R – Easiest way to merge partitions under debian (unix)?

debiandisk-partitioningmergeunix

I have two unix partitions under debian which I would like to merge (disk space problems :/). What would be the easiest way to do it? I think it would be best to tar or copy files from one partition to the other, delete one and resize the other. I will use parted to resize but how should I copy the files? There are links, permissions and devices which need to be moved without change.

Best Solution

You could run the following (as root) to copy the files. It works for symlinks, devices and ordinary files.

cd /partition2
tar cf - . | ( cd /partition1 && tar xf - )

Another way is to use cpio, but I never remember the correct syntax.