So, I'm building a computer for a non-profit with the following specs:
- AMD A8-5600k
- 2x 4GB DDR3-1866 Crucial Ballistix
- ASRock A75 motherboard (Pro4-m)
- 120GB Samsung 840
- 1.5TB WD Green 7.2K
I chose to install Linux Mint 14 to save money, and when in installing, I partitioned the disks manually. The entire SSD is an EXT4 partition mounted at "/", with the 1.5TB WD drive having an 8GB SWAP with rest as EXT4 mounted at "/home"
I'm currently installing updates, extra software, setting user accounts, etc, but when I opened the file manager (Nemo), I couldn't find any indication that more than one drive was being used, yet home was mounted, and the machine booted damn near instantly (put my 4.5GHz 2500k w/ OCz Agility 3 to shame ): ) , so clearly both drives are in use. But from an end user's point of view, I can't tell the difference.
What I was aiming for is speed/responsiveness for programs and the overall system while configuration and media files could benefited from the massive 1.5TB of storage. Either this works infinitely better than Windows, and consequently better than I ever imagined, or I did something wrong. Can I get some confirmation?
As long as you installed everything on the SSD, the entire system will boot and run off of it. Make sure, (I'd tell you how but I use ubuntu and the instructions and whatnot are completely different) that you set up mint to effectively use your ssd and keep wear off of it. As for putting things onto the hard drive, you have to manually do that yourself. I'm pretty sure you can even set up folders however you like and then bookmark them in your file system browser (again, I use ubuntu and things could be a bit different.) Also remember that SSDs are EXTREMELY fast and quick, so if that's what you're getting, you did everything right.
Best of luck in your endeavor, though.
I think you missed it; I DIDN'T install everything on the SSD. The entire home directory is on the HDD. As for manually putting things on it, that's what I'm used to with Windows, but on Linux it appears to be automatic. I just confirmed it when I downloaded the proprietary graphics drivers, which are on the HDD. Yet when I open Nemo, there isn't a second disk mounted; it appears the filesystem is on a single disk from an end-users perspective. I'm not complaining, the simpler, the better since the people at the non-profit aren't tech saavy. However, I just to make sure I did everything properly, and didn't screw anything up. It seems to be working [u]too[/u] nicely, if you know what I mean. If things seem too good to be true, it usually is.
Also, Mint = Ubuntu - Unity + Cinnamon. For all intents and purposes, support should be identical between the two systems.
Open up System Monitor (assuming mint has this) and check the 'File Systems' tab, it'll give you an indication of how much space is being used on each drive and what partition.
I've got '/' and '/boot' on my SSD, and everything else on the HDD.
You could also try gparted
I think some extra explanation is in order:
- In GNU/Linux, everything is a file, so for instance every disk, every partition, etc... is represented by a file
- What you see in the file manager, are partitions, not disks. Disks are "devices" in GNU/Linux. Devices and partitions can coincide from a user's point of view, but the denomination in GNU/Linux will be different: e.g. The SSD will probably be called "sda", with the root partition being "sda1", and the HDD will probably be called "sdb" with the home partition "sdb1" and the swap "sdb2".
- I would transfer the swap to sda, to the SSD that is, not that you'll need it with 8 GB of RAM, but just by way of best practice
- GNU/Linux is superfast and simple, plus it has a non-fragmenting filesystem (unlike windoze), BUT, in order to keep it that way, you have to edit your fstab file and manually add the "discard" parameter to the root partition (not the swap, even if you've moved it to the SSD), so that any non-swap linux partition on the SSD will be trimmed, to keep the SSD in best shape. The SSD controller will cycle the cells and stuff automatically, the only thing it needs from the linux system is the discard parameter, and that has to be set manually.
I'm aware of disks and partitions, and how they are work in Linux, but I did get very sloppy with terminology. This is also my first time attempting this configuration. On previous two-drive systems, I'd put Linux entirely on the SSD, and configure an auto-mount for secondary drive/partition to access Windows files, such as music, video, downloads, etc. Basically, I want confirmation that system files and programs are on SSD while user data (/home) is on the HDD, while remain transparent to the non-tech saavy user. Because with Windows, I have to manually put files on the HDD by opening the partition in explorer (ie, change install patch to D:\, download to D:\, etc); otherwise, everything is dumped to the system drive.
I really have the SWAP there for hibernation (suspend to disk) more than anything; plus what's 8GB compared to 1.5TB. Wouldn't hurt. I intend to dial down the swappiness to 10 though.
I'd like to think trim would be enabled by default on Linux, but I'll check the fstab just in case.
Thanks for the input.
I would transfer the swap to sda, to the SSD that is, not that you'll need it with 8 GB of RAM, but just by way of best practice
Putting Swap on the SSD? It might be faster, but don't SSDs still have a relatively short lifespan of read/writes? I figure you'd want to keep random writes away from the SSD.
With 8GB of RAM, it's not like he needs the Swap at all unless the computer plans on hibernating.
Basically, I want confirmation that system files and programs are on SSD while user data (/home) is on the HDD
you should see something like
/dev/sda1 on /
/dev/sdb1 on /home/$USER
sda2 for example means second partition on first drive, so if the character is different they are different drives.
Putting Swap on the SSD? It might be faster, but don't SSDs still have a relatively short lifespan of read/writes?
I have the swap on my ssd and even after 20 days without a restart my system uses less than 6gb of ram (including vm and ff). So writing only a ram dump when hibernating won't stress the ssd at all.