This part assumes that you have decided to install Chimera on a disk and that you have managed to successfully boot the live media and log in to it.

The first part of any installation is to partition your target drive. This will differ depending on your architecture and system firmware, but some parts will always be the same.

Let’s assume that the target disk drive is /dev/sda. Let’s start with wiping everything on it:

# wipefs -a /dev/sda

Then, the easiest way to initialize a partition table and create partitions is with the cfdisk TUI program:

# cfdisk /dev/sda

BIOS x86 systems

Keep in mind that using a BIOS system will make you unable to boot from an NVMe SSD if you have one. Linux will still see the SSD, but the system firmware will not be able to locate it. Therefore, if you have one, use UEFI.

In general BIOS systems should use the MBR partition table. This is somewhat limiting (only 4 partitions) but also the most compatible.

It is possible to use GPT if you create a special partition sized 1MB with the type BIOS boot (21686148-6449-6E6F-744E-656564454649) and no filesystem at the beginning, which will allow the bootloader to install, but unless you have a special reason to do that, you should use MBR.

If you end up using MBR, pick the dos option if using cfdisk.

You technically only need one partition, the root partition. If you want more (e.g. separate /boot or /home, or swap) that is up to you.

Ensure to toggle the Bootable flag on the partition containing /boot.

POWER systems

If using an OpenPOWER system, only one partition is necessary (the root partition) and the partition table does not matter.

PowerVM systems as well as Qemu virtual machines with the pseries machine types can use both MBR and GPT, but MBR is recommended for best compatibility. You will need at very least two partitions, the first partition (with bootable flag on) should have around 1 megabyte and type PPC PReP Boot and the second partition will be your root.

UEFI systems

You will need a GPT partition table. You will need a partition of type EFI System that is around 200MB (smaller will generally work, but some firmwares may have problems) and then any other partitions you want.


It is not required to have a swap partition, but especially on low RAM systems it is recommended (and even if you have plenty, it is still recommended to have at least some swap).

A good amount is at least 4 gigabytes. Swap is mandatory for hibernation, if you are going to hibernate you may need a lot more than that to be safe.

The partition type should be Linux swap.

Boot partition

On most systems, you will not need a separate /boot partition, but if you make one, make sure it will fit at least 4 kernels and their initramfs images, a good minimum is around 250 megabytes.

On UEFI systems, it is also possible to make your ESP and /boot a single partition. If it is not, then the ESP will be mounted under /boot/efi in most cases.