Are there any problems with using a hard drive without partitions?


I have reviewed most of the hard disk and file system teaching documents, and the processes in them are:

  1. Install the new hard drive
  2. Partition the new disk.
  3. Create the fi lesystems on the new disk.
  4. Mount the fi lesystems.

But if I add a new hard drive, will there be any problems if I mount it directly after formatting?
Like the following sdb hard drive:

sdb                  8:48   0   10G  0 disk /mnt/nopartition
sdc                  8:16   1   30G  0 disk 
├─sdc1               8:17   1  2.1G  0 part /run/media/test/Fedora-WS-Live-40-1-141
├─sdc2               8:18   1 12.5M  0 part 
└─sdc3               8:19   1  300K  0 part


Dividing the drive into multiple partitions is not a must unless you want to install an operating system on it. You can also use the entire drive as one partition if that is your data drive for example. That is not uncommon.

However, if you want to install Fedora on sdb, it needs to have different partitions (ESP, boot,/, maybe /home). But the installer will create those for you if you choose Automatic Partitioning, no worries.

So, if sdb is the target for a new Fedora install, the Installer will take care of steps 2. - 4.



Thanks for your reply.
But if I just want to mount a hard drive without partitions for daily use, will there be any problem?
Like this sdb hard disk:

sda                    8:0    0   3.7T  0 disk 
└─sda1                 8:1    0   3.7T  0 part /var
sdb                   8:48   0   10G  0 disk /home/tmp         
sdc                    8:32   0   5.5T  0 disk 
└─sdc1                 8:33   0   5.5T  0 part /home

Thank you

This setup is less flexible since you don’t have a partition table and you can’t reduce or enlarge the partition but it’s not necessary, especially not if the drive is only 10GB. Where you even get a 10GB drive from?


Thanks for your reply again.
This 10G space is a sata HDD configured through VMware.
So if I have no need to expand or shrink, is it safe to directly mount the hard drive?


I think that’s totally fine.

Depending on the purpose and the existing FS layout, you can also just add a disk to the existing partitions/volumes. Btrfs and LVM can do that…

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You will defeat auto detect of file systems that is part of systemd and used as a building block for up coming improvements in storage handling as I understand things.

Having a GPT header on the disk allows for auto detection and costs you next to no disk space.