General question: Disk management w/SSD + HDD

Hello I am attempting to optimize my PC with Manjaro.

I have a 500GB SSD where the main system OS is installed,
Also I have a 1TB HDD that is currently empty…
How can I best optimize my system for performace?

I am a former Windows user & honestly I have not yet understood the Linux file system…
I normally install packages/apps via the Pamac gui & I do not see any options there to customize installation?
Should I install all my Linux apps on the SSD & just use the HDD for storage?
Or should I attempt to partition and install lightweight apps on the HDD?

I am all Linux no longer Windows. But need some help!

GNU/Linux, like all UNIX systems, does not know the concept of drives or applications stored on separate partitions. In UNIX, all applications are integrated with the operating system, and the bulk of the software lives under the /usr directory ─ third-party applications usually go under /opt.

I too have both an SSD and an HDD in this machine, albeit that their sizes are different to yours. My SSD is 1 TB and my HDD is 750 GB. I have the system on the SSD, and I use the HDD for storing backups that I make with timeshift.

I do however recommend that you would create a separate partition for /home. It’s safer for in the event that you might suffer filesystem corruption due to some rogue process or an unclean shutdown, and if you ever need to reinstall for whatever reason, then you can get away with that without having to format /home and lose your data.

There is no choice for a custom install location like with some Windows program installers.

Short answer: Yes. Also use your HDD for system backups like @Aragorn said.

Probably not unless you research first and know what you’re doing. 500GB is plenty of room for everything. Remember, your HDD is slower than your SSD.

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I do however recommend that you would create a separate partition for /home .

<–How could I do this? Are you recommending that I place the /HOME on my HDD or simply a different folder within the SSD under /USR?

Thank you everyone for the quick responses and great info!

Um, /home does not go under /usr. When you create your partitions, you’ll need at least a root partition (mounted as /) and a swap partition, and maybe ─ depending on your hardware ─ an EFI system partition (mounted at /boot/efi), if you don’t have one already. But you can reserve some room on the SSD for an extra partition, to be mounted at /home. If you don’t do that, then the contents of /home will be living on the root partition itself.

To a UNIX system, there are no drives. There is only a uniform directory tree. But some of those directories may have their contents physically residing on a separate storage medium, be it a separate partition, a partition on a separate (physical) drive, or a filesystem on a different machine in the network.

To the end-user, it’ll all look the same ─ /home is /home, and it’ll always sit in the same place of the root directory. But it is recommended to have the contents of /home on a separate partition, for reasons explained higher up.

When you install the system, you must create partitions either way. So if you create an extra partition for your data, then you simply tell the partitioning tool that it must be mounted as /home, and then the system will automatically mount that partition into the tree at boot time.

Likewise, if you’re going to use the HDD for backups as I recommend you would, then you should create a partition for this on the HDD. But if you’re going to use timeshift for backups, then you don’t have to tell the installer to mount the backup partition. When you set up timeshift, you simply tell it to use that HDD partition and it’ll automatically mount it ─ usually under /run somewhere.

Note 1: Do not use NTFS for either the root partition, the /home partition or the backup partition. UNIX filesystems store permissions and file ownership information in the inodes of the files. NTFS does not support this.

Note 2: It’s not /USR and /HOME, but /usr and /home. UNIX is case-sensitive. :wink:

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