I have two drives, one with 150 GB and another with 1 TB. I need to use the 1 TB drive more, since I am running into space issues. By default, all installations (when I do apt-get) in my Ubuntu 14.04 system happen in the smaller drive. I have moved some directories to the bigger drive to save space.

How do I manage the filesystem so I use the larger drive for some space-intensive stuff, while I keep the OS and other system related stuff in the smaller drive?


Move /home, /var and/or /usr folder to external drive

To free up some space, you can move your /home, /var and/or /usr folder to your 1TB drive:

  1. Boot into an Ubuntu live CD/USB
  2. Shrink the other partitions on the 1TB disk to make space for the new partitions
  3. Make new partitions for /home, /var and/or /usr, depending on your preference. They should be of type ext4
  4. Mount your root partition on the 150GB drive and the new partitions you have created somewhere
  5. Copy over the files from your root partition with rsync -avz SOURCE DESTINATION, e.g. rsync -avz /mnt/root/usr/ /mnt/usr, and so on
  6. Update /etc/fstab to include the new partitions. For example:

    UUID=b6cf2a0d-2174-4c88-98fc-5502c5630498 /usr ext4 defaults 0 2

    Make sure you change the UUID (UUID=b6cf2a0d-2174-4c88-98fc-5502c5630498), mountpoint (/usr) and filesystem (ext4) depending on your configuration.

  7. Reboot back into Ubuntu, and ensure that your setup works.

  8. If all is fine, delete the old files on your 150GB partition:

    sudo mount --bind / /mnt
    sudo rm -rf /mnt/usr
    sudo umount /mnt

    where /usr is the name of the folder you moved to a separate partition.

  • But this will not install new apps into 1TB disks since apt-get installs apps in /usr directory and not in /home. Thus I suggest 1TB should be partitioned into two partitions one mounted at /home and other at /usr and files from previous home and usr directories should be moved into new home and usr directories. Apr 12 '15 at 4:43
  • 1
    This might help
    – zhongfu
    Apr 12 '15 at 4:49
  • 1
    I suggest you should edit your answer with moving /usr also so that it may become a complete answer. Apr 12 '15 at 4:55

@hear I use system links to keep my /home/vinny directory’s on the larger drive .

make a folder/directory on the large drive ,say Ubuntu and move your Documents,pictures,Video,Music,ect,ect folders to it ,,then link them back to your home . this way the data is on the large drive and whenever you add things to /home/you/Documents it's actually stored on the large drive .

or mount /home/you on the large drive .

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