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netsurf 07-06-2009 11:17 AM

poormans fast SSD boot?
One of the main focuses with all operating systems at the moment is faster boot times or instant on. The ubuntu team are trying to get a 10 second boot for their 10.x release (the exact release i am unsure of)

My idea is to load the kernel and various core functionality from a high speed, low capacity SSD drive.

The options i've been looking at are as follows:

Highspeed compact flash card via sata bridge x333 speed media (50mb/s read)
10 for the bridge and around 30 for media of 4gb capacity
Esata combo usb flash drives approximately 80mb/s read
30 for 8GB model so lots of space for readonly/infrequently changed
The esata looks to be the better option if it can be booted from directly or used as the root for the inital part of the system.

Id be looking at ideally storing the kernel, initramfs/initrd and most or all of Xorg and some of the services which will need to be run on the media. The best way to probably do this would be using Cflash which is due out at some point but will probably be prohibitively expensive but should be able to boot directly from this.

If i was to attempt this is there any major gotchas for this? I am looking at using the SSD to primarily accelerate the boot process and Xorg. If there were enough space id also use it for keeping firefox and evolution on or the majority of libraries that they depend on.

Since it would be essentially a readonly device (apart from when updates are installed) there should not be an issue with the wear of being written to on a regular basis, this is what the traditional hdd would be for.

Had anyone got any experience with this sort of thing? i'd assume something similar is done often in embedded systems since my GP2X has a NAND for storing the operating systems files.

Target system:
asus P5QL-EM based on the P43 chipset there was a HCL entry but it appears to have been silently removed without reason?
500GB western Digital sata
Q6600 Quadcore 2.4Ghz
2048 ram
Ubuntu 9.04 jaunty

I'd appreciate your comments even if it was just explaining why it wouldn't work.

michaelk 07-06-2009 11:56 AM

I've have a couple mini-itx computers with internal SATA solid state hard drives. They are about 1.5 years old and run windows but with light use with no problems. In theory you do not have to worry about limited write/erase cycles with normal use due to the wear leveling logic built in to its controller.

netsurf 07-06-2009 12:33 PM

Well i know that alot of cheap SSD hardware is having lots and lots of problems with their writing performance. I believe it was the eeepc where if you tried to do lots of writing then the system appeared to freeze while the controller tried to recover from its mental meltdown

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