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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #1
chexmix
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hybrid drives on laptops


Hello all -

After a run of bad luck with used ThinkPads (I've gotten three ... all have given up the ghost after a few months) I'm shopping for a new laptop. I currently am down to my System76 netbook, which I am glad I have, but which is kinda difficult to use for extended work.

Recent laptops often have a kind of 'hybrid' drive setup where they will have a so-many-GB SSD drive AND a traditional HD. My possibly-incorrect understanding is that the general thing-to-do is put the OS on the SSD and the data/userland programs on the other drive.

I find myself wondering a couple of things:

- do Linux and/or BSD systems have any issue with this sort of a setup?
- what if I want to dual/triple/quadruple boot a variety of OSs? It seems this would necessitate partitioning both drives accordingly ... which sounds kinda complicated. Have others done this?

I tend to be a distro-taster, so I like to be able to have a partition or two where I can try things out. I guess I'm just wondering if the hybrid drives are something I should try to avoid.

Thanks,

Glenn
 
Old 11-13-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
malekmustaq
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Quote:
- do Linux and/or BSD systems have any issue with this sort of a setup?
- what if I want to dual/triple/quadruple boot a variety of OSs? It seems this would necessitate partitioning both drives accordingly ... which sounds kinda complicated. Have others done this? I tend to be a distro-taster, so I like to be able to have a partition or two where I can try things out. I guess I'm just wondering if the hybrid drives are something I should try to avoid.
We know how hard it is that most OEM's do against FOSS users: drivers, drivers, drivers; external modems here fail, most wireless there useless, comes uefi, and the Restricted Boot! All because we are left behind. OEM companies do not open up their module sources for our use. We have the excellent (the best) OS in all computing history: but they make it difficult for us to take the lead.

SSD, a solid state? Does it emulate a hard drive? You must first answer that serious question, else, forget about partitioning. That is something new of course. Don't go for the newest. Neither go for the oldest. We can maximize our systems if we only go for the tried and tested. After all OEMs will realize that we command a profitable slice of the world market.

If it doesn't run for Gnu/Linux/*Nix ... then boycott it. Why waste your money? HP is selling Gnu/Linux friendly machines. We go for only that model.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 11-13-2012 at 10:48 AM.
 
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chexmix View Post
Recent laptops often have a kind of 'hybrid' drive setup where they will have a so-many-GB SSD drive AND a traditional HD. My possibly-incorrect understanding is that the general thing-to-do is put the OS on the SSD and the data/userland programs on the other drive.
The only hybrid drives I see much of are the Seagate Momentus XT drives. With them what is on the SSD/flash and what is on the HDD/platters is controlled by the drive itself.

I believe that the hitcahi hybrid drive does have a way to seperate the SSD flash from the HDD. IIRC they were optical/SSD/HDD combos for laptops. I know I've never seen one on sale anywhere, I dont know if they ever got to production.

Not something to avoid exsactly...but not something I would try to find. I'd rather have a laptop with 2 HDD bays and add a fast SSD.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-13-2012 at 12:32 PM.
 
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
Steve R.
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My one anecdotal experience with a hybrid drive on a laptop was "disappointing". Of course, I need to say that our prior experience may be unique to our hardware configuration and may not have universal applicability that would apply to your situation.

My daughter has a Sony Laptop Computer Model VPCCW23FX. The hard drive that came with the laptop crashed. The only drive that the repair place had available, at the time, was a hybrid drive. We went ahead an had it installed. Since then we have had "issues" with Windows working correctly on it. So we are thinking of installing Ubuntu on it. By coincidence, I posted the following on the forum "Linux (Ubuntu) Compatibility - Sony Viao Laptop - VPCCW23FX"

Good luck.
 
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
chexmix
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Thanks. I very much appreciate the input. I think I will steer clear of the hybrid drives!

I'm thinking of going with one of the Linux hw vendors for the new lappy. I had a pretty good experience with System76 on this netbook (it has had some issues but it has been a lifesaver) -- but I am not sure I like their Ubuntu-only focus, so may give ZaReason a try.

These vendors may cost a little more but if I can at all afford it, I like to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to freedom and I also like to support smaller businesses instead of the huge juggernauts whenever possible.

/Glenn
 
Old 11-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
catkin
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The concept of hybrid drives is that the drive appears to the OS as a conventional drive but internally uses the SSD as a non-volatile cache, automatically moving the most frequently blocks from platter to memory.

It's a great idea for performance, extending the implementation of Hierarchical Storage Management without any need for supporting software in the OS so hybrid drives are likely to replace conventional drives in the long run.
 
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
malekmustaq
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It says there about HSM
Quote:
"HSM is often used for deep archival storage of data to be held long term at low cost. Automated tape robots can silo large quantities of data efficiently with low power consumption."
This opens up unfamiliar system complications from the hardware/firmware level, something that linux kernel may not be prepared at the moment, therefore, buyers caveat.

Thanks for the link catkin.
 
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