I'm currently looking to switch from Windows 10 to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (not dual-booting, Ubuntu only).

On Windows I've used my 128GB SSD for OS-files almost exclusively, while all other stuff goes to my 2TB SSHD.

How do I effectively use both my hard-drives on Linux? Can I, like on Windows, have the Linux OS-files set-up on my SSD for a fast boot and all other files on my SSHD?

I've read that my "swap partition" should be on my SSHD since it's so large in size. How much size should I give it when I have 16GB DDR3 ram?

I'm open to suggestions, I just want my new install to go smoothly and not waste an entire hard drive.


  • You will struggle to use more that 20GB for system partition. Latter you can symlink to make part of the ssd part of your home. Apr 30, 2018 at 11:30

1 Answer 1

  • Keep system (/usr, /lib etc) on SSD - this will result in faster system start and app launches.
  • Keep volatile data (/var and /tmp) on SSHD - this should help with SSD life
  • /home obviously on SSHD as it will contain a lot of data
  • swap on SSHD is a good idea. You can keep your options open with swap file instead of partition, which if set up properly shouldn't be any worse. I'd start with 4 GB (unless you want to suspend2disk or do a lot of very memory-intensive operations) See https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-add-swap-space-on-ubuntu-16-04 for instructions on how to setup the swap file (after installation)

This way will probably result in smaller usage of SSD. I can with tiny compromises fit myself on a 16GB SSD with my system. But you can always symlink some files from SSD to your home, if you have some nonvolatile files that will benefit from very fast loading...

  • 1
    Sorry I disagree: "/home obviously on SSHD as it will contain a lot of data" /home/$USER/ on the SSD, the configs benefit from quick loading. All directories on the SSHD (set that with ~./config/users-dirs.dirs). Speed does not matter for personal data. Extra benefit: a backup for personal data is a lot easier this way.
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:09
  • @Rinzwind: Yes, that is a possible alternative. I don't see the configs needing that much boost, but yes, this might help a little... Apr 30, 2018 at 12:13
  • My systems boot is 0.7s quicker when I do it like that (it was a small sample: 5 boots each with and without on a vanilla Ubuntu 17.04).
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:18

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