Installing Ubuntu 14.04 on Transcend MSA370 TS32GMSA370

Petter Adsen petter at synth.no
Wed Dec 30 14:09:16 UTC 2015


On Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:13:58 +0200
Amichai Rotman <amichai at iglu.org.il> wrote:

> Hi All,
> 
> I got a new motherboard for my Linux box - a Gigabyte GA-B75-D3V
> (rev. 1.2) [1]. As you can see in the picture, it has an on-board
> mSATA socket.
> 
> I was thinking: why not buy an mSATA drive and use  it as my System
> drive?
> 
> Currently, my Root Partition (/) is 30Gb in size, 14Gb of which are
> free (49%!), including the /var/log and other system folders...
> 
> 
>    1. How do I check for the absolute system usage size, so I can
> make sure a 32Gb mSATA drive is big enough?

I might misunderstand your question, but simply add up the space used
by the current partitions that you plan to move to the new disk. If you
currently use 16GB for root, 32GB should be fine. You should not exceed
about 75% usage, or it can impact performance.

You can also put swap on the SSD if there is room, but you should set
the sysctl vm.swappiness to a low value if you do so to reduce writes.
This is covered here:

https://wiki.debian.org/SSDOptimization#Adding_vm.swappiness_in_sysctl_for_the_kernel

Make sure to also set up an EFI System Partition if your computer uses
UEFI, and a separate /boot if you need that for some reason.

You will want to use 'df -H' when calculating the disk space you need,
since that is the way manufacturers specify disk sizes (MB vs MiB).

>    2. Is it a good idea to move the Root partition (/) to an SSD
> drive?

It certainly speeds things up. Everything in my desktop is on SSDs, and
there is a clear difference from spinning drives. I still back up to
spinning drives, though.

> 3. If yes - how do I move the partition to another device?

There are a ton of guides online on how to move the data, here are a
few suggestions:

http://superuser.com/questions/307541/copy-entire-file-system-hierarchy-from-one-drive-to-another

>    4. What do I need to do, if anything, after moving the partition?

You will need to install GRUB to the new drive, correct the UUID for
the root file system in /etc/fstab, and I would probably re-generate
the initrd, but I don't know if that is necessary. You will also need to
set the BIOS/UEFI to boot from the new drive.

>    5. I found this drive for a nice price:  Transcend MSA370
> TS32GMSA370 [2]. Is it compatible with Ubuntu?

That page says they work with kernels from 2.6.31 and up, so it should.
I haven't personally tried this disk, though.

> Any shared experience, pointers, pitfalls etc. are greatly
> appreciated!

Take a look at this:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/SSD

It contains a lot of useful info on using SSDs with Linux. Partition
alignment is mostly handled automatically by today's tools, but you
still need to decide how to handle TRIM - I just run a cron job.

You might want to consider an alternative file system to ext4 on an
SSD. There are also other optimizations you can do, for example mount
options like atime or relatime to reduce writes. All of these things are
covered in the above wiki article. There is another article on the
Debian wiki (mentioned above), but it's not as thorough:

https://wiki.debian.org/SSDOptimization

In general, I would absolutely recommend an SSD, especially for the
system drive. It makes things far more responsive. Booting the system,
starting applications etc all happens *much* faster. IMO it's a
worthwhile addition to a PC.

I'm by no means an expert on this, so all of this is according to the
best of my understanding. You should probably read at least the
Arch wiki article above, but I hope this has been of some help.

Petter

-- 
"I'm ionized"
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive."



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