I've got an older SSD drive in a secondary computer (operating system is Void Linux, ext 4 file system, no swap) that doesn't see a whole lot of use. I want to take reasonable steps to extend the life of that drive, a drive which, unfortunately does not support trim. What I'd like to do is find out which mount options I might enter into /etc/fstab in order to better preserve the drive, such as options aimed at reducing read/write cycles. So far what I have in /etc/fstab is something like /dev/sda1 / ext4 relatime,defaults 0 1 Are there any others I should consider adding?

Also, any other tips aimed at extending the life of this drive by introducing some sort of wear leveling or other strategies will be appreciated. My research so far has already indicated that I should try to avoid filling the drive to more than half its capacity. It's a small drive, but as things stand it is at just under half capacity, so I think I'll be able to keep it pretty close to that. Additional pointers will be appreciated. Like, maybe switching to the f2fs file system?

  • Read a bit about flash optimized filesystems. ext4 is an extension to an very old filesystem and not built for SSDs. While (modern) SSDs try to be transparent, your SSD may live longer for example with the F2FS (flash-friendly file system). Do a little research yourself (and don't just use F2FS just because I mentioned it here), as choosing a good file system is an important task and different FS have different (dis)advantages.
    – allo
    Sep 8, 2017 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


Linux Torvalds suggests noatime.

Definition's of noatime and nodiratime:

  • noatime : Without the "noatime" flag on your file system every read will cause a write, because the file system will update the access time. This is bad for the life-time of your SSD, since it supports a limited number of writes and this is causing significantly more writes.

Linux kernel developer Ingo Molnár claimed that it (atime) was “perhaps the most stupid Unix design idea of all times.” To disable the tracking of atime, the noatime option can be used to mount filesystems. For IO intensive tasks, the performance reward for turning off atime can be immediately apparent. But, turning off atime unconditionally will occasionally break certain software like mail tools that compare mtime and atime to determine whether there is unread mail or not. The tmpwatch utility and some backup tools also use atime and can misbehave if atime is incorrect. Audit requirements are another reason for keeping atime enabled.

  • nodiratime : This is the same as the noatime option but this only applies to directories. Note that turning on noatime implicitly means that nodiratime is enabled as well.
  • Thanks. I got relatime from the Gentoo wiki article on ssd drives, btw. The Arch wiki says "Note: noatime implies nodiratime. You do not need to specify both" (wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/fstab). Should I trust Linus over the Arch wiki?
    – MJiller
    Sep 7, 2017 at 21:19
  • Edited, was unclear if he mentioned both or only noatime. Sep 7, 2017 at 21:37

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