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I am running Ubuntu 11.04. During installation, instead of /usr, I mistakenly assigned /usr/local to a separate partition. Now I want to change the mount point to default to /usr on boot but I don't want to go through the pain of installing Ubuntu again.

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So, if I follow you correctly, you have two partitions (I'm going to call them /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2, but the names don't matter). The partition /dev/sda1 is now mounted at /, and the partition /dev/sda2 is now mounted at /usr/local. Furthermore, on the filesystem on /dev/sda2, the files are the ones that should be under /usr/local, while other files that should be under /usr are now on /dev/sda1.

First, you need to move all the files that are on the wrong partition. The easiest way to do that would be to boot from a live CD or USB, mount both filesystems, and perform the move. Assuming the filesystems are mounted at /media/sda1 and /media/sda2:

mv /media/sda2/* /media/sda1/usr/local/
mv /media/sda1/usr/* /media/sda2/

Then edit /etc/fstab to change the mount point. That is, there is currently a line with something like

UUID=1234...  /usr/local  ext4  errors=remount-ro  0 1

Change the /usr/local part to /usr. Now reboot to your new system.

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/dev/pv/usr in while other files that should be under /usr are now on /dev/pv/usr should be /dev/pv/root/usr – Deepak Mittal Jun 4 '11 at 11:19
@dpacmittal: /dev/pv/root/usr wouldn't make sense: /dev/pv/root is the device, not a directory. Mmm, maybe it's confusing that I used names for the devices, I'll change that to numbers. – Gilles Jun 4 '11 at 11:26
Also moving between different filesystem takes lot of times compared to moving within same filesystem. So mkdir /media/usr/local && mv /media/usr/* /media/usr/local/, mv /media/root/usr/* /media/usr/ would be a better option. No? – Deepak Mittal Jun 4 '11 at 11:28
@dpacmittal: Yes, but it's more complicated, and on a recently installed system, there's probably not much in /usr/local yet. – Gilles Jun 4 '11 at 11:32

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