I have a desktop at home running windows 10 with 512 GB SSD and 4 TB HDD

I decided to download Kali Linux on my system because I would like to learn penetration testing etc. My decision was to download /root on the SSD and /home on the HDD, as I thought /home directory is where Music, Documents and Pictures reside.

so i gave /root only 10.40 GB, and I gave /home directory 65.19 GB as seen on my computer management from windows.

Computer Management

after I finished installing kali linux with euphoric feeling, I ran df -h command, and saw that /root is 80% used and couple of gb left, and /home is 1% used only. Even worst I found out that Music, Documents, Desktop etc. are in /root.

Everywhere I looked it said give /home the larger size. Did I make a mistake of giving /root only 10.40 GB ? if so How can I enlarge it ? As I can see that I have 18.94 GB Unallocated space and would not mind adding that to the /root

  • /root is not the root file-system. The root file-system is /. The /root directory should be part of / file-system and will normally be mostly empty. ( I do not know numbers for Kail) The root file-system, after a fresh install (for debian jessie) is smaller that 4GB. Mine now is 15GB, but I have a ton of applications installed now. It is difficult to see how the partitions are use, can you show similar output of gparted. Jul 16, 2016 at 21:57

3 Answers 3


In most systems, /root is the home directory of the root user, and /home is the parent directory for the home directories of other (non-root) users. The root user normally does not need much diskspace (which is why it is under "/"), while /home provides the ability to make that a separately mounted filesystem.

  • so I did right by giving home that much space ? and root only 10.40 GB ? Mar 14, 2016 at 22:17
  • yes... but I'd have left root with less space (making it simple to allocate space for installed programs). But what is in /root ? (why is it using 9GB) Mar 14, 2016 at 22:18
  • where do installed programs go ? when I do apt-get would that install them part of SSD or HDD (root or home) Mar 14, 2016 at 22:19
  • normally under /bin, /usr/bin, /lib, /usr/lib (and /lib64, /usr/lib/64). /var needs space too. Mar 14, 2016 at 22:20
  • Installed programs (using apt-get) go in the directories listed by @ThomasDickey plus a few others. These directories are usually part of the root-filesystem. And not under /home Jul 16, 2016 at 22:00

Technically your general assumption about linux filesystem hierarchy is correct, and that would have been a reasonable assumption and layout to make for a desktop OS, but you've made two misconceptions.

First, Kali is not intended as a desktop OS. It is, as its developers explicitly point out, intended as a penetration testing tool, and therefore optimized as such:

If you are unfamiliar with Linux generally, if you do not have at least a basic level of competence in administering a system, if you are looking for a Linux distribution to use as a learning tool to get to know your way around Linux, or if you want a distro that you can use as a general purpose desktop installation, Kali Linux is probably not what you are looking for.

Second, you're confusing the /root/ directory (which is the superuser's home directory and should generally not contain much of interest) with the root filesystem, which is / and the starting point of where everything is found under that isn't on its own filesystem.

In your setup, this would include any and all software not installed by a non-root user in their own user space.

I also personally wouldn't recommend putting any "Music, Documents and Pictures" on your Kali partitions because, again, that's not what Kali is for and it's just as easy to mount your windows partition or NAS share and read any media files from there if you really do need a soundtrack while you're doing penetration testing.


when partitioning, root is a placeholder. It has all partitions that are not otherwise specified. Since you partitionied with root and /home, that means that root has all partitions /usr, /etc/, /var, etc.

The root tends not to change much in size after you install all of your software, but I recommend adding on a few GB. How much depends on usage. I would grow /root with at least 10 GB.

To resize, you can use software like parted or fdisk (i recommend parted as it is newer, and its UI gparted)

  • using gparted would that mess with the windows partition ? Mar 14, 2016 at 22:25
  • Using the un-allocted space should be safe. Just be-aware of any potential writes to the MBR, or changes to the disk label. Gparted should not do this without asking, so I would feel comftorable with it. However, your root partition is located next to two other partitions. You will need to move it to create one contigious block (gparted has support for this). Theoretically it should be fine, but I haven't tried it myself. You will need to boot your system from a live-cd to do this.
    – crutux
    Mar 14, 2016 at 22:34
  • do you have a good link of using gparted. It turns out it is installed on my kali linux. I can see the 18.4 unallocated space. I can hit right click on it and do a new primary partition but that would not add it to root. Do you have specific instructions ? Mar 14, 2016 at 22:41
  • See this askubuntu.com/questions/557751/… However, if your installation is fresh, it is probably faster and easier to install everything from scratch. It is kind of boring, but it is what I would do.
    – crutux
    Mar 14, 2016 at 22:51
  • You will not be able to edit partitions that are in use, that is why using a live-cd is recommended. But you can examine the partitions when they are in use. Jul 16, 2016 at 22:04

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