SSD and HDD install - what to expect?

With 12.2 coming out and my current OS (which has been upgraded steadily since 11.1) showing possible bloat and a bit of funkiness,

I’m considering upgrading my dual drive laptop storage to a combo HDD and SDD before doing a complete new install so am

  1. Researching optimal partition configurations
    Although I describe the likely best configuration next, I’m still studying other configurations because on this system I physically swap Windows and Linux system drives (I have to since I develop on both which means I often need real mode access to hardware). I’m wondering if openSUSE Install will recommend alternate install “patterns” (configurations or even just a standard configuration without consideration for the presence of an SSD drive.

Is there a collection of install disk patterns/configurations for both just a HDD, just a SSD, and combinations of SSD and HDD configured both with and without RAID?

  1. Wondering about automatic configurations openSUSE install may make if it detects both a HDD and SDD with available space.

So, if openSUSE detects both a HDD and SDD, will it offer to partition based on the types of drives found. Although my first thoughts were to place only the swap on the SSD to give me enormous theoretical total RAM (albeit not performing like real physical RAM), articles I’ve read suggest instead placing the root partition (/) on SSD for fast boots and system reads while placing the Users’ directory (/home) on the HDD. That makes sense, too.

I also found that Ext4(and a few other file formats) supports ATA Trim which requires the “-disgard” mount option. This would be critical to performance, is it enabled automatically for <all> partitions where an SSD is detected (assuming that an SSD is detected)?

BTW - I am finding that practically all information I’m finding on SSD recommendations unusable either because at the time SSD technology was different or since then early recommendations have been parroted despite changing technology.

Apparently today, besides the extreme drop in price/megabyte storage (about 1/6 coompared to 2 years ago), great advances have been made in chip design and write load distribution improving both performance and spreadin wear across all memory chips instead of causing extreme wear on only part of the chip array. For that reason, storing data on SSD is not likely as risky as even a year ago despite even now data recovery from a failed SSD is still problemati or impossible.

Reommendations today should be based on very current technical information to ensure the recommendation is valid for current state of technology.


IMO if you are developing in Windows and Linux and don’t need high end gaming in Windows, you should run Windows in VM under Linux. No rebooting/disk swap needed.

SSD should be used for static storage to extend the life. ie files that constantly change should be on the spin media. At least as much as possible. This is still true because even with ware advances SSD cells have a very finite life compared to magnetic. Consider how much re writing happen on each compile and then figure how many time you recompile per day.

For what I do, I often can’t use paravirtualized virtualization (ie Xen, Virtual Box, VMware, etc) because some device drivers,( eg USB, Serial ports, WiFi networking, more) require real mode access. That’s because current paravirtualization technology only ensures fully virtualized CPU and RAM resources, support for virtualized I/O devices is problematic or non-existent. When technology progresses to the next level when those devices are also guaranteed virtualized then I can consider virtualization.

That is why up until now I’ve been swapping hard drives, and my next step is to get familiar with Linux Containers (likely as a part of a larger running OpenStack setup) to at least enable partially virtualized Linux hardware (eg ARM emulation) but that still won’t support running Linux vs Windows.

So, maybe with the next openSUSE release or one of the next two or three I can opt for an easier solution… For now I don’t see an alternative to swapping hard drives.

As for SSD reliability and life, from what I’ve read SSDs are still extremely preferred for any write few/read many uses, typically bootup and static OS files. Anything that involves write performance is problematic, varying greatly and depending on the manufcturer (design, parts, etc). Apparently recent SSD technology is much better than a year ago, and much, much better than 2 years ago, so memory chips should last much longer. Also, I’ve been told by a very reliable source it’s highly unlikely that today’s SSDs would fail suddenly and catastrophicly. Instead error checking by the chip management is supposed to attempt to always spread the load and blacklist bad addresses, resulting in a more gradual failure with warnings.

Regardless whether someone requires what I’ve described, IMO it’s still critically important whenever installed on an SSD to know if ATA Trim is automatically implemented even if as I suspect there is likely only one partitioning setup offered by the Install.


Found the openSUSE answer. Note that despite the testing only on 11.4, it’s relevant and extremely important for all OS using SSD as individual disks or SCSI arrays. Also, this page should be checked often for updates since the various technologies involved are changing rapidly.

SDB:SSD discard (trim) support - openSUSE

Note that ATA TRIM support is available, it’s not enabled by default but is not difficult to enable.

As for partition layout, although not available as a simple option during install, it can be constructed manually.