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The current partition setup on my laptop install looks something like this -

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xed1f86f7

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        5592    44913928+   7  HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2           18637       19457     6592320   12  Compaq diagnostics
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3            5593       18636   104775930    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            5593       10571    39993786   83  Linux
/dev/sda6           10572       10820     2000061   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7           10821       18636    62781988+  83  Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

As can be seen below, / resides on /dev/sda5 and /home is mounted on /dev/sda7 with a 2GB swap partition between the two. Space considerations have already started cropping up and I would like to change the partitions so that / and /home are combined into one large partition and swap is at the end of the table. Can this be done without losing any data in my current root file-system or for that matter in the /home directory?

The sda5 and sda7 partitions are ext4.

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda5              38G  5.6G   31G  16% /
udev                  922M  320K  921M   1% /dev
none                  922M  208K  921M   1% /dev/shm
none                  922M  216K  921M   1% /var/run
none                  922M     0  922M   0% /var/lock
none                  922M     0  922M   0% /lib/init/rw
/dev/sda7              59G   23G   34G  41% /home
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You first want to move /home onto the / partition. Unmount /home, remount it in /mnt, and move the directories in /mnt across to the now empty /home directory. Then edit fstab so that /home isn't mounted at boot any more.

Then you want to remove the old /home partition and increase the size of the / partition. Gnuparted or qtparted will both let you do this and have easy GUIs.

If your /home partition has more data than will fit in your unresized / partition then you have a problem.

share|improve this answer
/home used 23G, / has 31G available. So, no size problem it seems. ;-) Other than that, this should work nicely. – Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 13 '10 at 6:10

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