partitioning and drive error


I’ve just installed 11.1

I want to basically have 1 root partition, 1 swap, 1 home and a bunch of data partitions. (I come from a windows environment where I would put XP on C: then have about 4 data partitions.)

I installed 11.1 and then used GParted to shrink my home partition. I then created a new partition (for data). I wanted to create logical partitions within this huge partition, but GParted does not seem to support this. See following screen capture:

Within Linux, the partitioners don’t seem to allow you to create a partition unless it is mounted on one of the top level directories (e.g. /usr, /ext, / etc.).

Also note that I cannot access the partition named DATA in that screen shot. There seems to be a problem with it. Clicking on it gives me an error:

Can anyone help me achieve my goal? i.e. splitting that 781 Gb partition into smaller ones.


Naw, the only (temporary) limitation at the moment is 15 total partitions. And the partitions do not need to be mounted in a root subdirectory - what is necessary is for the mount point to have the correct privileges and for fstab to be configured correctly (and of course for the mount point to exist in the first place). Let us check a couple of things - open a terminal, switch to root, and do:

fdisk -lu

cat /etc/fstab

ls -l /home/dave

Occurred to me a few minutes later . . . GParted is a very nice partitioning tool, but AFAIK it doesn’t do things like setting up fstab for you. The YaST Partitioner is much better for doing what you want to do.

Go to yast > system >partitioner and remove the DATA partition and create smaller ones.
In the mount section i suggest using /home/data1 /home/data2 etc

It’s pretty self explanatory. You will need to change the permissions when your done
You do it by going to a console type su then root pass then (if you have used the mount examples above otherwise chnge the path as applicable)
** chown ****dave **/home/data1
repeat the above for all partitions

Note linux paths are case sensitive so use small letters


IIRC you will need to create the mount points first in a file manager or from the command line. And usually the mounts points would be /home/dave/data1. Personally, I put them under /mnt, originally created for this purpose; doing that requires root, and then just right-click in the file manager and in Properties, change the group to “users” and permissions to “read and modify”.

Yes your probably right about needing to create the mounts (directories) first though i think the new partioner will do it though better to be on the safe side…
The reason for my suggesting /home is that it makes navigation easier IMHO

To create a mount open a console type **su **then root pass then
**mkdir /home/data1 **


Yast’s partitioner will create them for you. At least it did in 11.0.

Thanks very much for the responses. This is what I have done (but I’m not there yet):

  • I created mount points in /mnt i.e. /mnt/data1, /mnt/data2 etc
  • I made myself owner using chown
  • I reduced the size of DATA to 250Gb and mounted it on /mnt/data1

Now I am stuck. The expert partioner cannot see the disk’s unused space. When I tried to add a partition, I got the following error message:

So, now all I need to do is add those last two partitions and mount them. Where do I go from here?

leave these as they are.

all the remaining space turn into a extended partition.

The create as many logical partitions within that (extended partition) as you need.

The extended partition will become sda4 (but it’s not a partition in the true sense, as no data is actually stored in sda4.)

The logical partitions you create within sda4 will be:
sda6… and so on

A word about mount points. I generally create the folder first in the directory tree. Eg; DATA

the entry in the partitioner for the mount point is the same but requires the /


ok. I have made the free space an extended partition.
How do I create logical partitions within that extended partition?
I could not figure out how to do this in GParted either.
The expert partitioner does not seem to support it.

System View - Hard Disks - Open the tree - /dev/sda

To the right - Partitions
Highlight the ext. partition - add - enter custom size in GB eg: 20GB - Next - Choose file system type and enter Mount Point /DATA… whatever

Actually I notice the number jumps up 3 increments (so if the ext. part is sda2 the new logical part will be sda5)

and so on until all space used

Sure it does. I just double-checked (the 11.1 Partitioner interface was re-written, not the same as 11.0). In the left column click on Hard Disks, then click on the desired disk, then click Add. I did this with 3 primaries already on the disk, like you had. When I did the Add to create the 4th partition, a dialog box asked if it should be a primary or an extended. I chose extended. The screen returned to the partitions list. I clicked on Add again. This time the dialog box opens that just asks for the New Partition Size. You want to click on Custom Size and enter the size you want, e.g., 50GB. The next screen asks for formatting and mounting parameters. Click Finish returns to partitions list. Click Next to see a list of the changes to be made, click Finish to apply those changes.

You are correct! I have now successfully added and mounted the partitions.

I did not understand the GUI. I did not realise that if you keep clicking add, it would add the new partitions to the extended partition.

Thank you very much (to all) for you help.
On this one, mingus is da man.
I imagine that I will have many more questions in my migration to Linux effort.

Thanks for the thanks - it’s a team effort here. :slight_smile:

Not so, in fact. The original partitioning scheme started in DOS 1.0 allowed four partitions only. At that time 5MB Winchester drives where state-of-the-art, and uncle Bill believed no one would need more than 1 or 2 partitions at most, nor more than 1MB memory…

To circumvent this you can subdivide a primary partition in a number (16? 128? can’t remember) of so-called ‘extended’ partitions, starting at count 5. So your first extended partition will always be sda5 (or hda5, if IDE), no matter how many primary partitions exist. So you can have, for example:

sda1 = primary
sda2 = primary
sda3 = primary (where the extended partitions are created)
sda5 = extended (under sda3)
sda6 = extended (under sda3)

sda? = extended (under sda3)