Adding a New Disk Drive to a Linux Machine / Linux / Debian / Adding a New Disk Drive to a Linux Machine

In this article, we will look at how to attach an additional hard disk to an existing Linux machine: create a partition table, format, and mount the partition with fstab. An Ubuntu virtual machine running on a VMware ESXi host is used in this example.

The first step is to add a new virtual hard disk for the VM from the vSphere Client console.

Check that the new disk drive is available in Ubuntu:

$ sudo parted -l

Error: /dev/sdb: unrecognised disk label
Model: VMware, VMware Virtual S (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 2147MB
Partition Table: unknown

parted - error: /dev/sdb: unrecognised disk label

There is a new /dev/sdb disk that has no partition table.

Run the parted utility and select the new drive:

$ sudo parted

select /dev/sdb

Let’s create a GPT partition table on the hard drive:

mklabel gpt

Now we are going to create a new partition that will take up all the available disk space (100%):

mkpart primary 0% 100%

Leave the parted session:


Check the file system of the new partition:

$ sudo lsblk –fs

Create a partition in Linux

There is no file system on /dev/sdb1.

Format the partition using the ext4 filesystem:

$ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1

Create (format) ext4 partition in Linux

View the information about the new partition:

$ sudo parted /dev/sdb1 print

Now let’s enable the automatic mounting of the new partition.

First, manually mount the partition to the directory:

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/backup
$ sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/backup

You need to know the UUID of a partition to automatically mount it using fstab:

$ sudo blkid /dev/sdb1

Copy the UUID.

Find UUID of partition in Linux

Now you need to edit the fstab configuration file:

$ sudo mcedit /etc/fstab

Add a mount line at the end:

UUID=103d7982-0b70-4ac4-a727-a9bcadbc465e /mnt/backup ext4 defaults 0 2

Unmount the partition:

$ sudo umount -l /dev/sda1
If there are open files on the partition, the error umount: device is busy will be displayed.

Check if the fstab configuration is correct:

$ sudo mount –a

Now the new partition will be automatically mounted when Linux boots.

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