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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Partition Manager?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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In choosing the best open source partition manager, you should consider what types of file systems can be created or manipulated through a particular manager to ensure it meets your needs. You should also look at what operating system (OS) the partition manager is compatible with to ensure you can use it effectively. Depending on what type of media or storage device you wish to use it with, you should also consider any limitations on what devices can be used with the manager. If you want to alter or build upon an open source partition manager, then you should choose one created using a system that you can begin working with as quickly as possible.

An open source partition manager is a program that can be used to create and alter partitions on a data storage device, created under an open source or public license. Partition management is used for dividing a storage device, such as a hard disk drive, into one or more usable “areas” for data storage. An open source or public license is used to create software that can be used, altered, and distributed free of charge.

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One of the first things you should consider in any open source partition manager is the types of file systems that can be created or altered using the software. There are a number of different systems used by various operating systems and technologies, including older methods like file allocation tables (FAT32 or FAT16) and newer methods like the new technology file system (NTFS). Using the proper system for your OS or other hardware is vital to ensuring data can be stored on the device and accessed properly by other hardware or systems.

You should also look at what types of OS any open source partition manager you consider is compatible with. Many open source programs are developed for a specific OS, often other open source systems, but may be compatible with a wide range of systems. You may also be able to bypass any issues with OS compatibility by running the open source partition manager directly from a secondary media format, such as a thumb drive or compact disc (CD), used as a boot drive for the system. Most partition managers can be used on hard drives and other storage devices, like thumb drives, but you should look for any limitations before choosing a program.

If you are looking for an open source partition manager to use and make changes to, then you should consider how the original program was written. You should look for software that was developed using syntax or a platform you are familiar with, as this can make it easier for you to begin changing it as you see fit. Since different developers may have worked on open source software, you should also look through the code to ensure there are sufficient comments for you to properly understand what was done before and begin building upon the program as quickly as possible.

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Logicfest
Post 2

@Melonlity -- It is quite common to see good, open source partitions used in the Linux world because a lot of people want to create dual boot systems -- load up the old operating system on the old partition and dedicate the new one to Linux.

It is not uncommon for people to use Linux for a while and then decide they do not want to use it anymore. Because that is fairly common, good partitioning programs will allow users to get rid of one partition without eliminating the data on the other.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon for people to load Linux on one partition, decide that operating system provides everything they need and then eliminate the partition with the old operating system on it.

Melonlity
Post 1

You always want to make sure you get something that can erase the partition it created if you do not want or need that partition after a time. It can be very inconvenient to have a hard drive that is essentially split in half unless you need that extra partition for something.

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