Partitioning SDHC Card?

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at
Tue Dec 4 00:04:31 UTC 2012

On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM, drew einhorn <drew.einhorn at>wrote:

> The last time I paid attention there was a lot of voodoo involved in
> formatting and partitioning SD cards without adversely impacting the
> performance and life expectancy of the card.  It dealt with block sizes and
> alignment of sectors, etc.  Aligning the file system with the underlying SD
> card hardware, so that for a filesystem write doesn't require reading a
> physical hardware block updating the last half of it, reading the next
> hardware block and updating the first half of it.
> Do we still need to worry about this sort of thing (if so please point me
> to the appropriate incantations).  Or, have the standard tools gotten
> smarter, so we don't have to worry about this stuff.

I believe that it depends upon your intent. If you are planning to use an
SDHC card to ferry photos, videos or other files among various devices or
as an archival medium, then the default settings are probably completely

If, however, you intend to use the SDHC card continually, as a boot device
or executable files or otherwise as a "live" storage medium, then you may
want to pay a little attention to block sizes and such (which may possibly
depend on the specific SDHC device?) but you will want to pay a LOT of
attention to how the OS handles the SDHC.

If you are concerned about the device's longevity, you don't ordinarily
want your swap files on it, frequently-updated logfiles, or journals, or
atime updates, and probably other sorts of ongoing fiddling most linux
filesystems are likely to do.

I can't begin to guess the current thinking about what filesystem is best,
either -- at one time ext2 was recommended (no journaling) but maybe
nowadays it's ext4 with journaling disalbled or something.
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