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I have a headless ubuntu server acting as a fileserver (samba and ssh) and sometimes virtualbox host. It is currently running from a USB drive, since all hard drive slots on the motherboard are occupied.

Since any OS can be rather write happy, and flash memory drives have limited write lifespan , I want to minimize the number of writes the OS makes to the drive.

I have already moved the swap files to one of the hard drives. Can I mount any other 'chatty' folders on the hard drives as well? (I imagine /var/log makes a few writes ever so often)

Which folders in a normal base ubuntu install are often written to, and how can I mount those folders on a separate drive?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard specifies:

/var contains variable data files

So moving /var should have the biggest impact.

If you have enough RAM, you could also mount /tmp as tmpfs because it usually contains only small files which don't have to be persistent between reboots. In fact the FHS even says:

Programs must not assume that any files or directories in /tmp are preserved between invocations of the program.

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