I was given a second hard drive for my computer recently. Some random thoughts:

  • Annoying to have to buy a bracket to mount it in the computer, and even more annoying that Sun doesn’t want to sell me one directly; fortunately, it’s easy enough to get a used one for cheap.
  • Having said that, once I got the bracket, it mounted very easily: no need to fiddle with cables at all. And the box is very easy to open up.
  • You would think that Linux would be well-enough evolved to either pop up some message saying “you have a new disk, what do you want to do with it?” or, at the very least, have an appropriate item in a menu to deal with that. Not so, at least on Fedora Core 5.
  • What they do have is a menu item for logical volume management. This does everything I want, once I type in the magic command # pvcreate /dev/sdb. (Your device name may vary.)
  • LVM is pretty cool; further evidence that there’s nothing that an extra level of indirection won’t solve. I’m still not sure what the best configuration is for my situation; for now, I’ve got a separate volume group on each drive (so that I know what I lose if a drive fails). The original drive has one group with two volumes: one for swap and one for the standard directories (/usr, /home, …) on it; the new drive, for now, has one group with one volume, /backup. It’s nice to know that I can easily, say, increase the swap size if I should want to do so, or divide up the new disk once I think of useful ways to use up all that space. For now, I’m moving more backup stuff there and increasing the amount of stuff I backup; another idea might be to create a second volume there and RAID0 that volume with my main volume on the first disk. (Right now, I’m rsyncing my home directory nightly, which gets me most of the benefits of the RAID0 solution.)

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