Creating a large partition and booting off it

Some instructions here may cause serious problems. When unsure, see General precautions
Backing up your data is recommended. In case of trouble you might need to re-flash your device.

I found it is possible to add a partition to the internal flash card.

== WARNING: Using this recipe you can lose MyDocs. == \ However, the most recent user reported happily not to loose it. Make a backup of MyDocs!

[edit] Creation of the new partition

umount /home/user/MyDocs

/home cannot be umounted, unfortunately. But this didn't do any harm to /home

Use parted to shrink the MyDocs partition (on my N900 it was the 1st one)

  (parted) print
  (parted) resize XXXXXX 25GB

Replace XXXXXX with the value given by parted print


Use fdisk to add the 4th partition right after the 1st one


Enjoy the new partition.
The result might look similar to this one
Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 32.0 GB, 32015122432 bytes
4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 977024 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 64 * 512 = 32768 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000c260e

       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/mmcblk0p1               1      762940    24414072    c  W95 F AT32 (LBA)
/dev/mmcblk0p2          884866      950401     2097152   83  Linux 
/dev/mmcblk0p3          950402      974977      786432   82  Linux swap /  Solaris
/dev/mmcblk0p4          762941      884865     3901600   83  Linux

[edit] Using the new partition

Using you can in fact boot from that partition. (I got via svn from using trunk/install_bootmenu)

Copy the stuff of your root dist to the new one

rsync -rlutopgxv / <mountpoint of new partition>

Copy the device tree (Sure this is too much, but not copying it will not work)

cp -af /dev/* <mountpoint>/dev

On the new partition, edit the file etc/event.d/rcS-late. Right after rm -f $fstab_tmp insert the following lines, which you may want to adapt to your needs:

   cat << EOF > $fstab
# marcus-generated 20:11
#rootfs / rootfs defaults,errors=remount-ro,noatime 0 0
/dev/mmcblk0p4 / ext3 rw,defaults,errors=remount-ro,noatime 0 0
/dev/mmcblk0p1 /home/user/MyDocs vfat  noauto,nodev,noexec,nosuid,noatime,nodiratime,utf8,uid=29999,shortname=mixed,dm ask=000,fmask=0133,rodir 0 0
/dev/mmcblk0p2 /home ext3 rw,noatime,errors=continue,commit=1,data=writeback 0 0
/dev/mmcblk0p3 none swap sw 0 0

Using and this entry in /etc/bootmenu.d I can now boot into my new 3.7GB root drive

ITEM_NAME="Internal part 4"
ITEM_MODULES="mbcache jbd ext2"

[edit] Result

[root@phon:~/bootmenu]$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs                3,7G  524M  3,0G  15% /
ubi0:rootfs           228M  192M   33M  86% /mnt/initfs
/dev/mmcblk0p4        3,7G  524M  3,0G  15% /
tmpfs                 1,0M   60K  964K   6% /tmp
tmpfs                 256K   84K  172K  33% /var/run
none                   10M   76K   10M   1% /dev
tmpfs                  64M  4,0K   64M   1% /dev/shm
/dev/mmcblk0p2        2,0G  129M  1,8G   7% /home
/dev/mmcblk0p1         24G  7,9G   16G  34% /home/user/MyDocs