PartedMagic: a free Linux-based bootable partition manager
When you want to resize, convert, move or do anything to the partitions on your hard drive, you need a partition manager. In days gone by, the best solutions for this were commercial. I used Partition Magic for a long time, when FreeBSD and Linux had trouble working with NTFS drives. Thankfully, there’s now a totally viable and blissfully FOSS alternative: PartedMagic.
PartedMagic is only 45MiB, and can boot from CD or USB. It supports all of the major filesystems, has a nice GUI (with Firefox installed!) and includes TestDisk — a piece of data recovery software that has saved my digital life a couple of times now. There’s enough software on there for you to perform most rescue operations.
While PartedMagic has just about as many features as you could want it to, it’s still being actively developed. In fact, they just released 3.1 RC1, which updates the kernel and base software as well as giving it a nice graphical overhaul. It now uses LXDE instead of XFCE, and all the artwork has been redone — it looks extremely polished now.
PartedMagic is something that you should always have a copy of lying around, just incase. It’s a very handy rescue CD. While it doesn’t do everything that it’s bigger sibling System Rescue CD does, it does enough and it does it reliably and well.