Partition Management for OpenSuse 13.2


I have been using OpenSuse for 13.1 and I am extremely impressed and I believe that I will be staying with this distro for a long time.

When I was installing it, I made single partition root without a separate ~/. I have been told by people on this forum that separate Home is advised for future upgrade. When Opensuse 13.2 came out, I tried dup unsuccessfully because some of the repositories weren’t available for 13.2 yet.

In short, I think I will do a fresh-install but there are a lot of customization that I’ve done, minor things but a lot of them. I would hate to repeat each step.
I wish to do a fresh install with 13.2 KDE, but this time I wish to make separate root and home so that I can upgrade without wiping out my home using installation ISO.

Now my space is quite limited, I have a 120GB ssd(it is one of those rare 1.8" so it is quite expensive) Right now, with everything I need and some I don’t installed, only have 18GB available.

I was wondering if someone could suggest me a partition size/ratio in between root and home.
I am planning for the upgrade and customization starting somewhere in Dec 20~23.

Thank you for your time

Best to show what you have let us see output from
fdisk -l
note that is a lower case L not a one

please put those results in code tags the # in the editor window here.

Hmm… I will try to answer how I would think. large is /home today?
2.any swap present?
3. 18GB free
4. the rest is used by “/”

Well on my Laptop(upgraded from 13.1) openSUSE 13.2 and sepate ext4 for “/” It use 20GB dedicated for that partition. 67% (~13GB) is used today and its growing. This 20GB is mainly used by “/”. But you can use it/create new folder and change rights if its free space.

On my main DE(new install 13.2 KDE) I used btrfs and was suggested a 40GB “/” of a 160GB HD. Already it has eaten up 23% (9.3GB) and snapper is at #138 event. This is growing much faster. Of course You can do the same here on “/” (use it/create new folder and change rights if its free space.)

To conclude my thought, -with that size of a SSD/HD and not know how to do it was ok to choose “/” on it all.

But only 10% free after… It will not get any better to partitioned up your SSD. Easyer to back up maybe. You will have /home left but? The rest of the system with all the

minor things but a lot of them. I would hate to repeat each step.


I have maintained many smaller openSUSE vms without a separate /home partition and upgraded several steadily since 12.3 without issue.

Note that I configured without a /home partition for these machines because they are mainly Server machines so practically nothing is stored by default in a User directory. If I need that kind of location, I just create it manually as a directory and not a separate partition. This works because if you’re not going to store anything in /home, why create it as a separate partition?

Of course, the usefulness of a separate /home directory when upgrading is its extra assurance your personal data should be untouched but I haven’t had a problem without a separate /home partition.

The size of your /home partition? YMMV. If you’re not sure, you might want to configure small partitions at first and empty space between your partitions so that you can re-size either later with less issues(It’s easier to expand a partition into already empty adjacent space).


A specific partitioning suggestion needs more info. For thinking purposes, here’s what I do & have done for some time on my laptop, which I use for productivity, games and development work…

I run 2 installs of OpenSuSE linux, separated at the partition / boot level (not via virtualization). My typical partition scheme goes:

  • Swap, as recommended at install, based on RAM size.
  • Gold Root, minimal (10-20g?)
  • Blue Root, minimal (10-20g?)
  • Gold Home, 1/2 of rest (80g-ish lately.)
  • Blue Home, other 1/2 of rest (same size.)

With each upgrade…

  • Reformat the target partitions & install “clean.”
  • Mount the “other” install, usually under /mtn/local
  • Use the same SWAP as only one kernel is running at a time.

Timing wise…

  • I grab the “new” OpenSuSE release when it gets pretty stable, like a late release candidate, or early in the baseline release.
  • My day to day work stays on the “old” one until the new one installs clean, and everything I need works there.
  • I move my day to day work to the “new” one when everything I need gets stable enough there.
  • Once I’m on the “current” release with daily work, I can play with the other install for experimental packages, cutting edge stuff and similar.

Advantages for me (YMMV)…

  • I don’t get taken out by glitches in the install or problems with included packages.
  • Clear cruft and etc. from DASD from time to time.
  • I’m never too out of date.
  • Most of the time I have an installation I can trash freely, without impacting my other work.

Since I’m on a laptop and run some Windows legacy games, managing the partition count on the single drive becomes an issue. Lots of retail Windows laptops have a number of hidden or semi-hidden partitions. Meanwhile, the particular kind of internal device limits the total number of partitions. You probably won’t have this limitation.

I suggest you think through the use cases you care about on distro upgrade, sw install, and probably data management. There are lots of possible partitioning schemes. Which ones make sense can only be discussed in terms of how you want to use your machine.

I agree w/ your assessment of OpenSuSE. This distro hits a nice sweet spot in stability vs. innovation. The commonly used stuff that should “just work”, “just works” so you aren’t building from source or out on the bleeding edge all the time. At the same time, you aren’t locked into a walled garden. OpenSuSE consistently finds high-function packages & integrates them at high-quality state.

W/ OpenSuSE, most of the “back and forth” I see about distro issues come down to different understandings about what’s curated with a high expectation of plug and go, and what’s more out on the edge, where YMMV. The biggest improvement I can see for OpenSuSE would be making that distinction clearer. Second would be making context and under the hood info more easily available when one wants to go a bit off the ranch.

fdisk -l #results:

Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes, 234441648 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk label type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x0001cc68

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048   205438975   102718464   83  Linux
/dev/sda2       205438976   218017791     6289408   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk label type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x879e7d5c

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *          64  1953520063   976760000    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

tsu2, how did you perform the upgrades? I’m not entirely comfortable with dist-upgrade because I can see some unsuccessful install threads in the forums and also my colleague destroyed his OS doing an upgrade on his Ubuntu.

Generally I use between 20-30GB for /
/home is as large as I can make it depending on the circumstances. This laptop has two installation of openSUSE both have /home of ~70GB

I have now upgrade several times like I explained here

The main reason for me to use a separate home is spereration of system from data. Even put VM’ not in home or root but in a vm partitions. If Ihad large active databases I’d put them on separate partitions. If you really don’t have much in home then no reason to have a separtate home if you will never ever change distros then again maybe less reason since updates to new versions would not touch /home but if you do fresh installs for each version as I do keeping 2 roots and alternating. You want a separate place for your important stuff. It just gives more flexibility.

Well if you want a separate home with that setup I’d

1 back up /home and /etc
2 Deletes /home completly from root
3 resize root ( be prepared to do a fresh install if the resize does not work)
4 create a home partition mounted
5 restore home backup to /home

What size would you recommend for root in my case?
my /home is
60.7GB, majority of that is due to my VM windows
my root seems to be using 18.9GB

so as I am going to be using this computer for more than what I have going on now, I think 25GB root would be safe, but then i will have very little room left for my home.

I have a 6GB SWAP and 8.4GB overdraft protection (un-partitioned)

How much memory do you have? You could trim a couple of gigs off swap maybe.

How is root formatted? BTRFS?? if so you need more to allow for snapper usage or turn it off. Recommended min with BTRFS is now 40gig. With ext4 20 should get you by if you refrain from installing everything in the world.

I assume the 1 gig drive you showed is a backup USB and not an installed drive???

6GB RAM, I will keep my SWAP because I’ve once had a zero swap settings and it backfired on me quite a bit. (When I am trying to save/extract high quality photos, I didn’t have enough memory to do it, and also when I’m simulating, I get a memory leak)
the 1TB is an external USB drive I use for data.

Also I believe that my root is formatted with ext4. I just have a lot installed, and a lot of scrap that I don’t know how to remove. (i.e. Failed installation of Maple 13 and Matlab 2012)

If installed via Yast or one click or RPM go to yast to remove. If it is some binary not installed via RPM then you have to read the readme files and follow the uninstall instructions. This may be running the install program with an --uninstall parameter. But it may be something all together different and in rare cases you may have no way short of finding the files and erasing them. LOL

I find the ultimate way of cleaning is to do a clean install. Since you are breaking out /home once you have it safe on it own partition just do a clean install just tell the installer not to format but just mount the home partition as /home. Then voila you have a clean root and you can install what you really intend to use. It really does not take long to install some apps and if you miss any just add them as your need arises

I will be doing a fresh install with 13.2 within next 3 weeks. Would you recommend separate / and /home partition and what should be the size?

I have 30GB for /
/home is as big as I cab get given the circumstances. 70GB on my Laptop but 500GB on my Box

… which is why I advise: ALWAYS do a full backup (preferably two or three verified backups) of your Drives before performing major work such as this.

Work like this always poses some amount of risk, in all OSes.:wink: