I just bought a new SSD hard drive and want to minimize writing to the drive by moving users and applications to another 1TB hard drive.

Windows 7 accomplishes this fairly easily.

I want to know how I can do the same on ubuntu 11.04. I want to globally move all new installations and users to the other hard drive (so instead of using the default drive, it uses another drive to load from).

OS updates (and drivers?) can still goto the SSD. I just want this to last as long as possible.


1 Answer 1


I think what you want is to move your /home folder to the 1Tb drive, while keeping the system files (including applications) on the fast SSD drive.

You can achieve that by moving the contents of your /home folder to the other drive and then adding a line to /etc/fstab which will tell the system to mount it at /home

So, as root, in terminal (I would do that while booted in the "rescue mode" or from a live cd), you need to do something like

mv /home/* /media/disk/
nano /etc/fstab

(replace /media/disk by the path where your 1Tb drive is mounted at)

And then add a line similar to

/dev/sdb1       /home       ext4    relatime,errors=remount-ro      0       1

(replace /dev/sdb1 by the name of your 1Tb drive - you can see it by doing 'cat /etc/mtab', for example) Then you can test if it works by mounting/unmounting the /home and checking if it works:

mount /home
ls /home # see if the contents appeared
umount /home

then reboot and enjoy

  • Ahh, also, if you're absolutely paranoid about writing to that disk, you can use something like UnionFS so your SSD is essentially read-only and all changes are written to the other drive. But I wouldn't do that
    – Sergey
    Aug 4, 2011 at 2:22
  • This is what I ended up doing, thanks very much!
    – Nahydrin
    Aug 4, 2011 at 21:30

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