I have installed Ubuntu 14.04 on 1TB HDD and have installed lots of packages and softwares. Now i've bought an 128GB SSD, I have few questions on how to partition SSD and HDD and how to move my current installation to SSD.

I'm thinking to have / and /home on SSD, and store other files on HDD, so how can i partition SSD+HDD to have:

  • / and /home on SSD
  • have /home/music, /home/videos, /home/downloads, /home/pictures on HDD
  • I have no idea about swap partition (should it be on SSD or HDD, actually its empty most of the time now), my laptop has 16 GBs of RAM

I'm planning to have fresh install of 14.04 on SSD (and i think i have to), so what is the best way to move currently installed packages to new installation ? i'm planning to use Aptik for that, is there a better solution ?

Is preload any good and gives performance boost when using SSD (i have 16 GBs of RAM)

  • Actually i don't know how to mount /home/Downloads on HDD, while rest of the `/home is on SSD
    – Nevercom
    May 5, 2014 at 22:03
  • Do you want to create separate partitions for /home/Downloads, /home/music etc.? If so create empty folders with those names under/home and assign those mount points to the Partitions. Ask a new question if you need more details.
    – user68186
    May 6, 2014 at 2:13
  • For /home/music, I think you mean $HOME/Music. Same for /home/videos, etc.
    – wjandrea
    Apr 27, 2019 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


You have almost the same setup as me. 128 GB SSD 1.5 TB conventional.

Here is how I would do it:

  • Leave everything on the conventional drive for the time being.
  • Install and partition the ssd using a live distribution usb stick. I wouldn't even touch your old drive here.
  • See if everything boots to the new partition okay. You may need to adjust bios settings to make it boot to your new drive.
  • set up the mountpoint
sudo -i
mkdir /media/hdd

You will get something like the following:

/dev/sda1: UUID="0f6e1051-cf9f-4299-b691-76d0d8c532d1" TYPE="ext4" 
/dev/sda5: UUID="058b6235-7e74-42ce-96c9-59f6cb0a44f3" TYPE="swap" 
/dev/sdb1: UUID="40a50699-a900-4bfe-a9e4-6587c1a83464" TYPE="ext4" 

copy the UUID of your secondary drive (mine is sdb1)

nano /etc/fstab
paste in uuid line without the quotes and add some fstab goodness:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=0f6e1051-cf9f-4299-b691-76d0d8c532d1 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=058b6235-7e74-42ce-96c9-59f6cb0a44f3 none            swap    sw              0       0
# /media/hdd on /dev/sdb1
UUID=40a50699-a900-4bfe-a9e4-6587c1a83464 /media/hdd        ext4    defaults    0       2    

You may need to change the ext4 to something else if your other drive is formatted differently.

Check to make sure mounts properly

mount /media/hdd
and see if it works.

  • make sure permissions are okay in /mnt/hdd/home/username
    ls -l /mnt/hdd/home/username
    where username is the name of your user. if the permissions look okay skip, if not (still with root)
chown username:username -R /media/home/username
  • Link directories you want in home with those on the ssd

These can be done with user permissions, I would suggest you do this with empty directories: For example Pictures

cd ~
rm -rf Pictures
ln -sf /media/hdd/home/username/Pictures .

Do this for any directory you expect to take too much space, for me it's Pictures, Music, Documents, Videos

  • (optional) Carefully clean up the /media/hdd/ directory with root permissions. By carefully I mean do not delete /media/hdd/home !

I never bothered with preload using an SSD, I don't imagine anything will make Solid State faster than it already is. I think your simplest course of action would be to install 14.04 on your 128 GB SSD mounted at / as you propose and use the 1 TB Hard drive mounted on /home. You don't need swap as you have 16 GB of RAM. I have 8 and never needed it. However, If you wish to Suspend/Hibernate the system you may wish to reserve enough swap space to do so. You will want to copy /home and it's contents to a temporary location and copy it back after your done with the install. If you mount it as is your home will end up at /home/home with predictable results

  • you stated "You will want to copy /home and it's contents to a temporary location and copy it back after your done with the install." It's always possible to tell the installer to use the existing /home directory for the new installation's /home, but be sure not to format it. This removes the need to do anything with it after the install.
    – Scooby-2
    Sep 10, 2014 at 14:58
  • @Scooby-2 True, but a mistake could cost you all your data. Not a chance I'm willing to take in advising someone who's skills I don't know.
    – Elder Geek
    Sep 12, 2014 at 2:18
  • Some people would like to "Suspend" the system, which requires swap ...
    – Dor
    Aug 22, 2016 at 6:56
  • @Dor point taken. Edited answer
    – Elder Geek
    Aug 22, 2016 at 21:38
  • @Dor (for future readers): Suspend != Hibernate. Suspend = sleep, Hibernate = sleep to swap
    – 0xLogN
    Apr 19, 2021 at 0:55

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