[lug] Moving /

hirsch at zapmedia.com hirsch at zapmedia.com
Thu Apr 25 19:31:11 MDT 2002

I have three suggestions.  First, why reiserfs?  In my experience ext3
is as good for most purposes, and you can convert that in place.

Second, given that you want to convert to reiserfs, make the partition
/dev/hda10 and mount it on say /spare with
    mount -t reiserfs /dev/hda10 -o notail
The "-o notail" is important.  It tells reiserfs not to try to save
space by having lots of files put their leftover data in a shared
sector.  You need to do this so lilo will work.  If you have a
separate /boot partition this is the partition to mount notail.  With
reiser you really should have a separate /boot partition.

Copy / to /spare.

Now comes my favorite lilo trick.  As root, "chroot /spare".  Your
shell will think that /spare is /.  cd /etc, edit lilo.conf to point
to your new root partition, and run lilo.

Finally, edit fstab to have all the right mounting data, and don't
forget the notail on /.

My third suggestion is to use grub instead of lilo.  Grub understands
reiserfs and I don't think it needs the notail option for mounts.
Grub is much nicer than lilo anyway.  Most distributions are migrating
to it.


Dhruva Reddy writes:
 > Hello all,
 > I am in the process of recovering from a hard drive
 > crash, and decided to take this opportunity to migrate
 > to ReiserFS.
 > I have installed Debian, and am converting one at a
 > time.  It goes smoothly until I get to the root
 > partition (/).  The first time, I moved it, then
 > changed /etc/fstab to point / at the temporary
 > partition, forgetting to run lilo (arrgh!). 
 > Strangely, when I rebooted it still thought that / was
 > on the original partition.  Of course I didn't realize
 > this until I reformatted the original partition, so I
 > was dead in the water at this point.
 > So I reinstalled from scratch, and am gearing up to
 > run lilo first.  / is currently on /dev/hda9, and I am
 > trying to move it to /dev/hda10 (mounted on /spare). 
 > Here is what I have tried:
 >     lilo -r /spare
 > It complains about the missing /boot/boot.b (which is
 > on a different partition).
 > There is some information on the web about converting
 > partitions to Reiser, but the only thing I have found
 > on converting / seems to assume that /boot is on the
 > same partition.
 > Is there a way to do what I am trying to do?  Or
 > should I stop my whining and switch to a distro that
 > supports 2.4 kernel/Reiser (boy, would I miss
 > apt-get!)?  Or should I address this blasted
 > hypoglycemia and have something to eat for the first
 > time today?
 > Thanks,
 > Dhruva
 > Thanks,
 > Dhruva
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