I recently bought an SSD drive 128 GB and I would like yo have your suggestions on partitioning and installing Ubuntu 12.10 on it. First of all my drives are :

  1. HDD 640 GB
  2. SSD Samsung 830 series 128 GB

What's the best partitioning for these drives ? 128 GB is sure enormous amount of space only for / (root) . Is it a good choice if I make 2 partitions on SSD (20 GB / and 100 /home) and leave HDD as backup drive for my data (files,movies,music etc) ? In this case what mount point must have HDD ?

Can you suggest me the best partitioning for my drives ?


I think your idea to partition the SSD into a smaller root and larger home and use the HDD for large data files (movies, backups) is perfect. At least that is exactly my setup.

Clearly, /root has to be on the SSD (because this is where the SSD will be most advantageous), and clearly, the root partition does not need much space. Actually, 20 Gb is still an overkill -- I have 15Gb and still over 3Gb free with tons of software installed.

Also, if you plan for a swap partition, put in on the SSD.

/home makes perfect sense on the SSD, as there are tons of user-specific configuration files that need to be accessed quickly.

Finally, if you run any kind of databases you might consider creating a database partition on the SSD. SSD are not much faster than HDD when it comes to data transfer rates, but they beat HDD by order of magnitude in terms of access time -- and this is often the limiting factor in databases.

As for the mount point: you can make your HDD mount for example to /data, and then create symbolic links in your /home that point to a particular directories on the /data:

ln -s /data/Videos ~/Videos/
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    Don't worry about that; first, the filesystems (and, in specific, the default ext4 filesystem) are optimized to work with SSD. Linux supports TRIM. Secondly, manufacturers are well aware of the wear and use different wear leveling techniques to minimize that problem. Also, see this answer on superuser.com. – January Nov 9 '12 at 10:07
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    Samsung 830 series support trim but make sure you turn it on in the "/etc/fstab"! – Vilmantas Baranauskas Nov 9 '12 at 10:12
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    (i) see the answer to this question (ii) mount point -- it is really up to you. You can mount it, for example, in/data, and then create symbolic links in your home directory that point to particular locations on the HDD. (iii) that depends on the program you are using for your torrents. – January Nov 9 '12 at 10:49
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    Swap -- use SSD. Random access time again. Symbolic links are like shortcuts in Windows (actually the other way round, since symbolic links were decades earlier in Unix). Either right click and "make link" in Nautilus (move the link wherever), or use the command line as described above. – January Nov 9 '12 at 11:11
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    Maybe create a new question for that. – January Nov 9 '12 at 11:16

Why do you want your "/" (root) and "/home" be on separate partitions? If you have no good reason for this, leave them on the same partition. This will save you some space.

I would go with the following setup (sda - SSD, sdb - HDD):

  • sda1 - /
  • sda2 - 2GB swap
  • sdb1 - /home/media

Make sure to turn on TRIM support in "/etc/fstab" !

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  • I need / and /home in different partitions in order not to loose my settings when i install new ubuntu (ex ubuntu 13.04). – ALdaperan Nov 9 '12 at 11:05
  • Normally you do not need to install new ubuntu version from scratch but can upgrade from the existing one. Even if you prefer clean install, you may keep your data in home directory if you select an existing partition during the installation and make sure the "format" flag is off for it. Ubuntu simply removes all old system files but keeps /home untouched. – Vilmantas Baranauskas Nov 9 '12 at 11:33

You should consider bcache, which will copy often-accessed data from the HDD to the SSD. See How do I install and use flashcache/bcache to cache HDD to SSD?

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