Resize an ext3 partiotion: a few doubts...

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Resize an ext3 partiotion: a few doubts...

Postby Guest » 2005-09-01 03:34

Hi, the situation is the following:

- I'm running Debian Sarge + Win XP in dual boot;

- I have a /usr partition (ext3), that is the last Debian partition. Following is a 5Gb FAT32 partition that I use as an exchange ground between Debian & XP.

- My /usr partition is running out of space (underestimated it during installation), so I'm planning to to do a resizing job as follows:
1) Reduce the FAT32 partition to 2Gb, thus freeing 3Gb of space.
2) Increase the size of the /usr partition by using the extra 3Gb of free space.

- The FAT32 partition is only a temp area. There is no data to loose. There is no problem even in reformatting it.

- I have done some reading and came to the following conclusion:
1) For safety reasons, create a backup image of the /usr partition using Partition Image (Is it necessary to create a backup image? Or is it enough to just copy the files to a different location?)
2) Run Knoppix and use the pre-installed QTParted to do the resizing job.


1) Is this procedure correct?
2) Is this a "safe" way of resizing partitions? Or am I running risks, like loosing the entire Debian installation?
3) Any other procedures to use? Basically my problem is only to increase the size of the /usr partitiion. Since my root partition is already oversized (18Gb - 2Gb used = 16Gb free), is it maybe possible to instruct Debian to use as /usr directory, some space on the /root partition, thus avoiding to go through the repartitioning work?

I'm totally new to Linux, so I would like to avoid stupid mistakes.

Thanks a lot for your help and bye,


Postby lacek » 2005-09-01 07:44

My opinion, in short:

The procedure you described is correct, however:
- You don't need to save an 'image' of the /usr partition, it is enough to copy the files.
- You can't screw up your Debian installation of you copy the files. The most damage you can cause is to completely erase the /usr partition, but in this case, you can still make a filesystem and copy the files back (the utilities needed for this are in /bin, so they can't be harmed in any way)
- If you have such a large root partition, you can save yourself the headache by using the root partition and forget /usr. I'd do this if I were you, so I'll describe what to do :-)
1. Create a directory on your root partition called NewUSR for example.
2. Copy the contents of /usr to /NewUSR
3. Boot a Knoppix CD. Mount your root dir, and
[ from now all paths are relative to your root directory, NOT Knoppix's ]
4. Edit the /etc/fstab file, removing the line which instructs Linux to mount the /usr partition
5. Remove the /usr directory
6. Rename /NewUSR to /usr
That's it. Now you have space. You may want to mount the old /usr partition to somewhere else, to save space, it's up to you...
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