I am a beginning Linux user and I seem to have run into something of a conundrum. I am running Ubuntu 14.04 on an HP laptop, dual booted with windows 8.1, with a 500GB harddrive.

It seems that upon installing Ubuntu I have somehow split the partition for Ubuntu in two - and in such a way that I am only left with a measly 15GB of disk space to work with, and a good 160GB doing nothing. The problem is: I do not know how to activate the unused partition. The following GParted screenshot might clarify the issue.

Gparted screenshot of my partitions

The partitions in question are (I believe) sda7 and sda9. (Sda4 is for windows, sda8 is the swap, the rest I don't really know to be honest).

Adding to my confusion is the fact that sda4 does not show up in my disk usage report. The result of df -h is

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            3,9G  8,0K  3,9G   1% /dev
tmpfs           788M  840K  787M   1% /run
/dev/sda7        14G   11G  2,2G  84% /
none            4,0K     0  4,0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
none            5,0M     0  5,0M   0% /run/lock
none            3,9G  164K  3,9G   1% /run/shm
none            100M   48K  100M   1% /run/user
/dev/sda9       156G  2,7G  146G   2% /home
/dev/sda2       356M   70M  287M  20% /boot/efi
/dev/sda6       2,0G  2,5M  2,0G   1% /media/berend/HP_TOOLS

So the question is: does anyone know how I can merge my sda7 and sda9 so that I may utilise the full memory capacity? Or otherwise, how can I save & move files to the big sda9 partition?

Many thanks in advance!

kindest regards,


  • BACKUP YOUR DATA BEFORE DOING ANY CHANGES ON THE DISK. Seriously. Please. – anonymous2 Aug 19 '16 at 14:50
  • Your best bet is going to be to copy the files from /home to another disk, change the mount location of /home to /dev/sda7, boot livecd, delete /dev/sda9, grow /dev/sda7 to include the space from /dev/sda9 and the copy the files back into the new mount point for /home. – anonymous2 Aug 19 '16 at 14:53
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    There is no way to merge my sda7 with my sda9 without a major overhaul, as there are two partitions in between. You can copy files from one partition to another by copy/paste. Is that what you've implied by "save & move"? – mikewhatever Aug 19 '16 at 15:07
  • Generally better to have the separate /home. Almost all data you save goes into /home which is your larger partition. While 14GB for / is not particularly large, if you houseclean regularly it should be ok. You do have large swap adjacent to /. I might delete swap & expand / into swap. Then make new swap of only 2 or 3GB in unallocated. You will have to edit fstab with new UUID of new swap to replace old UUID of old swap. Little key symbols show mounted partitions, so reboot into live installer or a gparted live ISO to edit partitions. – oldfred Aug 19 '16 at 15:55

GParted can be used to fix this. Using Gparted on a CD or a flash drive:

  1. Boot up on the GParted stand alone CD or flash drive.

  2. Delete the linux swap sda8.

  3. Expand sda7 into the now unused space.

  4. Make the 8gB unused space into a swap partition.

  5. Apply the operation.

  6. Boot up into Ubuntu.

  7. Migrate /home onto sda7. https://www.maketecheasier.com/move-home-folder-ubuntu/

  8. Boot up GParted again.

  9. Delete sda9.

  10. Resize the swap partition to 15gB.

  11. Resize sda7 to take up the remaining unused space.

  12. Apply the operation.

This should get you where you want to be. Be aware that there is always a chance (very slim) you could corrupt your partitions you are resizing.

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