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Old 04-20-2016, 08:06 PM   #1
mgerson
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Expanding the root partition for Linux Mint Cinnamon using GParted.


I have a fairly new desktop computer with an AMD CPU and a 2TB hard drive. I'm a realtive newby with Linux. I installed Ubuntu as a dual boot with Windows Vista about a year ago on my old computer. The computer, which I got about 5 months ago, came with Windows 10 installed and the hard drive partitioned with a 150 GB partition for the Windows system and the remainder for data. Although I dislike using Windows, I need to use it occasionally for a few tasks, so I installed Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon as a dual boot, allocating about 90 GB for the LM system and 10GB for the linux-swap, thinking that would be plenty. However, I also installed Timeshift (and have used it a couple of times to roll-back the system when new software of something like that seemed to screw it up, so I don't want not to have it) and that seems to be taking up a lot of space. So recently I have been getting messages about running low on space in the "file system" partition.

I did some research - following Google links to various forums - on how to expand my LM system partition. GParted was recommended. I have much more than enough capacity in my Data partition I so was easily able to shrink it to create some unallocated space on the hard drive, and now it should be easy to use GParted to expand my LM system partion. But I haven't done that yet because of one bit of a "warning" that I picked up. I'm not sure that I understood it all properly, but what I think I picked up was that if the unallocated space is to the right of the root system partition, then it's easy to add that space to the root system and all should work well. But if the unallocated space is to the left of the system partition, then adding that space to the system partition will move the start point of the system partition and the Grub will no longer be able to find it properly. The same bit gave instructions regarding how to fix that problem by editing the Grub, but at this point I wasn't sure that I was following things correctly.

So ... my question is, do I understand this issue correctly? And if I do, what do I need to do so that the Grub will work properly and allow me to get into Linux Mint after I'm done, just as I do now?

Attached is a screenshot from GParted, showing the partitions of my hard drive. (At least, it will be attached if I have figured out how to do that properly.) The Linux Mint system partition is sda6.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:06 PM   #2
Ztcoracat
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Hi:

This link should help.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ho...endedPartition

With most things in g-parted you highlight the partition that you want to modify and right click on it.
The drop down menu should give you options to resize, create a new partition and etc.

10 GB for the swap is overkill. You really only need 1 GB and in some cases you don't need a swap partition as a swap file can be made. On my Korora laptop I didn't even create a swap because I have 6 GB of RAM.
 
Old 04-20-2016, 09:35 PM   #3
syg00
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Yes grub will be broken - which means you can't get to either Windows or Mint. Easy enough to fix from the Mint install media, but can be a concern to someone who hasn't seen it before.

Two easier solutions:
- fix Timeshift options so it deletes old backups (more frequently) to get space back.
- create a new partition in that free space, and direct Timeshift to use that. After you are comfortable it's working ok, go back and delete all the old backups in the current location to get the space back.

(I haven't used Timeshift, but it all looks do-able).

BTW ext2 is a very poor choice for filesystem; ext4 would be a much better option. With a decent backup, you should reformat (mkfs.ext4) the root partition then restore. Maybe once you are more comfortable with Linux you could try that.
 
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:25 PM   #4
yancek
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At the site below you will see the following quote, emphasis on the second sentence:

Quote:
Snapshots are saved by default on the system (root) partition in path /timeshift. Other linux partitions can also be selected.
http://www.teejeetech.in/p/timeshift.html

Based on the quote above, you should be able to save to another partition as suggested above so simply creating and formatting the unallocated space before your system partition and changing the settings should save you the need to expand your root partition. More info on this at the link below. Never used this myself so...?

http://www.howtogeek.com/206491/how-...revious-state/

Last edited by yancek; 04-20-2016 at 10:28 PM.
 
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:43 AM   #5
mgerson
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Thank you all for your advice.

Yancek and Syg00: Certainly, moving the directory where Timeshift backups/snapshots are stored would pretty well have taken care of my problem and I had already tried to do that. With the link you provided, Yancek, I tried to do that again, but couldn't find any way to do it. Then, in spite of the statement you quoted ("Other linux partitions can also be selected") I found, in the FAQ section of the same Teejee Tech Timeshift website: "Backups are kept under a folder named timeshift in the root of the backup device. This path cannot be changed."
So I gave up on that approach, took courage from your statement, Syg00, that fixing the broken grub would be "easy enough to fix from the Mint install media" and went ahead and expanded the linux file system partition to the left, first rebooting from the Linux Mint installation DVD. After the partition expansion was completed using GParted, I followed instructions for fixing the grub, which I found here: http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/...ntu-wont-boot/
I got error messages both after the "grub-install" command and after the "sudo update-grub" command, but when I rebooted, everything seemed to be working fine anyhow.

Syg00: I'm curious about your comment that ext2 is a very poor choice for filesystem. Actually, it wasn't a conscious choice at all on my part; it's just the way that partition was set up when I installed Linux Mint, which I did by downloading the Mint installation .iso file, burning it onto a DVD, running Mint from that DVD and, from there, installing it on the hard drive. I hadn't noticed what file system format it was using.

Why is ext2 a poor choice? What kinds of problems or issues would it create that ext4 wouldn't? I have found some instructions for changing a file system from ext2 to ext4 here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/21106...t-ext2-to-ext4 . If it seems worthwhile, I will follow them to make the change, unless you can direct me to better instructions.

Thanks again for your help.
 
Old 04-22-2016, 06:14 AM   #6
syg00
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ext2 is very old - and stabilised. ext2 (indirectly) begat ext3 which begat ext4. New features, (much) higher performance, and a journal (as has ext3). Wikipedia article why this is important. Filesystem recovery (even checking) on ext2 is slooooww.
There was talk of removing the native ext2 code from the kernel not too long ago - the ext4 driver (usually) manages it now. Have a read of the article on the ext4 wiki here re upgrading.
 
  


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