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Old 09-29-2008, 01:39 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 218

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Reduce HDD writes?

System: Debian (Sid)
Box: Laptop

Something keeps writing to my HDD. I'm not too sure what it is, but it's occurring about every second. The system monitor applet shows that writes are occuring. I don't know what they could be.

Is there a way to find out?
I tried using top, but I don't think xorg is the thing writing to the disk so often, or is it?

I'm also trying to make more things use tmpfs.
I'm using an HDD install of Debian, but I'd like to reduce writes as much as possible to increase the life of the laptop I am using. I don't want to boot to RAM either.

So far, /tmp uses tmpfs. I also have firefox set to use /tmp.
I read that using tmpfs for things under /var is not a good idea when using a HDD install. Does anyone know if that is true?

What other things could I add to tmpfs in order to reduce writes and speed up the computer?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I tried finding more information, but the information I found was limited. I'm sure some of you may have more knowledge about this and a few tricks.

Last edited by Cyberman; 09-29-2008 at 01:40 PM.
Old 09-29-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: San Jose, CA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 8,507

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/var/tmp can go on tmpfs, but some software depends on data stored in /var being kept. Do you have any swap partitions set up? If so, these could be the cause of your disk activity as the kernel writes to swap. Or perhaps, it's just a sign of the kernel flushing dirty pages to disk. You could use 'lsof' to look at who has files open for writing.


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