Most installers will wipe the partition on which they install the operating system, but you can store data in a different partition. This means that before you install Musix, you need to split your existing partition in two. Shrink the existing filesystem and the partition that contains it, and create a new partition covering the feed space.
Assuming that you're using the ext4 filesystem (that's the default on Mint, like most Linux distributions) on a PC partition, you can shrink the filesystem, but not while it's mounted. So you need to reboot from some rescue media to do it. You can use SystemRescueCd or GParted Live. You can use the GUI program GParted to simultaneously shrink the partition and the filesystem it contains, or you can use
resize2fs to shrink the filesystem followed by
parted to shrink the partition on the command line. Here are the steps to do it on the command line, in more detail; I assume that your internal disk is
/dev/sdz and that it currently contains a single partition
/dev/sdz1 containing an ext4 filesystem.
Check the current disk layout. Make sure you're working on the intended disk.
fdisk -l /dev/sdz
file -s /dev/sdz1
This should show a disk of the expected size and should tell you that
/dev/sdz1 is an ext4 filesystem.
Shrink the filesystem. Let's say you want to shrink it to 50 GB.
resize2fs /dev/sdz1 50G
Shrink the partition.
# parted /dev/sdz
(parted) resizepart 1 ???
Be careful with
resizepart: the second argument is the end of the partition, not its size. So you need to add 50GB to the start position shown by the
print command. Be careful with units and rounding; it may be better to run
unit KiB first to avoid any rounding.
Reboot into the installer and tell it to use the free space.
You'll now have two partitions, one with the operating system and one with your old data. If you want to stay this way, a good way to split your files over two partitions is to have one for the operating system (perforce mounted on
/) and one for user data mounted on
/home. If you choose to do this, reorganize your files on the existing partition accordingly (put everything in a directory called
/vipaul); you can do that before or after the OS installation.
If you want to end up with a single partition, you'll need to do something a bit more sophisticated, because there's no way to merge two filesystems, and you won't be able to grow the new partition since it won't be at the beginning of the disk. If your old data plus the new operating system together cover less than half the disk, then once you've shrunk the partition, create a new partition of the same size at the end of the disk, and copy your data there. Then remove the partition at the beginning of the disk, install the operating system there, move your data from the kept partition to the new OS partition, remove the now-empty partition at the end of the disk and enlarge the OS partition.
Linux has a more flexible partition scheme: LVM. LVM partitions don't have to be contiguous and it's a lot easier and less error-prone to manipulate them; for example, resizing a partition is just
lvresize /dev/VOLUME_GROUP/VOLUME_NAME NEW_SIZE. However, you can't convert PC partitions to LVM, and not all Linux distributions have an installer that supports LVM.