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Old 03-29-2007, 09:26 AM   #1
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Distribution: SuSe10.2, Gentoo 2006.1
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question on managing disk partitions


I just managed to install SuSe 10.2 on an old PC with a very small hard drive. The single hard drive has two partitions, one containing the / (root) and the other containing the /user directory.

My issue is this:
The root directory has only about 1GB of free space left. Is there any way to swap some space from the user directory (it has about 5GB available) to the / (root) directory? Or if the answer to this is no, can I install an external hard drive (I have a 50GB one handy) and put the / (root) directory on there?

Basically I want the root directory to have more than 1GB avail since most of the stuff go there like updates, software etc. What is the most hassle-free way of doing this? (I would like to avoid re-installing SuSe as I have already customised my installation and installed some software).

My question may be a bit foolish, so forgive me, but I am new to all this :-)

Thanks for your time and help.
Old 03-29-2007, 09:32 AM   #2
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On a small hard drive, like on my notebook computer, I just have one partition for files and one for swap. You could devote the internal hard drive to the / partition. That would also include the /home partition. Then you could mount the external hard drive for extra data storage. You could mount the external hard drive at /home or you could mount it as a subdirectory of your normal user account such as /home/user/external or something like that.

This approach avoids the problems that you might encounter trying to manage the operating system on a removable disk. There isn't all that much to it but since you have said that you are a newbie and that you want the simplest approach I would advise using the approach described above. It's just simpler.
Old 03-29-2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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If you want to resize your partitions you can use gparted.
Old 03-29-2007, 09:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply. The problem is my hard drive is already partitioned, so I don't think I can un-partition it. That would have been ideal, to have / root and /user under one partition, but is there any way to do this now I have already installed linux?

gparted sounds good, I will give it a try. Do you know if it only works with GNOME or does it work with KDE too?

Thanks again.
Old 03-29-2007, 10:20 AM   #5
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You can always use the gparted live CD..
gparted should run under KDE if you have the necessary gnome libraries installed.
Old 03-29-2007, 10:55 AM   #6
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I think the / partition shouldn't be any problem; most software gets installed under /usr, not /. And I hope you don't mind my saying so but I think that this is not the best partitioning scheme one could imagine. Most people make / and /home, in which case /usr just resides under the first. That way you can screw up your system files and still rescue your personal stuff; that's a lot harder with /home under /. So maybe you could do a simple swap? Move your /home to the partition where /usr sits right now and send /usr the other way?
Old 03-29-2007, 11:42 AM   #7
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Another option would be to use partimage and copy & resize all the partitions to the new drive .

both gparted and partimage are available on the live system rescue CD


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