GParted is one of the if not the most popular partitioning tool for GNU/Linux, when it comes to GUI tools.
Powerful, easy to navigate, and straight to the point; GParted does what needs doing and it does it well. However, for users who aren't familiar with it, or are not used to doing custom partition work; it still might seem a little daunting.
This article is an overview of GParted to help new users understand how to use it.
GParted often comes pre-installed on many distributions that use GNOME, Cinnamon, or other GTK based environments. However, if you don't have it, installation is as simple as installing the package 'gparted' with your package manager, and is available in every main repository that I know of.
Once installed, GParted is usually found in your applications menu under 'System Tools', and will require your root password upon launch.
Once it's started, you'll be shown a screen like the screenshot below. I've highlighted certain areas, which are listed below:
The currently selected drive/device
A Visual representation of the partition scheme
A list of the partitions / the scheme
The number of operations pending to be completed by GParted
GParted can work with any device that is capable of being partitioned, from USB Flash drives and external drives, to internal Hard Disks, etc.
The image above shows that the currently selected drive is partitioned to have a 500mb /boot partition, and 931.02GB used for the rest of my system, which is an encrypted LVM (Logical Volume Manager, think of it as a sort of psuedo RAID setup, or a dynamic partition that can be modified,resized, deleted etc, while your system is running.)
However, for this example article I will be partitioning a small USB Flash Drive. So, we click the device selector (#1) and select the drive that we want.
As you can see from this image, the drive currently has a small partition on it, so we will use GParted to delete the partition. To do so, simply right click the partition you want, and select "Delete."
GParted will automatically change to reflect what you did (although it hasn't ACTUALLY happened yet) so you'll have a visual representation to look at.
Next, let's Make two new partitions; one will be ext4 and the other will be NTFS. Right click on the unallocated space, and select "New." A window will pop up where you can select the size, name, format, whether you want it to be a primary partition, logical, or extended, etc.
Generally you'll want to keep most settings as default unless you know what you are specifically aiming for, like logical volumes. The image below shows me setting up a 4000MB ext4 partition.
Once that is done, I need to repeat the process but change the format. GParted automatically set to use the remainder of the free unallocated space for me, however if you don't want to use all of the space available, that can be changed like we did the first time.
Once finished, GParted is ready to proceed with the changes we have queued.
However, before we proceed, make extra sure to review the pending operations and make sure that what GParted is about to do, is what you want. Make sure its the right drive, the right formats, etc; mistakes can be fatal if done to the wrong device!
If you are sure you are set, then click the bright green checkmark button! GParted will warn you the same warning I just gave you....Click Apply when you are ready!
If all goes well, you will now have done what you set out to do!
GParted can do much, much more, but for beginners this is what you need to know. But always remember to double and triple check your pending operations before you do anything! Making backups is always a good idea too!
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