I recently cleared about 500GB of junk from my HDD. Since I'm pretty low on space on my Arch install, I figured I'd dedicate 200GB of that to /home. Problem is that my /home partition is located on my SSD, not the HDD. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to migrate /home to another drive.

The partitions

(source: cubeupload.com)

Recovery, EFI, Windows Boot, Arch Root Partition, Arch /home Partition and 20GB overhead for the SSD. The HDD is just a big dumping ground.

What I want is to move the /home partition safely over to the HDD (new 200GB partition), then merge the old /home with the root partition to create a bigger root partition.

  • 3
    Just move it there and fix your /etc/fstab. Shouldn't be a big deal. You can do it single user mode to be on a safe side.
    – UVV
    Aug 5, 2014 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


Like UVV wrote in a comment, this shouldn't present a problem. Do it from single user mode if you want to play it safe.

  1. Create a partition to hold the new /home, create a file system on it, and mount that file system.
  2. Move everything under /home into the root of the file system on the new partition. mv /home/* /mnt/ or something like that should do nicely. Watch out for dotfiles! ls -A is your friend here.
  3. Amend /etc/fstab to name the new partition for a /home mountpoint. I recommend you use a stable identifier; something under /dev/disk/by-id or /dev/disk/by-label should work nicely.
  4. Make sure /home on the root file system is empty, mount /home and make sure it's populated, reboot and enjoy.

This is the upside of *nix systems separating mount points from the physical and logical disk layout.

  • Easier than I expected! Only issue I ran into was that the /home folder was owned by root once I rebooted from single user mode. Was easy enough to fix by using the root account. chown -R username /home/username
    – Raghap
    Aug 5, 2014 at 10:34
  • @Raghap /home should be owned by root. Each user's home directory should be owned by that user. I'm a little curious what you did to move them that changed ownership, but am glad to hear that it worked out well for you!
    – user
    Aug 5, 2014 at 10:35
  • I probably wasn't very clear, meant to say my users home directory was now owned by root. I'm not sure why, but at least it's working fine now!
    – Raghap
    Aug 5, 2014 at 10:39

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