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I would like to move all my user files, programs, everything that is not the OS.

I'd like to keep Ubuntu on an SSD and put everything I've done on a separate 1TB drive. This includes everything in $HOME, but I'd like to also move /usr to move all my user-installed software.

My thinking is to keep the 180GB SSD as pristine as possible with only the OS in case I need to re-install Ubuntu at any time.

First question: Is this a bad idea?

Second question: Can I follow the same instructions which I used to move my /home to a different disk? As in this post: Move home folder to second drive, or the wiki page about moving /home

marked as duplicate by pomsky, karel, Eric Carvalho, waltinator, Zanna Mar 23 '18 at 19:25

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • I keep everything in / except my data. That is because I have multiple installs and want data in all of them, but not configurations from /home.My 16.04 is my main working install currently. I just converted my 14.04 partition to 18.04, but probably will reinstall once released. LInking data folders into /home: askubuntu.com/questions/1013677/… – oldfred Mar 21 '18 at 3:33
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First question: is this a bad idea?

The goal is good, and the plan is mostly good...

Moving /home to a different partition is an excellent (in fact, recommended) idea for the very "I need to re-install Ubuntu at any time" reason. I can think why Ubuntu insists on putting /home in the / partition, but it might offend delicate sensibilities.

but I'd like to also move /usr also to move all my user installed software.

Locally installed s/w lives in /usr/local and /opt. Everything else in /usr is (should be) controlled by Ubuntu.

Thus, I'd create a:

  • small partition on the 1TB drive to mount /usr/local,
  • another small partition for /opt, and
  • a "rest of the disk" partition for /home.
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    Please clarify "Dumb Down Syndrome", and please be aware that implying "Down syndrome" is offensive. – wjandrea Mar 21 '18 at 4:45
  • @wjandrea sigh... – RonJohn Mar 21 '18 at 4:56
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    I'm not trying to shut you down, just saying you should be more considerate. This is supposed to be a friendly site, and implying that people have mental handicaps doesn't help that. I'm also not sure what you meant in the first place. To me it seems less like dumbing-down and more like simplifying (c.f. swap file becoming the default instead of swap partition), but I'm open to your take on it. – wjandrea Mar 21 '18 at 5:08
  • Couldn't this approach confuse the package manager in case of reinstalling Ubuntu? AFAIK the status of packages (e.g. installed) is not stored in /usr/local, but somewhere in /var (or was it /etc?), so the package manager won't update installed software because it doesn't know it is installed. – danzel Mar 21 '18 at 9:01
  • @danzel no, because programs installed in /usr/local and /opt are explicitly outside of package manager control, and package managers know that. – RonJohn Mar 21 '18 at 15:03

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