I'm a real newbie with Linux and Ubuntu.

I bought an Asus laptop with 2 HDD. An SSD 256Go where I installed Ubuntu and and an HDD 1To.

I just want to move personnal files from my SSD to HDD.

This seems like a very common task but I don't know how to do it.


lsblk command

loop0    7:0    0  14,5M  1 loop /snap/gnome-logs/45
loop1    7:1    0     4M  1 loop /snap/gnome-calculator/352
loop2    7:2    0    91M  1 loop /snap/core/6350
loop3    7:3    0  34,6M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/818
loop4    7:4    0  1008K  1 loop /snap/gnome-logs/57
loop5    7:5    0   2,3M  1 loop /snap/gnome-calculator/260
loop6    7:6    0    13M  1 loop /snap/gnome-characters/139
loop7    7:7    0   3,7M  1 loop /snap/gnome-system-monitor/70
loop8    7:8    0    59M  1 loop /snap/notes/4
loop9    7:9    0  35,3M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1198
loop10   7:10   0 140,7M  1 loop /snap/gnome-3-26-1604/82
loop11   7:11   0  89,3M  1 loop /snap/core/6673
loop12   7:12   0  53,7M  1 loop /snap/core18/782
loop13   7:13   0  14,8M  1 loop /snap/gnome-characters/206
loop14   7:14   0   3,7M  1 loop /snap/gnome-system-monitor/57
loop15   7:15   0 140,7M  1 loop /snap/gnome-3-26-1604/74
sda      8:0    0 931,5G  0 disk 
└─sda1   8:1    0 931,5G  0 part 
sdb      8:16   0 238,5G  0 disk 
├─sdb1   8:17   0   260M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sdb2   8:18   0    16M  0 part 
├─sdb3   8:19   0 146,3G  0 part 
├─sdb4   8:20   0   800M  0 part 
└─sdb5   8:21   0  91,2G  0 part /
  • I see something odd: your ssd is the 2nd disk. and the hdd the 1ts one. your hdd is NOT mounted. You need to sort that out 1st, askubuntu.com/questions/125257/… has pointers on that but that is going to be a bit more difficult than this question ;) – Rinzwind Apr 9 at 19:53
  • This is basically a straightforward move exercise. Assuming by personal files you mean data files (not personal configuration files) you need to know where these are stored in your partitions. Looking at your output it doesn't say a lot. I'd be guessing sdb3 and maybe in your home folder on sdb5, but you need to be clear where these files are located before you can move anything. – Paul Benson Apr 9 at 20:37
  • It seems like a hard manipulation and I'm afraid to do stupid things – Azoulay Jason Apr 9 at 20:43

The ssd will have your system files including /home, /home/$USER/ and all your personal files in there. The hdd will be mounted at a mountpoint. I used /discworld as an example and it will look like this (important: everywhere I use "discworld" you need to change it to your mount point):


Open a terminal and 1st make a backup of your /home/$USER/

sudo chmod -R $USER:$USER /discworld
cd ~ 
tar cvz /home/backup /home/$USER/*
cp ~.config/user-dirs.dirs ~.config/user-dirs.dirs.old
  • That last one is a settings file that points to all your user directories and we will use this.
  • The 2nd one is a backup of your current files. If you have a lot of videos that might be a large file so if you are confident to do without a backup feel free. But it is recommended ;)
  • The chmod will change the permissions of your hdd to your user.
  • Confirm with ls that it will show directories like Pictures, Downloads (they might be in a different language if you do not use English) and you are in the correct place before proceeding.

Before moving your files all over do a ...

gedit ~.config/user-dirs.dirs

and change the directories to this


Save it and then move all your directories to the mount point:

mv -R Documents Music Pictures Templates Videos Desktop Downloads  Public /discworld/ 

On the desktop do a control-f5 or a "organize desktop by name" and it will reload the desktop. In your "files" (Nautilus) you can replace the defaults with the new directories.

If you ever decide to re-install: format / and /home but MOUNT the HDD without a format and it will automatically add the mount point to your fresh installation.

  • Hey thanks for your answer but like I said I'm a fresh newbie. Isn't there an "easiest way" like a UI ? – Azoulay Jason Apr 9 at 19:38
  • When you talk about mountpoint is it sda1 for example ? – Azoulay Jason Apr 9 at 19:45
  • You can do all this through a GUI but then the answer become a lot more problematic: I use Budgie. You use gnome3 or 2 or something else. I would advice to start using the terminal. It is universal across all Ubuntu's ;) No sda1 is your 1st disk, 1st partition so is likely your ssd. sdb1 would be 2nd disk 1 partition and is likely your hdd (see df in command line for a list of mounts), A mount point is a name that is a directory on your system. – Rinzwind Apr 9 at 19:46
  • Yes that's why I want to try your answer – Azoulay Jason Apr 9 at 19:48
  • Way too complicated and unnecessarily so. – Paul Benson Apr 9 at 20:42

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