What steps should be taken before/during/after installation of Ubuntu on a Solid State Drive to optimize performance and ensure maximum durability of the drive?
I have successfully used several different techniques to improve the way Ubuntu uses the storage device, whether that be solid state or traditional drive.
For SSD's you are looking to minimise the number of times the drive is written too, as reads should not add wear to the drive.
1) Manage the swap file
If you do not hibernate your computer and you have ample RAM memory to run all your applications, then in theory you do not need a swap partition.
If you have a mix of SSD and hard drives, place your swap partition on the hard drives only.
2) No Writes for Read Timestamps (suitable for SSD's and hard drives)
Mounting your partitions with the options noatime and nodiratime will stop timestamp writes when you read files and folders. These timestamp writes are not generally required unless you use a local mail server client such as mutt. The reason this is generally a bad idea, is because every read will produce a write when updating the timestamps. This decreases the life of the SSD.
Edit your /etc/fstab configuration file (carefully - take a backup to be sure as breaking your fstab configuration can prevent you system from working):
cp /etc/fstab ~/fstab-backup gksudo gedit /etc/fstab
Edit the mounting options for your partitions by adding the text noatime and nodiratime to the lines defining your root (/) and other partitions if you have them (/home) - Note: if you have a /home partition, start with that just changing that partition if you are concerned about breaking something
# / was on /dev/sda2 during installation UUID=587e0dc5-2db1-4cd9-9792-a5459a7bcfd2 / ext4 noatime,nodiratime,errors=remount-ro 0 1 # /home was on /dev/sda3 during installation UUID=2c919dc4-24de-474f-8da0-14c7e1240ab8 /home ext4 noatime,nodiratime,defaults 0 2
You will need to reboot your machine before these changes take effect
3) Minimising writes from the OS and applications
Assuming that you are not running a mission critical product server, most people do not look at logs should something go wrong (especially as serious errors are rare for most Ubuntu users). Therefore you can configure Ubuntu so all logs get written to RAM memory rather than the SSD.
Note: only make the following changes when you have installed all software you are going to use (especially things like Apache web server), otherwise you may experience some issues with missing directories in /var/log
For background to this approach, see prolonging the life of your flash drive on ubuntu-eee.com
Open /etc/fstab with an editor (assuming you have backed up the /etc/fstab file)
gksudo gedit /etc/fstab
Add the following lines at the end of the fstab file and save:
# Uncomment these after all server based applications installed - eg. apache #tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0 #tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0 #tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=0755 0 0 #tmpfs /var/log/apt tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0 # none /var/cache unionfs dirs=/tmp:/var/cache=ro 0 0
You will need to reboot your machine before these changes take effect
Generally I wouldn't bother - the worries about SSD life are overblown. You can read this detailed article about why you really shouldn't worry. In short the circuitry inside modern SSDs manages wear-levelling for you, and they know how to do it far better than you.
In the article is a calculation of the life of an SSD that is receiving writes at a continuous rate of 80M/s. The life is 51 years. That is based on 2007 technology - SSD life will be longer now. And you almost certainly don't write to your SSD at 80M/s 24 hours a day.
However performance degradation over time can be a problem, and TRIM is the solution. There are two options
- automatic/online TRIM, aka discard
- manual TRIM
You have to enable automatic TRIM yourself . (Basically you add the
discard option to your mount options, provided you are using ext4.) I have found a blog post reporting that the discard option slows down your system when deleting files.
You can occasionally do it manually (or in a cron job) using fstrim. If you just have one partition then all you need to do is:
sudo fstrim /
Note that fstrim is only available in 11.10 and newer. For older systems you will need the
wiper.sh script. I found the script at
/usr/share/doc/hdparm/contrib/wiper.sh.gz on my system.
If you're wondering, the problem that TRIM solves, as described by Wikipedia, is:
SSDs store data in flash memory cells that are grouped into pages, with the pages (typically 4 kB each) grouped together into blocks (typically 128 pages per block, totaling 512 kB). NAND flash memory cells can only be directly written to when they are empty. If they are considered to contain data, the contents first need to be erased before a write operation can be performed reliably. In SSDs, a write operation can be done on the page-level, but due to hardware limitations, erase commands always affect entire blocks. As a result, writing data to SSD media is very fast as long as empty pages can be used, but slows down considerably once previously written pages need to be overwritten. Since an erase of the cells in the page is needed before it can be written again, but only entire blocks can be erased, an overwrite will initiate a read-erase-modify-write cycle: the contents of the entire block have to be stored in cache before it is effectively erased on the flash medium, then the overwritten page is modified in the cache so the cached block is up to date, and only then is the entire block (with updated page) written to the flash medium. This phenomenon is known as write amplification.
There are several points:
What is often pointed out is the right alignment of the partition. This should be equal to the block size of the SSD. Play safe and make your partitions aligned to MiB boundaries. Note that you can't do this with the Ubuntu installer's partition tool (which uses MB not MiB), but you can boot the live CD, use Gparted (which uses MiB), then click Install to use the partitions you set up.
The right scheduler:
A important point is the scheduler wich should be
noop. You can set this scheduler via kernelparameter
elevator=noop or via a entry
echo noop > /sys/block/sda/queue/scheduler in you rc.local.
I would recommend
To put tmp on a ramdisk can increase the life time of the ssd.
To use this put the following line in you fstab:
none /tmp tmpfs defaults 0 0
Generally if you want to dive deeper into this topic I would recommend this excellent wiki-article.
Fast tuning course for your SSD on Ubuntu:
Arch wiki mentions few preferable options for SSD file system - one of them is unstable, others are ext* ones. I assume ext4 is one of the best picks.
Note: In case of ext4 you may want to use
discard mount option.
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass> proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0 tmpfs /tmp tmpfs nodev,nosuid,noatime,mode=1777 0 0 /dev/sda1 / ext4 defaults,noatime,discard,errors=remount-ro 0 1 /dev/sda2 /home ext4 defaults,noatime,discard,user_xattr 0 2 /dev/sda3 /windows ntfs defaults,noatime,discard,umask=007,gid=46 0 0
Few important things here are:
- For systems with >=2 gigs of memory, locating /tmp in the RAM is desirable.
swappartition. Nowadays it's needed only for hibernation, since modern machines has pretty big amount of RAM.
discardoptions. Info is here.
Consider switching from the default scheduler, which under most Linux distro's is cfq (completely fair queuing), to the noop or deadline scheduler for an SSD. Using the noop scheduler, for example, simply processes requests in the order they are received, without giving any consideration to where the data physically resides on the disk. This option is thought to be advantageous for SSDs since seek times are identical for all sectors on the SSD.
Add following to /etc/rc.local:
# SSD performance tuning echo noop > /sys/block/sda/queue/scheduler
4) enable automatic TRIM
If your SSD supports it, you should also enable automatic TRIM (as described here)
I would not add this line to your fstab, var/tmp folder is meant to survive reboots, and that could cause issues for you.
tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
When I configure new system I leave all the tmp folder commented out this way if anything happens I can check the logs and stuff. Then once I have the main system setup I will un-comment them, but I never add the above line, here is what I use:
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0 tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=0755 0 0 tmpfs /var/log/apt tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0
And if I am having any issues with my system I comment those out to be able to check everything even after a reboot or forced reboot after a lockup.
Also you don't need nodiratime, noatime option takes care of both by itself.
As for TRIM, if your hw/sw support it, it's a must, I do not use discard in fstab. I create a daily cron, because my PC is always on, by doing this:
gksu gedit /etc/cron.daily/trim
Then add this to file and save (If you dont have a seperate /home partition on ssd, or have other parts that are on ssd you should get the idea how to modify this:
#!/bin/sh LOG=/var/log/trim.log echo "*** $(date -R) ***" >> $LOG fstrim -v / >> $LOG fstrim -v /home >> $LOG
Then make the file executable by:
sudo chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/trim
I also edit my rc.local like so:
gksu gedit /etc/rc.local
Add this above "exit 0" and below the last #:
# Modification for SSD # you may want to add more folders to be checked/created to this list for dir in apparmor apt ConsoleKit cups dist-upgrade fsck gdm installer news ntpstats samba speech-dispatcher unattended-upgrades; do if [ ! -e /var/log/$dir ] ; then mkdir /var/log/$dir fi done
You can copy and paste from here so there is no errors, to the layman it looks out of whack, it is not.
I have also read that leaving 10% of your ssd drive unformatted can help extend life, that remains to be seen. I have not read that much into this so I can't vouch if it makes sense to do so.
This is the best all around guide, he did not skim around Google for a day and then come up with a guide, you should check it out HERE
TRIM allows an operating system to inform an SSD which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally. Trimming enables the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead, which would otherwise significantly slow down future write operations to the involved blocks, in advance.1
In Ubuntu 14.04 a new feature has been added to the util-linux package that regularly trims SSDs automatically, but only Intel and Samsung SSDs have TRIM enabled by default, because some cheap SSDs can even brick themselves when running TRIM.2 The contents of
/etc/cron.weekly/fstrim in Ubuntu 14.04:
#!/bin/sh # call fstrim-all to trim all mounted file systems which support it set -e # This only runs on Intel and Samsung SSDs by default, as some SSDs with faulty # firmware may encounter data loss problems when running fstrim under high I/O # load (e. g. https://launchpad.net/bugs/1259829). You can append the # --no-model-check option here to disable the vendor check and run fstrim on # all SSD drives. exec fstrim-all
It is clear that
/var/tmp should not be in tmpfs since by definition it's content needs to be preserved beyond reboots:
Ok "long story short":
- Yes. It is like a normal hdd. Here is a good overview.
- Some special extras, that I will cover.
- Quite good. I use it with a server.
ext4 during install, and create a small swap ~1 GB. After install edit fstab with
sudo gedit /etc/fstab and add the following line
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
This will create a ramdrive for your temp files, which will lower the ageing. Also add
noatime,nodiratime,discard to your ext4 line after defaults. This will also lower wear, and enable TRIM function. Save and reboot.
There are some good info How to tweak and optimize SSD for Ubuntu, Linux Mint from http://namhuy.net/1563/how-to-tweak-and-optimize-ssd-for-ubuntu-linux-mint.html you might be interested in
To install preload on Ubuntu, Linux Mint or debian based distributions
# apt-get update && apt-get install preload
Turn off your swap
To change swappiness setting:
$ su - # nano /etc/sysctl.conf
And add this line into sysctl.conf file.
vm.swappiness = 10
UPS is required.In the
vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs = 15000 vm.swappiness = 10
Find the configuration file daemon, usually
/etc/rsyslog.d/ and all the paths of the form
/var/log/ change by writing a minus sign ("-") in front of ways.Before
btrfs and use the
-o ssd option
TRIM (Trim command let an OS know which SSD blocks are not being used and can be cleared)
Back up fstab first in case something wrong happen.
# cp /etc/fstab ~/fstab.bk
Edit fstab file
# nano /etc/fstab
Add discard to your ssd drives or partitions, after ext4
UUID=bef10b86-494d-41c6-aa46-af72cfba90fd / ext4 discard,errors=remount-ro 0 1 Adding noatime and nodiratime
noatime and nodiratime are mount options in linux for linux file system. noatime disables atime updates on file system, and nodiratime will disables atime updates on directory system. By adding noatime and nodiratime will greatly reduce ssd load means performance gains.
Edit fstab file
# nano /etc/fstab
Add noatime,nodiratime to your ssd drives or partitions, after ext4
UUID=bef10b86-494d-41c6-aa46-af72cfba90fd / ext4 discard,noatime,nodiratime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
I suggest to place only those things which are read at boot time on the SSD any maybe applications which require much time to load.Data and logs and other uncritical things I would locate on a normal HDD.Also you could setup your ubuntu to only load a big initramfs from SSD at boot time and not write back changes to ssd.This has the benefit, that changes to this partition are not persistent which is sth like a protection for your boot system.Therefor you would need much more RAM of course.
I would e.g. place the partitions /, /etc, /usr, /boot, /lib 32/64 on SSD while sth like
/opt, /bin, /sbin, /root, /home and even swap (increase RAM!!!) on HDD
The Linux kernel supports the TRIM function starting with version 2.6.33. The ext4 file system is supported when mounted using the "discard" parameter. The most recent disk utilities (and therefore installation software that make use of them) also apply proper partition alignment.
For backups there are many ways, simplest of which is (r)sync plus cron job.