OpenSuSE When Home Isn’t /home Anymore

Over the last few days I’ve been building a new desktop machine.  I was going to hold off another year or so, but, I’m getting paid well for doing timely writing and I didn’t want to find myself suddenly reduced to my laptop.  I had replaced a few components in my other machine, but the CPU and motherboard were over 5 years old according to the dates they displayed when booting.  I had recently even had to replace the CPU fan due to noise the other one was making, thus, I bit the bullet and ordered enough pieces to assemble an AMD 3Ghz Quad Core desktop in an old Systemax case I had laying around.

This one needed to have a DOS boot partition as well as OpenSuSE because I might get back into doing some Zinc work later this year.  I dutifly obtained MS-DOS 7.10 GNU licensed DOS and FreeDOS 1.1.  After installing MS-DOS, then FreeDOS, I was horribly upset with FreeDOS.  It had way more problems than the previous version AND most of the boot software now displayed MS-DOS 7.1 logos.  The same appeared to be true with both the DRDOS enhancement project and NXDOS.

Of course, I made the grand assumption that my FAT-32 DRIVE_D partition would be accessible by either DOS.  Ever since I started using OS/2 over a decade ago I had the habit of keeping either a FAT-16 or FAT-32 DRIVE_D partition so I could exchange files with any other OS on my machine.  There was a time when I had (and needed) more than three operating systems on the machine due to the work I was doing at the time.  The FAT logical drive in an extended partition allowed me to quickly exchange data.  This was long before we had thumb drives.  You should also know that USB devices and DOS don’t have the magic they do with GUI systems.

Insult was added to injury when I booted MS-DOS 7.1.  (FreeDOS once again had issues booting under Grub.)  The “extended partition” created by the OpenSuSE installer has a type of 69 which is completely unrecognized by MS-DOS.  This lead me to delete the FreeDOS partition and manually move the DRIVE_D logical drive to a physical primary partition.  Of course I also decided to expand two other logical drives to utilize the space once consumed by DRIVE_D.  I used the Gnome Partition tool on Parted Magic 6.7 CD.  I knew I should have just backed things up, deleted, then restored, but, I was getting ready to leave so opted to let this run all night, which is exactly how long it took.

I was the good little soldier.  I booted recovery and dumped the information to manually edit fstab.

linux-pus9:/home/roland # fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders, total 2930277168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00028bf5

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1              63    40337407    20168672+   c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda2        40337408    81981439    20822016    b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sda3   *    81981440  2930276351  1424147456    f  W95 Ext’d (LBA)
/dev/sda5        81983488    86188031     2102272   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6        86190080   128135167    20972544   83  Linux
/dev/sda7      1227030528  2695049215   734009344   83  Linux
/dev/sda8      2695051264  2930255871   117602304   83  Linux
/dev/sda9       128137216  1227028479   549445632   83  Linux


Partition table entries are not in disk order

I also completely ignored the last line in green.  Very carefully I changed all of the FSTAB entries to match this output.  When I rebooted my home was gone.  It was there under a different “home” location, just not the one the boot pointed to.

Much frustration and head scratching occurred, then I noticed this:

partitioner view
Yast expert partitioner

The output from fdisk has the partitions in the wrong order.  My books partition was being mounted as /home, and several other things were hosed.  Another careful edit session followed by a reboot made things all better.


By seasoned_geek

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.