I recently got a new SSD (512GB Samsung 850 EVO) to replace my old one (128GB Samsung 830). My intention is either to partition the new SSD into two 256GB partitions and to install Windows 7 on one side and Ubuntu on the other. Or I would install Windows on all 512GB of the new SSD, and use the old one for Ubuntu. I also have a 3TB HDD that I would like to separate out for use by the two OS (2TB for Windows, 1TB for Ubuntu).

I'm new to installing and using Ubuntu, are there any good tutorials for doing so? Furthermore, are there any viable alternatives to a native install, such as visualization? What kind of performance impact does virtualization incur compared to a native install? My CPU (3570K) has vt-x, but not vt-d.


  • I would have a look here and dual-boot... Virtualisation doesn't give you the full power of Ubuntu... I ended up deleting Windows after 3 months! ;-) – Fabby Mar 20 '15 at 18:28

Virtualization can have an impact on running the regular Ubuntu desktop (Unity) or Ubuntu Gnome but is more unnoticeable when using Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or Ubuntustudio. One key thing is you must enable 3D acceleration when running regular Ubuntu or Ubuntu Gnome. Of course, there is almost always an impact when running virt. compared to the real thing but Ubuntu/Linux runs much better than say OSX does in Virtualbox.

Here is a good link to a tutorial for SSD optimization.

Notably, they show how to change options to noatime and how to set the scheduler to noop as well as removing an unnecessary cron job, all to reduce SSD wear and tear.

Also, I also suggest using zram swap to reduce SSD use from swapiness. Basically, after installation, open a terminal and run the following command to create a new file:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/zram

then, copy and paste the following into the terminal:

# Provides:          zram
# Required-Start:    $local_fs
# Required-Stop:     $local_fs
# Default-Start:     S
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: Use compressed RAM as in-memory swap
# Description:       Use compressed RAM as in-memory swap

# Author: Antonio Galea <antonio.galea@gmail.com>
# Thanks to Przemysław Tomczyk for suggesting swapoff parallelization


MEMORY=`perl -ne'/^MemTotal:\s+(\d+)/ && print $1*1024;' < /proc/meminfo`
CPUS=`grep -c processor /proc/cpuinfo`

case "$1" in
    param=`modinfo zram|grep num_devices|cut -f2 -d:|tr -d ' '`
    modprobe zram $param=$CPUS
    for n in `seq $CPUS`; do
      i=$((n - 1))
      echo $SIZE > /sys/block/zram$i/disksize
      mkswap /dev/zram$i
      swapon /dev/zram$i -p 10
    for n in `seq $CPUS`; do
      i=$((n - 1))
      swapoff /dev/zram$i && echo "disabled disk $n of $CPUS" &
    sleep .5
    modprobe -r zram
    echo "Usage: `basename $0` (start | stop)"
    exit 1

When you are done, press CTRL + O and press Enter to save the file and then press CTRL + X to exit the file.

Finally, run the following three commands in an open terminal to apply zram swap compression:

First, make the file executable:

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/zram

Then, start zram swap compression:

sudo /etc/init.d/zram start

Finally, the following command will make it start automatically at boot time.

sudo update-rc.d zram defaults




  • Thank you for the reply. My use case for Ubuntu would mainly be playing around with it, getting to know it, perhaps trying out a bit of web development on it. I really just intend to diversify my OS knowledge, since I've mainly been stuck on Windows until now. Considering this use case, I'm now leaning more towards virtualization. If I virtualized it, would I still need to perform those actions with ZRAM, or is that a native installation issue only? – Andy Hall Mar 14 '15 at 20:31

That other answer was great, but here's what I'd do.

I'd install Windows on one SSD and Ubuntu on the other and use the 3TB drive for storage for both. There's no reason it can't be NTFS and be drive D: in windows and /downloads in Ubuntu. The easiest way to do that is to declare it when you're installing Ubuntu (during partitioning). Ubuntu can read NTFS so you can have all your files in one place. (Fewer partitions is usually better)

Virtualization is awesome, tho the guest OS goes a little slow. There's absolutely no reason you can't do both.

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