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I am going to do a reinstall of Ubuntu on my Laptop this holiday. I have an ASUS UL30VT, with no flash drive, and i just wondered. I never use my card-reader for anything, but i have a 32GB SD-card that i do not use really. I was then wondering if installing Ubuntu on that SD-card will improve my performance much? Would it be like SSD

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possible duplicate of How to install and update Ubuntu to a Pen drive –  Uri Herrera Jul 27 '12 at 22:26
    
I don't think this is a duplicate of that question. Any good answer to this question (like SirCharlo's answer) will mention SD-specific issues. –  Eliah Kagan Aug 2 '12 at 1:35
    
If you buy a high end 100 MB/s read and 90 MB/s write it would be a bit faster than a normal HDD but not much... –  Alvar May 31 '13 at 13:55
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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

By experience, I can tell you that running Ubuntu on a SD card is usually unbearably slow. You won't get anywhere near SSD-like performance. This is due to the read and write speed limitations of SD cards and card readers.

Installing on a USB flash drive would give you at least equal, and most likely significantly better, performance.

Please note that I am only speaking from personal experience.

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Worth noting that there's SD cards now that have R/W speeds of up 260MB/240MB per sec, respectively: See this article

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But, then, the read/write limitation of a typical laptop card reader may be a further limitation. Typically, SD card readers are on the USB2 bus, so we're talking a speed of less than 30 MB/sec. –  K7AAY Nov 19 '13 at 0:20
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I have done this and the result wasn't pleasant(read: it was slow). The instructions I followed were:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?s=5cc607fc26815ce5fd89bddee599b84f&p=11915401&postcount=22

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Even using a class 10 sd card, the sequential speed would be ~10MB/s writting and ~20MB/s reading. That's not much compared to the 50+MB/s writting and 200+MB/s reading provided by entry level ssd disks.

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