Expand Raspberry Pi Root Partition with MacBook Pro

By default the root partition on the Raspberry Pi Debian install is 1.6GB.  I’m lazy and I don’t want to deal with partitioning and mounting the extra space on my 16GB Flash card.  I’d rather have a 16GB Root partition.  There are already instructions on how to expand the root partition using a separate linux machine, and they involve a command-line utility called “parted”.  After googling around I concluded that parted wasn’t going to compile and run on OSX, but I did find a GUI wrapper for parted called GParted.  These instructions will walk through how to use GParted to expand the root partition on your Raspberry Pi Flash card from a MacBook Pro.

  • Download the GParted Live .iso here:
  •  Burn the .iso to a DVD-R using Disk Utility.  You could probably use an old Flash thumb drive that you don’t mind erasing the thumb drive, but I decided to burn a DVD.
  • Restart your MacBook and hold down the option key.  After a few seconds, you should see a DVD Icon.  Click on the DVD to boot your computer into GParted Live.
  • The Debian distro used by Gparted Live crashes if I use the default settings.  Choose “Other modes of GParted Live”
  • Choose “GParted Live (Safe graphic settings, vga=normal)”.  Any other option causes the boot to crash.
  • Choose “Select keymap from arch list”.
  • Choose your keyboard layout, which is almost certainly “qwerty”.
  • Choose your keyboard layout.  For me it was “US American”.
  • Choose “Apple USB” for Keyboard Variant.
  • Choose your preferred language.  For me that was 33, US English
  • Choose “0”, “Continue to start X to use GParted automatically” for preferred X-windows mode.
  • OK, we’re finally ready to resize the the root position!  Double Click on the GParted app.  Make sure that you select the Flash drive from the drive pulldown menu.  On my MacBook that’s /dev/sdb, but it may be different for you.  Select the Swap partition and click the “Resize/Move” button.  Move the swap partition all the way to the right, making sure that the size remains the same.  Make sure the “Free Space Following” is 0.
  • Select the root partition and slide the size all the way to the right.  This will put it flush against the swap space at the end.
  • Click “Apply” to repartition the flash drive.  That’s it!  Put the flash card into the Raspberry Pi and boot it up!