SSDs are available for some time now. I had to replace my good old desktop with a newer one because the motherboard started to fail intermittently. I decided to include a 120GB SSD in my new system and spent some time to find out what I have to do in order to increase the lifetime of my SSD. SSDs deliver data very fast on read. On write it takes longer and unfortunately the number of writes is limited. That's why the number or writes to the SSD should be reduced as far as it is possible. On the following pages I describe in detail which changes I did on my Linux Mint 13 and they should also apply on other Linux distributions.
First of all I formatted the partition and reserved some unused space (overprovisioning). Then I installed the whole operating system on the SDD drive and later on moved portions of the filesystem on my hdd. Some filesystems heavily written on I moved into RAM (I have about (GB RAM available). Then I modified the /etc/fstab and some system settings and finally updated some firefox settings. Note I didn't put the swap partition on the SDD.
It's suggested to allocate only 90% of the SSD disk and leave 10% free.
Partitions moved to hdd
First of all I thought I should keep my /home directory on SSD, but I decided to move it on hdd.
Partitions moved to tmpfs (RAM)
/tmp, /var/spool, /vartmp and /var/log are moved into RAM. There is one drawback for /var/log: The log doesn't surviwe reboots. If there are any problems of system freeze to track down /var/log has to be put on disk.
My fstab has following entries for tmpfs
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
tmpfs /var/spool tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
Changes in /etc/fstab
noatime in /etc/fstab disables the write action "access time stamp", that the operating system puts on a file whenever it's being read by the operating system. For an SSD "noatime" is much better. SO now my /etc/fstab entry for my SSD is
UUID=cc4a6c12-5ec6-4243-993f-8dcbbf15da71 / ext4 noatime,commit=600,errors=remount-ro 0 1
System config changes
trim should be used to keep the good performance of SSD drives. In addition the scheduler should be modified for the SSD to use another strategy. I added following lines to my /etc/rc.local (Note: My SSD is /dev/sda)
# ssd trim
fstrim -v /
# ssd scheduler
echo "deadline" > /sys/block/sda/queue/scheduler
# Modification for SSD which creates log files on /var/log
for dir in apparmor apt cups dist-upgrade fsck gdm installer samba unattended-upgrades; do
if [ ! -e /var/log/$dir ] ; then
Update firefox settings
In about:config I modified following settings:
1. browser.cache.disk.enable set to false
2. browser.cache.memory.enable set to true
3. New browser.cache.memory.capacity set to -1
Monitor SSD usage
See this link for details how to check the usage of your SDD drive. It's also useful to use atop or iostats to monitor the SSD usage. Another command to use is
pidstat -dl 20