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I recently Installed Ubuntu 17.04 64 bit on a partition of my hard drive. It's about 30GB. I have 16.10 32 bit installed on a partition that is 441GB. My 16.10 has been upgraded a few times since the version that I originally installed, I think it was 12.04. It isn't clean, some things are buggy. I have started using the 17.04 installed on the 30GB partition and it is running smoothly. The main difference is that Unity is running way faster than on my 16.10 install. I think that is most likely as it is a clean install not an upgrade.

Anyway, what I am trying to do is to have the 16.10 441GB sda6 partition as my home folder in the 17.04 30GB sda7 , so that when I click on nautilus the panel has documents, downloads, music, etc from the 441GB volume.

I have an external HDD, however it's ancient, it copies at really slow speed. If I had a good external HDD I would just copy all the important stuff to it and the transfer it. However with the HDD I have that might take days.

I have found a few things after searching google for an hour or two, however much of it seems to be about having a separate home folder partition, which in retrospect seems a great idea, however isn't really possible now.

Essentially what I'm trying to do is simply to get my home folder on the 17.04 30GB sda7 to have the contents of the 16.10 441GB sda6. Is it possible?

  • Are you ok with repartitioning? It is fully possible. – fosslinux May 29 '17 at 0:27
  • Yeah. If there's a way to do it then for sure. I have GParted installed. I should say my internal HDD is only 500GB though. – Joseph May 29 '17 at 2:28
  • That's fine. I'll post an answer later today. – fosslinux May 29 '17 at 3:21
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These instructions assume that you have the same username on both partitions. If you don't, you will need to find another tutorial to change the username of the 17.04 one to the 16.10 one.

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO and write it to an external storage device or CD: How to create a bootable Ubuntu USB flash drive from terminal? for external storage device (WARNING: THIS WILL WIPE THE EXTERNAL STORAGE DEVICE) or https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto for a CD.

  2. Reboot into the USB/CD and click Try Ubuntu. Go into the dash and open GParted. Unmount all partitions if mounted.

  3. Resize the large, over 400GB partition to as small as it can be. Make sure the free space is now at the end. http://gparted.org/display-doc.php%3Fname%3Dmoving-space-between-partitions.

  4. Create a partition of type ext4 in the remaining free space.

  5. Now exit GParted and open a terminal. Run the following commands to find and mount the drives you need to:

    sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda 
    
  6. Record all three partition numbers, where x is your 17.04 partition, y is your 16.10 partition and z is your new partition.

  7. Now run:

    sudo mkdir /mnt/mnt{1..3}
    sudo mount /dev/sday /mnt/mnt1
    sudo mount /dev/sdaz /mnt/mnt2
    
  8. These commands will take a long time:

    sudo mv -v /mnt/mnt1/home/* /mnt/mnt2/
    
  9. If you got an out of space error, repeat step 3 and then resize /dev/sdaz so that it contains all the free space. Then rerun step 8. If you get an out of space error again, keep repeating this step until you don't have an out of space error.

  10. Now reopen GParted and resize partitions so there is no free space. If you really want, you can keep the free space.

  11. Reboot into your Ubuntu 16.10 system. Go to a VT (CTRL + ALT + F3). Login and follow these instructions: Adding an entry to fstab.

  12. Repeat step 11 for Ubuntu 17.04.

  13. Finally finished. Any problems please comment!

  • Thanks very much for this! I actually found another solution though it probably isn't as tidy. I've deleted the original folders in home, mounted the sda6 and made bookmarks . It's all good now. Here is a screenshot ibb.co/mP8kxa It's kinda different but i'm happy enough with it :) – Joseph May 30 '17 at 20:44
  • If this fixed your problem, please accept the answer (click the tick below the votes) – fosslinux May 30 '17 at 20:59

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