This article will discuss how to manage storage with the Linux GParted utility.
You may wish to expand your computer’s hard drive capacity by adding a larger one, or in some cases replace an existing smaller drive for a bigger one. This process is generally referred to as disk partitioning and involves moving data from the old drive onto the new one without losing any data that was on either of them before.
GParted is a free and open-source disk partitioning tool for Linux, which allows users to create, resize, copy, move or delete partitions. It can also be used as a disk cloning utility.
The GNOME Partition Editor (GParted) has you covered if you’re looking for a partition editor that works with most disk partition formats and volumes. GParted Linux has a simple and intuitive user interface that eliminates the guessing associated with partition management.
This tutorial will show you how to use the GParted Linux utility to manage storage partitions. You’ll have created, resized, relocated, and destroyed disk partitions with GParted in the end.
So, what exactly are you waiting for? Let’s see if you’re capable of dividing drives without resulting in a dead drive!
This will be an interactive demonstration. If you want to follow along, make sure you have these items:
- GParted will be installed or executed on this pc. An Ubuntu 20.04 machine will be used in this course.
Related: [Step-by-Step] How to Install Ubuntu 20.04
- A hard disk drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD), or flash drive is a storage device. A 20GB HDD will be used in the examples in this guide.
Data loss is a significant danger of storage partitioning. Make sure your storage is ready for testing and that no critical files are stored there.
GParted Linux Flavor Selection
GParted is available in two flavors. Which one you pick is determined by your use case. But don’t worry, the criteria for selection are simple.
GParted Live — A bootable media (commonly referred to as a Live CD) that contains a tiny, standalone GNU Linux distribution that may be installed on a USB, CD/DVD, or PXE server. GParted Live is your best bet if you don’t have a Linux computer or wish to manage partitions outside of your PC’s operating system.
The creation of bootable media is not covered in this tutorial. To discover how to install GParted, refer to their official GParted installation instructions website.
GParted Linux Package — If you already have a Linux computer and don’t want to deal with installing and booting to a different operating system, this package is ideal. GParted is available for Linux as a package that can be installed using your distro’s package management.
The GParted Linux Package will be used in the examples in this tutorial. The usage instructions are generally the same regardless of which GParted flavor you choose. Apart from the aesthetics, the functional interface is same, as shown in the comparative image below.
GParted Linux versus GParted Live
GParted Linux Package Installation
GParted isn’t included by default in most Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. But don’t worry; installation is simple and straightforward. GParted may be started with just two command lines.
Follow these steps to install GParted.
1. Open a terminal window on your computer.
2. Next, make sure your computer’s package repository cache is up to current by running the command below.
3. Run the command below to install the GParted utility. The -y option disables the confirmation prompt and answers yes automatically.
gparted -y sudo apt install
4. Verify that GParted was installed successfully and that you have the latest version.
gparted was installed using apt list.
The command returned the installed GParted version, as seen below.
GParted distribution packages may not contain the latest recent versions of GParted, according to the GParted website.
GParted installation and version verification
Finally, start the GParted program. The image below shows how to use Ubuntu’s programs overview to open the GParted tool.
GParted will request you for your password and will require sudo or root capabilities.
GParted Linux application is launched.
GParted launches with the first disk on your computer selected by default. The operating system is normally found on the first disk. This Ubuntu PC, as you can see below, has four partitions with distinct File management systems (fat32, ext4) and mount points.
The application window for GParted
GParted Linux Storage Management
Now comes the exciting part! You’ve finished installing GParted and are ready to try it out. To begin, the instructions will be followed on an Ubuntu PC with an empty 20GB hard disk, although the overall technique should work with other storage devices.
A partition table must exist on the disk before partitions may be created. You’ll need to initialize the disk to assign a partition type because new disks don’t usually come with a partition table. Follow these steps to construct a partition table and initialize a disk.
The technique is the same for used disks. However, re-Creating a table of partitions on a previously used drive will result in data loss.
1. Select the disk to initialize in the GParted window. To do so, go to the toolbar’s drop-down menu and select the storage device from the list.
Choosing a disk
The disk information is now displayed in the graph area after selecting the disk. The disk in this case contains 20GB of free space.
2. Next, click View —> Device Information to show the device information pane on the left-hand side of the window.
The Device Information pane is displayed.
The disk information is now displayed in the graph area after selecting the disk. The disk in this case contains 20GB of free space. If the disk doesn’t have a partition table, you should see a similar output like the screenshot below. The Partition table value is unrecognized.
Confirming there is no partition table on the disk
3. Now, to create a new partition table, click Device —> Table of Partitions.
Creating a table of partitions
4. The Table of Partitions window appears next, with a warning that this action will delete all data on the disk.
Select msdos or GPT from the drop-down menu in the Select new partition table type field. The default partition table is msdos, as shown in the sample below. After that, click Apply.
MBR vs. GPT: Which Partition Style Should You Use?
Table of Partitions
MBR (msdos) and GPT are two of the most common partition table types.
The Partition table value now shows msdos, and the error icon has vanished, as shown below. The disk has been successfully initialized.
The partition table was created successfully.
Making New Divisions
You’ve completed the initial task and are a few steps away from making the disk usable by Making New Divisions. A disk can have one or multiple partitions if necessary, depending on your requirements.
You could want to partition a drive into two partitions, each with its own File management system. For example, a partition for Linux (ext4) and a partition for Windows (NTFS)? If you choose, you can mix and match different File management systems. To do so, follow the instructions below.
1. Right-click the empty space and select New.
The creation of a new partition
2. Take note of the following details in the Create New Partition box that appears.
|preceding empty space (MiB)
|Specifies how much free space should be allowed in front of the new partition (to the left). 1 MiB is the minimal size. When building the first partition, you usually don’t need to change this value.
|New dimensions (MiB)
|The new partition size is specified by this number. The default value is the whole unallocated space available. You don’t need to change this value if you’re only going to make one partition.
|Following is free space (MiB)
|This is the amount of space left over at the end of the new division (to the right). The value of this field is automatically adjusted when the New size value is changed.
|Determines whether the partition should be aligned to the mebibytes (MiB) or the cylinder of the disk. This value should be kept as MiB. Only older operating systems from before the year 2000 have the option of cylinder alignment.
|Choose between Primary and Extended partitions when creating a new partition. In most circumstances, the primary partition type should be selected. Primary partitions can be bootable, which is the only important distinction.
|Name of partition
|This column allows you to give the partition a name, however it is only available if the partition table type is GPT.
|File management system
|Assign the File management system type for the partition. While multiple File management systems are available, you can only select those compatible with the disk’s partition table.
|A label can be added to the partition using this optional field.
Since you’re creating two partitions in this case, adjust the New dimensions (MiB) value to approximately half of the current unallocated space.
Set the Create as value to Primary Partition and the File management system to ext4. After setting the values, click Add.
To change the partition size, click-hold-drag the arrows on both ends of the partition graph.
Changing the partitioning settings
GParted displays the Pending Operations pane at the bottom of the window by default. You now have one pending operation to Create Primary Partition # 1, as seen below. Do not apply the modifications at this time.
Partition creation is pending.
3. Right-click the remaining unallocated space and select New from the menu.
4. This time, leave the new partition size value as-is, and the partition type should still be Primary Partition. Only change the File management system to ntfs. Click Add to queue up this new partition creation.
Creating a new partition
5. You now have two partition creation operations pending. Click the green check button on the toolbar to apply the pending changes.
Putting the awaiting operations into action
6. At the confirmation window that appears, click Apply to continue and wait for the process to finish.
Confirming the procedure
7. Finally, click Close once the transaction is finished.
Using Pending Procedures
After creating the partitions, what if you realized that you should have selected a different File management system? Do you need to recreate the partition? No, you don’t. You can reformat a partition, whether with the same File management system or with a new File management system altogether.
It merely takes a few steps to format a partition. However, keep in mind that during the reformatting, you will lose all data on the partition (if any).
1. To start, right-click the partition you want to format, click Format to —> fat32.
2. The format operation has now been added to the pending operations list. To proceed with the procedure, click the green check button on the toolbar and confirm the modifications.
The partition format operation is now complete.
3. Finally, click the Close button.
Details of the operation’s Conclusion
Partition deletion and resizing
You may, later on, change your mind and decide that you don’t need a second partition. Instead, you want to have one partition that occupies the entire disk size. Partition deletion and resizing in the GParted Linux application is a breeze.
1. Right-click the partition you wish to delete in the GParted window and select Delete.
2. Right-click the partition you want to resize and select Resize/Move from the context menu. You’re resizing the first partition in this example.
Choosing the partition to shrink
3. Drag the right arrow on the graph to the right until the New size value equals the Maximum size. Click Resize/Move after resizing.
Changing the size of the divider
4. Your queue now has two outstanding operations: deleting the second partition and resizing the first partition. To apply the changes, click the green check button in the toolbar and follow the on-screen instructions.
Using the partition deletion and resizing techniques
5. When you’re done with the partition elimination and resizing, click Close.
The progress window is being closed.
Your disk partitions have now been removed and resized.
This lesson was designed to show you how to get started with disk partitioning activities such as creating, resizing, removing, and formatting. However, the GParted Linux program may perform other tasks, such as relocating or copying partitions. Perhaps you could do some more experimenting.
Do you think GParted is easy to use? Is there a better partition editor program that you would recommend?
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