I have 256GB SSD, 2TB HDD and 16GB RAM, I want to have Ubuntu and my programs on SSD and other files like music, photos, videos, etc. on HDD. I'm new to Ubuntu and want to know how I can install this right? And how I can do this that my ssd don't worn out to quickly? Thanks.

  • Personally I don't worry about SSD wearing out "too quickly". I put Windows 10 on 400GB of 512GB SSD and the other 100 GB went for Ubuntu. The 1 TB HDD drive just sits there for now. As Windows games take 60GB after I buy a few, I'll move the ones not being played to the 1 TB drive. Dec 12, 2017 at 2:06
  • I tend to make my partitions first; ie. 'try-Ubuntu' and using gparted to create my partitions in the sizes I want; then doing my install & selecting 'something else' and have it use the partitions I've created. This will let you put the partitions on any media (hdd/sdd) you like. I also use different sizes (eg. if I wanted 2x20gb I'd create one 19.5 & the other 20.5 & write it down on scrap paper...). Don't have your swap partition on SDD if worried about wear-out, but with 16gb i'd hope you wouldn't need swap [much] anyway.
    – guiverc
    Dec 12, 2017 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


If you're comfortable with the terminal, you can change the default locations of the documents and media directories any time after installation with the xdg-user-dirs-update command. Assuming your HDD is mounted as /mnt/bigdrive:

xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set DESKTOP /mnt/bigdrive/Desktop
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set DOWNLOAD /mnt/bigdrive/Downloads
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set TEMPLATES /mnt/bigdrive/Templates
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set PUBLICSHARE /mnt/bigdrive/Public
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set DOCUMENTS /mnt/bigdrive/Documents
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set MUSIC /mnt/bigdrive/Music
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set PICTURES /mnt/bigdrive/Pictures
xdg-user-dirs-update --force --set VIDEOS /mnt/bigdrive/Videos

The --force parameter will create the new directories if you haven't already created them manually.

If you already have contents in those directories, you'll need to move them manually and you'll probably want to delete the original directories in your home directory (or replace them with links to the new directories) to clear the clutter and avoid confusion.

I like to leave DESKTOP on the SSD (in this case, leave out the --set DESKTOP command above) and keep media I'm actively working with there, so you can take advantage of SSD speed while e.g. editing a video.

You can also assign the whole /home directory tree to your HDD during installation, but then it'll slow you down ever so slightly while doing common operations that read/write from/to anywhere under the home directories like $HOME/.config/.

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