Integrating a SSD drive in openSUSE 12.1 - caveats?

As 60GB+ SSDs are pretty cheap nowadays, I’d like to integrate one in my 12.1 system with the least amount of hassle. Considering the fact that there a plans to move most of the system files into /usr, my plan would be to mount /usr on the SSD partition. /bin, /lib & co. will sooner or later move there, too.

What do I have to keep in mind?

  • Generally, what are the preferred filesystems, mount options and so on for SSDs in an openSUSE 12.1 system?
  • I found different opinions whether /usr on a seperate partition will be mounted by initrd (which would be prerequisite for my plans). What do I have to keep in mind in order to preserve a running system?

(My steps would be after hardware installation to boot from a rescue stick, move everything from /usr to the newly mounted device - which command would be the best, btw?, manipulate initrd if necessary - how? and then reboot.)

My suggestion is to get two of these and place root / on one and /home on the other. If you only have one I would surely place all of root / on it and not try splitting up everything. The more divided the free space between partitions, the more likely you will run out of space on an important seperate mount you have created. I run a single 120 GB SSD right now, but I used to have two but one of them failed on me. It is in warranty and sent in to be replaced, but no word on that just yet. In my fstab file, I have the following entry:

/dev/disk/by-id/ata-Corsair_Performance3_SSD_1117810101000341020B-part3   /                    ext4       acl,user_xattr,noatime,discard    0 1

With a new SSD I would install openSUSE with your existing /home at its old location and / root on the new SSD, I would just do a clean install, but a custom partition. I would just mount the old /home partition and do not format, thus keeping your old settings, needing to only reinstall your applications. I would reuse the old swap but create a new partition for root /, placing it all on the 60 GB SSD.

You asked and this is what I would (and did) do. Good Luck!

Thank You,

Yes, that’s another option. /home on the “conventional” harddisk and “/” on a bigger SSD. Thanks for the inspiration, I’ll look into that. However, is it really advisable to have /var and /tmp (without tmpfs at the moment) on a SSD because of the many write operations?

I’m completely with you in minimizing the number of partitions: That only means that somewhere there will always be to few space.

Actually, these can help speed up system operation, like placing them into a RAM disk, which also works. As best as I can tell, the write process of including these on a SSD is not detrimental to the overall lifespan of a SSD. In fact, basic SSD defects will more likely be the problem over reducing its total number of operations than placing all of root / on this drive.

Thank You,

Hi all of you,

      I just bought a new PC with Samsung 830 SSD (serie MZ7-PC1288) drive as primary drive for Win7-64bits. I would like to make a dual boot with SUSE 12.1 X86_64 but while the CD boots the kernel, I am asked for insert CD1 in DVD drive and I have none since my CD is just one CD that contains all SUSE 12.1.  
      I guess, btu just a guess, that the driver for the SSD drive is missing and I have no idea how to get it and how to offer it to the kernel. 

      Help please any one, help....thanks a lto, friendly yours SH.

On 05/04/2012 02:26 PM, sharphawk64 wrote:
>
> Hi all of you,
>
> I just bought a new PC with Samsung 830 SSD drive as primary
> drive for Win7-64bits. I would like to make a dual boot with SUSE 12.1
> X86_64 but while the CD boots the kernel, I am asked for insert CD1 in
> DVD drive and I have none since my CD is just one CD that contains all
> SUSE 12.1.
> I guess, btu just a guess, that the driver for the SSD drive
> is missing and I have no idea how to get it and how to offer it to the
> kernel.
>
> Help please any one, help…thanks a lto, friendly yours SH.

It has nothing to do with it being an SSD. Yes, you do special things to prolong
the life, but it has a SATA interface, just like a hard drive.

Run Windows, open the Control Panel, navigate to the device manager, highlight
the disk controller and select Properties. In the Details tab, you will see
PCI\VEN_XXXX&DEV_YYYY. The XXXX and YYYY numbers will determine what driver is
needed.

About the writes: my oldest, 30GB SSD is now 5 years old. It has always had one or two root partitions on it + /home, 24/7 used, ATM it has 3 VM’s on it. If the predictions had been accurate the thing should have died two years ago. And yes, there are lots of writes on it.

To Iwfinger: **Thanks a lot for the quick answer: I appreciate!!
**
I opened the Control panel and for device manager I found
in the “disk reader” properties for the attribute “Identification of equipment” the values:
IDE\DiskSAMSUNG_SSD_830_Series__________________CXM03B1Q
IDE\SAMSUNG_SSD_830_Series__________________CXM03B1Q
IDE\DiskSAMSUNG_SSD_830_Series__________________
SAMSUNG_SSD_830_Series__________________CXM03B1Q
GenDisk

This does not look very much like the information you described.
Anyhow, looking further, for the the “IDE controler standard double canal PCI” properties in the details TAB
I found several valus alike the one you mentioend:
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C08&SUBSYS_844D1043&REV_05
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C08&SUBSYS_844D1043
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C08&CC_010185
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1C08&CC_0101

I dare conclude based on your answer, if what you mentioned in big letters are fixed-value “constants”, that XXXX=8086 and YYYY=1C00

Now the major question is: how shall I pass this information to the kernel? In the boot parameters?

Please can you suggest any further help???
thanks a lot, friendly yours SH.

On 05/04/2012 10:36 PM, sharphawk64 wrote:
>
> Now the major question is: how shall I pass this information to the
> kernel? In the boot parameters?

>
> Please can you suggest any further help???

Those 2 numbers, usually written as 8086:1c08 are encoded into the ROM on the
device’s interface, and used by the kernel to identify the driver for the
device. I wanted them to search the kernel source to determine which driver is
needed - it is ata_piix, which is built into every openSUSE kernel. You need do
nothing to make that driver be available.

When you boot the DVD, do you get to a menu that offers you the choice of
testing the media? I think your DVD may be corrupt. Whenever using a new piece
of installation media, always do the check. You should also check the md5sum of
the downloaded file before burning to blank media. Doing that is much harder
with Windows, thus I am not recommending it now.

I almost never download the DVD. Instead, I get the Live CD for KDE, which is my
desktop of choice. Downloading and burning 700 MB of data is better than 4600
MB. With it and about 15 minutes, you have a running system. If you have a
reasonably fast Internet connection, getting the extra packages does not take
long, and you can recover more easily if something goes wrong in the download.

Hi Iwfinger,

    Thanks for the information. Here are the results of your suggestions: yes, the kernel boots and YES, I get to the menu asking for install, update, check media...etc...
    I tried the "check the installation media" option. It does not advance further then when I choose the "install" option: it asks me for CD1 of the installation CD'es. When I answer Ok, it keeps asking it. Also, the installation dialogs are not in graphical mode, but they asks this "colored" character mode. 
    KDE is also the desktop of my choice. I understand you advise to burn another CD/DVD from SUSE. Anyhow, under WIN-7 when I mount the DVD I get no errors what so ever: none. I have a fast ADSL internet connection so getting SW over the net is indeed not a problem.
    What would you suggest now? 

                                                                       thanks for you time, effort and dedication,  expecting your feedback, friendly yours SH.

Hi Iwfinger,

When the installation or the media check ask me to “install CD1” and I say “OK”, as if the CD woudl be installed, the answer is “no repository found” and the same question comes back.
In addition, I get somewhat the same result using the CD of SUSE11.4. The kernel boots, I get to the main menu and when I chose instalation, something somewhat different happends: I see various Kernel messages, including the loading od various modules for drivers and then I get back at the same message asking to insert CD1, like before.

Thanks for any suggestions, expecting your feedback, friendly yours SH.

It sounds like to me that either the CD you made is not correct or your CD player is having a problem or both. First, I would consider getting a can of duster spray and trying, with the CD door open, to blast out all of the dust from the drive. On desktops, the fans constantly suck air into the case and a lot of that air comes in the CD ROM drive, carrying dust along with it. The canned spray can help remove built up dust on any CD ROM drive you have, desktop or laptop. Second, after a full cleaning of your drive, try your disk again, but consider it may also be corrupted in some way. If neither of these steps help, the drive, the media or even the CD ROM interface is not working properly to install Linux. I would clean the drive, then make a new disk and then let us know of your success in installing openSUSE.

Thank You,

If you have a spare USB stick of min. 1 GB, use that to install. From all you write I get that either your download is corrupt, or the media burnt from it. That Win7 mounts the DVD means nothing. Instructions on how to create a USB installer are here: SDB:Live USB stick - openSUSE . My experiences: in the past I’ve seen loads of corrupt media from a 100% OK download, never seen a faulty USB install medium created from an OK ISO. Have’nt used CD/DVD’s for years now. If you have a 8 GB USB stick it’s even possible to boot the DVD image from one, but that needs a tiny little bit of work to be done to the ISO.

Hi Iwfinger,

I have tried to get the Live KDE CD and boot from there, as you indicated in your last post. It’s a different scenario: kernel boots, but then instllation loops in trying to execute commands like “mount -ro /dev/sda1 /mnt” displays “/mnt no such device” and this goes on for /dev/sda2 and 3 and continues for /dev/sdb1,2 and 3 etc…there are various other commands difficult to note and read, since sceen is moving too fast.
Graphics do not seem to be a problem but rather something related to the Master Boot Record(=MBR) since, if I remember well (it moves so fast) the installation complains about not being able to find the MBR. I dare suspect that WIN-64 Installation is done such as to confuse the LINUX installation.

help help, please help....expecting your feedback, friendly yours SH.

To add to the previous post:
2 messages appear during installation as exported from BiosBootDevice=“Failed to find MBR indentifier!” and “Failed to fin bootdevice!”. After these messages intallation enters the mount loop described above. Hope this helps, but I fear this just increases complexity…friendly yours SH.

On 05/05/2012 09:46 AM, sharphawk64 wrote:
>
> Hi Iwfinger,
>
> I have tried to get the Live KDE CD and boot from there, as you
> indicated in your last post. It’s a different scenario: kernel boots,
> but then instllation loops in trying to execute commands like “mount -ro
> /dev/sda1 /mnt” displays “/mnt no such device” and this goes on for
> /dev/sda2 and 3 and continues for /dev/sdb1,2 and 3 etc…there are
> various other commands difficult to note and read, since sceen is moving
> too fast.
> Graphics do not seem to be a problem but rather something related to
> the Master Boot Record(=MBR) since, if I remember well (it moves so
> fast) the installation complains about not being able to find the MBR. I
> dare suspect that WIN-64 Installation is done such as to confuse the
> LINUX installation.
>
> help help, please help…expecting your feedback, friendly yours
> SH.

Can you run the Live system? Not “install”, but simply boot. If so, then we can
get some diagnostic information that is next to impossible to obtain from
Windows. In particular, once the live system is running, use the kickoff button
to open a terminal and enter the command ‘sudo /sbin/fdisk -l’. If you get a
network connection from the live system, then copy and paste that output to this
forum. Please place that output between code tags as found in the advanced edit
section. If a network connection is not possible, you will need to hand copy the
data, or photograph the screen.