Migrating from Linux (keeping partitions at install time)

Frank Shute frank at shute.org.uk
Sat Nov 7 22:57:51 UTC 2009

On Sat, Nov 07, 2009 at 09:34:48PM +0000, David Chanters wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am considering switching from Debian Linux to FreeBSD.  I am
> wondering if at install time, sysinstall is able to allow me to keep
> "/home" from my Debian installation.  "/home" on Debian is currently a
> separate partition in its own right, mounted as RXT3.  I only have the
> one hard disk in my machine.
> So, questions:
> 1.  Can the installer be told to not touch "/home" at install time (I
> appreciate I would have to ensure I mapped the current /dev/hda2
> terminology to slices in BSD parlance)

Yes. Your Linux partitions will be shown when you get to fdisk, IIRC.
Don't touch them and just create further slices for your FreeBSD

I assume you've got space on your disk to create further slices. If
not and your Debian installation takes up your whole disk, you'll have
to create space within Debian....or buy another disk.

> 2.  Does the fact that this is an EXT3 partition matter?  (I have read
> FreeBSD supports ext2, and ext3 is just ext2 with a journal, so it can
> be mounted as ext2 if needed).

You can mount your ext3 partition as ext2 from within FreeBSD.

Have a look at ext2fs(5).

> 3.  Is it possible/beneficial to convert this to UFS once FreeBSD is installed?

You can't convert it to UFS without losing your data AFAIK, so your
best bet is to mount it somewhere from within FreeBSD and just copy
your data over to your FreeBSD /home (/home is symlinked to

> Thanks in advance for any help.
> David




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