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I want to speed up my ubuntu install a bit. I was using a RAID1 setup for the whole system (separate md for /home and /). Now (thanks to http://www.webdesignblog.asia/operating-systems/linux-os/resizeshrink-raid1-filesystemvolumepartition-and-setup-a-lvm-on-the-free-disk-space-created/ ) i resized my /home partition to make it smaller and build a RAID0 partition of 200GB. Most use of my desktop is browsing in many tabs, office & email usage.

I think about the cache directories of the browser (chrome, firefox, opera), cache or imap storage of thunderbird. The thumbnails cache of nautilius? What else?

Which directories should i move (link) to the faster storage?

Maybe some parts of /var? Maybe some directories should be moved to a tmpfs in ram? (I have only 8GB of ram)

For now i moved:

.cache
.java
.macromedia
.mozilla
.opera
.thunderbird
/tmp

I know, .mozilla and .thunderbird also hold the profiles, as this is not critical (using IMAP) i decided to move em.

Some command to find out which files/directories cause the most usage of the storage? (reading/writing cycles, not size)

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  • You can have some hint with ls -lrtd */ .*/ in the path you want to check... e.g. which of the last directory of your home is the last modified; maybe you can start reading here about the swap partition, and consider the /tmp directory...
    – Hastur
    Jan 28, 2015 at 0:08

2 Answers 2

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I run a setup where all the system stuff and /home is on SSD. Then I symlink big folders like Pictures, Documents (maybe, depends on size), and Videos to an internal RAID10. Moving single directories seems tedious to me and provides little benefit. If a directory grows too large, you can still move it and symlink it.

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  • As I don't trust to hard drives i just want to move direcories i can loose without any problem in case of a disk failure. I do backups of course but will prefere to move the most active, cache and temporary directories to the faster storage. Is there some kind of TOP tool for lsof?
    – Piotr K
    Jan 27, 2015 at 20:42
  • ZFS with the ARC cache comes to mind, but it has a large memory footprint and requires recompiling the kernel. You could also try to capture file accesses with inotify. But I didn't find a program to do that, you'd need to write one yourself. Btw you are gonna have problems if you loose any system directories, so if you don't trust your RAID0, don't put any of those on there.
    – Lorenz
    Jan 27, 2015 at 20:48
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I have an ssd and a bigger storage, my root is the ssd and my home is on the slower storage. For me it was mainly the chromium cache and swap being the problem so I moved both to the ssd (however swap will reduce the life expectancy of your ssd!) In order to move the caches to the ssd I created a symlink from ~/.cache to a folder on my ssd.

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