I want to increase the size of /home because its running out of space. /home is at the end and its inside /dev/sda4 and there is no unallocated space available.

Kindly take a look at the below gparted screenshot.

enter image description here

  • oh so it cant be done using gparted :( – el323 Jun 14 at 11:31
  • I think you can if you want to keep the separate /home. I just offered an alternative. – Melebius Jun 14 at 11:34
  • Is keeping a separate /home not recommended? And how can I increase the /home size without merging to /? – el323 Jun 14 at 11:36
  • Yes, you could shrink /dev/sda3 to make room for a bigger /dev/sda5 but that would be a lengthier process than what @Melebius suggests. – Jos Jun 14 at 11:36
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    The procedure using gparted would be: shrink sda3, move sda4 to the left, move sda5 to the left, and resize (grow) sda5. Start by making a backup of everything that you care about. – Jos Jun 14 at 11:38
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Since you have enough space in the root (/) partition, I would merge /home into /. Then optionally delete the extended partition completely and extend the combined root partition to utilize the free space. This operation will be most likely faster than resizing a partition at the end of the disk.

Before you proceed, I recommend making a backup, preferably the complete disk using Clonezilla.

Then follow these instructions (from an answer by htorque):

  • Boot the live CD/USB.
  • Mount the root partition to /mnt/root.
  • Mount the home partition to /mnt/oldhome.
  • Copy the data using rsync:

    sudo rsync -avz --hard-links --numeric-ids /mnt/oldhome/ /mnt/root/home
  • Open /mnt/root/etc/fstab and delete the entry for your home partition.

  • Unmount the root and home partition and reboot the system. If everything works as expected you can reboot again into the live system and then:
  • Open GParted.
  • Delete the old home partition, resize the root partition.

Is keeping a separate /home not recommended?

It’s just a matter of taste. Having all data in one partition avoids the problem of having one full partition and another almost empty, like in your case. On the other hand, a separate /home partition is good for backup and reinstallation.

My suggestion (using gparted):

  1. Make a backup of any important data on the disk.
  2. Shrink /dev/sda3 by, let's say, 50 Gb. You have more than that free, so the exact number is not important.
  3. Move the left boundary of /dev/sda4 to the left by the same amount.
  4. Move the left boundary of /dev/sda5 to the left (as /dev/sda4 is an extended partition, moving its boundaries does not move the "inner" partitions)
  5. Grow (= resize to enlarge) /dev/sda5 to the desired size.

Actually, it may be possible to do the last two steps in one go. I am not sure about that.

This will require physically moving large numbers of blocks, so it will be a lengthy process.

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    I believe that this answer doesn't put enough emphasys in backing up. That's the 0th rule before doing anything like this. – Ismael Miguel Jun 14 at 14:45
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    @IsmaelMiguel It's the first action on my list. – Jos Jun 14 at 14:48
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    @IsmaelMiguel I don't follow your comment. My first step is to make a backup. How do you suggest I should improve my answer? – Jos Jun 14 at 15:42
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    More emphasys on the backup. The list, as it is, kinda implies that the backups are part of gparted, when they should be before you even consider using gparted. I would move it to be the first line, outside the list. What do you think? – Ismael Miguel Jun 14 at 15:44
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    @IsmaelMiguel go ahead and write a better answer. I don't see where I suggest that backups are a part of gparted. – Jos Jun 14 at 15:45

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