I don't know if this is the right forum for this. Perhaps there should be a "General Linux Help" section?

Anyway, I have been a Linux user for over a year, but I've never truly understood how the operating system works. I don't even understand the directory structure.

I heard about this project called "Linux From Scratch" and am interested in trying it. I don't expect to create something worth using, or even get the thing to start, but my success or failure is irrelevant, as I will no doubt learn a great deal about Linux regardless.

However, I find it very stressfull when my computer is not in a usable state, which is why I want to do this on a smaller partition, separate from my SUSE Linux Installation. Unfortunatly, I don't have any unpartitioned space to spare on my hard disk, so I need to make some.

I have Windows 98se, and Windows XP on the computer as well. Their partitions cannot afford to lose the 10gb of space needed to do this, as XP has a lot of bloatware installed on it, and 98 already has only 10gb! Considering that my SUSE root partition is only about 10% full, it makes sense to shrink this partition. However, starting the partition tool in YaST results in a warning, telling me that modifying a partition that is in use will result in data loss, and the root partition certainly qualifies as "in use". Is there a way around this? If it isn't possible to do, that's ok. I can wait until I reformat for SUSE 9.4, but I would like to get started sooner than that, so help is greatly appreciated. :)

My Partition Setup:

Hard Disk 1:
10gb,FAT32 - Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
70gb,NTFS - Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2

Hard Disk 2:
79gb,RAISER - SUSE Linux 9.3 Professional

and the root partition certainly qualifies as "in use".

Yes, it certainly does. :mrgreen:

Resizing any partition presents the possibility of data loss, but you're definitely asking to get hosed if you try to resize an active OS/system partition. Also remember that with your particular partition scheme, all branches of your filesystem (/usr, /boot, /home, etc.) live in the root partition. If something goes wrong with the resize, you could lose everything on the drive.

One possibility is to boot from a rescue CD or a "live" CD like Knoppix and run a partitioning tool from the CD, but even that isn't foolproof. The fact that you're using reiserfs makes things even a bit more iffy, because many partition manipulation utilities (even the "pay for" Partition Magic) don't support reiserfs well, if at all.

Given that you're planning on upgrading SuSE soon anyway, I'd back up all of your critical data to CD or a spare hard drive and start from scratch. This time though, plan for expansion: slice the drive into several smaller partitions so that you have some spare space to play with in the future.

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