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Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?

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Mart

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I want to resize/shrink my root and home partitions to free up enough space at the end of my drive to install and dual boot a second Linux OS. Of course, I plan to keep Linux Lite as main driver. I’ve considered using Gparted but find it awkward at best and have read that applying a lot of changes in GParted can take a long time, in some cases a couple of hours or so. I don’t want to do a fresh install and resize my partitions that way because I want to keep my system’s customization. So the solution I'm going to ask about here might seem a bit crazy, but bear with me. I saw a video tutorial by quidsup​ called ‘How to use Partition Editor in Ubuntu Installer’ -here’s the link:

In this YouTube video, quidsup re-installs Ubuntu, but more interestingly resizes his Windows ntfs partition but doesn't format it, so preserving it. So this got me thinking. To preserve an existing home partition (when doing a series install/upgrade in Linux Lite, for example) you would also leave the home partition unformatted to preserve it. So would it be possible to resize my root and home partitions using the ‘Something Else’ manual installer in the live Linux Lite usb, but leave them both unformatted in order to preserve them, and then proceed to click ‘install’ as required to complete the process (assigning grub to /dev/sda as normal). Would this destroy my OS, or instead preserve my customized OS with suitably resized partitions and new free space for my dual boot? Feedback please.
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Re: Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2017, 09:22:03 PM »
 

Artim

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I believe it is!  When I install or re-install, I choose "something else" and leave my /home partition unformmatted so that it can be accessed from either distro I might be dual-booting (or triple, etc).  I've only dual-booted once (Xubuntu and MX16) and it mostly worked trouble-free.  I don't dual-boot anymore, just because I've found a single distro that does it all better than any other.  It's not for everyone I know, but the only other distro I'm still tempted to reinstall sometime is Salix (Slackware-based, ultralight, Xfce, rock-stable)!  I think even though it's very different from LL, I bet they could still share a common /home partition with few if any glitches, as long as I use the same applications in both.
 

Re: Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2017, 09:25:52 PM »
 

supergamer

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You can resize/delete partitions with gparted, it's already in Linux Lite 3.4 and it is called Partition Drives in the menu. You can boot into a live mode and do this before installing.
 

Re: Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2017, 09:47:34 PM »
 

gold_finger

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@ Mart,


Please do not post more than once for same support question.  You posted the same question 4 times.  I deleted three of them and merged answers given under two of the posts here in this thread.


Thanks.
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Re: Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 12:59:52 AM »
 

gold_finger

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Resizing partitions from installer's partitioner will not be any less time consuming than doing it in GParted.  Having said that, only time GParted takes a long time to re-size is if it needs to move a lot of files while doing that.  Let's say you now have a root partition for LL that is 50GB and you want to shrink it down to 20GB.  The files in that partition will be concentrated near beginning of partition (on the left side of partition as shown in GParted).  When you shrink partition from right (end of partition) toward left (beginning) you won't end up moving many (if any) files, so operation is fairly quick (seconds to minutes).  On the other hand, if you shrink from left to right you'll actually be moving all of the files to a new location and that will take more time.  Root partitions (when used in conjunction with a separate home partition) typically only have anywhere from 6-15GB of files in them, so that move may not take too long (5-15 minutes would be my guess).


Same principles will apply to existing home partition.  If you shrink from right to left, operation will not take very long.  Left to right could be very time consuming if you have a lot of data files to move.  This will be the case for the installer's partitioning program as well.


Think your best bet would be to open GParted and provide us with a screenshot of what it shows.  Can then advise on best way to proceed after seeing that.


Quote from: Mart
So would it be possible to resize my root and home partitions using the ‘Something Else’ manual installer in the live Linux Lite usb, but leave them both unformatted in order to preserve them, and then proceed to click ‘install’ as required to complete the process (assigning grub to /dev/sda as normal).
I've never tried that myself, but "yes" you could do that.  I have no idea though if everything would be correctly preserved the way you want in the root partition.  (Home partition would be fine, but I'm not sure about root.)  I suspect that some system files that may have changed over time in current system may get overwritten to a "new install" state which could cause either conflicts or unexpected behavior at some point.  That's just my guess though -- I don't know for sure because I've never tried to install over system without re-formatting root.
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Re: Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 12:12:29 PM »
 

Mart

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Thank you to RandomBoy, supergamer, and gold_finger for your quick and enthusiastic replies. I guess Jerry’s enthusiasm and generosity is contagious within the LL community. Thank you also gold_finger for helping with my posts. I tweaked them and hoped to delete the redundant posts, but being new to the forum I couldn't find a way to do it at the time of posting.

Also, gold-finger, much appreciated your help and detailed advice concerning GParted. I will take that route and use GParted to resize/move my partitions. Initially, I struggled using GP because I can’t practice it in a VM (my hardware doesn't support visualization). So instead I replicated my hard drive partitions on a 7GB usb, using the same file types and order, and then practiced shrinking and moving the partitions around several times until I had mastered using GParted. I ran GP in LL live and plugged in my practice usb. Just make sure that you don’t get confused between your practice usb device (in my case dev/sdc)  and your actual hard drive (dev/sda). I hope this way of practicing GParted helps others  to master it.
Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 04:17:21 PM by Mart
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Re: Is it Possible to Use ‘Something Else’ to Resize Partitions?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 12:56:28 AM »
 

gold_finger

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You're welcome.


In future, if you need to change or add something to a post you already made you can use the "Modify" button in upper right area of your post.  (You'll need to be logged-in to see that.)  That will let you edit your original post with the changes rather than you creating a new post or new topic.  If people have already responded to your original post, then it might be better idea in that situation to add new info in a new post under that same thread by simply using the "Reply" button under last poster's message.   They might not re-read the post they already responded to, so may miss any new info you post as an edit on that.  The "New Topic" button, which is what you were accidentally using before, creates an entirely new series of posts rather than continuing under what you've already posted.


Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it quickly.  I didn't start using forums until about 4 years ago and was a little confused by the whole process in the beginning too.
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