Advice on Moving Home Folder to Different Drive?

I’m setting up a new desktop computer, and I thought I would experiment a bit. Normally, I have been running Linux on old laptops with just one SSD. However, in this new desktop, I have three drive bays in the case. I would like to have the following:

  • Bay #1 = SSD (120GB with /boot and /root for sure to use the speed of SSD for fast boot up and execution of programs) connected to SATA 6 port on motherboard formatted with EXT4.
  • Bay #2 = HDD (1TB Western Digital Black) connected to SATA 6 port on motherboard formatted with Btrfs.
  • Bay #3 = HDD (1TB Western Digital Blue) connected to SATA 3 port on motherboard formatted with Btrfs.

This is making use of hardware that I have on hand. I could change the 1TB Western Digital Black to a Blue because I have two of those on hand. The motherboard has 2 SATA 6 ports and 4 SATA 3 ports. I would like to set up the two HDD’s in a RAID 1 (I think this is right to get mirrored drives for a total storage space of 1TB).

My first thought was to move my whole HOME folder to the RAID 1 drives. However, that would move my configuration files over to the RAID 1 drives too, which may or may not slow down the speed at which my programs open. So, one suggestion I got is is move just some of the HOME directories over to the RAID 1 drives like Pictures, Videos, Music, and Documents because those have all of my important data files, but I don’t access most of those files on a daily or even weekly basis. Most of those files are used a few times a month or are there backed up from completed projects that I have done in the past. Those folders normally get synced with syncthing between 4 computers in 2 different locations, and once a week those files get rsynced to an external drive attached to our home server. (I probably need to add a cloud backup for those files too, but that is another topic.)

So what would you do?

  1. Move the whole HOME folder from the SSD onto the RAID 1 HDD’s.
  2. Keep all folders on the SSD, and just symlink a few of the key HOME folders to the RAID 1 array so that those larger data files are kept there.
  3. Do something else with fstab or some other method to move all of the data files onto the RAID drives.
  4. Throw out all of the above plans because there is something better that involves Btrfs on all the drives. (The main reason I have EXT4 on the SSD is because I just did a standard install of MX Linux on that drive to have a working Linux install.)

Thanks for the advice.

If you ask me, i’d go with option number 1.
Raid 1 has a fast read, but writes a bit slower, if i understand it correctly. So i don’t think it will affect the execution of programs all that much, if you have fast disks.

  1. Dump that small 128GB SSD and get a 1TB one. They are basically just under $100 now, and with Black Friday sales here. I would go for it. Then use one, or both of the HDDs for just storage.

I’d go with option number one. Just move your home to the hdd array it will work fine and you wont really see any performance hit due to the config files.

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