Join two hard drives in "/" directory

kashyr

New Member
Hi!

So I installed Linux a week ago in my SSD and now my hard drive of 1TB is not beign used. Following a tutorial I mounted it in a new folder whose path is "/hdd", I have the following doubt: Will my hard drive will be used in this manner? I mean, I think when an app is installed all the files are drawn into /dev/... Or /etc/... and all that stuff. In the way that I have mounted my hard drive it won't work properly, will it?

Is it possible to combine both hard drives in the "main folder" ("/") in order to get the new files automatically in the right folders using all the space available?

Thanks a lot!
 


atanere

Well-Known Member
Hello @kashyr, and welcome! If I understand correctly, your HDD is just simple storage. It would be a bad idea, in my opinion, to name a folder on the HDD like, "/hdd/etc" and want it to do the same function as /etc that is on your SSD. There may be cases where someone wants a separate drive to be /home, but I would probably even discourage that unless the SSD is so small that it cannot accept the natural growth of the system.

When you installed Linux to your SSD, it automatically set up all the needed file structures... /, /boot, /home, /usr, /var, and so on. It is using all the right folders and space available... on the SSD. But the HDD is still very useful in many ways as storage. You can keep a large music and video collection there, and it is also a great place to store "system backups" with Timeshift, in case you ever need to recover your system from a disaster. Check out @wizardfromoz's tutorial on Timeshift here.

Cheers
 

kashyr

New Member
Hello @kashyr, and welcome! If I understand correctly, your HDD is just simple storage. It would be a bad idea, in my opinion, to name a folder on the HDD like, "/hdd/etc" and want it to do the same function as /etc that is on your SSD. There may be cases where someone wants a separate drive to be /home, but I would probably even discourage that unless the SSD is so small that it cannot accept the natural growth of the system.

When you installed Linux to your SSD, it automatically set up all the needed file structures... /, /boot, /home, /usr, /var, and so on. It is using all the right folders and space available... on the SSD. But the HDD is still very useful in many ways as storage. You can keep a large music and video collection there, and it is also a great place to store "system backups" with Timeshift, in case you ever need to recover your system from a disaster. Check out @wizardfromoz's tutorial on Timeshift here.

Cheers
Thanks for answering so quick, I think I didn't explain correctly my problem. My idea is getting both hard drives acting like they were only one, deleting the current "/hdd" folder and adding the two capacities (120 GB and 1 TB) all in the "/" path. I don't know if this is actually possible.

By the way, thanks too for the timeshift tip, I'd created the copy in the SSD the first time and it took away from me that precious space, this is now corrected.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
My idea is getting both hard drives acting like they were only one, deleting the current "/hdd" folder and adding the two capacities (120 GB and 1 TB) all in the "/" path. I don't know if this is actually possible.
It is possible, but not in ways that I can help with. Maybe others can give better advice if you really want to pursue that. Some methods might require that you reinstall your system from scratch to set them up. You can Google around for information on RAID, JBOD (or other non-RAID methods), and LVM. These methods are generally more complex and not necessarily good for new users. And there may be other methods that I'm unaware of, or not remembering at the moment.

I'm a big fan of simple design and maintenance. Your system SSD and storage HDD is a good example of that. If your system drive fails, you can use Timeshift from your HDD to restore it fairly quickly and easily. Rebuilding a RAID array might not be so simple (until you learn it well). If your HDD drive fails, well, that could be bad... a reminder that very important data should be backed up in at least one other location.

Cheers
 

kashyr

New Member
It is possible, but not in ways that I can help with. Maybe others can give better advice if you really want to pursue that. Some methods might require that you reinstall your system from scratch to set them up. You can Google around for information on RAID, JBOD (or other non-RAID methods), and LVM. These methods are generally more complex and not necessarily good for new users. And there may be other methods that I'm unaware of, or not remembering at the moment.

I'm a big fan of simple design and maintenance. Your system SSD and storage HDD is a good example of that. If your system drive fails, you can use Timeshift from your HDD to restore it fairly quickly and easily. Rebuilding a RAID array might not be so simple (until you learn it well). If your HDD drive fails, well, that could be bad... a reminder that very important data should be backed up in at least one other location.

Cheers
Ok, I'll keep searching then, thanks for the help!
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
I have three drives....one SSD, and two HDD's
The ssd houses linux mint 18.3 + all its bits and pieces....the 1st hdd handles pics, music and movies, and the 2nd hdd is strictly for backups & co.

It is not a pita to maintain. It becomes an easy habit to simply right click on any pic downloaded etc etc to send it to that hdd....also to drag n drop a piece of music to send it to the same place (folders are organised inside that hdd to accommodate music and pics and movies so that they are kept in some semblance of order so they are easy to access)

In turn my music player is organised in such a way that its music ism accessed from that hdd....there is a setting in the player which makes that hdd the source it plays from. The shortcut on my desktop/panel accesses the music with one click and works like a charm. Access to pics is a little cumbersome on my setup, ...that is because I send pics to that hdd and then tend to forget about them for long periods of time. I will organise them 'one day'.

The backup hdd speaks for itself. Any backups using Timeshift or clonezilla are automatically directed to this hdd. I deliberately keep this hdd unmounted.

Wrapping your head around the whole organisational thing is the hardest part.......but probably nowhere near as hard as what you are proposing.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
4107


Use Logical Volume Manager
May disagree, but with provisions.

G'day @kashyr and welcome to linux.org :)

(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke)

Can you tell us:

1. What Linux you are using? Version, Desktop Environment &c
2. Is this your first Linux or do you have experience?

Cheers

BTW @dos2unix ... LOVE that new avatar :D

Chris Turner
wizarfromoz
 
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kashyr

New Member
View attachment 4107



May disagree, but with provisions.

G'day @kashyr and welcome to linux.org :)

(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke)

Can you tell us:

1. What Linux you are using? Version, Desktop Environment &c
2. Is this your first Linux or do you have experience?

Cheers

BTW @dos2unix ... LOVE that new avatar :D

Chris Turner
wizarfromoz
Hello!

Sure I can tell:

1. I'm using Ubuntu 18.04 and what I think it's the last version of gnome 3 (since apt upgrade doesn't download anything).
2. I'd once installed Ubuntu but I gave up really quick, so it I could say this is my real first Linux.
 

kashyr

New Member
I have three drives....one SSD, and two HDD's
The ssd houses linux mint 18.3 + all its bits and pieces....the 1st hdd handles pics, music and movies, and the 2nd hdd is strictly for backups & co.

It is not a pita to maintain. It becomes an easy habit to simply right click on any pic downloaded etc etc to send it to that hdd....also to drag n drop a piece of music to send it to the same place (folders are organised inside that hdd to accommodate music and pics and movies so that they are kept in some semblance of order so they are easy to access)

In turn my music player is organised in such a way that its music ism accessed from that hdd....there is a setting in the player which makes that hdd the source it plays from. The shortcut on my desktop/panel accesses the music with one click and works like a charm. Access to pics is a little cumbersome on my setup, ...that is because I send pics to that hdd and then tend to forget about them for long periods of time. I will organise them 'one day'.

The backup hdd speaks for itself. Any backups using Timeshift or clonezilla are automatically directed to this hdd. I deliberately keep this hdd unmounted.

Wrapping your head around the whole organisational thing is the hardest part.......but probably nowhere near as hard as what you are proposing.
If I can't find a way to achieve what I want maybe I use your same method. In fact if there is a way to install the applications out of the SSD, where I have the OS, this is exactly what I'm looking for.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
My SSD is also a 120 GB.

My HDD'd total around 550 GB

All of the "apps" that I use are installed on the SSD.

The "results" from all of those apps are sent to the HDD's.........for example....just one of the 'apps" i use is Qbittorrent. I regularly download specific material using that "app"....I download various OS's using that app as well. When those downloads happen, they are automatically sent to one of my HDD's (the one that is always mounted...it mounts as part of the PC startup) (only the backup hdd is unmounted until I actually do a backup.)

My reasoning is this. On a 120GB SSD there is plenty of room for the OS (takes approx 20GB to operate in...that includes all the apps that are included with it) and quite a large number of apps.....and still with enough room to spare so that the ssd operates properly. I maintain this space by sending things like pictures and music and os's and videos to the hdd. Occasionally I will move a bundle of my documents to the hdd.......I do this manually. Right click on the documents I wish to move and then click on "move to" 'torrents' which is the name given to that hdd.

I am having trouble remembering exactly how I set up that 'torrents' drive when I first started....but I am sure someone here will help you through that as well
 

TechnoJunky

Well-Known Member
I'm going to say don't do it. You shouldn't use an SSD and an HDD as a single drive, as you're thinking about or as I think you're thinking. Both devices have different read/write speeds from each other. If you were to combine then as I think you're thinking, you could have errors and issues because of this. A better way to do it is to reserve your SSD for the OS partitions. These could include /boot and / and maybe a few others but most home users don't use these options. Use the HDD for /home and swap. I have a 40 gig root partition and have never come close to using all of it. However, my /home partition, on my 1 TB HDD has 300 GB free. To do this after the OS is installed, boot up to a Live CD/Pen drive, move all of /home on the SSD to the HDD, edit /etc/fstab to mount the HDD to /home, then reboot.

If you want to combine drives into a single partition, they need to be all alike and usually setup in a RAID configuration of sorts. Raid 0 would allow them to be added together but no redundancy, one fails, lose all data. Raid 1 would give you the redundancy but you wouldn't see the increased space. Raid 5 would give you 2/3's of the space and redundancy with 3 HDDs.
 
Last edited:

Rob

Administrator
Staff member
Hey there,

You could keep your 1tb drive mounted at /hdd - make sure it's in /etc/fstab to come up on boot.. then, add directories that may fill up like /var and/or /home on there, and symlink the real /home and /var to those spots.

You'd want/need to copy everything over to the new directories first, of course.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Thanks for that info, @kashyr :)

I have a lot of head nodding in the points raised by the 3 Members above, at #es 14, 13, and 12.

I have your 'Beaver GNOME' in my stable (run 90 Linux), and I have been working on some figures.

Can you find your way to Terminal (Ctrl-Alt-t) and provide me with the outputs of the following commands? Comments by me are prefaced with a # and are not a command.

Code:
df -ah /dev/sdxy

#this is likely something like /dev/sdb1, 2 whatever ... where your file system is

du -ah /var

#and

du -ah /var/log

#and

du -ah /var/cache/apt/archives
With that last command, only the last few lines are needed, it may be quite long, the figure at bottom left is important.

Cheers

Wizard
 

kashyr

New Member
Thanks for all your answers!

I think I still had the "Windows chip" in my head and probably I wasn't facing the situation as I should. All of you seem to agree in using both hard drives in different ways, so that's what I'll do since I have the feeling of this is how it should be worked on linux.
 

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