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Re: apologies for my ignorance

From: Phil Williams
Subject: Re: apologies for my ignorance
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 19:31:47 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Wed, Oct 02, 2002 at 10:02:43AM -0400, David Leuser II wrote:
> thinking that would make sense... left-overs from an overtired person who
> grew up on windows 3.1 i guess.

Welcome to GNU/Linux!  Trust me, once you've got the basics down, you won't want
to return to Windows (or whatever dark place it is you have come from ;-)

> Could someone please tell me what my #4 "lba" partition is that seems to
> overlap with everything after it on the disk?  (see below) I'm afraid to

Your disk has a label type of 'msdos'.  That means it uses MSDOS-style partition
tables (I think), and this is necessary for the disk to be used with MS-DOS
and Windows systems.  Even if you were able to use a different label type, I
don't think there is anyway of changing it without losing your existing data.

Anyway, using this label type imposes a restriction: you can create no more than
four partitions on the disk (these are minor 1, 2, 3, and 4).  However, one of
those partitions is allowed to be an 'extended' partition -- it can contain
'logical' partitions inside it.  So, in effect, you can create a lot more than
four partitions.

That should explain why /dev/sda4 appears to overlap the higher numbered

> start moving data around... if i understand the process correctly i have
> to first shrink /usr (#5) and move the free space physically after /usr to
> be physically after /home (#2) before i can increase the size of /home...
> ...
> Disk geometry for /dev/sda: 0.000-17355.750 megabytes
> Disk label type: msdos
> Minor    Start       End     Type      Filesystem  Flags
> 1          0.031     54.909  primary   fat16
> 2         54.910   1082.504  primary   ext3
> 3       1082.505   1106.037  primary   ext3        boot
> 4       1106.038  17351.455  extended              lba
> 5       1106.068  10260.263  logical   ext3
> 6      10260.294  15743.386  logical   ext3
> 7      15743.417  16770.981  logical   linux-swap
> 8      16771.012  17280.856  logical   ext3
> 9      17280.888  17343.610  logical   ext3

If enough space is available in /dev/sda5 (use 'df -m' to find out -- on my PC,
/usr uses 782MB so I think it's likely that there is plenty of space) the way I
would do it is:

        - Shrink /dev/sda5 by 5.5GB
        - Create a new ext2 partition in the space you've freed up
        - Convert the new partition to ext3
        - Copy /dev/sda2 to the new partition
        - Update /etc/fstab so that the new partition (instead of /dev/sda2) is
                mounted on /home

Of course, this will leave 1GB of space (/dev/sda2) that is unused.  Perhaps you
could move /usr to /dev/sda2 and use all 9GB of the space used by /dev/sda5 for

I must repeat that I am not an expert -- I've done nothing more with Parted than
use it to play about with the partitions on my personal PC.  Please backup any
important data (you're a sysadmin, so I don't need to tell you this, right :-)
and read the relevant documentation carefully.


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