Expanding Disk Space Using SD Card

Discussion in 'Laptops / Netbooks' started by Ben Branchaud, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Ben Branchaud

    Ben Branchaud New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I am running Ubuntu 13.10 on an Acer C7 Chromebook using Crouton (doesn't matter for this question). Ubuntu is NOT installed on an SD card. Edit: Actually, I suppose I am running Xubuntu, as my desktop interface is XFCE (?)

    Because the C7 shipped with a 16gb SSD, I am already out of hard drive space. I do, however, have a built-in card reader and a 32gb SD card. I am hoping that I will be able to use that SD Card to expand the amount of space that I have. I understand that I can move my files (home folder) to the card, but I don't have any files taking up space. All of my space is being taken up by applications, and I want MOAR.

    Is there any way to tell my computer to use the space on the SD Card to install apps. I'm not too advanced with this kind of thing, so I am hoping that I will be able to run a few commands or edit a few text files and forget about it - basically, the computer suddenly "thinks" that it has 32 more GB than it used to.

    Please tell me this is possible. I just bought this laptop, and I don't feel like installing a new SSD. If this is possible using a flash drive and not an SD card, I suppose that would work. I'm getting the feeling that I would only be able to accomplish this if I installed Ubuntu onto the SD card or flash drive, though.


    Thank you so much for your time and help,

    Benjamin
    DevynCJohnson likes this.
  2. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    You may be able to put your /home on the SD card. Editing the /etc/fstab file would allow for that... but installing applications to the SD card will be VERY difficult. Since most apps are installed in /usr/bin or /bin etc those directories would have to be put on the SD card. But not all programs are installed at those normal locations . Some programs, like firefox-nightly, are put in /opt. /home may work, but other then that..
    DevynCJohnson likes this.
  3. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Member

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    There are several things to consider:

    Writes to SD cards are slow, as has been suggested.

    It's been my experience that writes to SD card need to be done synchronously, if you want them to be done reliably, so the best way is to mount it that way (modify your fstab to do that).

    Lots of writes to an SD card will wear the cells, so it's better to have something that is relatively static. /usr /bin and things like that are better choices, and you can have the card partitioned and these partitions mounted on these directories, BUT you need to have the card present at boot time.

    What you need to do is explore the space requirements of the various directories in / to see where all the space is going. Also, purge any un-needed packages. There's lots of cruft in a typical default install.

    Finally, decide what you actually need vs what you want or think you need; learn to live within the constraints of the system you have.
    DevynCJohnson likes this.

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