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  #1  
Old 22nd December 2008, 03:34 AM
stardust496 Offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 15
converting primary partition to extended

Hi all ,

I am trying to install fedora on a computer whose current partition table looks like this:

Disk /dev/sda: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x28000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 6 48163+ de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 7 398 3148740 b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda3 * 399 38662 307355580 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 38663 38913 2016157+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 38663 38913 2016126 82 Linux swap / Solaris

I will have to shrink the /dev/sda3 partition and use that freed up space as an extended partition. I can then install Fedora onto this newly created partition.

Can I somehow do this? Or is there another way to free up space and install Fedora ?

Thanks!!
Mayuresh
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  #2  
Old 22nd December 2008, 05:01 PM
stoat Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by stardust496

I am trying to install fedora on a computer whose current partition table looks like this:

Disk /dev/sda: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x28000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 6 48163+ de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 7 398 3148740 b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda3 * 399 38662 307355580 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 38663 38913 2016157+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 38663 38913 2016126 82 Linux swap / Solaris

I will have to shrink the /dev/sda3 partition and use that freed up space as an extended partition. I can then install Fedora onto this newly created partition.

Can I somehow do this? Or is there another way to free up space and install Fedora ?
Hello stardust496,

You already have an extended partition (/dev/sda4). It's relatively small and is completely filled by a single logical partition (/dev/sda5 which is the swap). You should shrink /dev/sda3 as you said, but then simply "grow" the adjacent extended partition into the space that created. Then the space you need will be inside the extended partition. Install Fedora there. It will do just fine installed in logical partitions. Download and create a GParted LiveCD. It will do all of that work and make it very clear what I'm suggesting.

P.S.: If you decide to use standard partitions for Fedora as you are doing now for whatever Linux is installed already, then Fedora will find and share the existing swap. Don't try to create another one. If you choose to use LVM (the default Fedora partition layout), then nevermind about this. Fedora will create a swap in the LVM physical volume.
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  #3  
Old 23rd December 2008, 01:41 PM
stardust496 Offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 15
Thanks! gparted did things very smoothly as you said. I wish it were included in the fedora livecd itself. I now have my old ubuntu living in a primary partition and fedora living in an extended partition and I can use either at boot time.

I just have one question - What is the purpose of marking a partition as "boot" ? In my current setup, only the ubuntu partition is marked as "boot" , not the fedora one. But I can boot into either ubuntu or fedora anyway..

Thanks!

Disk /dev/sda: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x28000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 6 48163+ de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 7 398 3148740 b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda3 * 399 13166 102558960 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 13167 38913 206812777+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 38663 38913 2016126 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6 13167 38662 204796557 83 Linux
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  #4  
Old 23rd December 2008, 01:54 PM
stoat Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by stardust496

I wish it were included in the fedora livecd itself.
I think it is. At least it was on the last Fedora LiveCD that I made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stardust496

What is the purpose of marking a partition as "boot" ? In my current setup, only the ubuntu partition is marked as "boot" , not the fedora one. But I can boot into either ubuntu or fedora anyway.
The short answer is that it has no purpose at all for a system that boots with GRUB.

The partition table located in the master boot record holds information about the four possible primary partitions (e.g., partition type, size, start, end, etc). One of those things is also whether the partition is the "active" partition. That is what the "boot" thing in fdisk is referring to. It matters to MS systems. They boot by having the MS boot code in the master boot record examine the partition table to determine the active partition and then execute that partition's boot sector code. That results in the Windows system's boot files in the partition being executed which eventually leads to the kernel being loaded. The reason none of that matters to GRUB is because it boots in stages each of which knows where the next stage is located. It never relies on the active flag of any partition to boot. As you just discovered.
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