Can I put existing already half-full EXT4 discs into an OMV system, without reformatting?

  • I have a small slow PC I'm using as a backup server, running Mint, with a couple of EXT4 already half-full 3T drives, from which I rsync from one to the other for security, rather than use explicit RAID. Reading what OMV includes, I figure it may be quicker for me to switch to OMV than figure out how to get the other goodies working under Mint. I would intend to keep the discs as JBOD with rsync. Once OMV is installed, will I need to reformat and re copy the data to the drives, or will OMV be happy with pre-formatted, half full drives? If the worst comes to the worst, I can fit one drive, format it, copy the data from the other, but that seems a bit of a waste of time if OMV can get on with half-full drives. All the guides I've read ignore this aspect, and assume you'll be starting with new drives.

  • you can use EXT4 already half-full 3T drives , and no need to reformat, only need to mount and use it.

    your aproach is usefull for use in the mergerfs pluging.

  • Omv will be fine with non empty drives as long as it's data drives that are not empty. As omv is based on standard Debian it will work.
    Unplug the data drives during initial install so you do not destroy data by mistake. Once omv is installed, shut it down and connect the data drives, boot it up , once up, go to file system tab.
    OMV either will pickup and mount drives on boot or you will be able to mount them on that tab, word of caution do not create new file system on your data drives they should be already present and shown to have a file system , just might need to mount them.

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