Move separate home partition back to /?

How would I go about moving a separate home partition back to /, and be able to delete the /home partition? I’m assuming I would have to copy the contents of /home to the root partition, and change fstab at the very least. Any advice?

I think you need to boot a Live CD and mount the root and home partitions. Then copy all contents of /home to existing / root partition. Then remove or change the mount point in /etc/fstab for your old /home folder to something else. Do not do away with the old /home folder till you get it to work on the / root partition. Remember you must copy all hidden files and folders. You could use the terminal command:

cp -r dir1 dir2

It appears that home belongs to root. So create /home as root. Then, try to copy the rest of the as a normal users so as to not change the file ownership. I have never tried to do this myself as I have not broke out home from / root.

Thank You,

You can also do this in level 3 from a console CLI login as root since root’s home isn’t under /home.

If you use -a with cp, it should preserve ownership, permissions, and timestamps so you can do it all as root. Something like this:

cp -a /oldhome/. /home

Note the . after /oldhome/

As always, be careful and reread at the command line before hitting return.

This might be possibly the correct way in detail:
when you try to do this the system will see the /home pointing to the separate hdd in fstab. so you will need to create a /homenew in the root tree / then do all your copying as mentioned, verify all the files copied and then umount /home and delete the mount point, edit the fstab to not mount the separate partition to /home, and then rename /homenew as /home.

Either order is fine as long as you are clear about the sequence of operations. Either:

  1. Remount the home to a different path and copy to the new home, or
  2. Copy to a new home and rename after copying

Before you start, do you know the implications it will have? If you want to do a clean install of a new version, you will have to backup /home and restore it afterwards, otherwise /home will be lost, since it’s not on a separate partitition.

What you want is easily done, the implications may bring a lot of work. I simply suggest you don’t do this.

Thanks for all of the input. I finally got the nerve to try it today. I was simply running out of room on my laptop drive between Opensuse home, root, swap and Win7. My plan is to backup /home on an external drive for restoration after installs. When I get a newer laptop, I will be sure to get a bigger drive because I like the convenience of a separate home partition. I still keep one on my desktop (1TB) The lappy only has 160GB. The first method I tried using rsync didn’t preserve permissions like it should have. I had to boot to init 3 and use chown and chmod to get it to boot back up. I didn’t have write access to /home. I deleted the home folder and tried again with cp -a as ken_yap suggested which worked except for .ICEauthority(probably my fault). I still had to use chmod on it. Now to get rid of the home partition and split it up between Suse and Win7. That will probably take the rest of the night:(