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I've installed ubuntu on a USB stick, which took about 2 hours. After booting from USB, the system was extreme slow, during write operations.

The problem seems to be the cache mode [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through.

How can I change this during and after the installation? Which is the cache mode with the fewest/laziest write operations?

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You can try remounting the partition with different options, example

sudo mount -o remount,rw,relatime,data=writeback /dev/sda1 /

Another option is to pass the argument via Grub.

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