Not very long ago, I posted an entry regarding some arguably bad installation decisions when I partitioned bluecore’s hard disk for installing Debian. Some weeks ago, I finally decided to risk it all and fix those problems, with the guarantee that if I screwed up like I did multiple times in the past with other installations, I could just restore from a rsnapshot backup stored in the external hard disk I bought earlier this month.
The real dilemma was settling for a new, permanent scheme, keeping performance in mind more than protection against physical or logical failures since I can just put my backups to use nowadays. Part of this dilemma involved choosing the right partitioning tool, after having really bad experiences both with the fdisk tool for Linux, and command-line based GNU parted.
This time I chose the smallest tool that fitted the task, also making sure I would feel comfortable with it previous to doing the real thing, by trying it out with VirtualBox’s help: the GParted Live CD, built around a minimalistic Debian Sid-based system with the GParted front-end on top of a small X server with the most complete toolchain for doing all sorts of funky operations on partitions containing some of the most popular filesystems, such as Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, ReiserFS, NTFS, FAT12/16 and FAT32/VFAT.
Although its X server is not accelerated and the default Fluxbox config doesn’t have opaque window moving disabled as it should, it’s a pretty neat tool for modifying unmounted partitions with the help of a friendly GUI, avoiding all the hassles and risks involved in toying around with the disk containing rootfs and other important filesystem on a running Linux installation — the impossibility of changing rootfs’ parameters and geometry in any way when the system is online is also eliminated with this procedure.