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Jeebizz 01-26-2012 08:02 AM

Slackware on an SSD
 
Been a while since I posted in this forum...

Anyways, since I'm slowly (and finally) getting on my way in getting a new computer, I have been researching SSDs to supplement my new system. I was considering installing Slackware on an SSD and leave a conventional hard drive just for general storage.

So I am wondering what is everyone's opinions/experiences with Slackware on an SSD, and most importantly what type of filesystems are appropriate for an SSD?

H_TeXMeX_H 01-26-2012 08:45 AM

See the benchmark:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...38_large&num=1
To me it seems JFS is the best for SSD.

One thing to keep in mind is that SSDs may need firmware updates, and not all companies provide Linux utils (OCZ does).

Robert.Thompson 01-26-2012 08:47 AM

Hello:

I have a new Lenovo ThinkPad T520 with a 160GB SSD.

I did a complete install of Slackware 13.37 64-bit directly from the DVD on a ext4 partition.

I find it faster but I do not know if there is anything special that should be done when using a SSD.

To be honest, at this moment, Windows 7 Professional is still installed and the SSD makes it extremely quick when compared to XP on a regular hard disk.

Bottom line: Slackware is slightly faster but the big difference in speed is really evident in Windows.

hf2046 01-26-2012 09:18 AM

I use ext4 with a 240 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. Plenty fast.

A few things that I've read about optimizing SSD's with Linux:

- Use the 'noop' io scheduler as opposed to cfq.
- The 'discard' (i.e. TRIM) mount option may hurt performance. Idle garbage collection is pretty good on the Vertex 3. You can also use fstrim about once a month to TRIM the drive.

If you're leaning towards OCZ Vertex 3, make sure that you download the 2.15 firmware. Any other version and you'll probably experience random lockups or erratic behavior from your system. I've read that Intel and Samsung SSDs are the most stable, out of the box.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/gee...and-linux/9190
http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:SSD_disca...rim%29_support

H_TeXMeX_H 01-26-2012 09:27 AM

Why would you use the noop I/O scheduler ? (I would never use it)

I would use deadline instead. Either way, you can benchmark them easily. You can switch them on a running system:
http://blog.nexcess.net/2010/11/07/c...-io-scheduler/

Jeebizz 01-26-2012 09:50 AM

Interesting so far, results seem promising. I do like JFS as my default FS, however the problem with most of the FS in Linux is that these particular FS' are of course coming from the days of conventional drives. The biggest concern that I have about SSDs is their number of write cycles, and using a journaled FS like ext3, JFS, XFS, Reiser, or even BTRFS(though still not considered stable), would seem to add to the number of write cycles. Sure NAND flash is getting up there, but I would venture to guess that a conventional HD would still have a much longer lifespan.

Now if I am just using a conventional HD for general storage then that obviously would offset that issue, but again not sure about what to use as an FS, even though chances are I may just stick with JFS since I've never seen Slackware Linux offer JFFS (only actual flash based FS in kernel) as an option to install on.

H_TeXMeX_H 01-26-2012 09:55 AM

If you are concerted about limited writes, why not set it up so everything that is mostly read-only is on the SSD, and stuff you write often is stored on the HDD. For example, I would put /home and /tmp on the HDD for sure, as well as swap if you use that (I recommend zcache or zram instead).

dolphin77 01-26-2012 09:59 AM

I am not using any SSD. But am looking closely since willing to upgrade my notebook. I have found this link about various optimization and etc for linux on SSD. Take a look it is very interesting reading:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...ighlight=linux

Many suggestions from this reading (like using RAM for /tmp and moving firefox cache to /tmp, for example) can be used without SSD and give you some performance benefits (of course if you have enough RAM, but it's cheap today anyway)

If I would buy one for desktop, I would definitely install /root to SSD (with ext4 optimized as suggested in the above link), while leaving /home on regular disk, and /tmp on RAM - with tmpfs.

Biggest disadvantage of SSD is that it has limited number of overwrites. So less writing - longer life.

Jeebizz 01-26-2012 10:01 AM

Yea definitely I would put /home and /tmp on the conventional drive. Not sure if I would be able to read-only the entire SSD though, since that would be tricky. I would still need to write when there are security updates, or if I just want to install a program or two and will need to actually write to the SSD, unless I can somehow manually place the appropriate directories to the conventional drive. Sounds like an interesting project too :p.

onebuck 01-26-2012 10:11 AM

Member response
 
Hi,

I just purchased another refurbished Dell Laptop and purchased from another vendor a Patriot PYRO SE SSD: MLC arch, SATAIII: Patriot PPSE60GS25SSDR Pyro SE Solid State Drive Data Sheet.pdf;
Quote:

Patriot Pyro SE 60GB 2.5" SATA Solid State Drive
SandForce SF-2200 series SSD processor paired with qualified
MLC NAND flash for best performance, value and reliability
SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s
TRIM support (O/S dependent)
DuraClass™ technology
DuraWrite™ extends the endurance of SSDs
Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
Intelligent Read Disturb Management
Intelligent “Recycling” for advance free space management
(Garbage Collection)
RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
Intelligent Data Retention optimization
Best-in-class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive
life.
Power/Performance Balancing
Thermal Threshold Management
Native Command Queuing (NCQ) - Up to 32 commands
ECC Recovery: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector
(BCH)
Sequential Read & Write Transfer:
60GB model; Up to 550MB/s read | 500MB/s Write
240GB & 120GB models; Up to 550MB/s read | 520MB/s Write
Max Random Write IOPS:
60GB model; Up to 80K
240GB & 120GB models; Up to 85,000 (4K aligned)
O/S Support: Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / Mac® OS / Linux

Patriot PPSE60GS25SSDR Pyro SE Solid State Drive Data Sheet.pdf;
Quote:

150 Word Description;
The Patriot Memory Pyro SE is the perfect choice for those looking to
upgrade to get blazingly fast start up times and near instantaneous access
to their data. Powered by the latest SandForce® SF-2281 processor and
utilizing the ultra-fast SATA III 6 Gb/s interface, The Pyro SE brings the
improved performance of synchronous NAND to the brand offering
Performance Users and Gamers the speed advantage they demand.
To ensure the Patriot Memory Pyro SE provides rock-solid performance,
technologies like TRIM, DuraClass, and DuraWrite have been included.
Offering read/write speeds of 500+ MB/s, the Pyro SE will chew through
large file transfers and make even the most demanding applications a
smooth experience.
With the Pyro SE, Patriot memory has continued pricing very aggressively
to offer one of the best price-per-performance ratios on the market. Backed
by Patriot Memory’s award winning build quality and 3-year warranty; the
Patriot Memory Pyro SE will deliver one of the most reliable choices in
performance class SSDs.
I spent a lot of time researching and comparing 'SSD' and found this 'SSD' the better bang for the buck. :)

I installed 'Slackware64-current' last night and will finish tweaking the install sometime this evening. Nothing really big jumped out for the 'SSD', just setting partitioning scheme, filesystem of choice, setup 'fstab'.

One noted problem was the sound & wireless setup but that too was fixed. This is not my first 'SSD' drive. I have another Dell Laptop with a Intel X25-V SATA 40GB 'SSD' with Slackware64 13.1 on it. Works great! If it ain't broke don't fix it!

Love those 'SSD' and good portable external USB 500GB drives for data storage with quality enclosures. :)

H_TeXMeX_H 01-26-2012 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeebizz (Post 4584988)
Yea definitely I would put /home and /tmp on the conventional drive. Not sure if I would be able to read-only the entire SSD though, since that would be tricky. I would still need to write when there are security updates, or if I just want to install a program or two and will need to actually write to the SSD, unless I can somehow manually place the appropriate directories to the conventional drive. Sounds like an interesting project too :p.

Not really read-only, more like write-rarely. It doesn't wear out that easily, it takes millions of writes.

For optimizations, I use firefox cache on /dev/shm, but I don't recommend doing this with /tmp, because you can easily run out of RAM.

I recommend zcache and I have found that these commands also help throughput:

Code:

blockdev --setra 16384 /dev/sda
echo 512 > /sys/block/sda/queue/nr_requests

Mostly the setra / read ahead provides the benefit, but for me the second command also increases performance. From what I read, these are safe to use.

Jeebizz 01-26-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onebuck (Post 4584995)
Hi,

I just purchased another refurbished Dell Laptop and purchased from another vendor a Patriot PYRO SE SSD: MLC arch, SATAIII: Patriot PPSE60GS25SSDR Pyro SE Solid State Drive Data Sheet.pdf;
Patriot PPSE60GS25SSDR Pyro SE Solid State Drive Data Sheet.pdf;
I spent a lot of time researching and comparing 'SSD' and found this 'SSD' the better bang for the buck. :)

I installed 'Slackware64-current' last night and will finish tweaking the install sometime this evening. Nothing really big jumped out for the 'SSD', just setting partitioning scheme, filesystem of choice, setup 'fstab'.

One noted problem was the sound & wireless setup but that too was fixed. This is not my first 'SSD' drive. I have another Dell Laptop with a Intel X25-V SATA 40GB 'SSD' with Slackware64 13.1 on it. Works great! If it ain't broke don't fix it!

Love those 'SSD' and good portable external USB 500GB drives for data storage with quality enclosures. :)

Thats really cool! So far then I guess almost any FS with little or no tweaks should then be OK with SSDs. You know what would be an interesting project now, setting up a RAID array with SSDs, can't even imagine (or maybe even notice) any further performance gain :p.

TobiSGD 01-26-2012 10:33 AM

The impact of writes on the lifespan isn't so hard as most people think. I use a Intel SSD (X25-V, 40GB, ext4 mounted with discard option) in my notebook and besides putting /tmp to RAM I have not done any optimizations for having fewer writes. And I am not concerned about that. c't, a popular German computer magazine is currently making the test. They write , for several weeks now, non-compressible data (to make it hard for the Sandforce controllers to compress the data) to several SSDs and no failures til now. Most modern SSDs have a wearout or lifetime indicator, that can be read out over SMART. Here a little bit to think about if you really should be so concerned:
  • OCZ Onyx 32GB, down to 65% lifetime after writing 48TB to it
  • Intel SSD320 40GB, 85% after 35TB. Intel is proclaiming 5 years lifetime if you write 20GB a day.
  • Gskill FM-25S2S-100GBP1, throttled its speed to 7MB/s after 152TB
  • OCZ Solid 3, the bad one in the test, throttling down to 10MB/s after "only" 25TB
  • No general failures, no write errors

If you take the worst result from that OCZ drive: If a typical Slackware install is about 6GB you can do 4166 complete installs before something like that happens. If you look at the Gskill drive that would be more than 25K complete installs.
So if you use the SSD for the OS and a mechanical disk for your data there should be nothing to worry about.
By the way, keep in mind to get a motherboard that is capable of SATA 3 (aka SATA 6G) to get the most out of the SSD.

zrdc28 01-26-2012 10:33 AM

Install slackware on ssd
 
I have had slackware on my asus 901 eeepc on the 20 gig ssd for over 2 years with never a problem. It is very easy to install and every thing works well. I do not remember exactly but I think all drivers were included with the distro.

H_TeXMeX_H 01-26-2012 10:43 AM

One more thing, /var should also be on the HDD.


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