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How to partition your hard drive using FOSS (free open source software)

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Hard drive partitioning using Free and open source software (FOSS).

GNU PartedEdit

If you are using linux/unix, this is usually the best solution, but you can use it even if you don't have any operating system installed, with a bootable CD or distribution.

Parted does not allow split or resising of partitions (intentionally), you must do this using the tools specific to each type of partition (e2fs progs, reiserfs progs, reiser4 progs, xfsprogs, jfs utils, ntfs progs, dosfs tools, etc.). Graphical front-ends may or may not include some or all of this utilities.

  • GNU parted (and libparted) - official text-based probram and library at the GNU project
  • gparted - a GTK2 frontend (graphical user interface) using libparted
  • qtparted - a frontend using the popular QT widgets library


Most people know the Microsoft DOS© operating system's partitioning tool called fdisk. This program was one the most popular program for partitionning. There are a few free replacements for linux and FreeDOS that are still very popular

  • xfdisk - is a free program for the DOS operating system, without the limitations of the original program from microsoft
  • Free fdisk - is a free program to make partitions for the FreeDOS operating system.
  • fdisk - is a text-based program for managing partitions, very popular and with many functionalities; works on linux/unix, (and windows?)
  • cfdisk - is a linux program that unlike other programs who are text-based, this one uses a curses interface to maximize interaction with the user in the same way as a graphical user interface, but does not require the user to actually have anything but a text-based terminal; it has almost the same number of functionalities as fdisk


  • fips - it will allow to split partitions without loosing your data (theoretically, be well advised).
  • testdisk - Tool to check and undelete partitions.
  • Partition Image - saves partitions in many formats to an image file. Partition Image will only copy data from the used portions of the partition, and can use compression.
  • sfdisk - a tool that allow to make a backup of the partition scheme of a computer and other

Live CDsEdit

This is a list of live cds that are specially made for partitioning of hard disk, with description.

  • Trinity Rescue Kit - Mandriva-based CD bootable Linux distribution aimed specifically at offline operations for Windows and Linux systems: it has custom tools to easily recover data such as deleted files, clone Windows installations over the network, perform antivirus sweeps with 2 different antivirus products, reset windows passwords, read AND write on NTFS partitions, edit partition layout and much much more.
  • system rescue cd - a live cd designed for partitions managament
  • INSERT - a live cd for network and system administration, based on linux. It has utilities for partitions.


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