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What fs to pick for SSD drives?

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  • pheldens
    started a topic What fs to pick for SSD drives?

    What fs to pick for SSD drives?

    I ordered an 80GB G2 intel for my workstation.
    So far I saw the SSD tests by phoronix were run with ext4,
    would I require any special mount options?

    There seem to be little alternative fs that are stable or spec frozen at this point.

  • highlandsun
    (sigh, edit limit)

    re: fsync - major annoyance. Every time I upgrade my ubuntu systems, I always get the source for dpkg and comment out all of the fsync calls, then use that instead of the distro binary. Likewise, my mozilla source code has all fsyncs commented out. Otherwise it's just too excruciating to install system updates, and seamonkey email tries to fsync whenever a message gos from Unread to Read, etc. etc...

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  • highlandsun
    Just fyi, I use reiserfs on my SSDs, but my /boot is ext2. Everything is mounted with noatime. My mozilla cache is pointed at /tmp which is a tmpfs.

    I always run with laptop mode:
    laptop_mode: 7
    dirty_writeback_centisecs: 60000
    dirty_expire_centisecs: 60000
    dirty_ratio: 90
    dirty_background_ratio: 10

    All of my partitions are aligned to 4MB boundaries... Obviously the VM settings are only helpful if you actually have a lot of spare RAM. If you're running so many apps that you're starting to use swap space, it's all a wash.

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  • movieman
    I'd been wondering this myself as I'm getting an SSD for my new MythTV frontend: the advice in the post above is about where I'd got to. Another possibility is to put the Firefox cache onto a RAM disk so that it isn't continually writing small files, or to increase the RAM cache size and disable disk caching completely if that's possible.

    You may also want to increase the commit time so that files don't get written out to disk every few seconds; I know that's a mount option on ext3, I don't know whether ext4 supports it or uses its own heuristics for deciding when to force files to disk.

    Of course with the ext4 developers telling people to call fsync() every time they write to the disk it may not make any difference in future.

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  • Silverthorn
    Normal tweaks.
    • You need kernel 2.6.33 or later together with the mount option 'discard' if you want to use automatic trim. You also need a file system which supports TRIM. In the ext-family only ext4 supports it.
    • For manual trim you need to run and use a supported file system. (ext4 and xfs should work).
    • A raid configuration probably won't support trim. There might be a few exceptions.
    • Mounting the file system with noatime is beneficial with all drives including mechanical.
    • When you create the file system don't forget to align it properly.

    Some other tweaks which you might want to apply if you're addicted to SSD...
    • Neglecting to add a swap-file/partition won't hurt the lifespan of the disk.
    • Dumping log files on a ramdisk will also help.

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  • Panix
    Is there any good write-ups somewhere for using a SSD in Linux?

    There's some (possibly) outdated articles about using TRIM in Linux, you need at least 2.6.33 kernel for support or something like that.

    You might need 'discard' in your fstab file and script?

    I have no idea what these are or what they do or where/how to implement them in the Linux install.

    If someone could explain exactly or if you know of links where it's explained, could you post them? I'm just curious and it will probably help others?

    I'll probably just wait until SSDs get cheaper and the newer ones come out. It just seems like you have to do too many 'tweaks' for a drive to use it in Linux, imho. But, it might help if there are some up-to-date concise instructions that would make it easier, more convenient and faster.

    I would choose ext4, to answer the question. It allows for the TRIM or GC implementation. Some users disable the journal filing for a period of time but I don't see why you would need that. As long as TRIM and/or GC is working, the drive should be working fine for a quite a while. Then again, I'm no expert at this stuff.

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  • Fenrin
    The Grub legacy supports BTRFS (probably?) better than Grub 2.

    About 2 month ago, I asked someone in the Grub2 IRC channel if Grub 2 supports BTRFS.

    <Fenrin> Hello, im just wondering if BTRFS is supported by grub2 or not yet? I know its not in the current status list...
    <Fenrin> maybe anyone can help?
    <fezie> no it's not
    <Fenrin> ok
    <Fenrin> does this mean that only boot has to be a supported filesystem or root too?
    <Fenrin> thanks
    <fezie> grub-mkconfig doestn't work even if just / and not /boot is btrfs
    <Fenrin> ok thanks
    <fezie> but except of that it doestn't matter if /boot is some supported fs and / btrfs
    <Fenrin> ok good to know

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  • jbo5112
    If Grub has problems with your root file system, can't you make a separate partition for the boot folder and use whatever supported file system there? I seem to remember running Reiser4 as my root fs and having a boot partition that was ReiserFS since I didn't want to patch Grub and Gentoo wasn't doing it for me.

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  • Fenrin
    I read somewhere that BTRFS and NILFS are optimised for ssd's. But BTRFS and NILFS is still maybe not very safe to use and Grub 2 has still problems with those filesystems probably.

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  • whizse
    Originally posted by Panix View Post
    I read an article recently in which Torvalds states he'll only use Intel SSDs because he can use it OOTB or something along those lines.

    Did anyone else read that or does anyone know what I'm talking about?
    He's blogged about SSDs a couple of times, but AFAIK never mentioned what file system he uses:

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