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-   -   External usb drive taking space on root fs? (

eMcJagger 06-20-2006 02:07 PM

External usb drive taking space on root fs?

First of all, I'm a newbie, so pardon my ignorance.

I'm trying to backup just my home directory onto an external usb hard drive. I don't need any fancy compression or anything, just a straight recursive copy of my home directory and all its subdirectories so that I can reinstall Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy (due to unresolvable ati graphics card issues with Ubuntu 6.06 -- see and copy the contents back. I followed these instructions to create a filesystem on a brand new "Safe Store" 250 GB external usb drive.: Now I have a nice filesystem mounted at /mnt/usbdrive/ and it seems that I can read + write to it fine.

To copy over my home, I did this:


sudo mkdir /mnt/usbdrive/backup
sudo cp -r /home/jeremy /mnt/usbdrive/backup

It seemed to be working slowly but surely (files were appearing in /mnt/usbdrive/backup), but then I got warnings that my memory was low, and when I used the System > Administration > System Monitor tool, I noticed that the memory on / was indeed being eaten away bit by bit (so to speak) as the the copy proceeded. I cancelled the copy and recursively removed /mnt/usbdrive/backup.

This doesn't make any sense to me. Isn't the whole point of an external drive that it doesn't take the space from your root filesystem? Are my method and/or understanding flawed?

Any help much appreciated.

cs-cam 06-21-2006 07:14 AM

Post the output of 'mount'. Sounds suspiciously like the USB drive isn't actually mounted and it was just replicating the data on the same drive.

eMcJagger 06-22-2006 12:26 AM

Yah man, I believe you're right! I think I accidentally just created a new directory under /mnt and was copying everything there. I tried it again and good old Ubuntu automatically detected and mounted the usb drive, and I copied everything to it and all went super smoothly. I guess I screwed something up in my first attempt. Sorry for the false alarm, and thanks for the feedback!

cs-cam 06-22-2006 01:05 AM

Glad to help, don't think you're the only one whos done that. I mounted the wrong partition once and replaced all my coreutils with ones compiled for an ARM processor (runs things like iPods). That was fun to clean up :p

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