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Parted Magic review

Parted Magic is one of the best standalone partition management Linux solutions out there. Sukrit explains why…

This article is due to appear in issue 93 of Linux User & Developer magazine.

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Parted Magic is a compact and lightweight distribution of Linux to help you manage your disk. It is a live distribution that can run off a CD/DVD or a USB drive. It comes packed with several useful disk and partition management tools such as GParted and Clonezilla. Unlike a number of live distributions of Linux out there, Parted Magic has a pretty specialised approach to things.

Take a break from the dozens of Ubuntu-Linux-based Linux distributions. Parted Magic is a live CD distribution of Linux based on Slackware. It specialises in helping users to manage the partitions on their computer.

Parted Magic is currently at version 5.6 and ships with partitioning tools such as GParted, Clonezilla, Partimage, TestDisk, Truecrypt, G4L, SuperGrubDisk and so on. This distribution of Linux boots from the PXE and USB as well as CDs and DVDs. Parted Magic is quite compact, and currently comes in a 130MB download from here. The version reviewed is version 5.5.

As the name suggests, Parted Magic is primarily a live distribution of Linux for GParted. It can be used to partition a fresh disk, repair a broken partition table on a working computer, recover files from a broken computer, and repartition and format a working computer. GParted is a graphical open source tool that makes partitioning a breeze.

GParted displays your partitions in an easy-to-understand graphical interface. You can also click and drag partitions to resize them. Once you are done with tinkering with the partitions, save and apply the settings. Reboot the computer to get out of Parted Magic.

Parted Magic uses LXDE and X.Org for the graphical environment. The desktop includes a customisable panel, a digital clock and a Start button to access the main menu. A text-based menu is also available in case you prefer that option. LXDE (or Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a lightweight and compact windowing environment. It is far more economical on the resources than say, KDE or GNOME.

One thing that we liked a lot was the choice of desktop icons. There’s a shortcut on the desktop for tools which you might most likely require in case of a disk emergency scenario. There’s an icon for the Partition Editor, one to mount devices, and so on. You can also access most of the tools from a command-line menu. This is great for people working from a remote location or if you have a graphics card that does not work with this distribution.

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