How do I format the 'Home' partition?


I was recently forced to do a reinstall of OpenSUSE. As part of that I backed up the folders I needed to keep. The installation however didn’t format the ‘Home’ partition though. At first I thought it was nice, but I’ve run into trouble with a program I most definately need to get working. So my plan is to re-install yet again.

I need some help to figure out how to make the install format the root partition I think it is, and the ‘home’ partition, so I can start fresh.

To further complicate things My laptop (which this is happening on) is dual booting between OpenSUSE and Windows 7. It is VERY important that the windows partitions remain.

Best regards,


In the installer when you are presented with the partition plan there is a checkbox for whether to format each partition. Select it for /home.

What system is it supposed to be? ext3, right?


Why on earth formatting $HOME at all?

Just deleting the respective user and his home-folder would suffice.

(Personally, I am > 99% sure only deleting some maybe faulty configuration files in $HOME would be enough, but hey, why do something sane that might require a little more searching and thinking if you can do it the windows way?)

I mean, if you are riding a horse and want it to stop, you don’t shoot him in the head, now do you?

I need to get matlab working. Right now there are two install folders of matlab. None of them works. I thought about just deleting those, but they’re protected by root and I’m not familiar with the CLI. I was thinking that if I remove EVERYTHING related to matlab and start over, then it might work again. And I thought formatting the Home-partition would be the best sure-fire way of doing so.


Instead, getting to know the most basic knowledge about becoming root on CLI and starting a program (maybe your favorite file manager) is no option?

Just to give you a few hints:



are your friends.

I’ve tried that, but somehow it doesn’t work for me. I have NO clue how to start dolphin with super user rights or as root, and I don’t know the commands to remove the folders in question through the CLI.

I’ve been using Windows since 1995. I started with Ubuntu a year ago on my old laptop, now I’m trying OpenSUSE on my new laptop. So I suffer the usual Windows-guy goes linux symptoms: Fear of the CLI and a complete and utter dependency on graphical tools…


You should have a look into your KDE menu then, seriously, you don’t even NEED the cli to fire up dolphin as root.

Daqar wrote:
> What system is it supposed to be? ext3, right?

on the web there are about a thousand discussions on the relative
merits of all the available linux file systems…you will find folks
in love with ext4, and 3 and 2 and reiserfs and and and and

your choice depends on your needs…

imho: though ext4 is available, i still consider ext3 the best choice
for me…


Ahh…I think I got it now…typing ‘dolphin’ into the menu gave me the option of running dolphin as superuser…:shame:

Thanks for pushing me !! :slight_smile:


And as another “push” into the right direction.

Start getting familiar with the CLI, it is not your enemy, it is one of your best friends on *NIX/Linux.

Fast, powerful and does a lot of jobs you cannot do in a simple way without it.

Ever tried to convert let’s say several hundred (or even thousand) png-images to jpeg and save them into another folder?

On CLI, this is a one-liner (not counting the “cd /whatever/Patch/your/images/are/in/”) in bash.

mkdir JPEG ; for i in *.png ; do convert "$i" JPEG/"$(basename "$i" .png)".jpeg ; done