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I've a machine with two HDD's and a 40 GB SSD that I wish to install Ubuntu Studio on. Which setup makes more sense?

  • OS installed on SSD. Media on HDD.

  • Media on SSD. OS on HDD.

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Should we assume the SSD isn't big enough for both media and OS? – Paul Oct 22 '12 at 1:52
it's only 40 GB. – o_o_o-- Oct 22 '12 at 2:33
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The OS should always be on your fastest drive. SSD or not. That is a golden rule on a workstation. While that may well be my subjective opinion, I think most people will confirm this after having tried running with couple of high end drives in raid 0 for their OS/Applications partition, or even a single mid-class SSD drive. The reason is simple: everything loads faster.

Having said that, it may be worth noting that creating a temporary ram-mapped filesystem for temporary files will be desirable in some cases, while in other cases, putting the temp files on the fastest drive will be sufficient.


Should I put my operating system on my fast drive or my slow drive?

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I see. Would this then be a good idea for a setup? --> HDD1 for / (OS and apps), SSD for swap, HDD2 for media. -- If I understand correctly, swap is the most disk-intensive thing the OS does, no? – o_o_o-- Oct 22 '12 at 19:59
No, don't bother with swap on a fast drive. In a modern systems (2gb+ ram), it is seldom used, unless you are running a server (under high load). Although this will vary depending on how much stuff you run simultaneously and how much ram they need. Just make a swap partition the size of your ram or even half of that and put in on the slow drive. Swap is used when your memory limit has been reached and exceeded. Optimizing for the worst case scenario does not make much sense unless it is the common scenario. Apart from that, I think what you said is a good idea if HDD1 = SSD. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 23 '12 at 13:19

Once your OS and audio applications are loaded, the interaction with the hard disk should be fairly minimal, just logs and user setting updates and the like.

And then you would be loading, editing and saving audio files, plus creating temporary files possibly.

Putting these on the faster media would seem sensible, and it is worth understanding if your audio applications use temporary storage, and have them point that at the ssd also.

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