SSD partitioning

Chris Snook csnook at
Wed Jul 23 19:15:10 UTC 2008

Rich Emberson wrote:
> For a non-laptop machine with the following target
> characteristics: energy efficient, non-gaming, powerful
> and fast; should SSDs (
> be used and, if so, how? SSD have very fast seek times and
> can have fast read speeds (
> Specifically, what directories ought to be allocated to
> the SSD drives?
> Boot (/boot)?
> All of the bin directories (/bin, /usr/bin, etc. since
> these are mostly read-only and are used alot)?
> Lib directories (/lib, /usr/lib, etc.) ?
> If you are running a database, should at least the index tables
> be mapped to an SSD? Some of the main tables maybe too big for
> the current generation ($$) of SSDs.

SSDs are great at everything except small writes, because you have to re-write 
an entire 128k block just to set a single 0 bit to a 1 within that block.  The 
new high-capacity Multi-Layer Cell drives are much slower at writes than the 
more expensive Single-Layer Cell drives, though this is expected to change in 
the near future as the technology matures.

For desktop use, SSDs are great on Linux.  For your database, as long as you 
don't have a lot of small updates going to the SSD, you should be fine.  For 
example, if you have an index that's keyed on something that changes very 
rarely, and you put that on the SSD, it'll perform very well even if some of the 
contents of the records themselves (stored on magnetic disk) change frequently.

-- Chris

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