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The GParted Live CD: A Quick Way To Edit Your Primary Partitions [Linux]

By Justin Pot2013-01-16

edit primary partitionEdit your partitions from outside your operating system. The GParted Live CD is a simple Linux distro you can use to change the size of your partitions – or wipe a drive entirely. Built around GParted, the ultimate partitioning software, the GParted Live CD is probably the simplest way to use GParted on any computer – regardless of what operating system it runs.

If Parted Magic is a complete toolbox for your computer, the GParted Live CD is more like a single tool. While the latter includes some tools besides its famous partitioning software, it’s decidedly a less diverse offering than the former.

That doesn’t mean the GParted Live CD is not worth having around, though. With a footprint of under 140MB, it can fit on even the smallest flash drives on the market, and its singular focus on partitioning software might be just right for you. With Fluxbox as its desktop, it’s lightweight in a way few distros are anymore.

Using The GParted Live CD

Boot this Linux distro up and one program will load immediately – GParted. This makes sense, as GParted is the reason for its existence, but there are other tools offered. You’ll see icons at the top.

edit primary partition

I’ve already shown you what GParted can do so I’m not going to get into that here, but rest assured that you’ll be able to create, delete, move and otherwise edit your partitioning scheme.

As always - back up your data before messing with your partitions. Even if you’re an expert, stuff will break occasionally. You’ve been warned.

This being Fluxbox, you can also browse a menu by right-clicking the desktop. There’s not a lot of non-GParted software to explore here, but must-haves like text editors and Midnight Commander are around if you need them.

change primary partition

There’s also a simple web browser if you need to look something up, but note that you’ll have to run the networking wizard on the desktop before you can use it.

Supported Formats

This CD supports every file system supported by GParted, so if there’s something you can’t do on this CD, it’s because GParted itself cannot do it. Here are my choices while trying to create a partition:

edit primary partition

Choice is good. For quick references: Windows uses NTFS, Linux typically uses EXT3 or EXT4, Macs use HFS+ and all three systems can read FAT32 partitions. Good luck, and remember: back up everything before editing partitions. You’ve been warned, multiple times.

Download The GParted Live CD

Ready to give this a shot? You’ll find the ISO file at the GParted home page. You can burn this ISO to CD with most burning software, or you can create a bootable flash drive using LinuxLive in Windows or by using the cross-platform tool uNetBootin.

If you have trouble booting from USB or CD check your BIOS and change the boot order. If you can’t figure out how to do that messing around with partitions might not be the best idea anyway.

Compared To Parted Magic

The centerpiece of both Parted Magic and the GParted Live CD is, of course, GParted itself. If you’ve got an Ubuntu live CD kicking around you can also use that to run GParted – but it’s far bigger than both disks.

Whatever tool you used, if you feel like you messed up completely don’t worry. It might be possible to scan your reformatted hard drive to recover files. It’s worth a shot.

How do you like the GParted Live CD? Let me know in the comments below, along with any other quality partitioning software you’d like to point out. I look forward to the conversation, as always.


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