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I am having trouble thinking through how I can achieve my partitioning goals.

Now my partitions are:

  • sda1 (winA) (primary)
  • sda2 (winB) (primary)
  • sda3 (/ for ubuntu) (primary)

What I want to migrate into is (obviously partition numbers need not be exactly like that)

  • sda1 (winA) (primary)
  • sda2 (winB) (primary)
  • sda3 (/boot) (primary)
  • sda4 - extended which will contain
    • sda5 (/home)
    • sda6 (/ for ubuntu)
    • sda7 (swap)

I know I may be asking too much, but what would a way to do it?

One way I have thought is

  1. Create a new primary partition for /boot and split it from the root partition into the new one. It shouldn't be too hard. Then the disk will have 4 primary partitions.
  2. Somehow convert the root ubuntu partition from primary to extended.
  3. Split that last partition in 3 extended partitions (root, /home, swap) and split the contents there.

I am obviously stuck on the 2nd part.

Another way could be (maybe easier):

  1. Create an extended partition (or two)
  2. Split /home there
  3. Somehow move everything except /boot to the extended partition. This way /boot will stay on the primary partition that exists now, and will be shrunk as needed, and everything else will end up to the extended partitions.

This may sound better, but I'm not too sure how to do the 3rd part.

Some details: The disk is almost empty, so I have space to move things around in it, shrink the ubuntu partition etc. I don't want to touch the windows partitions in any way. Reinstallation is not an option. Also using a different partitioning scheme with fewer partitions is not an option (for example not having a separate /boot)

Any ideas?

share|improve this question
Well, first get a livecd ( installation cd, or usb, or boot some over pxe, whatever ), backup your stuff if you need. Im guessing that you will need to shrink partition sda3, create partitions on clean space, move content of /home to partition for home, everything else except /boot to / partition, stuff on sda3 from /boot to / on sda3.Create swap. Then, edit /etc/fstab, and reinstall grub. But wait until somebody more experienced will post answer, im not sure if i got it all. – Denwerko Jul 31 '11 at 6:50

OP has solved the problem and posted as a comment,

I have solved the issue already, using the second method I described in my question. Everything went fine

share|improve this answer

You cannot have more than 3 primary partitions on a hard disk. It is not very clear why you will move the boot partition? Do you want install a dual boot? You can download Gpartd Cd - and do the things you want to do. You find an excellent documentation here: .

share|improve this answer
the limit is 4 primary partitions not 3 (and that's why I'm asking this whole question, else I wouldn't mind having all of them primary)! And as I explicitly said, not moving the home partition is not an option. – george_k Jul 31 '11 at 12:10
why you want have only primary partitions and why want you change the boot partition. Can you explain this? Is there a specific reason for? – Julien Chau Aug 1 '11 at 18:50
Yes, you got to have a separate boot partition to use ecryptfs. Also my two windows partitions are primary and I do not want to touch them in any way. So this leaves me with three usable primary partitions and an extended one that can have more inside. Anyway, I have solved the issue already, using the second method I described in my question. Everything went fine. – george_k Aug 1 '11 at 19:51

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