Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Moving Home Folder to Second Drive in Ubuntu

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In the world of Ubuntu, the home folder is a personal space for each user, where they store personal files, configuration files, and other data. However, there may be situations where you need to move this home folder to another drive. This could be due to space constraints, performance reasons, or simply for better organization. In this article, we will explore two different methods to achieve this: using Symlinks and the Usermod command.

Quick Answer

Yes, it is possible to move the home folder to a second drive in Ubuntu. There are two methods you can use: creating a symlink or using the usermod command. The symlink method involves creating a shortcut from the original home folder location to the new drive. The usermod method allows you to modify the user account and change the home directory to the new drive. Both methods have their pros and cons, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Method 1: Using Symlinks

A symlink, or symbolic link, is essentially a shortcut to another file or directory. In this case, we will be creating a symlink from /home to /media/storage/home.

Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Backup Your Data

Before proceeding with any system changes, it’s always a good idea to backup your data. This ensures that you can restore your system to its previous state in case anything goes wrong.

Step 2: Move Existing Home Directory

Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo mv /home /media/storage/

This command uses mv (move) to relocate your existing home directory to the new location. The sudo command is used to run the command as a superuser, which is necessary for system-level changes.

Step 3: Create the Symlink

Next, create the symlink by running:

sudo ln -s /media/storage/home /home

The ln -s command creates a symbolic link. The -s option tells the command to create a symbolic link. The first path is the target of the link, and the second path is the location of the link.

Step 4: Reboot Your System

Finally, reboot your system to ensure the changes take effect.

Method 2: Using Usermod

The usermod command allows you to modify a user account. In this case, we will use it to change the home directory for your user. This method is more reliable and is generally recommended over the symlink method.

Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Create a Temporary Admin User

First, create a temporary admin user by running:

sudo adduser tempadmin

The adduser command creates a new user. The sudo command runs the command as a superuser.

Step 2: Switch to the Temporary Admin User

Switch to the temporary admin user by running:

su - tempadmin

The su command is used to switch to another user. The - option tells the command to simulate a full login.

Step 3: Change the Home Directory for Your User

Next, run the usermod command to change the home directory for your user:

sudo usermod -m -d /media/storage/home <your_username>

The usermod command is used to modify a user account. The -m option tells the command to move the contents of the user’s current home directory to the new directory. The -d option is followed by the new home directory. Replace <your_username> with your actual username.

Step 4: Switch Back to Your Original User Account

Switch back to your original user account by running:

exit

The exit command is used to end the current session.

Step 5: Remove the Temporary Admin User

Finally, remove the temporary admin user by running:

sudo deluser tempadmin

The deluser command is used to delete a user.

Step 6: Reboot Your System

Reboot your system to ensure the changes take effect.

Conclusion

Moving your home folder to a second drive in Ubuntu can be done using either the symlink method or the usermod command. Both methods have their pros and cons, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Always remember to backup your data before making any system changes. Happy Ubuntu-ing!

Can I move the home folder to a different drive in Ubuntu?

Yes, you can move the home folder to a different drive in Ubuntu using either the symlink method or the usermod command.

Why would I want to move the home folder to a different drive?

There are several reasons why you might want to move the home folder to a different drive, such as space constraints, performance reasons, or better organization.

What is a symlink?

A symlink, or symbolic link, is a shortcut to another file or directory. In this case, it is used to create a link from the original home folder location to the new location on a different drive.

Is it necessary to backup my data before moving the home folder?

Yes, it is always recommended to backup your data before making any system changes to ensure that you can restore your system to its previous state in case anything goes wrong.

Which method is more reliable, symlink or usermod?

The usermod method is generally considered more reliable and is recommended over the symlink method. However, both methods can be used depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Can I revert the changes if I decide to move the home folder back to its original location?

Yes, you can revert the changes by either removing the symlink or using the usermod command again to change the home directory back to its original location.

Do I need to reboot my system after moving the home folder?

Yes, it is recommended to reboot your system after moving the home folder to ensure that the changes take effect.

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