Can someone help?

Hi guys, am trying to install Qubes on separate disk (see attached image

Samsung disk, 250 GB) yet on installation a dialogue box tells me there is not enough space to install (see screenshot).

Any ideas / advice / help / suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Well it clearly says 3MB free. Free = unallocated (when speaking of disks, not partitions). So it wants raw storage most likely to create some partitions (data and swap). So you need to either remove existing partitions (if you do not use them) or resize them to free up some raw (unallocated) space.
Disclaimer: i’ve never used qubes, but have plenty of experience with various os installers :slight_smile:

thanks - not used to this or the terminology at all. So there is a disk (Samsung) which has 232 GIB. It is currently brand new (the other disk is for purism), so how do you format / configure / allocate the space so it can be used? So as far as I can tell / know the disk is empty so the whole thing can be allocated for usage; I want to make this available (say 50 GIB or so but the whole thing if it makes for an easier process) so can install Qubes. I don’t understand why it is saying 3mb when it is / should be 232 GIB. I don’t; suppose you could talk thru next steps at all? I’m new to this, want to allocate whatever needs to be allocated so can make the installation possible. Help / tips / walk thru so appreciated, thank you thank you

You need to use some partition manager to remove the partitions. If it’s brand new drive (no data on it) you can safely remove the partitions.
I normally use fdisk for all partition manipulation, it’s command line utility which should be used in terminal.
What is a bit suspicious is that new samsung disk is shown as sda - meaning it’s first disk. It’s not that critical as long as bios/uefi knows which disk to boot from.
So for fdisk you need to run it as root (hence sudo)
fdisk /dev/sda
d (delete)
it asks for partition number, suggests last and show number of partitions
so you can start from last (accept the default) and repeat until it says - no partitions anymore.
then write it down and exit using command w (write)
If you think at any point you are doing something wrong you can exit without write with command q (quit)

thank you. Yes it is brand new. The other disk (ATA) is the main default boot disk. I want to have the other (Samsung) as true Qubes option. So if I read you right:

  • go into terminal type “disk/dev/sda” then “d” (I’m not sure what you mean by partition number, last and number of partitions-?) / repeat until it says no more partitions anymore…

seriously new to all of this so terms you may think are normal are like serious coding off the radar to me; pls bear in mind. Could you kindly confirm the above step by step so can try it out? Pls note the other disk (ATA) is the default boot disk and now has stuff on it so v important none of this is touched whatsoever…
can you help? thanks !

Danger, Will Robinson! If you are new to this then mucking around with partitions and not knowing what you are doing is a fast way to destroy all your content.

It is absolutely critical that you can identify which disk is which. If you aren’t sure then don’t do anything.

I would use gparted as a slightly friendlier, GUI program i.e. alternative to fdisk.

I recommend the following approach.

  • do whatever you are doing on an external disk that can be plugged / unplugged from the computer
  • look at what disks you have before plugging in the external disk
  • look at what disks you have after plugging in the external disk
  • then you should be able to tell which disk is which

well, one is crucial one is samsung, should be fairly easy to remove one physically to ensure its removal does not affect the system. and there’s disk id printed by fdisk if required additional assurance:
[root@trx ~]# fdisk /dev/sda

Willkommen bei fdisk (util-linux 2.34).
Änderungen werden vorerst nur im Speicher vorgenommen, bis Sie sich
entscheiden, sie zu schreiben.
Seien Sie vorsichtig, bevor Sie den Schreibbefehl anwenden.

Befehl (m für Hilfe): p
Festplatte /dev/sda: 465,78 GiB, 500107862016 Bytes, 976773168 Sektoren
Festplattenmodell: Samsung SSD 840 
Einheiten: Sektoren von 1 * 512 = 512 Bytes
Sektorgröße (logisch/physikalisch): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
E/A-Größe (minimal/optimal): 512 Bytes / 512 Bytes
Festplattenbezeichnungstyp: gpt

If you want to use fdisk then

fdisk -l /dev/whatever

will list information about the disk. The size and make/model are usually helpful in distinguishing disks.

I tried typing in (in tilix) fdisk -1/Samsung/860 (and variations of that) and each time get invalid option


am I in the right app here. In Tilix, typing " fdisk -1" and all I get is “invalid option” …?

The option is a lowercase letter L, not a digit 1.

The argument following it must be a valid device name, which means the /dev/ is literally typed and only the whatever is replaced with the correct device name. Based on your image above, whatever would be sda or sdb and this would be normal for SATA disks of any type (SSD or HDD) or external (USB-attached) disks. However it is not wise to assume device names.

1 Like

what’s going on with this - I am trying to type into the tilix terminal and now when I type fdisk what comes up is “fd5s2”. Also if I type “p” it is now showing as a “*”

How to get the keyboard back so it is properly reflecting the keyboard?

How do I get the normal keyboard back? looks like the letters u,i,o,j,k,l,m have been replaced with numbers 4,5,6,1,2,3,0

which setting resets the layout?

Yes. One simple approach I have found useful for this is to create partitions with distinctly different sizes and write down those sizes on a piece of paper. Then, when a list of partitions comes up in some kind of installation procedure, I can tell by just looking at the size.


You need to unlock NumLock - press Fn key (bottm left) and NumLk key (top right)

1 Like

It is not stated and therefore just by guessing that your ATA Samsung might be Windows occupied, and without intention to make long story longer, you need to help yourself first as you need to write down things that are needed (and those that might be needed), as already mentioned here. I’d prepare your new disk by using properly Linux Terminal commands (Tilix is not my choice) you need to refer to and read (I mean study, please) things like fdisk -h or man fdisk, parted -h or man parted, dd --help or man dd, etc.

Secondly, your print screen picture is already showing that your second (additional) HDD is registered as /dev/sdb and (if you want to trust this option) just select it (by using Reclaim space tool, I guess) and continue with the installation process as it will be automated Installer process (that will prepare, by deleting it to make new partition(s), at the first place, and format those created (/dev/sdb1, etc.) as needed. Why is 3.36 MiB free within /dev/sdb? Because it is factory formatted as FAT32 (file system) or was formatted as NTFS partition, yet not as something useful for install Linux operation. Anyway (if allowed), in your shoes I’d rather chose some simpler Linux distribution (I’m not advanced user either) for getting the better install experience (usage) like following the DebianInstaller guide.

And, by reading back what @kieran, @ruff and @Skalman said, if you didn’t make at least one copy of your /dev/sda drive (backup of needed files or image of a whole drive, as currently is, before you proceed with side by installation), please don’t look (in advance) for any kind of guarantee here. In another words: remember and make sure that the new (side by) installation is worth only if you are able to access your current data again.

You mean PureOS. Learning by doing it is fine as long as you’re knowing when, what and how to (approximately) do it. You have your goal and this is just fine, IMO, you will get there … as you want to.

if he said that he is new to this why are you trying to make the OP type shell commands on the CLI ?

i would strongly suggest to anyone wanting to get a hang on partitioning to first do it from a GUI inside the disk-management inside the M$ windows (assuming that is where you come from).

and just get comfortable with the GNU/Linux environment from within a virtual-machine AFTER following and studying some tutorials/books on the matter at hand.

@twilkins i don’t get it ! why do you want to do a dual boot with two different SSDs if you aren’t comfortable with the envirnments/general-methodology ? imo as @kieran said you are inviting disaster like this … take a step back and do your homework first or ask someone else to do it for you … don’t just blindly step into something that you aren’t sure how to use (start with figuring out how to type commands into the bash shell first and the general WHY of doing it like that).

no offense if you ARE serious about learning … RTFM !!!


I agree with @reC - RTFM before you start. At least to make you understand what you are asking. You should start with learning the simplest concepts. Try to start with this. I don’t think there will be any problems.


ehm… because that’s how I learned linux in my childhood. I’ve bricked my pc hell lot of times, forcing me to learn what the hell mbr is, what the diff between primary and extended partitions and so on. I think it was quite efficient and productive learning curve :wink:
Maybe because back in those days there simply weren’t anything else than fdisk to manage partitions. Not even in windows. So linux fdsik was way more advanced than anything else :slight_smile: I mean I don’t know any other way to manage partitions (I do know many methods exist and can point to them but i don’t have hands-on experience). Windows volume manager I still find odd and not giving me results I need.


completely agree but it still gives the OP the chance to visualize HOW the total space is partitioned (only that - because he can’t format in ext4 or whatever for gnu/linux from there - he would still have to do it from the “other-side”)