Move Your Linux /home Folder to Another Drive (And Why You'd Want To)

  • S07E23
  • March 4, 2014

Learn a few of the most obvious reasons you'd want to move your /home folder onto a different hard drive, and then a step-by-step tutorial on how to actually do it.

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Topics Covered:

  • {play 5:45}Some new features on our web site.
  • {play 10:04}Feature: Moving your Linux /home folder to a new hard drive.
    • What the Linux /home folder does for Linux users.
    • Why you might want to move your /home folder onto different media.
      • Increased redundancy through a mirrored hard drive set (eg, RAID 1).
      • Increased performance by using a small but zippy SSD for your OS and a large spinning drive for your user data.
      • Massively increased storage capacity for your user data.
      • Distro hopping without losing your /home folder contents is quite easy when it is stored on a separate hard drive.
    • For our demonstration, we're using Point Linux from
    • Understanding the Linux directory hierarchy in relation to our /home folder.
    • On our test system, we have an 8 GB SSD for our operating system with only 1.8 GB free—not enough room for much user data.
    • We have added a 2TB hard drive to move our home folder onto. You can use any size hard drive, and 2TB is definitely overkill, but the price point right now is such that a 2TB hard drive makes sense (price per gigabyte).
    • Using GParted to create a partition table on your new hard drive. Add an ext2/ext3/ext4 partition (we chose ext4) to your new drive to prepare it for use as your Linux /home folder.
    • Use a Linux Live CD/DVD/USB to manipulate the system. We're using the Point Linux Live DVD from
    • Sasha's Question: What makes each Linux distro unique?
    • Having booted to a Linux Live CD, you have access to your computer's hard drives.
    • Understanding the navigation to your computer's internal hard drives from the Linux Live CD.
    • Moving your /home folder from one hard drive to another using the Linux terminal.
      • Note: We're doing this in the Linux terminal because permissions and owners must be maintained during the move operation.
    • Viewer Question: Why use a UUID instead of /dev/sda1?
    • Obtaining the UUID's of your computer's hard drives: sudo blkid
    • Editing our fstab file on our computer's filesystem (not the Live CD's filesystem) and assigning your new hard drive to the /home mountpoint.
    • Critical Note: Don't forget to create the /home mountpoint on the main system drive of your computer. This will be an empty folder used to mount the new hard drive. If you forget this step, you will not be able to boot your computer.
    • Critical Note: Make sure your user folders (eg., /home/robbie) falls in the root of your new hard drive, not the /home folder. So the hierarchy of the new hard drive will be /robbie, not /home/robbie. If you forget this step, you will not be able to boot your computer as once mounted, your folder tree will look like /home/home/robbie.
    • Moment of Truth: Removing our Live DVD media and rebooting our computer.
    • Important Note: If your system will not boot, don't freak out: you still have your Live CD and can go back and retrace your steps.
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  • {play 58:50}Shoutz out to our newly registered viewers and those watching from around the globe!


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