RFC on Cloud Images: Make /tmp a tmpfs

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at ubuntu.com
Thu Jan 14 18:53:51 UTC 2016

On Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 03:54:30PM +0200, Dustin Kirkland wrote:
> > As a data point, I used to have my /tmp on tmpfs while I still had a
> > spinning disk, in order to address the power usage issues of disk flushing.
> > I found it to be a least-bad option which led to serious degradation of
> > desktop interactivity in the face of even moderate memory usage (at the
> > time, with 4GB RAM), and not because of excessive /tmp usage.

> > And as others in this thread have noted, this same problem can occur in
> > cloud instances.

> Definitely.  /tmp on tmpfs saves energy when you have a spinning HDD,
> and extends the life of your SSD by reducing the number of NAND flash
> writes!

Sorry, I seem to have not made my point clear.  I said this was a *least
bad* option when running on an HDD.  I ditched it soon after switching to an
SSD, because it had a horrible impact on desktop interactivity.  It might
extend the life of the SSD, but it was certainly shortening mine.

The correct fix for writing to /tmp causing excessive flushes to disk is to
*fix the thing that's causing flushing to disk*.  Trying to dodge by moving
/tmp into tmpfs just shuffles the problem around.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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