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Thread: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

  1. #1
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    Default Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Hi

    I have a dual boot windows XP/OpenSuse 11.3 system running from a hard drive. They are both 32 bit in spite of the fact that the system can run 64 bit.

    I would like to upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit (the wife insists, not yet a Linux possibility) and OpenSuse 11.4 64 bit, but having the programme files on an SSD for faster loading, with my data files on the existing hard drive.

    I'm happy with the notion of getting the SSD going as a dual boot system. With Windows, as I understand it, it can tell it fairly easily where to look for the “my documents” folder on the hard drive.

    However, the Home directory in Linux is not quite the same. How (if it's possible) could I run the SSD but use my existing Home directory on the hard drive?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    At install time you can set your /home partition to a hard drive partition, it's that simple. I do it every time, so I can upgrade oS to a new version without losing most of my settings (important things, like supertux scores ). You can even change it on a working system, but this will require some low-level intervention, probably with a liveCD tool.
    I'd also set the /tmp and /var partitions to the hard drive, as these are constantly written IINM. That will save your SSD a bit. Perhaps someone with a SSD will have more info.

    See any of the many install manuals or stickies or wikis for more details.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Not only is it easy to set up /home on a partition of its own, it is also a recommended practice, whether using an SSD boot drive (as I do ) or not. Any reinstallation can then simply be told to use the existing /home without reformatting it, which is much easier - as well as much safer - than using backups.
    Backing up /home is still necessary, of course, but not for this purpose...
    Günter

    Desk: Tumbleweed, KDE 5, AMD Ryzen 5 3400G, 16Gb, 120Gb SSD, 2 SATA.
    Lap: Thinkpad T430, Tumbleweed, Intel i5, 8Gb, SSD.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by brunomcl View Post
    You can even change it on a working system, but this will require some low-level intervention, probably with a liveCD tool.
    Go into runlevel 1. Then you are sure there are no normal users loged in any more and you can the umount /home, copy it to the new partition (e.g. with tar or cp, mind the options to use to retain ownership and timestamps), change /etc/fstab to mount the new partition on /home, reboot, ready.
    Prerequisit is of course that the new partition is there and that it has a fresh (empty) file system created on it. Can be done with YaST (before you go for this exercise), or fdisk and mkfs (either also before this exercise. or when beiing in the runlevel 1 state as above.
    Henk van Velden

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    I forgot about RL1, thanks.
    What about the tmp and var directories, should they also be kept away from SSD as I assumed? I'm just curious, no SSDs in the foreseeable future for me.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    On 2011-06-14 18:36, brunomcl wrote:
    >
    > I forgot about RL1, thanks.
    > What about the tmp and var directories, should they also be kept away
    > from SSD as I assumed? I'm just curious, no SSDs in the foreseeable
    > future for me.


    tmp is easy to move. Var I'm not sure.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Do not make the error to see ./tmp and /var as the same sort of beasts. At the most /var/tmp comes into the same sort of usage category as /tmp.

    you could e.g. place /tmp in memory (tmpfs), which will btw give you a nice clean /tmp aftyer every reboot. But do not do this with /var, you would throw away important system data.
    Henk van Velden

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Thanks everyone for your help. I will do all my backups and take the plunge this weekend .....

    Philip Timms

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    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    Do not make the error to see ./tmp and /var as the same sort of beasts. At the most /var/tmp comes into the same sort of usage category as /tmp.

    you could e.g. place /tmp in memory (tmpfs), which will btw give you a nice clean /tmp aftyer every reboot. But do not do this with /var, you would throw away important system data.
    Since I've installed Conky I notice that my SSD is constantly being written to, even when I'm not doing much at all. As I've already moved /tmp to a ramdisk, the obvious suspect is /var. Now I know that a lot of stuff in there has to be persistent between boots, and I should really have thought of putting it on the hard disk during the install, but is there any way known to man to move /var elsewhere on an existing installation?
    Günter

    Desk: Tumbleweed, KDE 5, AMD Ryzen 5 3400G, 16Gb, 120Gb SSD, 2 SATA.
    Lap: Thinkpad T430, Tumbleweed, Intel i5, 8Gb, SSD.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Using an SSD but keeping home directory on hard drive

    Hi,
    See my signature. My OS is on SSD disk and home on the other 500 Gb disk
    My system boots from grub in 25 s .
    openSUSE 12.2 (x86_64) KDE 4.8.5, Laptop: KEYNUX Ymax I7, RAM 4GB, HD 120GB SSD (OS) + 500GB, 64-bits Quad-core Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 740 @ 1.73GHz, Video 17" nVidia GeForce GTX 285M

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