New partition

Karl Goetz karl at
Sat Jan 3 07:38:54 GMT 2009

On Sat, 3 Jan 2009 17:35:19 +1030
"Paul Schulz" <paul at> wrote:

> Hi Simon,

Hi both.


I'd start by logging in as root (naughty on Ubuntu perhaps, but means
your not accessing files in your users ~ while doing all this stuff).

> Have you installed the drive yet? Specifically, what device does it
> come up as? To list available disks, use..
>   # fdisk -l
> It should be something like /dev/sdb
> The steps to setup what you're after are:
> 0. Partition new drive (fdisk /dev/sdb)

This is optional for most operations (Linux can read the device raw),
but required if you want to access the data from another OS.

> 1. Format new drive (mke2fs)

I'd go with `mkfs.ext3`

> 1a. Adjust filesystem parameters (tune2fs)

I usually skip this (but if you need special setups you'll want to do

> 2. Mount drive in a temporary location (/mnt/sdb1)
> 3. Copy /home (tar cf - -C /home . | tar xpf - -C /mnt/sdb1)

`rsync -av /home/* /mnt/sdb1` would be another option

> 4. Remount disk at /home
>     (umount /mnt/sdb1; mount /dev/sdb1 /home)

Before doing this you might want to consider removing all the data
currently in /home/
If you leave it all there, you gain no space on your existing
filesystem from adding the new drive.

> 5. Make mounting automatic.. edit '/etc/fstab'
> A couple of tips:
> - Enable root logins before testing. (Add a root password)

You can boot into root without a password from GRUB iirc.

> - When happy, login as root, unmount /home and delete any of the
> unwanted data in the mow hidden /home

I do this further up, but this is probably safer.

> When you're happy that you've done everything correctly, you can
> disable root logins.
> Ann alternative, which I feel works better.. skip step 4, and
> remount the new disk at /users, (or some other new location)
> then edit /etc/password to make the users's home directory
> to be '/users/<username>' rather than '/home/<username>'.

IMHO, for a single (or even multi user) desktop, changing /home/ makes
more sense then fiddling the configs like this.

> This has the benefit of keeping everything accessible, and obvious,
> particularly is anything should go wrong.
> Cheers,
> Paul

Karl Goetz, (Kamping_Kaiser / VK5FOSS)
Debian user / gNewSense contributor
No, I won't join your social networking group

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