I am looking to change the directory to which the Ubuntu app store and terminal installs programs.

The main reasons are for the factor that I use a lot of programs and when I add a program to Ubuntu, I tend to add it's repository, so I can get that program's updates. The SSD I am looking into is only 500 GB and the hard drives are 4TBs. And i also am looking to reduce SSD writes so I don't run out of E/P cycles and kill my drive. And I am looking to also have an automatic backup make back ups for programs.

Is there a way to change the install directory to another location, or possibly /home?


It looks like the best way to do this would be to mount /usr on another hard drive. To do this, you need to

  1. Create an ext4 partition on your hard drive
  2. Copy the entire contents of /usr onto that partition
  3. Edit your /etc/fstab file to mount that hard drive at /usr during boot
  4. Boot from a LiveUSB and delete /usr from the original hard drive
  5. Reboot

This method was discussed here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1617196

Another method would be to copy the contents of /usr to another hard drive, and use symlinks, but you would have to automatically mount the hard drive anyway, so it's not much different: How do I change Software Center's default installation path?

As for moving your /home partition, that's pretty well-documented on the Ubuntu wiki, and the steps are pretty much the same as moving /usr to another hard drive: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Partitioning/Home/Moving

Regarding your concerns on SSD lifespan, they seem to last longer than most people think. However, just like with HDDs, an SSD could last 10 years, or 3 years, depending on how well it was made. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/184619-how-long-do-modern-consumer-ssds-actually-last-longer-than-youd-expect and http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/hard-drives-ssds-flash-drives-how-long-will-your-storage-media-last/

Did I miss anything?

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  • No not really, but can you mask directory's with another one or dose Linux/Ubuntu have a variable equivalent to Windows? – weezle1234 Oct 30 '15 at 2:56
  • I'm not entirely sure what you mean by masking a directory. If you're mounting a second hard drive at /usr, and it has the exact same files as the original hard drive had, Ubuntu should be none the wiser. As far as variable equivalent, there is a wiki page on Environment Variables: help.ubuntu.com/community/EnvironmentVariables – SuperSluether Oct 30 '15 at 13:58
  • As for mask, i am referring to something i saw for android ( sense ubuntu and android use Linux kernel). In a nut shell, all it did was redirect file automaticlt. So if i installed a program the program would go to /lib for example, it would install, say it went to /lib, but is is in a entirely different directory like /home and if that program where to be launched, it would claim to run form /lib but really it came from home. So a redirect, more or less. – weezle1234 Oct 30 '15 at 16:16
  • That would be a symkink. Use 'man ln' in a terminal, or read more here: askubuntu.com/questions/56339/… – SuperSluether Oct 30 '15 at 16:37

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