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How to resize the home partition on Linux

Does your Linux installation have a dedicated home partition? Do you wish it was larger or smaller? If so, this guide is for you! Follow along as we show you how to resize your home partition on Linux!

Before we begin

 This guide involves the modification of hard drive partitions on Linux. Please only follow this guide if you already know your home partition and can quickly identify it in the Gparted app. If you’re new to Linux, you could irreparably destroy your Linux system. 

Creating the Gparted Live USB

As the home partition is in use while your Linux PC is turned on and logged in, you will not be able to install Gparted on Linux and resize your home folder as you see fit. Instead, it is best if you use the Gparted Live ISO via USB to do it.

Creating the Gparted Live USB is very simple. To start the process, plug in a 1 GB (or larger) USB stick into the USB port of your Linux PC. After plugging in the USB, follow the step-by-step instructions below to make the live USB.

Step 1: First, you must download the Gparted ISO file. The ISO file contains the live operating system we will be flashing to a USB stick. Head over to the Gparted download page, and grab “gparted-live-1.1.0-8-amd64.iso”. 

The download should only take a couple of seconds, even on slower internet systems, as the live USB is only a few megabytes in size.

Step 2:  Head over to Etcher.io and download the latest release of the Etcher USB/SD Card flashing tool. Getting this app is crucial, as it is the easiest way to create a Gparted Live USB.

After downloading Etcher to your computer, install it and start it up. 

Step 3: Inside of Etcher, find the “Flash from file” button and select it with the mouse. Then, use the file browser window to select the Gparted ISO file on your computer that you downloaded previously.

Once the ISO file is loaded into Etcher, the flashing can begin. 

Step 4: Locate the “Select target” button and click on it with the mouse. Use the Etcher UI to select the USB flash drive you plan to flash the Gparted ISO file.

Upon selecting the USB flash drive, Etcher will set it as the flashing device.

Step 5: Locate the “Flash!” button in the Etcher app, and select it to start the flashing process. Flashing will only take a couple of minutes, as the Gparted ISO file is not very big.

When the flashing process is complete, reboot your Linux PC with the Gparted Live USB in the USB port. Then, load up your BIOS and configure it to boot from USB to access Gparted.

Accessing Gparted Live

Gparted starts up in a Linux command-line, rather than loading up the desktop right away. Here’s how to access the live environment.

Step 1: Select the “Gparted Live (Default settings) option in Grub with the Enter key.

Step 2: Select the “Don’t touch keymap” option with the Enter key. Or, use the options available to select a keymap if you need to.

Step 3: Enter the language number assigned to the language you wish to use if Gparted doesn’t automatically detect it.

Step 4: Type the command startx in the terminal command-line prompt. This command will start up the Gparted environment. The environment is very lightweight, so it should run smoothly on your PC.

Once the Gparted live environment has loaded, the Gparted partition editor app will open automatically. From here, move on to the next section of the guide.

Resize home partition on Linux

Resizing the home partition in Gparted starts by identifying the partition in the editor. Using Gparted, locate your home partition. In this example, the home partition is /dev/sda4. Yours WILL differ. 

Can’t figure out how to locate your home partition? Please follow our guide on how to find hard drive info on Linux.

Once you’ve located your home partition, right-click on it with the mouse. Inside the right-click menu, find the “Resize/Move” option, and click on it with the mouse.

Using your mouse, drag your home partition larger or smaller with the visual graphic at the top. Or, if you want to be more precise, enter the new size of your home partition (in MiB) in the “new size” box.

After you’ve changed the size of your home partition in Gparted, select the “Resize/Move” button on the bottom right to save your changes. Then, find the green checkmark icon in the top left and select it to write the disk changes.

When Gparted is done writing your changes, your home partition will have been resized. From here, you can reboot your PC, unplug the USB and log back into Linux.

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