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Why do I have two Fedora partitions?

asked 2015-02-15 08:57:34 -0500

mh136588 gravatar image

updated 2015-02-15 15:52:35 -0500

mether gravatar image

I am relatively new to fedora. I was looking at the size of my fedora partition and it said 50GB. I remembered that when I installed fedora I allocated around 250GB of space to it. Looking at the disks, the 50GB is the root partition and there is another one which is 200GB, which I think is the home partition.

(1) I am wondering why there are now two partitions when I installed fedora on one? (2) Would it not make sense for the root partition to be larger than the other one? (3) If I wanted to backup my fedora and restore later from system images, I would need to back up both of these partitions right?

Forgive me if this has been asked before, all I could find was the following post and I could not find an answer to my question: https://ask.fedoraproject.org/en/question/55943/fedora-20-partitions/

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Please post the output of "mount".

Axel Sommerfeldt gravatar imageAxel Sommerfeldt ( 2015-02-15 13:54:10 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-02-15 13:34:17 -0500

LittleLaptop gravatar image

At some point in the installation-process you were able to make the choice to create only one partition (here: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/20/html/Installation_Guide/s1-diskpartitioning-x86.html ).

But there exist a reason for the second partition. As I will explain later, your home-Partition contains all your data und custom settings. If you want to upgrade fedora or change to another distribution, you can easily replace your old system with the new one and instead of creating a new home-directory, you can choose to use your old one. So all your files and also a lot of custom settings are transferred directly into the new system. If your home-directory is inside the root-partition this is also possible, but not as easy as with a separate partition.

To answer your second question, no, this wouldn't make sense, because in your root-partition only fedora and your programs are installed and temporary files are stored there. Normally you need less then 10 GB for this. (here are some recommended sizes for different partitions (not up-to-date): https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/17/html/Installation_Guide/s2-diskpartrecommend-x86.html )

In your home-partition all your files and also all your custom settings for the software you use are stored. You will agree, that the files of a user normally are much greater than the operating system/software. So it makes sense, that your home-partition is greater than the root-partition.

If you want to backup your whole system you have to backup both partitions. But as I have explained at the beginning, if you only backup your home-partition, you have saved all your data and also your custom settings. With this backup you are able to set a new system up.

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Thank you for your answer. Everything makes sense now. I just have one problem. I have re-installed fedora and looking at the disk there is only one partition now.

If only I looked at your answer before I did this I would have used the first guide you provided as there is an option to create two partitions and this would make it easier to restore my custom settings as you have stated. The question is, now that I only have one partition, do I shrink the volume or re-install fedora again and choose two partitions this time?

Thanks for helping!

mh136588 gravatar imagemh136588 ( 2015-02-16 07:50:50 -0500 )edit

I would recommend shrinking the root-partition and creating a new home-partition to you. But if you haven't done much on your installation, you can also simply re-install it again. It depends on you.

LittleLaptop gravatar imageLittleLaptop ( 2015-02-16 08:53:49 -0500 )edit

As it is one partition, I understand the root and HOME are in that partition. When I shrink the partition and restore my old home image on the new partition, wouldn't the root and HOME still be on the other partition. I guess my question is, how will it recognise the new home partition? I apologise if that doesn't make sense. I am trying to be careful with the words I use as I am relatively new to all this. PS. I am going to simply re-install it as you suggested however, it would be nice to understand how this works.

mh136588 gravatar imagemh136588 ( 2015-02-16 09:54:51 -0500 )edit

@mh136588 - are you sure it's one regular partition, and not one partition that contains an lvm volume group with separate /home and / logical volumes, plus a /boot partition?

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2015-02-16 10:11:50 -0500 )edit

I forgot to mention I am running a dual-boot system. To answer your question randomuser, compared to how it was in my previous situation where fedora was running on two partitions, now there is only one. However there is another partition that is around 500MB but I thought that was irrelevant to this.

mh136588 gravatar imagemh136588 ( 2015-02-16 10:26:51 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-02-15 08:57:34 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 15 '15