What are the differences between the various partition tables?
The options correspond to the various partitioning systems supported in
libparted; there's not much documentation, but looking at the source code:
aixprovides support for the volumes used in IBM’s AIX (which introduced what we now know as LVM);
amigaprovides support for the Amiga’s RDB partitioning scheme;
bsdprovides support for BSD disk labels;
dvhprovides support for SGI disk volume headers;
gptprovides support for GUID partition tables;
macprovides support for old (pre-GPT) Apple partition tables;
msdosprovides support for DOS-style MBR partition tables;
pc98provides support for PC-98 partition tables;
sunprovides support for Sun’s partitioning scheme;
loopprovides support for raw disk access (loopback-style) — I’m not sure about the uses for this one.
As you can see, the majority of these are for older systems, and you probably won’t need to create a partition table of any type other than
For a new disk, I recommend
gpt: it allows more partitions, it can be booted even in pre-UEFI systems (using
grub), and supports disks larger than 2 TiB (up to 8 ZiB for 512-byte sector disks). Actually, if you don’t need to boot from the disk, I’d recommend not using a partitioning scheme at all and simply adding the whole disk to
mdadm, LVM, or a zpool, depending on whether you use LVM (on top of
mdadm or not) or ZFS.
msdos is the Master Boot Record based partioning.
You should either go with
msdos or with
gpt. You will have to go with gpt if you want more than 7 partitions (unless you want a non-standard MBR, which I don't recommend, you never know what utilities assume the msdos/windows restrictions). You also have to go with
gpt if you have drives > 2Tb.
If this is a Linux only disc that will never go into a really old Linux system not supporting
gpt, then going with
gpt is the easiest.