Can i choose where to install apps? My 72 hour in with Ubuntu

Hi there,

I’ve recently installed Linux, Ubuntu 18.04, it’s my first time using Linux since ever. I used windows before and are used to how things work in windows… and with that comes a few “?”, one of the biggest once for me is how do I choose where to install programs?

I have two hard drives both ssd:s, one is 500GB and the other one is 1TB. what I want to be able to do with this is to keep all my system apps/extensions on my 500GB one, it’s also the ssd I’ve installed the operating system on, and so I want the 1TB one to be used form my games and alike.

So now my conundrum, my second drive (the 1TB one) is not mounted when I boot up my PC and how in the world do I choose the path of an installation?? ;_;

Thanks on beforehand, I really like Linux so far and hope there is a good solution for this, I really want to keep using it. :star_struck:

So you have two questions-

  1. How to mount your 1tb drive
  2. How to select where to install programs to it.

One- I assume that the 1tb drive is already partitioned and formatted. If not, it is pretty simple to do using gparted(probably will need to be installed). As for mounting, you can mount it in any empty folder. Mouting hard drives to a folder in /mnt is normally default, although somewhere else would work. See this link for the official how to and recommendations-

Two- You can always move the folders and then symlink them back to the original location. Also for wine you can select a different location for you prefix(s). Some of it depends on what programs and where they come from

1 Like

It depends on how the program is being installed. Software can be acquired multiple ways so there is no single answer. Package managers will install software in predefined locations. Sometimes the files will be installed in multiple locations making it difficult to rearrange things without breaking the application. Other times you can download a compressed file and extract it wherever you wish.

Steam makes it easy since you can choose a default library location just like with Windows. Just make sure the drive is mounted.

  1. To mount your hard drive you will first need to partition it. I recommend Ext4. In Ubuntu you can use the gparted utility. Then enter the following to find the name of your hard drive.

    sudo fdisk -l
  2. Next you will need to create a mount point for the new drive. Do this by creating a directory as follows

    sudo mkdir /media/hdd
  3. Then you will need to modify your fstab file so it mounts on startup. Enter the following

    sudo vim /etc/fstab

you can use nano instead of vim if you wish. After opening the file add this to the end of the list

/dev/sdc2    /media/hdd    ext4    defaults    0    0

where sdc2 is replaced with the name of the drive you are mounting. Save and exit.

  1. Last mount the drive with

    sudo mount /media/hdd

Mount your 1TB drive as your Home folder. Since Steam installs to your Home folder, that’s were your games will be.

Here is a guide on how to move your Home folder.

1 Like

Unless you expect to store a whole lot of data other than games in your home folder this is probably you’re best option. Easy and convenient. But if you want/need to use the entire drive just for games Steam has an option to choose what folder your games are installed in.

I tried to move it from one SSD to the other SSD by drag and droping it, but it moved files at a whopping 1,2MB/s…

I have mounted it and partition it as Ext4 as @Cyberpunk-Computing recommended but I used the tool that is installed from the beginning, my problem is that I can’t see my second drive at all, or I don’t understand Linux File paths…

also i intend to install all my games on on the 1TB SSD wich was like 500GB befor cleaning it out and installing linux

@Cyberpunk-Computing i did the whole terminal thing you told me to do and it looks like it mounted properly now, now i just need to install steam on that drive.

The actual drive name shows up in the /dev directory. After running sudo fdisk -l you should be able to identify the drive name based on its capacity. For example when I run it I can see my 1 TB partition listed as /dev/sdc2 with a size of 931.3G. And if you want to view the content of the drive it is in the mount point /media/hdd

If you successfully mounted the drive it should be visible in the left side of the file manager. I believe Ubuntu uses the Nautilus file manager by default.

Just realised you mounted it. :slight_smile:

Steam doesn’t take up much space. I’d recommend installing steam in the default location and just changing the default library to the 1TB drive. Here’s a good tutorial for this.

I have done this in Windows before and it was super easy and clear. I’ve taken a few pictures too easier show what happens and what I’m dealing with,

here i chose /dev/sdb1 as the steam library, and on the picture below you will see that is where my 1TB SSD is located


Here I’m showing the location I selected (/dev/sdb1)

These are the folders i can see:

I see what’s happening. You don’t want the drive name you want the mount point /media/hdd. Let me know if it works. :slight_smile:

And here is the current location of games

yhea i get that… but I can’t find it here:

Give me a minute. I’ll tinker with my Steam client real quick.

See how your first library folder is in /home/username? For some reason it’s starting at /dev/sdb1 but shoud start at /home. Can’t see what’s causing this though. Is Steam on the default 500gb drive?

it’s because when i took the picture that is the folder/path that i had selected at that time, but i hade colapsed the pths to be able to show the core folders, that is why :wink:

and yes by default it instaled steam on the 500GB drive and when you install steam it chooses to use that same drive for installs and downloads.

Maybe there is a permission issue preventing Steam from viewing the drive. Have you restarted the system since mounting? Perhaps Steam doesn’t know the drive is there.

going to try, didn’t think of that even tho i work as IT-support #ITsupport101

So this is a thing now the one called “programs” are both the same SSD…