partitioning question...

Posted on 2002-03-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I currently have RadHat 7.2 running properly, and I want to add SuSe 7.3 to the same hard drive.  I would like suggestions on the best way to repartition the hard drive to make this possible.  I'm also interested in what software options I have to choose from inorder to resize, move and add partitions to the hard drive.  as for the system, here are the basic details...

cpu-AMD duron 800
Ram-Kingston 512M sdram
Hard Drive-Samsung UDMA100 30.6 GB

I currently have 3 partitions on the hard drive:
Boot partition-49Megs
Swap Partition-800Megs
Main EXT3 partition-29+Gigs

The drive is full, and I would like to resize and move the partitions to accomedate the second version of linux.  I'm hoping to get both OSs running off of a single boot menu at startup.

Any further info needed, just ask.  I monitor this site frequently.
Question by:Smokintbird
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Expert Comment

ID: 6883046
1. There seems to be a tool called resize2fs to resize an
   ext2 partition -- however I have never used it and so I
   don't know how well it does that job.

2. Booting different Linux distributions (e.g. with) LILO
   should be no problem as long as both are located on
   different file systems -- you can mount the other's
   file systemes somewhere to exchange data, and you
   should also be able to mount the same partition under
   /home for your working data.

3. My personal favorite partitioning scheme is to split
   the disk into quite a few 'small' partitions (around
   2GB each) and keep most of them as spare storage.
   Whenever the space of one of the other filesystems gets
   low I move some of its directory trees to one of those
   either by mounting them directly into their place or
   by using symbolic links.

Hope it helps

Author Comment

ID: 6883529
well...   things have changed just a bit...   I dumped redhat accidently by trying to resize the partition..Oh well.  Anyway, I have since tried using "parted" to boot up and make all the partitions that I want, although I seem to be having some problems with it.  It will not let me make more than 4 primary partitions, so I tried to make a logical partition and it tells me that I can't because I don't have any extended partitions.  but when I tried making an extended partition, it simply shows me the help for the "mkpart" command, as if I were not typing something in correctly.  I everything and tried to do it again, but with same response...

I'm hoping to make my 30 gig drive look like this:


I wouldn't think would be quite as hard as be for me...  I've had multi-partitioned hard drives before, and had no trouble.  BUT, I was also using partition magic to do it...

partition magic doesn't support the ext3 file system or the reiserfs file system. Is there a better program for creating this partition setup?

Author Comment

ID: 6883533
lets up the ante...

Author Comment

ID: 6883540
I'll give the person who makes this setup work for me an extra ++300++ points...   I'm kinda persistant at getting a dual booting redhat and suse system up and running.  

I've got the points, and I'll gladly give them up for a system like this...

Author Comment

ID: 6883549
BTW.......I would preferr to have the partitions other than the swap space in the reiserfs file system...Just in case it matters...

Accepted Solution

fremsley earned 300 total points
ID: 6884947
> partition magic doesn't support the ext3 file system

The ext3 file system is actually an ext2 file system with
journaling extensions. If Partition Magic can create an
ext2 partition you can add the journal at any time later,

  tune2fs -j /dev/hda1

If you wish to use reiserfs for your system partitions,
I would recommend installing SuSE first as this
distribution has supported it since long before it was
integrated into the official Linux kernel and AFAIK
gives you that option in its setup program.

Some comments on your partitioning scheme:

1. Your boot partitions are more than big enough; because
   they are only used to store the kernel(s) some 10 or
   20 MB should be more than sufficient.

2. You do not have to use different swap partitions for
   your different Linux distributions, you can share a
   single one for both.

3. Instead of creating two big main file systems for the
   two distributions, you should consider this: The
   distris can share some directory trees, e.g.
   /usr/local and espicially /home

Hope it helps

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Author Comment

ID: 6885989
ok...  first off, I knew that I was using more than enough space for the boot partitions, but I thought I'd plan for future upgrades, since I like to try out the newest kernel oncee it's been released in a stable form.  second off, I didn't know that you could set up the journalling system on the ext2 file system.  Good tip.  Third, I didn't know that you could use the same swap space for both systems.  Another very good tip! As for the seperate file systems, I've decided to use mostly seperate file systems to make upgrading each individual system component easier.  But I am using the extra partition as a backup partition for sensitive data.  

OK...  Here's what I've done...

Idecided to take your advice, and I've installed SuSe 7.3 first. With the partitioning tool, I've made the ext2 partitions for the RedHat 7.2 install, so now I've got the framework in place.  

The SuSe install works perfectly, so now what I need to know, is: when I install RedHat, what am I supposed to do in the setup that will tell it to add itself to the bootloader menu...  Or do I just tell it to put the bootloader on a floppy so I can set up the main bootloader from one of the systems?

so as of now, my partitioning scheme is as such...

100meg reiserfs boot-for suse
100meg ext2 boot-for redhat
12gig feiserfs main-for suse
12gig ext2 main-for redhat
3+gig ext2 shared /home
1gig swap-for suse
1gig swap-for redhat - I've got suse running, and I'd rather not screw it up trying to gain myself 1GIG of space...

So as of now, I simply need to get your suggestions on the bootloader information before I go any further.  The bootloader I'm using is lilo.  I need to know what the command is to setup lilo to give me a choice of booting from /dev/hda1 or /dev/hda2, and to delay the boot process for 10 seconds to let me choose the one I want with /dev/hda1 being the default.

Expert Comment

ID: 6886081
When the Ref Hat install program asks where to install its
boot loader choose 'boot floppy' which should do no
modifications to the hard drive (and you'll be able to boot
Red Hat Linux with that floppy in case something goes

Then boot your SuSE system and mount Red Hat's boot
partition somewhere (assuming /dev/hda2 and /mnt in the

  mount -t ext2 /dev/hda2 /mnt

so you can access the Red Hat kernel.

Edit the /etc/lilo.conf (in SuSE) and add the new kernel
image information, e.g.:

  image = /mnt/vmlinuz.redhat
    label = Red-Hat

(enter the real name of the kernel image above) Then run
LILO once to update the boot loader:


Now you should be able to boot both distributions from the
LILO prompt. Remember: you will have to do the same
procedure under SuSE whenever you install a new kernel for
Red Hat.

Hope it helps.


Author Comment

ID: 6887450
ok...  thanks...  I'll give it a try.
I'll let you know how it goes tomorow...

Author Comment

ID: 6887713

It works flawlessly!

you get the points, it will be worth every point.

Author Comment

ID: 6887716
Right after this, I'm posting another question called "pts for fremsley".  get your extra 300 points there.  Still worth every point to me...

Expert Comment

ID: 6888637
Hello Smokintbird,

Glad I could help you.

Very nice of you to offer some extra points, however the
300 pts with a grade A for this answer are fairly enough,
I reckon. I bet you'll have a bunch of new questions after
you have played a while with your new Linux installations,
and it'll be a pleasure for me trying to solve some of
those problems next week.

Best regards

Author Comment

ID: 6889274
that's ok...  I've already posted the question, you earned it, and besides, I've got like 4500 question points anyway...  IT IS WORTH IT!  

so go get the points!


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