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Recently I installed Ubuntu and Fedora on my system.

Each OS has its own partition and I made a data partition to save my personal files.

Now in Ubuntu when I open terminal its default location is Ubuntu's home folder but I want to change it to data partition. I also want to change my home directory. I mean when I type cd ~ I want to go to data partition.

Is this possible? If so, how can I do it?

I want new applications to default to the data partition not in my old home. And also change all folders location in home like Music, Downloads, etc to data partition.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted


Finding the UUID of the partition

Run this command in the terminal

sudo blkid

You will get something like this

/dev/sda1: UUID="FA286F4C286F06CB" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sda2: UUID="328E-CDB6" TYPE="vfat" 
/dev/sda3: LABEL="7programs" UUID="01CAB88B789D7370" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="TempBAKUP" UUID="EF54-7F8C" TYPE="vfat" 
/dev/sdb3: LABEL="New Volume" UUID="B62A57642A5720A3" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdb5: LABEL="7programs" UUID="01CAB88B789D7370" TYPE="ntfs" 

Find the data partition that you made earlier and note down the UUID

Making sure that the partition mounts at bootime

Duplicate your fstab file:

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.$(date +%Y-%m-%d)

Open the original fstab in a text editor:

gksu gedit /etc/fstab

and add these lines into it

# (identifier)  (location, eg sda5)   (format, eg ext3 or ext4)      (some settings) 
UUID=????????   /media/home    ext4          nodev,nosuid       0       2 

and replace the "????????" with the UUID number of the intended /home partition found above.

Using Usermod

Use this command to just change the homedir

usermod -d /media/home username

replace username with your username

Now move all of the files in /home/ to /media/home/ with this command:

cd / && sudo mv /home/* /media/home

Now, delete the old home folder

sudo rmdir /home --ignore-fail-on-non-empty


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Very helpful answer. An alternative to using usermod would be to copy the data as above, and then change the fstab entry to mount the partition on /home rather than on /media/home (and then reboot). – John S Gruber Aug 9 '12 at 15:40
@JohnSGruber Look at the edit history. I deleted that part for simplicity – Amith KK Aug 9 '12 at 16:08

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