I’ve been using GNU Parted to slice and dice my disk in preference to the fdisk for almost as long as I’ve been using Linux. We all fill up our hard-drives from time to time, but thanks to Gnome GParted, rearranging disk partitions isn’t as terrifying as it used to be. In fact, armed with a GParted Live CD, there’s a swathe of disk space fiddling jobs I can tackle without gnawing my fingers to the bone:
- When you’ve filled up your root partition, you can’t resize it while you’re booted from it. Reboot your machine from the GParted Live CD, and tinker even with your root partition.
- In the olden days, I used to keep
/homein a separate partition, so that I could change distro’s (or install a new release from CD without giving all my trust to the new Update Manager upgrade button) by wiping the root partition without touching any of my personal files in
/home. Use the GParted Live CD to shrink your root partition, and create a new
/home. Don’t forget to move the contents of your old
/homedirectories before changing
- When your VMWare virtual disk fills up, power it down and run vmware-vdiskmanager -x 12Gb Vista.vmdk to allocate some more space to the disk. In order to add the new space to an existing disk partition, boot VMWare into GParted Live and allocate the new unused space.
- When you’ve persuaded a friend to try Linux, as long as you promise they can still keep Windows around in case they decide to go back: don’t give them a slow Live CD, make some room for a new partition at the start of their drive for a full install.
- When you’re friend asks you to put things back how they were, delete the Linux partition, and add the freed space back to their main Windows partition.
- Stealing back some space from that unused Vista partition, to make room for keeping more mp3’s in Linux.
- Recycling the wasted disk space from a crashy old version of Windows ME into a bigger swap partition for Ubuntu.
Joking aside, it’s insanely helpful to have a GParted Live disk in your pocket when something like this comes up.
Hopefully, it goes without saying that you need to have current backups of all the partitions you want to move or resize before you let lose with any partition manager.