Recently I did an installation of Antergos on a netbook with 8GB SSD and 8GB SD card. To fit everything on such small space I've mounted / to SSD and /home to the SD card and it is working perfectly. Because the SSD was not much faster than the SD Card (it is a very old SSD mounted in Acer One ZG5) I don't have any issues with performance.

Now I am planning to build a small Linux workstation and I already have a Kingston 60GB SSD that I can use but, because 60GB is not a lot I would like to have on it only those components crucial for the performance of the rig and keep everything else on a classic spinning drive.

I am programmer (mostly PHP, JS, Python) so most of my working files will be kept in /var/www/ .

What do you recommend? Which parts of the system should I mount to SSD and what to HDD?

4 Answers 4


I would keep your primary OS files starting at the / directory on the SSD 60GB is a fair amount of space.

Directories I would target for being things you should take off, are things that are written to often, but that you personally don't interact with.

IE: /var It's a directory whose performance won't directly impact your user performance, but it does get written to constantly in the form of /var/log and other related directories. In a completely not noticeable way, this will theoretically extend the life of your SSD.

/tmp would be another good choice since again it is something that is written to more frequently, but generally not in a way that means anything to you the user.

Depending on how important performance is for you, I tend to prefer keeping swap space on a normal spinning disk as I have always felt like that is just an unnecessary strain on your SSD writes. Although given how fast SSD's are, if you need performance and don't mind the strain, SSD SWAP is always an interesting idea.


I'd put everything on the SSD, and then move specific directories as they get too big. I'd predict that /var/cache and /home/<user>/{Documents,Downloads,Pictures,Video,Music} would be most likely to get out of hand.

You might like to check out BCache in which you put everything on your slow drive, and the OS automatically caches your most frequently used files on the fast drive, but since that appears to require a custom-built kernel, that might be a step too far.


60GB is way enough. That is the SSD drive I have in my machine and I have half of it free.

If you're only going to work with /var/www then create a partition in your HD and mount it there (in my case, my 4TB drive is monted in my /home, which is were the big data is). If you are going to have any other directory with a considerable amount of data just create partitions on your HD and modify your /etc/fstab so that it mounts them on startup.

On the other hand, and since SSD have a limited number of writes (even though they may be a lot) I have created memory partitions for those directories where teporary files are created (/tmp and the like) and mounted those partitions in memory (tmpfs) since I have 16GB or RAM that is not a problem for me.


Also worth considering is that some distros take more space than others, and using a distro that demands less space might also help you.

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ DSL is an extreme example, requiring only 50 MB of space to install, but searching I'm sure you can find other distros with a small footprint to give you more of your ssd.

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