SteveB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 pm

Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:48 pm

Hi!

I'm running into a brick wall when trying to clean up (what I call) the mess that is a n00bs 1.3.4: Raspbian & OpenELEC install on a 32Gb SD card.

Raspbian and OpenELEC create two partitions each, and the Raspbian /boot partition is in between the OpenELEC /storage and the Raspbian /root partitions. I don't want this.

What I'd like is either:
- for the /root OR the /storage partition to disappear (OpenELEC or Raspbian uses the other OS's storage partition)
- for the /storage partition to be resized to a very small size (this is no problem) and the /boot partition to be moved (I believe this is impossible?)

... so that I don't have two large storage partitions but, instead, one very large one, or one large one and one very small one.

Please help. I'm getting fairly close to punching my monitor and the poor thing has nothing to do with this. I've tried moving /boot, and poked my way around setting install options in cmdline.txt but I'm too much of a beginner to know how to get what I want. Thanks!!

User avatar
GTR2Fan
Posts: 1601
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: South East UK

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:09 pm

You could try installing UltraSlim and removing the gaming machine emulators if you don't want them. It creates just the one (as large as you want) /root partition with all of the OSes in it and boots to an EmulationStation menu screen. Exiting from anything you call from the menu takes you straight back to the menu again.

You'd then get a cut-down Raspbian that you could probably update/upgrade to a full version, plus you'd get XBMC and a few other goodies. I've found it very handy indeed for running multiple OSes from the one hard drive partition. :)

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 78&t=59590
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

SteveB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:24 pm

If there is no other way of getting to what I want (by now I'm "invested") I will definitely look into that, thanks!

SteveB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:26 pm

Would there be a way to NOT have the root partitions expand during installation? That would solve my problem, too.

User avatar
GTR2Fan
Posts: 1601
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: South East UK

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:46 pm

You can determine what size they will expand to if that's any help.

If you look inside the separate 'os' folders in the FAT partition, each OS has it's own 'partitions.json' file. Look at the lower portion of the file in a text editor and you'll find the entry "partition_size_nominal" followed by a figure in MegaBytes. Combined with the immediately following line ("want_maximised": true), this sets the size that particular OS's '/root' partition will expand to.

Just setting the second parameter to "false" may get you no expansion at all, but I've not played with that option in isolation.

Modify those values on a vanilla NOOBS card before installation and you should be nearer to what you're after.
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

johndough
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:39 am

SteveB wrote:If there is no other way of getting to what I want (by now I'm "invested") I will definitely look into that, thanks!

Hi

Not sure of your circumstances, but my preferred choice is XP and Paragon Partition manager 2014, free for personal use.

This will make, resize etc on your SD card, simples.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 23647
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:46 am

Would directly imaging the Raspbian image on be what you want - avoiding NOOBS (which has this arrangement for a reason) completely.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

SteveB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:04 pm

GTR2Fan wrote:You can determine what size they will expand to if that's any help.

If you look inside the separate 'os' folders in the FAT partition, each OS has it's own 'partitions.json' file. Look at the lower portion of the file in a text editor and you'll find the entry "partition_size_nominal" followed by a figure in MegaBytes. Combined with the immediately following line ("want_maximised": true), this sets the size that particular OS's '/root' partition will expand to.

Just setting the second parameter to "false" may get you no expansion at all, but I've not played with that option in isolation.

Modify those values on a vanilla NOOBS card before installation and you should be nearer to what you're after.
Thank you!! Setting the second parameter you mentioned to "false" basically solved my problem. I have a very small OpenELEC 'Storage' partition now, and a very large Raspbian 'root' partition. Perfect!
johndough wrote:Not sure of your circumstances, but my preferred choice is XP and Paragon Partition manager 2014, free for personal use.
Thank you. I believe that wouldn't change anything about the problem I had, though - the boot partition cannot be moved on the SD card. By no means am I a specialist, but I read on a Gentoo board somewhere (and will go crazy and assume the concept is the same here) that the system expects the boot partition at a specific sector on the card. I may be completely wrong, though.
jamesh wrote:Would directly imaging the Raspbian image on be what you want - avoiding NOOBS (which has this arrangement for a reason) completely.
In principle, yes. But when using two OS on one SD card (which is, for now, what I'd like) I'd be without the nice NOOBS boot manager, and would have to edit files manually to boot the other OS, correct?

johndough
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: Cleaning up double OS partition mess

Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:59 am

###
Thank you. I believe that wouldn't change anything about the problem I had, though - the boot partition cannot be moved on the SD card. By no means am I a specialist, but I read on a Gentoo board somewhere (and will go crazy and assume the concept is the same here) that the system expects the boot partition at a specific sector on the card. I may be completely wrong, though.
####

Hi

I sometimes shrink the boot partition, and create a separate swap partition.

Then when I re-use the SD card usually adjust /etc/fstab to acknowledge the new swap area.

You could even be daring and create a FAT32 DOC&DATA partition just to be able retrieve them using almost any other OS should something bad happen.

Return to “Beginners”