (without the directory suffix).
The partition table already existing on the block device is loaded and parsed.
The existing partitions in the partition table are matched up with the
repart.d/*.conf files by GPT partition type UUID. The first existing partition
of a specific type is assigned the first configuration file declaring the same type. The second
existing partition of a specific type is then assigned the second configuration file declaring the same
type, and so on. After this iterative assigning is complete any left-over existing partitions that have
no matching configuration file are considered "foreign" and left as they are. And any configuration
files for which no partition currently exists are understood as a request to create such a
Taking the size constraints and weights declared in the configuration files into account, all partitions that shall be created are now allocated to the disk, taking up all free space, always respecting the size and padding requests. Similar, existing partitions that are determined to grow are grown. New partitions are always appended to the end of the existing partition table, taking the first partition table slot whose index is greater than the indexes of all existing partitions. Partition table slots are never reordered and thus partition numbers are ensured to remain stable. Note that this allocation happens in RAM only, the partition table on disk is not updated yet.
All existing partitions for which configuration files exist and which currently have no GPT partition label set will be assigned a label, either explicitly configured in the configuration or (if that's missing) derived automatically from the partition type. The same is done for all partitions that are newly created. These assignments are done in RAM only, too, the disk is not updated yet.
Similarly, all existing partitions for which configuration files exist and which currently have an all-zero identifying UUID will be assigned a new UUID. This UUID is cryptographically hashed from a common seed value together with the partition type UUID (and a counter in case multiple partitions of the same type are defined), see below. The same is done for all partitions that are created anew. These assignments are done in RAM only, too, the disk is not updated yet.
Similarly, if the disk's volume UUID is all zeroes it is also initialized, also cryptographically hashed from the same common seed value. Also, in RAM only, too.
The disk space assigned to new partitions (i.e. what was previously considered free
space but is no longer) is now erased. Specifically, all file system signatures are removed, and if the
device supports it the
BLKDISCARD I/O control command is issued to inform the
hardware that the space is empty now. In addition any "padding" between partitions and at the end of
the device is similarly erased.
The new partition table is finally written to disk. The kernel is asked to reread the partition table.
As exception to the normally strictly incremental operation, when called in a special "factory
reset" mode systemd-repart may also be used to erase select existing partitions to
reset an installation back to vendor defaults. This mode of operation is used when either the
--factory-reset=yes switch is passed on the tool's command line, or the
systemd.factory_reset=yes option specified on the kernel command line, or the
FactoryReset EFI variable (vendor UUID
8cf2644b-4b0b-428f-9387-6d876050dc67) is set to "yes". It alters the algorithm above
slightly: between the 3rd and the 4th step above the any partition marked explicitly via the
FactoryReset= boolean is deleted, and the algorithm restarted, thus immediately
re-creating these partitions anew empty.
Note that systemd-repart only changes partition tables, it does not create or resize any file systems within these partitions. A separate mechanism should be used for that, for example systemd-growfs(8) and systemd-makefs.
The UUIDs identifying the new partitions created (or assigned to existing partitions that have no
UUID yet), as well as the disk as a whole are hashed cryptographically from a common seed value. This
seed value is usually the
machine-id(5) of the
system, so that the machine ID reproducibly determines the UUIDs assigned to all partitions. If the
machine ID cannot be read (or the user passes
--seed=random, see below) the seed is
generated randomly instead, so that the partition UUIDs are also effectively random. The seed value may
also be set explicitly, formatted as UUID via the
--seed= option. By hashing these UUIDs
from a common seed images prepared with this tool become reproducible and the result of the algorithm
The following options are understood:
Takes a boolean. If this switch is not specified
the implied default. Controls whether
systemd-repart executes the requested
re-partition operations or whether it should only show what it would do. Unless
--dry-run=no is specified
systemd-repart will not actually
touch the device's partition table.
Takes one of "
require" or "
force". Controls how to operate on block devices that
are entirely empty, i.e. carry no partition table/disk label yet. If this switch is not specified the
implied default is "
refuse" systemd-repart requires that the block device
it shall operate on already carries a partition table and refuses operation if none is found. If
allow" the command will extend an existing partition table or create a new one if
none exists. If "
require" the command will create a new partition table if none
exists so far, and refuse operation if one already exists. If "
force" it will create
a fresh partition table unconditionally, erasing the disk fully in effect. If
force" no existing partitions will be taken into account or survive the
operation. Hence: use with care, this is a great way to lose all your data.
Takes a boolean. If this switch is not specified
the implied default. Controls whether to issue the
BLKDISCARD I/O control
command on the space taken up by any added partitions or on the space in between them. Usually, it's
a good idea to issue this request since it tells the underlying hardware that the covered blocks
shall be considered empty, improving performance.
Takes boolean. If this switch is not specified
the implied default. Controls whether to operate in "factory reset" mode, see above. If set to true
this will remove all existing partitions marked with
FactoryReset= set to yes
early while executing the re-partitioning algorithm. Use with care, this is a great way to lose all
your data. Note that partition files need to explicitly turn
FactoryReset= on, as
the option defaults to off. If no partitions are marked for factory reset this switch has no
effect. Note that there are two other methods to request factory reset operation: via the kernel
command line and via an EFI variable, see above.
If this switch is specified the disk is not re-partitioned. Instead it is determined
if any existing partitions are marked with
FactoryReset=. If there are the tool
will exit with exit status zero, otherwise non-zero. This switch may be used to quickly determine
whether the running system supports a factory reset mechanism built on
Takes a path to a directory to use as root file system when searching for
repart.d/*.conf files and for the machine ID file to use as seed. By default
when invoked on the regular system this defaults to the host's root file system
/. If invoked from the initial RAM disk this defaults to
/sysroot/, so that the tool operates on the configuration and machine ID stored
in the root file system later transitioned into itself.
Takes a UUID as argument or the special value
random. If a UUID
is specified the UUIDs to assign to partitions and the partition table itself are derived via
cryptographic hashing from it. If not specified it is attempted to read the machine ID from the host
(or more precisely, the root directory configured via
--root=) and use it as seed
instead, falling back to a randomized seed otherwise. Use
--seed=random to force a
randomized seed. Explicitly specifying the seed may be used to generated strictly reproducible
Takes a boolean argument. If this switch is not specified, it defaults to on when called from an interactive terminal and off otherwise. Controls whether to show a user friendly table and graphic illustrating the changes applied.
Takes a file system path. If specified the
*.conf are directly
read from the specified directory instead of searching in