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Old 09-16-2007, 07:34 AM   #1
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Partitioning an External USB Drive to use with Backuppc


I've installed Fedora Core 6 on an old HP Pavilion and I'm loving it. I did the default setup for the two internal hard drives - (I was too impatient to set up separate a separate /home partition) and they are now one LVM covering a 35gb and 60gb drive. Now that I'm happily downloading software and tweaking the system, I'd like to set up my external USB 500GB drive with the following:

1) a boot partition with a clone of my present system (should be no bigger than 90gb

2) a backup /home partition

3) a storage partition for all my music and anything else that will eat up a lot of space

I have gparted installed and running. The drive right now is partitioned to include an /XP boot partition. Frankly I don't see ever having to boot this system as XP again since I have an XP laptop for when I need XP.

How do I use gparted to wipe out what is there and start over with the 3 partitions I want above ?

Can someone explain a little bit about /mnt ? I have set up a directory /mnt/usbdrive.

How do I give all users (not just root) the ability to mount usb and cd drives automatically ?

I hope that isn't too many questions for a first time post.


I'll post a separate post about using BackupPC after I get the drive set up.d
Old 09-17-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Gentoo rules them all
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I started typing up a huge post about partitioning and migrating OSes, it started to shape up into a whole essay so i gave up, sorry . Though i will go on a limb and say that there's been a lot of stuff written about everything you're asking about by better writers than me so it never hurts to go out there and read some documentation ...

Withough further ado, lets get into it.

I'll answer the simple portions though:
/mnt is a generic directory where pointers for your device mounts are stored. To access a storage device in linux you gotta mount it onto something. For example a CDROM without a disk inside is useless but if you want to read data off your CDR you burnt few weeks ago you put it into the drive and mount it onto /mnt/cdrom folder. The names are arbitrary and are there simply as a convention and convenience. You can mount the same CDR anywhere else you want as the system does allow you to do that, /tmp, /home would all work. But /mnt is generally considered the 'proper' place to store the mount points though. Plus you are guaranteed not to break anything by mounting (as that overlays the contents of the folder onto which its mounted) as no applications ever put files into that directory tree.

Second part of mount is the /etc/fstab file (which i come to as answer to your last question). Fstab is a file that describes all the information about mounting your filesystem. How, where, what device it is, etc. So for example if you were to try to access a cdr from the last post. You could do something like 'mount /mnt/cdrom' and the system would go read in /etc/fstab file, find out the cdrom entry and know that it needs to mount the device /dev/cdrom1 read-only onto the directory of /mnt/cdrom with autodetected filesystem. By default only root user can mount or unmount devices. but there's an options column in the fstab file for every device and if you want your users to be able to mount and unmount specific devices you can add 'users' as one of the options there.


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