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Old 08-13-2009, 05:08 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2009
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Problems with Partitions in Gparted

Hey All,

So I've got Linux online and operational, finally. I went to do
sudo apt-get update, and the update manager came up, requesting to
install about 350mg of updates onto my system. I went to accept and
it told me that there isn't enough disk space, and to free up 292mb
of space.

I did:

sudo apt-get install gparted
sudo gparted

What this shows me, is that my mount point (/) is running on
/dev/sda5 (ext3), which has a total size of 2.33g. Right now, I
am utilizing 2.12g of space, leaving about 209mb free. Easy enough,
makes sense.

Here's the thing though:

I can see on this list of partitions, that /dev/sda1 (nfts) has 132g
of space, and none of it is used, because the current active
partition is /dev/sda5, which is only 2.33g.

So, assuming that this is the problem, how do I migrate the 2.12g
of data over to the partition with 132g of space, and make that the
active partition, so I can install these updates?

Last edited by krimzen85; 08-13-2009 at 05:14 PM.
Old 08-13-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky
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ntfs is normally a windows partition.
Are you dual booting with windows?
Your post implies that you aren't.
If not,, you may wish to download a current .iso of gparted and burn it,,, it comes in handy if you follow the traditional distro hopping the majority of us either went through or are still involved in.
A quick small tutorial of partitioning, keeping in mind there are as many schools of thought on the subject as there are various taxes in the U.S.
It is advised to have a swap partition of at least 512 megs.
The more graphic intensive you intend to be, the more swap/ram you'll use.
I have 1 1/2 gigs of ram and still use 2 gigs of swap.
Next, / is most comfortable with 10 gigs and is advised by most of the distro's I've ever ran.
/home is optional as are any other partitions and ends up being up to the user per the users needs.
A /home partition does come in handy because it will allow you to reinstall / while keeping all of your added on packages as well as retaining your settings.

My current partition scheme is:

hda0 - boot [where lilo/grub is stored [25 megs] and normally will be auto setup by the installer with no help or interference by the user.]
hda1 - swap 2 gigs linux-swap
hda2 - / ext3 20 gigs
hda3 - /home ext3 remainder of hd

I hand configure my partition scheme prior to installing anything as the above allows me plenty of space for whatever, I only run one distro to a box and swap as hda1 increases my operating speed while decreasing my boot time dramatically.

To finally respond to your query, moving the partitions around can be done, but in your case you may very well lose a lot of needed info in the process.
Been there, done that.
But then again it doesn't hurt to try as it can be a learning experience.
In gparted you can drag the size of your partitions in the window that graphically shows your partitions to the size you want or select the partition and increase/decrease the size of it with the numeric counter, then apply.
You can also remove entire partitions if desired.
If you do try to resize your partitions and it boogers things it, try setting things up as I listed above and you'll most likely never run out of room,,,, unless you try and download several repositories that is.
Old 08-13-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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On the question of having a handy CD of parted, I'd recommend your making a live CD of Insert Linux. It's a rescue distro that can run from memory, with parted and various tools for copying and editing, plus a web browser so you can get some help while you're at it.
Old 08-13-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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If you login as root and run

fdisk -l

that will show us what you've got.
As said above, if you don't intend to use the NTFS space for MSWin, I'd advise just using fdisk to change it to ext3 and add it to your current layout.
Old 08-13-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
Registered: Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
On the question of having a handy CD of parted, I'd recommend your making a live CD of Insert Linux. It's a rescue distro that can run from memory, with parted and various tools for copying and editing, plus a web browser so you can get some help while you're at it.
Yes, ALWAYS have a way to fix things when doing something such as this. Live CDs are the best option.

Umm you could also do:

apt-get clean

that will remove anything in apt that you have already installed, apt tends to hang on to the debs. To make things a little bit easier instead of migrating everything......

## Read edit 2

Now if you don't follow instructions this could end up bad... first off install gparted

apt-get install gparted

To edit fstab you must be root or run sudo, I use this to edit my fstab:

view /etc/fstab
You can use vi, gedit, or whatever you like to edit it as long as you have sudo/su privlidges.


Also note that all the commands I list in this are all run as root, if you don't use root do sudo before EVERY command!!!

1) delete the NTFS partition and create a new ext3 partition 3G in size. Now remember what device it is, I'm going to use sdXX as an example.

For this just run gparted as root, it's pretty easy to use

2) mount the partition, move the files
umount /mnt/tmp
mount -t ext3 /dev/sdXX /mnt/tmp
cp /usr/* /mnt/tmp -R
3) Edit fstab and rename /usr:

/etc/fstab should now have a line that looks like this:
/dev/sdXX	/usr		ext3	defaults	0	0
After that run this:
mv /usr /usr2
#### If you had a /home show up in your /etc/fstab then go to FINAL STEPS

4) convert the rest of the unpartitioned space to ext3. Now remember what device it is, I'm going to use sdXX as an example again.

Again for this run gparted as root, it's still pretty simple

5) copy files
mkdir /mnt/tmp
mount -t ext3 /dev/sdXX /mnt/tmp
cp /home/* /mnt/tmp -R
6) Edit fstab and rename /home

/etc/fstab should have a new line that looks like this:
/dev/sdXX	/home		ext3	defaults	0	0
Now rename /home:
mv /home /home.orig


After reboot take care of /var2 and /home.orig (if it applies)

rm /home.orig -R
rm /var2 -R
I'm pretty sure that should cover all of it.

In the end if you understand the gist of how all this works you can really put seperate mounts for:

I used to do that, but it can get annoying sometimes. Now I usually just put a 15-20G partition for / so I only have to format that when need to re-install.

[edit] removed / as an example of a new mount, that should never be changed once set. I also don't recommend getting in the habit of doing any of this =P and the only think I know you can safely do this with is /usr and /home. though I say safely as in don't mess up with the configs or on the next reboot you have a broken system type of safe hahahaha

Err that may sound malicious, though really be cautious when doing any of this. I've done all this and more before, I've even converted my fs live from ext2 to 3, and from 3 to 4. All of this should work, just don't reboot unless you get to a spot where I say you can and follow the steps in order and to the T.

Last edited by mushroomboy; 08-13-2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Adding Quote, ops


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