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I just realized that spinning down hard drives is more complicated than I thought.

Regarding to HDD idle settings using hdparm (APM, Suspend) I have to write a script that needs to be started at startup or after a suspend if I want my drives to be spun down after a specific idle time. He also specifies an APM value before he specifies a sleep value.

  • Is the APM value of importance for the sleep value to take effect?

Regarding to https://askubuntu.com/questions/196473/setting-sata-hdd-spindown-time-for-western-digital-green-drives#196708 and One HDD will not automatically go to sleep by hdparm there are hard drives that will not spin down using the hdparm commands. They use hd-idle instead.

  • If this is true, wouldn't it be better to just use hd-idle instead of mixing hd-idle with hdparm to manage the spin down time of the hard drives?

Regarding to man hdparm some drives support APM - Advanced Power Management feature. Values from 1 to 255 set some kind of performance. What these values mean is neither described in the man page nor at the archwiki https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/hdparm nor at the APM wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Power_Management The APM-Wiki is even worse, because it points me to the ACPI-Wiki as a successor to APM that makes confusion perfect.

  • Is APM obsolete now due to ACPI and how does this effect my spin down command choice?
  • What do the APM-values mean? Can I find any documentation on these values anywhere?
  • Is the APM-value of importance when I manually specify a spin down time (3 hours) using hdparm -S 246 /dev/sdX or hd-idle -a /dev/sdX -i 10800 ?

Or in other words, when using the command line, what's the proper way to spin down hard drives after a specified period of time?

  • It's difficult to answer this question in general, because a lot depends on your particular harddisk, what kind of system you are using, and what your exact requirements are. For example, on my Devuan machine (no systemd), very simple entries in /etc/hdparm.conf work just fine for the three harddisks I want to spin down when idling. – dirkt Mar 24 at 10:15

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