Customizing partitions and volumes

When Beaker installs the distro at the start of each recipe, it will use the default disk layout (“automatic partitioning” with the autopart kickstart command).

The installer’s automatic partitioning behaviour varies across releases, but in most cases the installer will assign all available disks to a single LVM volume group, with a swap volume, a 50GB root volume, and a home volume using all remaining space. Refer to the installer documentation for details about the automatic partitioning behaviour in each release.

Adding custom partitions

If the automatic partitioning behaviour is not suitable, your recipe can activate Beaker’s custom partitioning logic by passing extra custom partitions in the <partitions/> element. For example, this will produce a 25GiB XFS-formatted filesystem mounted at /var/tmp:

    <partition type="part" name="var/tmp" fs="xfs" size="25" />

Each <partition/> element represents a custom disk partition and filesystem which will be created during the installation and then mounted when the recipe runs. Instead of using the autopart kickstart command, Beaker will emit suitable part commands to produce the desired partition layout.


When Beaker’s custom partitioning logic is activated, the root (/), /boot, and swap volumes are always created. Do not specify custom partitions for these.

The <partition/> element has the following attributes:

The default value part produces a simple hard disk partition containing a filesystem directly. The value lvm instead produces a partition containing an LVM physical volume, with a separate LVM volume group containing a single LVM logical volume containing a filesystem.
Mount point of the volume, without leading slash.
Filesystem type which will be used when formatting the partition, for example ext4, xfs, or btrfs. This follows the kernel naming scheme for filesystems, and the possible values depend on the distro. If this attribute is omitted, the installer will use the distro default filesystem type.
Size of the partition in GiB.

There are also a number of kickstart metadata variables which influence the behaviour of the custom partitioning logic: ondisk, fstype, rootfstype, and swapsize. Refer to Kickstart metadata (ks_meta). Note that if your recipe defines any of these variables, the custom partitioning logic will be applied even if your recipe does not contain any <partition/> elements.

Suppressing autopart and specifying partitioning commands directly

You can define the no_autopart kickstart metadata variable to suppress the autopart command which Beaker injects into the kickstart by default. If you also avoid all of the above custom partitioning mechanisms described above, this will result in a kickstart containing no partitioning commands.

Normally the installer considers this to be an error, because there are no instructions about how to lay out the disks.

However you can combine this with a <ks_append/> element (see Appended kickstart content) to append your own raw partitioning commands directly. For example, this will produce a 20GiB root volume and the remaining disk space will be allocated to a separate volume mounted at /var/lib/mysql, both using the default filesystem type for the distro:

<recipe ks_meta="no_autopart">
part /boot --recommended
part / --size=20480
part /var/lib/mysql --grow