I have a desktop PC running Arch Linux that during inital installation only used a 120GB SSD for / and no other partitions. I have just recently added a 500GB HDD that I want to mount as /home to give me added storage, avoid future issues with compiling on an SSD, and help with easier upgrades in the future if I ever change anything but want to retain the same /home.

Prior to this my fstab read:

# <file system> <dir>   <type>  <options>   <dump>  <pass>
/dev/sda1               /           ext4        rw,data=ordered,noatime,nodiratime,discard,erros=remount-ro 0 1

When preparing for the upgrade I copied all of /home to the new partition then renamed /home to /home_old and created a new, empty /home then modified /etc/fstab to read:

# <file system> <dir>   <type>  <options>   <dump>  <pass>
/dev/sda1               /           ext4        rw,data=ordered,noatime,nodiratime,discard,erros=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/sdb1               /home           ext4        rw,nodev,nosuid,erros=remount-ro    0 2

... Which at the time were the correct partition names.

However, I rebooted and it mounted the SSD as / and /home. I tried it with UUIDs and received the same result.

Just for the sake of trying, I switched the two and it fell back to an emergency console at boot time. Again tried with UUIDs with the same result.

If I go back to the old version of /etc/fstab now, it shows the SSD as /dev/sdb1 and the HDD as /dev/sda1 but still mounts the SSD as /, which I find VERY strange.

My question, given the backstory now, is how do I fix this issue and why is it behaving this way so I can understand what's causing this?


As Timothy Martin pointed out in the comments I made a typo in fstab and it turns out that's what caused it. More proof that weird things occur when you make a mistake in your configuration files.

sheepish grin

  • Congratulations on a lucid and clearly written question. The correspondence of hard disks with device names is usually very stable. The behavior you describe does indeed seem odd. I'd start by taking a look at boot logs, specifically dmesg. I'd compare them for different configurations. This isn't very helpful, but nothing else comes to mind at the moment. – Faheem Mitha Mar 22 '16 at 19:01
  • Can you paste the output of lsblk -f into the question? This is as good a way as any of displaying the partitions and filesystems. – Faheem Mitha Mar 22 '16 at 19:11
  • 2
    @FaheemMitha correspondence between device names and hard disks isn't stable (especially with multiple controllers, USB disks, and Firewire disks), that's why UUIDs are used nowadays. – derobert Mar 22 '16 at 19:57
  • Apparently I'm out of date. Can you post how you wrote /etc/fstab using UUIDs? – Faheem Mitha Mar 22 '16 at 20:25
  • 1
    Is the erros= intentional? The only documentation I can find says errors=. – Timothy Martin Mar 22 '16 at 21:33

Create a temporary Home folder


This will display the UID of all the partitions. Record the UUID of the dd

Open a terminal and type the following:

 vi /etc/fstab

and add the following line to the end of the file.

UUID=xxx-xxxxx-xxxxx   /media/home    ext4          nodev,nosuid       0       2

save and exit

Next, create a mount point:

 mkdir /media/home

and reload the updated fstab.

mount -a

we need to remove the existing Home folder to make way for the new Home folder in the 500 GB partition . To do that, type the following commands in the terminal:

cd /
sudo mv /home /home_backup
sudo mkdir /home

Mount the new Home folder

vi /etc/fstab

All you have to do is to change the /media/home to /home . Save and exit the file. reload the fstab file:

mount -a

removing the Home_backup folder

 rm -rf /home_backup
  • I can't figure out what you're doing here. Why edit fstab multiple times? Why are you temporarily mounting something on /media/home? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 22 '16 at 21:36
  • I have gone back and edited my original post to point out my mistake. For future viewers I am marking this as the correct answer as it is correct and would have worked had I not made a stupid mistake. – user66330 Mar 22 '16 at 22:59

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