Attaching Disks to a Linux system

How to format a drive on Ubuntu with the XFS file system and reflinks support

(July 21, 2019) Reflinks are an extremely interesting feature - it is an implementation of "Copy on Write" for files in the file system. You create a reflink using the command cp --reflink=always, and the two files act as if they're linked together (no extra disk space consumed) but as soon as you edit one they become two files. With reflinks one could easily set up a clone of a directory structure to edit something in the clone without modifying the original files. XFS is one of the file systems which supports reflinks, so it is worthwhile to know how to format a drive with the XFS filesystem and with the reflinks feature enabled.

Moving /home on Ubuntu to a second drive

(January 30, 2018)

It's common to mount the entire Ubuntu system on one partition on one drive. It's very easy to set that up, simply format an ext4 filesystem for the entire disk, and away we go. How do you transition such a system to have /home on a second drive? The GUI tools don't support doing this, so what do you do? A big consideration is that while logged in you're using /home, and therefore can't delete that filesystem while it's in use.

How to set-up a multi-drive SSD/HDD Ubuntu desktop system

(January 28, 2018)

Ubuntu is supposed to be fairly simple to use with lots of attention put on a solid/reliable well-thought-out Linux user experience. My experience setting up a multi-drive Ubuntu computer showed it's not quite as smooth a user experience as the Ubuntu reputation would lead you to believe.

Fixing Ubuntu to allow running gparted to format/configure disks

(January 28, 2018)

Ubuntu is supposed to be a well-tested easy-to-use Linux, so when I wanted to run gparted to format a new drive it was frustrating I had to jump so many hoops to launch the program. Fixing the problem of launching gparted on Ubuntu turned out to be easy, but difficult to first determine what went wrong and the fix.