Installing Ubuntu Mate on a hdd + ssd combo

Currently using the latest 18.04 LTS on a variety hardware, I like how it just works with very little need to tweak, as I don’t have time to do that anymore.

I found that installing “/“ onto SSD and moving /var & /tmp to /home (on HDD) just crashed at boot up when done through fstab using binds, when using “ln -s” to link instead applications like cups & Firefox just stopped working.

The best headache free to use both a SSD & HDD, and avoid putting unnecessary wear on the SSD is to just to make the SSD /usr and move /opt to /usr/local/opt then “ln -s /usr/local/opt /opt”. The boot up may not be as fast, but I only boot my system only once a day, so no biggie. I’ve been using the new setup for a week now, and it’s very stable, with the desktop applications loading lightning fast.

As Ubuntu evolves, sometimes the old tricks don’t work anymore, so we have to find new ways to make things work.

(Been using Linux since 2000)

Hi @aldube :slight_smile:
If I got a extra HDD on my config, i would install the system on the SSD and put /home on the HDD.
The OS will enjoy the SSD - you too i guess and your data will stay secure on the HDD.

I would of made / the SSD, but /var & /tmp shorten the life of the SSD with extra writes. Adding discard,noatime, nodiratime after defaults in fstab help extent SSD life.

It's true, but today SSD are able to stand it.
We are using SSD drives inside production servers as cache drives (like on vSan technology). It's able to stand a high IO activity and it continue delivering service :slight_smile:
The SSD drive is made for that.

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I would assume the server SSDs are the expensive ones, you usually tend to get what you pay for. I admit, it’s impressive they can even put external HDD journals on the SSD to speed up HDDs access time, the servers could probably afford to replace their SSDs every so often.

The SSDs I’m using are approx $16 each with older HP Elite systems (8100 & 8300) with LGA 1156 & 1155 processors. It’s probably not wise to push one’s luck with the cheaper SSDs to enhance old hardware performance. Just using a SSD on /usr alone does significant speed up software loading times.

Definitely interesting how this new technology can be applied.

You're not gonna kill a SSD by using your PC «normally» (= not writing 10 TB of data on the SSD every day for the sake of it).
I got one of the less reliable SSDs ever (OCZ Vertex 2) and it's still going strong (and real fast despite s-ata 2 only) after 11 years. Sure, it might have lost a few mb/s in benchmarks, but you wouldn't figure it out while using it. It's all about access times.

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Interesting how technology changes...

I’m pretty happy with the current setup until next OS reinstall.

Anyone else playing with SSDs on their
Mate Ubuntu installations?

Hey @aldube,

I've previously used a SSD + HDD setup in my laptop without any issues for 2 years. I put UM on the SSD & my home directory on the HDD - the improvement in speed & bootup times was massive! I'll give you a concrete example - it takes about 10 minutes to do a daily snapshot with Timeshift on a HDD & just under a minute on the SSD - now that's a huge performance difference!

Found a cheap SSD online & decided to swap out the HDD in my laptop for the new SSD - and now I'm running a dual SSD setup. UM is on the better quality SSD & the home directory is on the cheaper SSD. Has been running smoothly now for over a year. Just keep in mind that newer SSDs (even cheaper ones) are much better now than they were even 3 years ago - writing to the drive in "normal" usage circumstances won't shortened the lifespan of the drive one bit.

To keep the wear balanced, definitely run fstrim at least weekly (UM does this automatically) - and if you want to maximise the lifespan of the drive then definitely keep the "discard" flag next to the partition in your FStab. This will decrease the performance of your older systems as the system will run fstrim every time you delete a file. I don't use this flag on my setup - but like everything in life - there's always a trade-off!

For a cheap performance boost - SDD (UM) + HDD (/home) is definitely the way to go! :slight_smile:

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