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I have a Samsung NP550P5C that has a 5400 RPM 1 TB drive and a Sandisk i100 8 GB SSD. At the moment I use the 8 GB drive for ExpressCache on Windows 7 and it really made a difference on the boot time.


Now I'm looking to use the SSD for Ubuntu's benefit. I got two choices:

  1. I can reinstall Ubuntu and put /boot and / on the SSD, put /home, /usr, /var on HDD. Although, I'm not sure if 8 GB will be enough and not having /usr on SSD will have the impact that I want.
  2. I can find a way to use the SSD as cache with Ubuntu, just as I do with Windows 7. AFAIK, it is okay to use the SSD as cache for two OSes. However, I couldn't find a cache software that would work with Ubuntu.

For the second option, flashcache software I found here seems alright but doesn't work on /root.

So, what would be my best option to make the Ubuntu utilize the 8 GB SSD?

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I'd definitely go for the automated cache option, since 8 GB is hardly sufficient for putting the root and usr folders on it, and without having /usr on the ssd, the benefit will be negligible. Nevertheless I'm afraid you might have to compile a custom kernel (I don't have 13.04, so I don't know exactly) in order to use one of the linux SSD cache techniques. I honestly have no idea on how to set them up, but I can tell you the names: bcache and dm-cache. –  soulsource Aug 23 '13 at 10:29
    
That makes sense to me, I am reluctant to ditch the Windows 7's caching operations anyway. Out of curiosity, how much space would /root and /usr take on average? I am asking since I can add an SSD later on and want to have an idea about the partition scheme. –  user127939 Aug 23 '13 at 10:33
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From my experience I'd say that 10 GB is the absolute minimum. If you use LaTeX or similarly big packages, go for a few GB more. If you plan to install games, which can easily get above 1 GB per game, I'd either try to keep them on the normal HDD (for instance by putting /opt on the normal one) or get a much bigger SSD, at least 32 GB. –  soulsource Aug 23 '13 at 10:45
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