Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1677 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] How to partitioning in unallocated disk space
  • From: LinuxIsOne <linuxisone@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 00:10:51 -0500
  • Message-id: <>
On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 7:55 PM, Felix Miata wrote:

Conventional partitioning is as much art as science, with definition of
"steps" colored heavily by expectations and knowledge or lack thereof. I'm
only going to provide general steps (a guide), not details, until and unless
you hit snag(s) and report back more specific help needed.

I recommend using Ubuntu (Parted Magic or whatever tool is installed or
installable via Ubuntu's package manager) to first create a new logical
partition at the end of the extended space. How big to make the new
partition depends on how much space you want to reserve for one or more /
(or other) partitions for use with openSUSE and any others you may wish to
install, test or otherwise dabble with. After creating and formatting it,
you should rsync all files from /home to it so that it can become the new
/home for both Ubuntu and openSUSE.

After the rsync, you'll need to modify /etc/fstab to use the specification
(UUID) for the new partition in place of the old for /home (a simple process
using any plain text editor you're comfortable with). Do 'sudo tune2fs -l
<devicenameofnewhomepartition> | grep UUID' from a terminal to get the
string for the new partition to put into fstab in place of the existing one.
Once that's done, you may want to immediately reboot Ubuntu to verify

Next is to either actually install openSUSE, or use the same partitioning
tool you just used to make the new home to create new partition(s). The
partitioner in the openSUSE installer is competent to do all of what follows
in preparation for installing the OS as the first major stage of the overall
installation procedure.

Either way, with regard to partitioning, you should:

1-delete what is currently the /home partition (sda3)
2-create a new primary partition at the start of freespace, somewhere
between 80G and 800G in size, to use as a /boot partition, a new sda3. These
I usually make 200G and format EXT2.
3-create as many logical partitions in the remaining freespace as you might
ever use for openSUSE's /, and any other distro installations you might wish
in the future.

Note that with a Ubuntu partitioning tool, you'd not necessarily need to
separate the move process steps from the process of creating new partitions,
but I think you'd more likely avoid getting confused during the whole
process by keeping them as two separate group processes.

If you do the above while running Ubuntu, you should not need to finish by
modifying /etc/fstab once again, because Ubuntu uses unique names (UUID,
IIRC). Traditionally one would need to do this because of use of /dev names,
and the /dev name will be different after adding partitions in between.
e.g., if you added 3 new ones, they would take the names sda3, sda5 and
sda6, causing the /home partition at end of disk to become sda7. (sda4
should be assigned to the extended). Knowing the sdaX names is useful to
Ubuntu, but not necessary, while they will show up during your openSUSE
installation process, where you will need to know what they represent (mount

Next would be actual openSUSE installation (if not already begun),
specifying sda3 to be used as both /boot and as Grub location, sda5 as
openSUSE's / location, and the last logical partition as /home. The
installer should automatically use sda2 for swap, and add sda1 to the
openSUSE Grub menu so that on each boot you can choose either Ubuntu or
openSUSE. You may need to specify "expert" at the openSUSE partitioning
phase of installation to prevent the installer's automatic selection and
specification of partitions, which may or may not match your intentions if
left alone. Until you see what it suggests, you won't know if it matches or

The "size" of the extended partition is automatically controlled by some
partitioners, but not by others, even though the "size" is nothing but a sum
of what is allocated or not to contiguous space not defined as any primary
partition. Don't get tripped by using one that does not do it (combining)
automatically. I use a non-FOSS cross-platform partitioner for all my
partitioning, which does it automatically, so I'm not familiar with any
foibles of other partitioning tools in this regard. The extended should in
every case be whatever contiguous block of space exists that is bounded
either by an end of the disk or whatever primary partition(S) exist,
regardless whether that space contains any logical partition(s). Some tools
subtract whatever freespace exists between primary and first logical, or
whatever freespace exists after last logical and end of disk (or a divorced
primary - an extended can be bounded by primaries at both ends).

Extremely thankful to you for your valuable suggestions. But as I am a
newbie, I have completed removed Ubuntu as I was afraid to install and
got stuck in the middle too, so now have only 12.1 openSUSE in whole
of the space and I choose the default options (nothing especial!) but
after some time, I would do this what you have suggested - in exactly
the same manner you told. Further since Ubuntu is using Grub 2 while
openSUSE is using Grub Legacy, I was again afraid if something would
go wrong...I would even not able to browse INTERNET for daily work (I
need to do office work) and eventually would have to fix the issues
before even I could use the system for office work!

But this is fun and I would learn the way you say....Linux and in my
case openSUSE is really great.

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