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I want to delete the partition /dev/sdb5 from my hard disk and then distribute the resulting space to other partitions. Now what would be the consequences in doing so? Would the partition numbers greater than 5 be renumbered? E.g. would /dev/sdb7 become /dev/sdb6 upon deletion? This would create problems for fstab entries.

partition table

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Yes, the kernel will show your partitions with different numbers.

You should change your fstab to rely on UUID (or labels) – it is more robust anyway. Use blkid to find your partitions UUIDs.

On a side note: I see sdb6 is located after sdb7. The number is derived from the order of the partitions as defined in the partition table, not their position on the disk. Tools like fdisk or gdisk allow sorting the partition definition order by partition position.

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