Setting up Second Storage Drive

Hello! I’ve been attempting to switching to Linux (Fedora) for a while, but I’ve been having the same issue while configuring my second storage drive.

I have two M.2 SSDs, a 250GB for the Operating System, and a 1TB drive for the Games. On Windows, I think formatting the second storage drive to be relatively straightforward: “Settings > System > Storage > Advanced Storage Settings > Disks & Volumes”.

However, when I try on Linux, it’s much more complicated. To help me out, I’ve always watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkwZZIsY9uE. While this video has been helpful, I feel like there’s a more straightforward way to do this, like on Windows.

This is one of the primary issues preventing me from fully switching to Linux. I would greatly appreciate any help to simplify the method of setting up my second storage drive.

When doing the install it is relatively simple (if intending to replace windows).

  1. Install the entire system on the 250GG drive.
  2. After the install is complete and fedora is able to boot then repartition and format the second 1TB drive.

You did not state whether you intend to dual boot and continue to use windows or if you intend to wipe out windows and use linux only. Nor did you state whether you intend to keep or destroy any data on the second and larger SSD. The answer to those questions will determine the exact details to provide a suitable path forward.

Apologies for not stating those details. I am planning to wipe out both SSDs and only use Linux.

Try the install as suggested above. Initial install using only the first SSD with automatic partitioning while selecting to wipe out the data and use the entire drive. Set up the second after the install is complete.

We can provide additional suggestions for the second drive after the install is completed and booting properly.

There are a couple of gui application which can handle configurating the disk unit.

  • disks
  • gparted
  • blivet

With gparted when creating a new partitin in the free space it will handle everything including creating the file system, sometime referred to as formatting it. This new file system will be ready to be mounted. You file browser can do this quite easily. Or you can use the disks program to create the entry in fstab. The blivet program can help you with managing LVS partitions, if you want to use that.

I hate to discourage a switch from Windows to Fedora, but since your major storage was for games, have you checked whether the games you want to continue playing work on Linux?

Assuming the things you want to continue doing on Fedora are things that work on Fedora, my guess is that you will find it more convenient if the /home partition of Fedora is on the second drive.

You could use the second drive in other ways, after the initial setup of Fedora. You could even move /home to the second drive after setting it up the default way. But I think it would be easier in the long run to tell the installer to use the second drive for /home initially. That really isn’t much harder than selecting default partitioning on one drive.

Probably, but also probably better if it is created as its own volume and not part of the main root volume. Thus creating it after the install is completed seems easier to ensure separate volumes – whether btrfs, ext4, or lvm.

Spreading any volume across 2 (or more) physical devices has the same risk factors as creating a raid0 array (striped). It adds an additional failure point that can wipe out the entire system with a single failure.

I’ve wiped both and installed Fedora 38 on my 250GB, haven’t touched the 1TB but it shows up on the “Disks” app. What do I do next?

Now I personally would install gparted then use sudo gparted DEVICE (where DEVICE is the name of the second drive seen in /dev – such as /dev/nvme0n2 or similar) and create the desired partition on that device with the desired file system. If using btrfs then someone else will need to assist in creating the volume and subvolume to use.

Once that is done then it is relatively easy to use the new device as /home if that is what is desired. You may use a terminal window to do the following.

  1. locate the UUID of the file system on the device with lsblk -f which will show both the device uuid and the subvolume name if using btrfs.
  2. mount that device on /mnt with sudo mount -t FSTYPE -o OPTIONS UUID=<uuid of file system> /mnt replacing FSTYPE and OPTIONS as appropriate.
  3. sudo rsync -av /home/USER /mnt/ to create a copy of the existing /home onto the new device. This will create a new directory tree on the device that is an exact copy of the existing users home directory. Verify the directory was created with ls /mnt which now should show the users home directory in that location.
  4. once step 3 completes then edit /etc/fstab and copy the line that mounts /home, placing a “#” in front of one copy of that line to facilitate recovery if something goes wrong.
  5. edit the remaining line for /home to include the details used to mount the new partition in step 2 and save the changed file.
  6. sudo umount /mnt
  7. verify the line in /etc/fstab is correct with sudo mount -a. If that works properly then reboot. If not then fix the entry in fstab before rebooting.
  • Format disk. It is under the three dot menu upper right corner.
  • Then find the “+” to create a partition with a file system.
  • Then select the new partition and hit the gear wheels where you can define mount information. Unselect the selector at the top to allow you to proceed.

You can do the same with gparted except the mount step.

A beginner may not know that all those commands you showed are meant to be typed or pasted into the terminal program.

I’m using KDE, in which one easy way to launch the terminal is to right click on the desktop and select “open in terminal”. The terminal also has a name (konsole) that can be selected from the thing that acts like a Windows Start button. Starting the terminal (and its name) will be slightly different since you aren’t using KDE. But once started:

Commands that are suggested in this forum (as Jeff did above) can be copied from the browser and pasted into the terminal, if you find that easier (or more accurate) than typing them.

Also, rather than figure out the name of your 1TB SSD, I find it slower but easier to just start gparted without telling it what to work on. It then has a pull down near the upper right of its GUI from which you can select the drive to work on (it shows the size of each in addition to the name).

Thank you everyone in the comments! I “fixed” my issue by merging both disks, not exactly what I wanted but the “solutions” in the replies were kind of complicated.