As I wrote earlier, one of the biggest problems with the EEE is the small amount of "disk space" it has. My version (2G) has only 2 GB, most of which is taken by the system, which doesn't leave much in terms of usable space for all my user needs. However, as I've also mentioned in that post, there is an endless amount of methods to tweak this and increase the space.

So yesterday I had mood for some hard-core Linux hacking, and I followed the method described in a forum post to seamlessly integrate the high-speed 4 GB SD card I've purchased together with the EEE into its file-system, allowing me to use it for anything, including application installation with apt-get. This "magic" is performed using unionfs, which is employed by the Linux installation coming with the EEE to overlay a read-only system partition with a read-write user partition, thus making it easy to recover from screw-ups.

I followed the instructions given in that forum post carefully and everything ticked, except a small problem. Running the cfdisk command in the first step invoked the following complaint:

FATAL ERROR: Bad primary partition 0: Partition ends in the final partial cylinder

It appeared that there was a problem with the partitions on my SD (they were probably formatted for FAT and not ext2/3). So, following the advice from random blog post, I ran fdisk and deleted all the partitions on the SD. After that, cfdisk agreed to run and do its work.

Also, for the sake of completeness, I want to note that I first began following the instructions of another post , which requires an external Linux running from a CD/USB to perform the installation. I've actually done some of the steps, including installing this distribution of PuppyLinux to a USB stick an successfully booting my EEE from it.

However, the post I mentioned first improved on this method, by allowing to run the process from inside the default Linux installation of the EEE (and a part of it from the shell that's invoked during boot in safe mode). And in the end, all went on successfully and now I have 3.8 GB free on my user partition, which is plenty of space to install apps and data. And if I need more space, I can always buy a larger SD card and integrate it in a similar manner (though much less tweaking will be needed, as the system is already configured to overlay the SD on unionfs).

One more thing to note: although I managed to correctly follow all the steps, I must admit that I didn't understand about half of them. There was a lot of smarts on filesystems, devices, and boot processes in it, and I couldn't absorb everything in one go. But I'm learning - for example today I read a lot about unionfs and managed to grok how it works and what it's needed for.


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