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I am reformatting my laptop but I am not sure how to setup my partition. I have a 120GB SSD and a 320GB HDD. I was planing to setup / on the SSD and /home on the HDD.

Will placing my /home on the slower HDD impact the performance of my system? Should I instead use symbolic links for Music/Video/Data from the home folder to the HDD?

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2 Answers 2

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Having certain HOME directories located on the SSD will considerably speed up your overall system performance.

However I reverted that leaving all subdirectories in their standard location on my HOME on a hard drive simply because backups and restores are easier then. Also in case you break something and will have to re-install your OS you will have to take extra care not to overwrite your symlinked directories on the SSD.

In case your SSD is big enough to hold most of HOME (which seems to be so in your case) you may consider putting less frequently used directories or those containing the big files on a separate hard drive and link e.g. ~/Music or ~/Videos to the hard drive location.

As the often heard agument that frequent write cycles to the SSD may wear it out earlier may be true but we do have to keep in mind that it also are just those frequent things we may want to have speeded up (then at the cost of the lifetime of our SSD).

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I cannot vote up yet but I have followed your strategy, I left the /home folder on the ssd and created links to my storage hd. –  Tommy Sep 4 '12 at 18:08

This depends on how paranoid you are about doing a couple of extra writes to the SSD :) Some people are worried to run apt-get upgrade too often.

But yeah, either scheme is viable, having the whole /home on the HDD is more straightforward while symlinking only some directories to the HDD will make Firefox and other apps to start slightly faster.

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