First time using a linux, I'm using Debian 12. My notebook arrived with the following partition (512gb SSD), in this order (left to right in the disk viewer):

/boot/efi - 537mb

/root - 20gb

recover (unmounted) - 10gb

Swap - 16gb

/home - 466gb

Since I've started using it, I noticed that everything gets installed in root, so I'm now constantly out of space, even had to search how to clean etc.

My question is: should I rearrange the partitions, allocating more to /root, or start using /home as my 'main' folder? I've seen tutorials on gparted, to accomplish the first option, but I haven't tried it yet. The second option is something that I didn't find much about. That's why I'm asking here first, so I don't do anything that will make more harm than good for my linux experience, which has been positive so far.

Thanks in advance!

  • The answer below is good advice. GParted can be relied upon if you instruct it to make the right changes. It’s not as scary as it looks. Make a backup of any data you cannot afford to lose before you start. If you want detailed instructions of the steps to take with GParted just ask by adding a note to your question . I will follow this question.
    – PonJar
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 22:39
  • Ok, thanks for that too. I'm going to try it. If I get stuck I'll be back here!
    – GVianaF
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 14:13
  • I think I broke my system... Was trying many ways to use gparted live, with no sucess, until I thought it would be ok to try and change the bios option "os selection" to linux (it was windows). Now I get a black screen and no clue what to do. Can't get to bios to revert the change that I made. I have a live debian usb, but it didn't work, I guess, because the screen is still black...
    – GVianaF
    Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 22:34
  • Have a look in your bios for something that gives the usb drive priority. Then you can reinstall. If you do then I’d recommend NOT having an extra partition for /home. That way the entire disk space is available to both the system and the user. You will not be at risk of running out of space because of a poor choice of the amounts allocated to / and /home. Have you got Windows on here too? If so you should install that first or start researching how to fix the black screen and get Windows running.
    – PonJar
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


welcome to the GNU/Linux world! I found a little bit strange that the partition of / so small is. Small comment, /root and / are two different locations in Linux, but as you don't mentioned /, I assumed that you are referring to /, where all packages are actually installed.

Debian and their derivations (Ubuntu e.g) will always by default install every package in /, depending on the package it could be in different folders, but always in the partition of /. Debian uses .deb (imagine something like .exe) to install packages and you cannot change the location of it, because the .deb package says where it should be located.

This can be changed, but as answer in this question Installing packages into local directory?, it is not an easy task for beginners or even intermediate users, because the package are made to find their dependencies in certain folders.

Therefore, I would suggest to increase the size of your main partition, having a 200GB of /home should be enough. If you find problems in this case, I would highly recommend to install the SO from zero, there are plenty tutorials on internet.

Welcome again to the community, have fun!

  • Thanks! I'll try to increase the / partition size, so I can work in peace without worrying about space.
    – GVianaF
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 14:12

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