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I have a small SSD for running the operating system (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, it used to windows but recently made the switch!). I then use another large harddrive for storing all my data (I call it "11111", it shows up under "Devices" in the file explorer, with the option to unmount it).

Question 1: Is there anyway I can make the default "Documents", "Pictures", "Videos", "Music" links refer to a location of my large "11111" drive instead of a location on my small SSD?

Question 2: Should I incorporate my "11111" drive into the file system somehow instead? However I dont want my media spread on the two drives, I would like to keep the OS and media on separate independent drives.

Question 3: Any good tutorials or links on how to do Question 2. I have been googling it but not coming right.

Question 4: I would like to make Dropbox and UbuntuOne point to locations on "11111" drive instead of on the "file system". Anyone know how to do this?

Any advice, guidance, or links to help me with the above will be highly appreciated.

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For ease of use, and in case your 11111drive is formatted for Ubuntu (e.g. ext4) consider to move all your /home directories to there. –  Takkat Feb 10 '13 at 9:18

3 Answers 3

Option 1: Moving the home directory

The best choice is to copy your home directory over to the other drive and mount that drive as /home as Takkat described in his comment/answer. I use a setup like this on my laptop with a SSD and a fast 7200rpm hard drive. I didn't notice any performance degradation during startup/login compared to having /home on the SSD.

Option 2: Redirect particular directories

Another option was discussed here: How do I integrate my Windows filesystem with Ubuntu? Note that special folders can and should be redirected by not using symlinks. For regular folders you just need to know where the data is stored to replace the folders with a symlink, though some applications store data across different directories:

$ find -iname vlc
./.local/share/vlc
./.cache/vlc
./.config/vlc

This is where it can get difficult with some applications or in the event of a migration or re-installation you probably find yourself accidentally deleting data you wanted to keep. Therefore go with option 1.

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  • I'm not sure unless you specified that when creating partitions before installing, though you can create a symlink to your a folder in 11111. Something like :

ln -s path-to-hdd ~/Documents/11111_docs

  • You can either do the above or do what says below.

  • When Installing you have to choose "Do something else" then you proceed to make the mount points like home/Documents, home/Music, etc. point to the Hard drive, while you point / to the SSD.

  • You can change that in the Dropbox settings, click the indicator then Preferences and go to the last tab then select another folder. In Ubuntu One by default the Ubuntu One folder will be in your Home however you can choose to sync a different folder of your choice.
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You can only sync folders that are underneath your home directory in Ubuntu One. Any folders on an external drive, or outside $HOME, cannot be synchronized on Ubuntu One. –  dobey Feb 11 '13 at 3:43

I would agree with LiveWireBT. I think that in your case, your best option is to move the home mount point.

The way to do it is to move the /home/username folder to the root of your large disc. Then modify your fstab file changing the mount point of the hard disk to /home. Reboot and you're done.

An alternative option

If you want finer control of which folders to move, you can, instead of moving the home folder, change the default folder location for Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc. This is done by simply modifying the ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs.

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