Okay, so problem solved, but not without a few trials and lessons learned which I will now share for the benefit of the community.
With much respect to gibbsre
, I opted to re-size my existing partition rather than start from scratch simply for this reason: There are many areas which I really had to struggle with to get working (search the forum for load_cycle for an example). I really did not want to have to go through that again if I could at all avoid it.
So this is where my partitioning journey began, I backed up the contents of my home folder manually, because mintBackup kept freezing for some reason (no errors, just a freeze with no disk activity)... It took me 5 DVDs to get everything backed-up.
I then rebooted into the liveCD and started gParted...I deleted my home partition as well as my swap partition. Oddly enough my swap partition was mounted
, even though I booted from the liveCD
... As confusing as that was.. I was able to right-click it and choose "swapoff" to unmount it. I then moved my root partition to the right and shrunk it down to 30 GB (Why Linux seems to use GiB measurements instead of GB I will never understand, it needlessly complicates the math I must do in my head).
I then created a 4.5 GB swap partition at the start of my disk (thank you gibbsre
for that tip!) It speeds up my system noticeably somehow... I don't really understand why though... LOL
Finally I created a new home partition 76 GB in size.
The whole process took about 4 hours and completed fine without any problems... Much shorter than having to reconfigure the system from scratch (at least for my newbie self anyway).So far so good, here is where it gets interesting
Now I needed to mount my new /home partition and fill it with my backup files. Mounting the new partition was no issue at all. However I realized I couldn't just create a new home dir for my user because on the liveCD, my user did not exist!, so I used the console command adduser
to recreate my user and then slowly copied all 5 DVD's worth of files into this folder. Good to go I thought....
I did find out that my /etc/fstab
mounts partitions by UUID, and after using gParted, the UUID for my newly re-sized root partition was different, so I had to change it along with my new partitions obviously, to avoid a world of pain upon reboot.
Okay so everything was done now I thought so I excitedly removed the liveCD and rebooted... well Oops
, wouldn't quite describe it, but I was reminded of a little "feature" in which everything I copied from my DVDs is now the sole property of "root", so basically my entire home folder was read-only to my user. As a little side-note on behavior which I think is interesting... when everything in my home folder is non-writable, most of the GUI did not function... I couldn't bring up the Control Center, nor the log-out Window... Firefox also refused to start.
Anyway, I thought this would be a simple solution... I simply opened a nautilus window as root, selected my home folder, opened properties, and whoops!
I can't actually change owner from there, so I did that easily from the console.. like so:
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sudo chown -hR me:me /home/me/
Worked beautifully. NOW it's all fixed, I thought... well no... I did own all the files now, but I still didn't have write-permissions.
"OK" I thought.. "Now this will be easy, I can use the properties window". I had remembered a handy little button that said "Apply permissions to enclosed files"... So I gleefully set permissions and clicked that button... IT DOESN"T WORK!
It took me 15 minutes though to actually realize that the button doesn't do anything! After my rage and confusion subsided, I changed the permissions for all my files using the console, like this:
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sudo chmod -R u+rwX,g-rwx,o-rwx /home/me/
This sets read and write permissions for the file owner, and denies all permissions to anyone else, like any good home folder should.In conclusion
Everything works now, and my partitions are corrected. I am happy... but two things should be fixed in future releases:I should be warned, when editing partitions, that the UUID is changed... had I not found that out before rebooting, I would be crying now.
andThat button in Nautilus permissions tab needs to actually work, that is just plain stupid.
Thanks for reading, may it help others with similar adventures.