Partitioning with an SSD

I have a new laptop (“ultrabook”) with, as appears to be the norm these days, both a regular hard disc and an SSD device.  The latter should be fast and efficient, but needs to be carefully managed due to the limited number of writes it’ll accept.  Hence anything like a big build with the GNU toolchain has to use the regular hard drive.

I’m thinking through how to partition it.  I presume putting the root of the filesystem on SSD will benefit performance, and the core stuff like /etc, /bin, /sbin and /lib.  And /boot, though I expect rebooting to be a rare thing unless I have trouble with ACPI.  I can tune that to avoid writes with noatime and no journaling.  I expect /var and /home and a swap partition to be kept on the regular hard drive, and /tmp to cohabit with swap, without any need for customisation.

What about /usr?  Development work involves a lot of writes to /usr/local on “make install”.  It’s an order of magnitude less than will be happening on /home, but perhaps I should nevertheless ensure at least /usr/local is on the regular disc?

And what about /dev, /proc, /mnt?  Do any of these filesystem entries map to hard disc activity I need to consider?

I understand hibernate-to-disc is one of the biggest gains of having an SSD.  Can I hibernate to SSD without having a regular swap partition there?  How much does it really gain, and can it be tuned to minimise SSD wear?

Posted on July 31, 2013, in linux, technology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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