I just built a my first linux PC with OpenSuse 12.2, and thought I would contribute by compiling my notational nuggets and links from the web that I found the most useful. My hope is this post will save someone like me from repeating the same searches.
I've used various unix systems but never had root privileges for my own system. In other words, I'm new to Linux and have a lot to learn. So these notes are from a new user perspective, and I'll update the post as needed.
Since this was a SSD/HDD setup I focused a good amount of time on looking into a partitioning scheme, SSD configuration for performance & extending the life of it. I am aware the life of more modern SSDs is becoming less of a concern, but the $/GB is still > HDD.
In my next post, I have some post-install actions I took after researching disabling unnecessary services in OpenSuse and KDE (unnecessary for some that it is). I'm also coming from a winXP and Mac OSX (10.6.8), so there were a few hangups with some hardware (Wireless USB adapter, and NTFS formatted USB external backup hard drive).
I familiarized myself with the following guides before starting anything:
Check and Update SSD and other hardware firmware version if necessary.
Example for my Crucial m4: Crucial.com Product Downloads - Firmware Updates
For SSD: Ensure sata ahci is enabled in BIOS. It is needed for TRIM support (explained later).
Before downloading, I recommend reading/bookmarking the following forum stickies/pages, and to especially do the download verification. I'll admit it was a lot to take in a first, and not all applicable for my needs, but worth the time.
Note: I downloaded the OpenSuse .iso to my macbook to burn to DVD. ,and for Mac OSX the commands for md5sum and sha1sum are:
I'm just going to cover highlights here, as there are already plenty of general & complete install guides / walkthroughs. Again, it was helpful to become familiar prior with the process prior to install (less surprises that way). Here are a few I liked:
- In BIOS, set to boot from CD/DVD first when ready to install OpenSuse from DVD.
- During Install, Uncheck the 'automatic configuration' box on the “Installation Mode” step.
- Come up with a clever hostname prior to starting the install ;)
- I chose KDE over GNOME based on it having more customization features (so I've read).
- During Install, On the “Suggested Partioning” Step, use the (Edit Partition Setup) or (Create Partition Setup) buttons to create your own scheme
I would recommend deciding on the partition scheme prior starting the install by reading through the links in this section. After reading numerous posts I decided on the following:
||ext4 filesystem, single partition
||swap not on SSD
I left 100 GB un-partitioned on my HDD in case I wanted to try another distro.
If you decide to partition your SSD, there are numerous post about ensuring the “block alignment”. It was a confusing topic, but I verified mine after the install; see link in post-install section.
Add 'discard' and 'noatime' to fstab to enable TRIM.
This post covers how to make changes to fstab to enable TRIM support (discard, and noatime) during install, and after.
Mount /tmp as tmpfs
There many posts advocating mounting /tmp as tmpfs, I just haven't done it yet. OpenSuse may eventually do it by default:
AJ's Open Source, openSUSE and SUSE Ramblings: /tmp as tmpfs for openSUSE?
With a reboot everything in /tmp will be gone. Check out this script to maintain /tmp on reboot:
Performance tweaking with tmpfs
There are also options for mounting subdirectories of /var/tmp /var/log to tmpfs, but are more involved and not always recommended by the community. Refer to the references below for more information.
SSD optimizations on Linux
Linux Mint Forums • View topic - Setting Mint up on an SSD
How to maximise SSD performance with Linux
Reducing writes to SSD: mounting /var (and others) on RAM disks (tmpfs).
I plan on getting an SSD. What do I need to do in order to properly set up linux on it, and then maintain the drive? : linux
installation - How do I optimize the OS for SSDs? - Ask Ubuntu
Running Ubuntu and other Linux flavors on an SSD
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
- CPU Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro series H50
- Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55
- Video Card: MSI N650Ti PE 1GD5/OC
- Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866
- SSD: Crucial m4 128GB CT128M4SSD2
- HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III
- DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST
- Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2
- Case: Corsair 400R