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Topic: Allowing copy partition functionality based on used data

GParted would really be much more usable if it allowed the user to copy a partition to another place based on the used data size and not the total size of the source partition. If I have a parttion of xxx bytes size, of which only yyy bytes are being used, I should not need a destination of at least xxx bytes to copy the partition if at least yyy bytes were available in the destination area.

This situation comes up when a very large partition has much less actual data on it than its actual size. This is most often done so that the user does not have to worry about increasing the size of the partition at some future date, but wants to make the partition large enough for long term use. Backing up such a partition by copying to another disk, most often on some external drive, should not require the same sized partition area on the external drive if the actual used data in the source partition is much less than the actual source partition size.

Even if copying just the used data of a source partition to a destination partition area that is at least as large as the used data size were to be much slower than just copying an entire partition, the functionality would be valuable in the case when there is not enough room on the destination drive to copy the entire source partition, or when the user wants to save space on the destination disk. Some partition programs do allow this functionality but GParted does not. It would be great if GParted were improved to allow this functionality also.

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Re: Allowing copy partition functionality based on used data

If you only want to copy the data then you might create a smaller partition on the destination device.  Then without the use of GParted you can mount both the source and destination file systems, and then issue a folder and file copy command.

3 (edited by eldiener 2019-08-20 20:19:56)

Re: Allowing copy partition functionality based on used data

It is not so much a matter of only wanting the data but of backing up a very large partiton, with significantly less used data than the total partition size, to an external drive without wasting extra space. I agree your suggestion should work, but I would need to figure out the command to use that would copy all the data. In some cases we are talking about boot data and system files, access and permissions, and that whole rigamarole can get pretty complicated to get right. That is why I suggested that GParted, or its underlying functionality, could do this, strictly based on its knowledge of partition types and data layout. The idea is that if I have a terabyte sized partition where only 200 gigibytes are actually being used I should be able to backup the partition to a 200 gigabyte area, thus saving 800 gigabytes of disk space on the destination drive. I tend to create some partitions, where I know I will be doing much intensive data processing, much larger than my present need because I then do not have to worry about the parttition filling up for a very long time if ever. Unfortunately backing up such a large partition takes a great deal of space on a destination drive, even when the actual data on the source parttition is much smaller than the total size. I can not be the only computer user that operates like this.