Recommendations for installing Fedora 34 on SSD and HDD

If you want run windows on the ssd/nvme you need to install windows first and -AFAIK- windows always wants the first partitions.

Unless something has changed recently it isn’t a requirement to install windows first. If you don’t, you just have to deal with the fact that it may cause some havoc with your bootloader. That is usually easily rectified though.

It has been a bit since I tried but I have installed Windows 10 to other partitions than the beginning the disk.

I use 3 drives on a Red Hat desktop device … as explained with graphical installer, one user as administrator, EFI and boot partition on one SSD, LVM2 volume spanning NVME, the rest of the first SSD and the other SSD formatted as FAT for EFI partition and XFS for boot and LVM volume as default on Red Hat. The LVM2 is just one logical volume giving 3 block devices being root, swap and home. No root owner, just myself as administrator using sudo command if necessary. Same setup with Fedora on a ThinkPad laptop … one SSD drive, one user as administrator, EFI, boot and single BTRFS partition mounted as fedora-localhost-live selecting LVM on installer.
I thought this is a good solution for the question as easy and efficient setup allowing to create other users if wanted, not classic I admit. Linux is freedom of configuration allowing many possible setups and sophisticated configurations using several devices all mixed up together, not free as beer as some people think but hard work for developers with cost of internet bandwidth …

why should one invest additional work in dealing with “havoc with bootlaoder” when they are easily avoidable ? (=> KISS)

Because this isn’t a hypothetical situation. In this case, the Fedora install has already been completed. The 5 minutes it takes to fix the bootloader wouldn’t be worth reinstalling Fedora for. Especially since the OP isn’t even sure if they want to install Windows.

One thing that has not been mentioned is that physically subvolumes are not separate. A BTRFS file system has one volume and pseudo subvolumes. It does not matter what percentage of the space is allocated, that subvolume can actually grow to occupy the entire volume if you write enough data to it. The only thing keeping data in a “subvolume” is the designation as a subvolume and how the OS manages the btree for access, not related to where it is physically located on the drive.

Having several subvolumes for the OS file tree is actually a waste of administrators time since they share the device anyway. Legacy partitions and LVs have a designated space on the drive. Not so much for btrfs since space allocation occurs dynamically as needed.

For reliability, and for situations as this thread addresses, where one drive is SSD and another is HDD, having a btrfs root volume on each device is best. Even if the drives are identical, unless you want to be in the situation of using something akin to a raid 0 array spanning multiple drives I think it should always be that way.

Having multiple subvolumes gives you far more flexibility as it relates to snapshots and volume management. This is especially true if you use snapshots as part of your overall backup strategy.

True, although I don’t use snapshots so it is not an issue for me. My system seldom changes except for updates. My /home is on raid with LVM so that does not affect my backup strategy.

If you don’t use snapshots and you just have one big subvolume, why use btrfs in the first place?


Aha, missed that
sorry !

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having /home as a subvolume (on the same disk) is a huge benefit in case of new installs.
(leaving it untouched during install and just mount it afterwards)

  • deleted -

I said several. Certainly there is an advantage to having /home as its own subvolume, or on another disk, but having lots of subvolumes is not useful unless used to provide separate snapshots of portions of the system. I am not sure that really is a good idea for most of the OS though since almost everything has to be in sync at any given time and partial snapshots might lead to problems in that respect.

I can see having a subvolume for the VM images since they are not dependent upon remaining in sync with the host OS. If your server runs a database, mail, or a web site then those files that are data and not OS dependent would be good candidates as well.

Home users - not so much use for the separated areas. The default config (automatic partitioning on at least fedora) of creating one subvolume for / and one for /home should be adequate for most users there…

Fair enough. I was using “default” differently to the btrfs docs—I meant the one that’s created by default, the top-level subvolume. The docs mean the one that’s mounted by default when you don’t specify a subvolume. By default(!) these are the same, but you can change the second one… which means you have a non-default default… sheesh. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good to know. Say instead that it’s not ordinarily mounted.

That’s setting it up as nested (and automatically mounted), yeah? I need to add it to fstab myself if I want it mounted somewhere other than the default under its parent subvolume?

“Bind mounts”—another thing I didn’t know about. So I can have a subvolume, mount it to /home/alice/Music, and then create a bind mount at /home/bob/Music… I think we’re getting a bit far afield from the topic, but now I’ve got some light reading. Thanks!

While (as @dalto says) I’ve already installed Fedora, I think this is worth noting—I would like this thread to be useful to others who want a sane (and not-too-fiddly) install on a SSD/HDD pair, so it’s good to mention that in general you can save effort by installing Windows first.

Also worth noting: I haven’t done anything significant to my new system yet except install a gigabyte or so of updates. So if I have to wipe it and start over to get it the way I want, it won’t be any great loss at this point. :wink: (Not that fixing up the bootloader is a problem. Probably the easier solution overall, if and when I put Windows on.)

Yup. Although you can set per-subvolume quotas, no?

I appreciate the concern, but as an inveterate tinkerer and my own administrator, I’ve got no-one to blame for wasting my time but me!

To install Windows 10, you need Microsoft media creation tool on their site needing a valid Microsoft account. Linux just sends you to ISO file. The media tool has an option item allowing to modify/delete/create/size/resize partitions allowing small installation on just one drive … after Fedora installer on what’s left (separate drives/devices is advisable).


You can also get ISOs of Windows without a Microsoft account. They just don’t make them obvious to find.

But it seems we are drifting off-topic… :nerd_face:

The topic is Fedora on hybrid mix of drives … then drifted to dual boot Fedora and Windows, installing first or second. I’m only indicating an easy manner of installing W10 with a small download and efficient way to make dedicated space. Microsoft needs a licence, that’s it …

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I wasn’t blaming you for going off-topic. I was pointing out that my post was off-topic.

It was you who stated that an account was needed. Perhaps that was a typo? :thinking:

No typo … you need W10 with valid MS account just to get the page with link to the media creation tool. Maybe an Insider account to access Edge browser on Linux and install full Microsoft repository … works on Ubuntu LTS, haven’t tried on Fedora, Intel OpenVINO only gives runtime part on Fedora or Red Hat, will probably change with October update.