I am going to put an additional (non-USB) hard drive in my system. I already have Ubuntu on my other hard drive so I do not want to install Ubuntu on the additional drive but only use it for storage. How do I add the additional hard drive to my Ubuntu system, e.g. make Ubuntu recognize it and mount it properly?


4 Answers 4


1 Partition

The easiest and user-friendly way is probably to use gparted after you have installed your new HDD and boot your machine:

sudo gparted

Then you create partitions, by setting their size and type.

  • If a partition table does not exist yet, you likely want to choose the type as gpt for Ubuntu-only machines and msdos (aka MBR) for dual-boot Ubuntu/Windows machines. See this forum post for additional discussion
  • Since your hard drive is additional storage space, you probably want to create one single big partition with the type of ext4
  • After adding the new partition, make sure that the left-most partition column shows a true filepath (i.e. /dev/sdb1) rather than a placeholder like "New partition #1". If you see the latter, click "Edit > Apply all operations" from the top-bar to actually execute the new partition. Otherwise, it is just in a pending state and your mount will fail in step 2.3

Screenshot of gparted

gparted is a very easy to use tool, and yet very advanced.

2 Mount

After you are done creating your partitions (most likely it will be just one ext4 data partition, since this is your additional storage drive), you need to permanently mount it.

At this step you already know what names your new partition(-s) have. If not sure, following command will remind you about existing drives and partitions on them:

sudo fdisk -l

This will output something like this (intentionally skipped /dev/sda system drive info):

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes

Disk /dev/sdb: 2000.4 GB, 2000398934016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243201 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000814e3

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  Syste
/dev/sdb1               1      243201  1953512001   83  Linux

Output states, that your new partition is /dev/sdb1. Now you need to mount it to utilize it's precious space. To achieve this, you need to perform three simple steps:

2.1 Create a mount point

sudo mkdir /hdd

2.2 Edit /etc/fstab

Open /etc/fstab file with root permissions:

sudo vim /etc/fstab

And add following to the end of the file:

/dev/sdb1    /hdd    ext4    defaults    0    0

2.3 Mount partition

Last step and you're done!

sudo mount /hdd


  • 1
    Good answer. I think you can improve on it in some ways though. You may want to add a warning that you should only partition is it is a new drive or if you want to lose the data on the drive. Could you please add a short explanation of what mounting means and why you need to add the drive to /etc/fstab? Also, could you please add an explanation of what each part of the /etc/fstab entry means?
    – N.N.
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 9:23
  • 2
    You say you think my proposal is reasonable but you have not edited your answer accordingly.
    – N.N.
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 20:05
  • 1
    Small thing, that last mount command requires sudo.
    – Dave Remy
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 14:01
  • 4
    This answer is good but is mounting the disk via the device name /dev/sd??, which could change. UUID is preferred for mounting disks in Ubuntu now. This other answer discusses using blkid to find the UUID and add it to fstab. askubuntu.com/revisions/932362/2
    – Nelson
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 16:58
  • 1
    I think CLI is a better approach to everything. So like what do you do when you SSH into your first remote server as a junior sysadmin and you learned only GUI stuff? How do you even start a GUI app on a cli terminal? Just my 2 cents here. That happened to me. ALl the time.
    – avia
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 12:37

Modern drives are huge and need to be partitioned with GPT to allow 2TB+ in size.

  1. Find your disk:

    sudo blkid

    If it is already formatted, you should see entry like /dev/sdb1 with UUID and PARTUUID settings.

  2. If your disk is not formatted, create a new partition:

    sudo cgdisk /dev/sdb

    and format it:

    sudo mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sdb1
  3. Create directory for your hdd:

    sudo mkdir /media/storage
  4. Run sudo blkid again, note the UUID of your /dev/sdb1 partition and add it into /etc/fstab (make a backup of fstab by installing etckeeper - this file is important):

    UUID="b4c93..."  /media/storage  ext4  defaults  0  2

    fstab wiki page describes what does it mean. This should make it persistent over reboots.

  5. Finally mount it without rebooting to test:

    sudo mount -av
  • 1
    blkid needs to be executed as root or there won't be any output. I am trying to mount my third hdd, sda and sdb are already taken so I type in cgdisk /dev/sdc. However, the output is Could not load partitions from '/dev/sdc'! Aborting!
    – Torsten
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 8:22
  • These instructions could be clearer.
    – mmann1123
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 3:03
  • Sorry, downvoted because 'sudo blkid' does NOT show a new disk. Hence, after that you still don't know that you need to run cgdisk on /dev/sdb or whatever.
    – Carlo Wood
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 19:26
  • also downvoted because I can't find a new disk by "blkid" Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 12:53
  • for your /etc/fstab the first parameter is UUID= why do you do the UUID instead of the /dev/name? Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 12:46

First you need to identified the new hard disk.

press CTRL+ALT+T to open a console then type :


You will see something similar with this:

loop0    7:0    0 86.6M  1 loop /snap/core/4486
sda      8:0    0    5G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0  512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sda2   8:2    0  4.5G  0 part /
sdb      8:16   0   10G  0 disk
sr0     11:0    1 1024M  0 rom 

For example the sdb it's the new hard disk that you want to add.

If the sdb it's a new hard disk , you need to format to ext3 or ext4

sudo mkfs.ext4 -j -L NewHDD /dev/sdb

Keep in mind, command above will delete everything on target hard disk. You can skip this step if there are any data on the hard disk and you want to not lose them.

Now you need the UUID of the new hard disk.

sudo blkid /dev/sdb

You will see something similar with this:

/dev/sdb: LABEL="NewHDD" UUID="5d6c8f68-dcc8-4a91-a510-9bca2aa71521" TYPE="ext4"

next step it's to add the new hard disk in fstab for auto mount after reset:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

And add new line on bottom, with follow content:

/dev/disk/by-uuid/5d6c8f68-dcc8-4a91-a510-9bca2aa71521 /mnt/NewHDD auto nosuid,nodev,nofail,x-gvfs-show,x-gvfs-name=NewHDD 0 0

Remeber to replace the 5d6c8f68-dcc8-4a91-a510-9bca2aa71521 and /mnt/NewHDD with your own UUID and path where will be mounted, CTRL+X then press Y and ENTER to save it.

To mount it use: sudo mount -a , if the result will be:

mount: /mnt/NewHDD: mount point does not exist.

You must create mount point sudo mkdir /mnt/NewHDD then use again: sudo mount -a

Also you need to change owner and group of the new hard disk using next command:

sudo chown user:user -R /mnt/NewHDD

Replace the: user:user with your own user and group that you need it.

  • 1
    Thank you for taking the time to write this up. It would be good if you mentioned disk encryption, since that's mandatory if you have an SSD (otherwise you can't truly delete data).
    – user677955
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 5:47
  • For any reason, on my case it worked adding UUID=<UUID> <mount_point> <filesystem_type> <options> <dump> <pass> on /etc/fstab
    – Miguel
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 22:28
  • This worked without having to install additional software. Commented Mar 16 at 20:57

There is a good description how to add another drive here:

Basically you have to partition the new disk, create a file system on it and then mount it. Thats is the easy way. Another way would be to use lvm and create virtual disks on the new drive. That would give you more flexibility:

  • 7
    Answers are generally expected to be self-sufficient. Could you please provide explicit instructions rather than links to make your answer better?
    – N.N.
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 9:17
  • 1
    Especially because, the URLs you linked to; are no longer operational
    – ZaxLofful
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 7:11

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