Seeking advice for new ssd and distro

submitted by Murdoc

Not choosing them, I’ve done that. I just want to make sure that I install them right and am not missing anything. What I’m doing is installing a second ssd on my desktop, and then I want to install a new distro (opensuse) on it, to use instead of my current one.

What I have now is 1 ssd, with partitions for linux (kubuntu), windows (10), and swap, and an hdd with my home dir on it. What I want is to install opensuse on my new ssd, have a second partition on there for games, keep my hdd home dir, and then be able to use the first ssd for more space, probably games too (and finally ditch windows!).

Things I’m not sure about include:

1) can I keep my current home and use it with the new distro? 2) What do I do with the second partition on the new ssd I want for games? I.e. How do I configure it, the same as home, just call it something different? Same goes for the new space on the first ssd obviously. 3) Is there anything special I need to do to install an ssd since I haven’t done that before? Is it basically the same as installing a hdd? 4) New ssd (Firecuda 530 1TB) has encryption; how will that work? Is it all automatic, or do I need to do anything special with it?

TIA

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7 Comments

catloaf

Easiest way: unplug the old one, plug in the new one, install, plug in the old one, boot the new one, move files over, unplug the new one, reformat the old one, plug in the new one, done. That ensures you don't accidentally wipe the wrong drive at any point.

I highly doubt that that is a self-encrypting drive so no it doesn't do its own encryption. But even if it is and does, it doesn't mean anything to you because it will automatically unlock regardless of who's using it unless you set a separate password and unlock it every boot.

Murdoc [OP]

Unfortunately that would involve a lot more physical work than I was hoping for, so not really the easiest way for me. I can't really work on the computer where it is, so all the moving and hooking/unhooking stuff would be a real pain that I hope to minimize if possible. I was hoping that I could just boot the cd/flash drive, get a partition manager and tell it to install to the currently empty drive, and use the existing /home dir as its /home dir. But since I've never done anything this complicated before, I wanted to make sure how it works before I tried anything.

Also, I don't have any files I really plan on moving anywhere, unless there's something I need to I don't know about? I'm sorry, it was a little confusing.

As for the encryption, "It also features XTS-AES 256-bit encryption that is enabled by default without user authentication and will prevent threat actors from reading data directly from NAND." Whatever that means, idk.

catloaf

Okay so it probably is a self encrypting drive.

You can do everything I mentioned without disconnecting and reconnecting, you just want to be really sure you don't wipe the wrong drive.

You can *probably* reuse an existing /home partition. But if you don't have any files you want to keep, why bother?

Murdoc [OP], edited

You can probably reuse an existing /home partition. But if you don’t have any files you want to keep, why bother?

I said no files I want to move, not keep. I would be keeping them right where they are, on the hdd.

just_another_person

1) Yes, mostly. You need to be aware that certain directories in your home folder may impact your new install, like .config, .local...etc. Rename those, and keep a backup, or exclude them initially on the copy over.

2) Are you sure even need a second partition?

3) You can just give the space where needed between root and home. Partition schemes are very subjective to user preference. I have 5 for instance, with my home taking the bulk of all space, so it's portable.

4) Encryption would be done at the filesystem, not the device. It may have an acceleration chip (I don't know), but if any drive "has encryption", it would be to a hardware key on a controller board. Not a feature you generally see outside of storage array controllers, but maybe your board has that. In any case, I would opt for LUKS instead if you're unfamiliar.

Murdoc [OP]
  1. Ah, gotcha. Thanks. Exactly the sort of detail I made this post for.
  2. Pretty sure, unless partitions can span multiple drives or something? I want to keep the data on my hdd home where it is, except for the games. Too much to move anyway. For the new ssd, I want an os partition and a data partition like I have now, but this will be mostly for games that will benefit from the speed; I'll use the hdd for media files and such. Once all that is up and working, I can get rid of the stuff on the old ssd and use it for more game space or whatever.
  3. I just want games and os on the ssd, and data files on the hdd. 3 parts is all I know atm.
  4. Idk anything about it, I just see all these ssds advertising their "256 bit aes encryption" or whatever. I tried looking it up, and could read how great it was, but not what it was like to actually use it, particularly under linux. It's not a big deal that I even use it really, I just wanted to make sure that I don't screw something else up just because it's there and I don't know what to expect.
NaN , edited

Self encrypting drives are non-trivial to configure in Linux. I’d stick with LUKS software encryption unless there is a good reason to use it. More and more drives are supporting hardware encryption with OPAL though.

If your drive is unlocking itself automatically all the time without authentication, any encryption it is doing doesn’t really matter since someone could just pop it into any machine and read from it.