The addition of the second USB drive, however, has exacerbated an annoyance that I've suffered since setting this system up: the challenge of configuring consistent mount points. The USB drives appear as SCSI drives to Ubuntu, and therefore show up as /dev/sd* in the /dev hierarchy. Although Ubuntu magically handles recognition of the drives as they are plugged in or unplugged from the server, the drives don't consistently show up as a particular sd* device. I don't often unplug these drives, but when I do and then plug them back in (or when the system has been restarted), I have to hunt around the /dev directory, find the correct sd* device, and then manually mount the drive. With one drive, I could easily tell which sd* device had just been added to the system: with two, it became troublesome enough that I searched for some better way to handle my USB drives.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
When the screen on my old family laptop died a few years ago, I found the perfect use for it: as a headless server on the family network. Running Ubuntu 9.04 Server, this laptop primarily acts as a file server on the network, dishing out bits to a wide variety of clients (Mac, PC, iPod Touch and an Xbox 360). The internal hard drive is relatively small, and pretty much used only as the system drive; an external 500 GB USB drive holds data, and I recently added a second 1 TB USB drive to give the growing bit collection some much needed breathing room.