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Old 02-24-2006, 10:56 AM   #1
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Extending /home with additional HDD but no LVM

Quick summary:

My company has an FTP server for office-to-office transfers that would take too long over the network, and office-to-client and client-to-office transfers. Recently, the hard drive mounted on /home has been running out of space (all uploads are in /home/guest). So, I need to add another hard drive. The box is running RH 7.

My question:

Is there a way to install the new hard drive in a manner in which I can extend /home rather than mounting over top of it? The hard drive currently in place is 7.5GB, certainly not unusable. So, I'd rather leave it in the machine, also avoiding the need to copy 7.5GB of data to the new drive.

Other Info:

I did not create this box, and therefore do not want to build and buy a new server as I do not quite know the whole network topology, nor understand it. I'm a programmer, this sysadmin stuff is very new to me.

The contents of /etc/fstab is:
LABEL=/                 /                       ext2    defaults        1 1
LABEL=/home             /home                   ext2    defaults        1 2
/dev/cdrom              /mnt/cdrom              iso9660 noauto,owner,ro 0 0
/dev/fd0                /mnt/floppy             auto    noauto,owner    0 0
none                    /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0
none                    /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
/dev/hda5               swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
So, what do you think is the best solution here? Is my original thought possible without using the LVM (which is obviously not available here)?
Old 02-24-2006, 11:44 AM   #2
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Copying 7.5Gb, disk to disk on the same machine, it not going to take you a long time. If your current disk is only 7.5Gb then that probably means it's pretty old. And pretty slow. I would just copy the data to a newer, larger, faster drive myself.

This copy and replace scenerio will probably take you less time than trying to keep that old 7.5Gb in the mix without LVM. What you're talking about doing is exactly what LVM was designed for. Why would you want to reinvent the wheel? You'd probably end up with something far less reliable than LVM. And to salvage such a small 7.5Gb disk?! That thing's got to only be worth about five dollars ... six tops. You've must be talking around 8+ years old I'd guess. Probably near end-of-life anyway (or PAST it!)
Old 02-24-2006, 11:48 AM   #3
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alternatively, you can mount the new disk in a subfolder of /home or /home/guest, but this won't get you more space in /home/guest itself...
Old 02-24-2006, 01:12 PM   #4
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Thanks, but that doesn't really help me out. I need to be able to extend the amount of storage in /home/guest

I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel, just trying to same myself some work as this is taking away from time I need to be spending on other tasks. And yes, the whole box is probably past EOL, but that's not really a concern right now. Building a new FTP server will be a project this summer. For now, I just need it to work.

So, what I think I'll do is get a new hard drive and copy everything in /home to it. Then, I think I'll take the old drive and mount it to /home/guest/pub/__Old_Files and use it for temporary backups.

One more thing, I'm a bit stumped as to how I find the drive in /dev. When I do "ls -l /dev/hd*" I get a lot of results. How do I find the new drive from here?
Old 02-24-2006, 01:44 PM   #5
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/dev/hda - 1st IDE controller master
/dev/hdb - 1st IDE controller slave
/dev/hdc - 2nd IDE conroller master
/dev/hdd - 2nd IDE controller slave
etc. etc....

After creating and formating the partition on the new disk mount it to something /mnt/newdrive. Copy everything from old /home to /mnt/newdrive.
Create a label for the new partition using tune2fs and change /etc/fstab to match.
unmount old home and mount new home.

Instead of using a volume label in fstab you can use the device ID like /dev/hda1.
Also in using the cp command be sure to use -pR command to perserve permissions and copy all subdirectories.
Old 02-25-2006, 09:35 AM   #6
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cp -a is your friend, meaning -dpR (copy symlinks instead of following, preserve attribs, recursively


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