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I've been running various Linux distros, and have found that Mint was the best one for me. I'm currently running Mint 9 Gnome 64 bit. It's currently dualbooting with Win ...
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  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] is it too late to make a /home partition?


    I've been running various Linux distros, and have found that Mint was the best one for me. I'm currently running Mint 9 Gnome 64 bit. It's currently dualbooting with Win 7 Pro, on a 460GB partition, with a 4GB swap. Basically, I split my 1TB drive between Windows & Mint, making Mint & the swap logical partitions, for further expansion.

    What I'd like to do is to shrink the Mint / partition, and make a /home partition, for my data, especially my VM's, which are five already. I've found that Windows runs better in VirtualBox than on a partition of it's on. Plus, XP doesn't have native SATA drivers.

    But, this is NOT a request on help with Windows, as I'm adding some Linux VM's also. What I need to know, is it too late to create this partition, and my home folder be moved there? Because if I decide to upgrade, I don't want to lose my VM's. I do plan to stick with Mint 9 for a while, as it's a LTS distro, and I prefer to stick with what works.

    BTW, I've used Mint 10, and I like 9 better.

    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cat

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    Quote Originally Posted by catilley1092 View Post
    I've been running various Linux distros, and have found that Mint was the best one for me. I'm currently running Mint 9 Gnome 64 bit. It's currently dualbooting with Win 7 Pro, on a 460GB partition, with a 4GB swap. Basically, I split my 1TB drive between Windows & Mint, making Mint & the swap logical partitions, for further expansion.

    What I'd like to do is to shrink the Mint / partition, and make a /home partition, for my data, especially my VM's, which are five already. I've found that Windows runs better in VirtualBox than on a partition of it's on. Plus, XP doesn't have native SATA drivers.

    But, this is NOT a request on help with Windows, as I'm adding some Linux VM's also. What I need to know, is it too late to create this partition, and my home folder be moved there? Because if I decide to upgrade, I don't want to lose my VM's. I do plan to stick with Mint 9 for a while, as it's a LTS distro, and I prefer to stick with what works.

    BTW, I've used Mint 10, and I like 9 better.

    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cat
    You can try gparted if u havent already you xan use it while running mint or byrn a live cd and its really easy to use

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    As mentioned, boot up any live CD that included gparted, and partition away. I'm personally partial to Parted Magic for this sort of thing.

    You will want/need to back everything up first. Depending on your current parititioning scheme, resizing your partitions may be more complicated than its worth, and just backing up and reinstall according to your needs could be easier.

    Once you've created a new partition for /home, you'll need to edit the file /etc/fstab to have it mounted appropriately.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    You can update partitions from a live CD ... a Mint live CD should do.
    Post the output of
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    df -h
    from Mint if you need more help, so we can see partition structure, mount points and space used on partitions.

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    I believe that I've got it. On my laptop, I also had a install of Mint 9 (DVD 32 bit). What I did, was using the built in backup tool, backed up my home directory, and reinstalled Mint from scratch.

    I partitioned 10GB for /, the rest of the existing drive space as /home, and left the swap as is (2GB). Now I'm restoring the files, what I want to see is my single VM being restored, along with my downloads, bookmarks, etc.

    If that works, then I'll do the same with my desktop, only it'll take much longer to backup. Mint's backup took over an hour to backup it's home directory, longer than it took me to backup the entire drive (Win 2K, XP Pro and Mint combined) with Acronis True Image 2010 (my preferred method of backup software).

    PS: It didn't work out as planned. I'll just have to start the Mint install (again) on my laptop from scratch. As far as my desktop goes, I may leave it as is until I upgrade, then do a separate home partition. I've been using Mint since 7 (Gloria), and I've yet to break an OS to date. And I image with Acronis on a weekly basis.

    Thanks to all.

    Cat
    Last edited by catilley1092; 02-09-2011 at 02:06 AM.

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    There is no need to re-install to create a separate home partition, modification of partition structure is easy using gparted running from a live CD. It is easy to copy data between partitions, create mount points, modify /etc/fstab to mount partitions at boot etc all from a live CD. Even I can do it !

    I suggest backup of data before modifying partition structure ... but to be honest provided you are careful, it's only really required for partitions you want to resize. I highly recommend setting partition labels to something that is meaningful to you so that you don't accidentally delete a partition you wanted ... gparted shows label information for partitions you are modifying.

    There are a few things for which I suggest a re-install is the quickest way to achieve what you want ... but creating a home partition is not one of them (unless it's a fresh install).

    For the desktop I suggest you backup your data, then modify partitions and get the system setup to boot with the separate home partition. You have nothing to loose and will have everything setup for when you update Mint (and can do a straight install with just a root partition - and modify /etc/fstab for the new install to mount your existing home partition).

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    I bit the bullet and reinstalled Mint the correct way on my desktop today. Even if I chose to repartition, I would've had to reinstall a couple of VM's (they were too small). What I did was give Mint (/) 35GB, the rest (around 400GB) went to /home. That should take care of me.

    So if in the future, if I want to install another version of Mint, can I leave the home folder as is, and just install the new OS in (/), or will I need to backup and reinstall the home partition?

    Thanks for all of the advice given to me on this thread.

    Cat

  8. #8
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    You can just install/reinstall to your root partition, and leave the /home partition as is. (You'll need to tell the installer to mount the partition as home, but not to format it.)

    That said, it's wise to back up any critical data before doing so as a precaution. I've reused home partitions many times without a problem, but you don't want to be caught out the one time something goes wrong.

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Every distro I install with a root partition only (which I create and label before starting the installer), after install I setup access to a common home partition. I also manually setup access to data partitions manually after the install. That way I only have myself to blame if I manage to over-write something.

    Mounting partitions and moving data about is easy enough using a live CD ... I last installed Arch Linux in January 2009, it will be similar for Gentoo as well - since installing these distros I have changed partitions, created and moved home and data partitions, installed additional hard drives, installed additional distros, moved the root partitions from old to new hard drives ... all without the need to reinstall. I make sure I have what I consider critical data backed up before I change partitions but thats all. A live CD comes in handy for the few occassions I need to chroot in to fix things I have broken.

    This time round I installed Mint Debian Edition so I'm hoping I don't need to re-install Mint again either

  10. #10
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    I want to thank all of you for taking the time to help me with my issue. Through trial and error, I'm getting the hang of Mint, it's a much better OS than any Windows one hands down. It boots & loads faster, you don't need to go through the daily routine of scanning every email for trash, and so far, I've yet to break a Mint install. But I did break Ubuntu & PC Linux OS installs when learning.

    Mint is my favorite, and for newbies, it's user friendly.

    Now I'm going to have to learn that command line.

    Cat

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