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What size SSD should I buy?
#1
If this is a total newbie question I'm sorry but ...

I'm about to buy a new computer and will initially be using it to run Ubuntu 18.04. In future I may well, of course, change the operating system to another version of Linux. The operating system will be on an SSD and the home directory will be on a separate HDD.

There is a choice of sizes for the SSD ranging from 120GB to 1TB. If I was buying a Windows machine I'd probably put the operating system on a 256GB or 512GB SSD in order to provide plenty of room for the operating system to grow as I added additional programmes. Is this necessary for a Linux machine? Is there any benefit to buying any SSD larger than 120GB?

I'd appreciate any advice that you can give me.
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#2
Hello Dextor

For most single boot system a 120g SSD will be fine for the root directory.
(11-24-2018, 10:24 AM)Dexter Hovis Wrote: There is a choice of sizes for the SSD ranging from 120GB to 1TB. If I was buying a Windows machine I'd probably put the operating system on a 256GB or 512GB SSD in order to provide plenty of room for the operating system to grow as I added additional programmes. Is this necessary for a Linux machine? Is there any benefit to buying any SSD larger than 120GB?
There are benefits of a larger SSD on Linux and in general:
- Larger SSDs are faster than smaller ones.
- Larger SSDs last longer.
- Software packaged as Snaps, Flatpaks and Appimages are very large and can take up a lot of space.
- multi-boot systems will take up a lot of space if you want to do one.

If I was buying a computer for myself I would personally get a 256g SSD for extra speed and lifespan.
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#3
(11-24-2018, 10:24 AM)Dexter Hovis Wrote: If this is a total newbie question I'm sorry but ...

I'm about to buy a new computer and will initially be using it to run Ubuntu 18.04. In future I may well, of course, change the operating system to another version of Linux. The operating system will be on an SSD and the home directory will be on a separate HDD.

There is a choice of sizes for the SSD ranging from 120GB to 1TB. If I was buying a Windows machine I'd probably put the operating system on a 256GB or 512GB SSD in order to provide plenty of room for the operating system to grow as I added additional programmes. Is this necessary for a Linux machine? Is there any benefit to buying any SSD larger than 120GB?

I'd appreciate any advice that you can give me.

its usually advisable to buy a larger size ssd as this will give you greater headroom in the future, ssd's have a limited write life span but the average user shouldn't ever see an ssd fail, it depends on your wallet and needs and what you use your PC for if you do a lot of video editing and deleting a lot of files and only have a smaller ssd that puts great strain on the ssd cells over time, the less free space you have on an ssd leads to the remaining cells having to be written to more often , do you intended to install HDD as well , do you store lots of games ? I installed a 500gb samsung 850 evo ssd and two HDD's for extra storage and back ups. do some more research before buying, My boot time is well under 30 seconds with an ssd when I installed it my only regret was I didnt do it years ago.
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#4
120 to 240/256 is fine, even if you have several operating systems installed. Backup off machine when it gets full of cruft. (second installed drive is nice for storage)

you pay a premium price for the larger ssd drives and just use for storage. makes no sense to me.
life expectancy of even cheap ssd drives is now as good or better than spinning disks.
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#5
(11-24-2018, 10:24 AM)Dexter Hovis Wrote: If this is a total newbie question I'm sorry but ...

I'm about to buy a new computer and will initially be using it to run Ubuntu 18.04. In future I may well, of course, change the operating system to another version of Linux. The operating system will be on an SSD and the home directory will be on a separate HDD.

There is a choice of sizes for the SSD ranging from 120GB to 1TB. If I was buying a Windows machine I'd probably put the operating system on a 256GB or 512GB SSD in order to provide plenty of room for the operating system to grow as I added additional programmes. Is this necessary for a Linux machine? Is there any benefit to buying any SSD larger than 120GB?

I'd appreciate any advice that you can give me.

I advise you to install your home directory on the SSD as well,
only putting files you do not need to access often on the HDD.
A typical linux installation (meaning everything but your data)
is rather small and its growth is not directly proportional to time,
like you are used to on windows.
The largest installation I ever had was 20 GB; My current installation is 5 GB.
Thanks to shared libraries and tool-kits,
installing new software increases the needed space only slightly, nothing to be concerned about.

Even on smaller SSDs, meaning the 120 GB models,
this leaves plenty space for your personal files.


Although the size of your important personal data is quite ... personal...
and varies from person to person, it is still smaller than one might suspect;
Mine is about 70 GB and if I were to look through that, I could probably reduce that by half.
Currently I use a 450 GB SSD in my laptop and I did not even fill a quarter of its space
and I seriously doubt I will ever use more than half of the drive.


And keep in mind that many programs you launch will have to read configuration files inside your home directory,
meaning that even if the programs binary is stored on the SSD,
the program having to read its configuration from the HDD will slow it down.
You should also take into consideration that SSDs use less power than HDDs.

And, one of the features I absolutely love about them,
they make no noise, meaning that you can have a dead silent computer,
which is a really nice experience. Smile
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#6
Dexter. No need to apologise for asking questions. It's one reason the forum exists.

When I planned to install Mint 18 I had a 250 GB SSD fitted because that was the size of my Win 7 system, and I didn't know any better. Having since converted everything from Windows to Linux I am using less than half of the 250 GB including the home directory with a few thousand high resolution photos.
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#7
(11-24-2018, 10:24 AM)Dexter Hovis Wrote: If this is a total newbie question I'm sorry but ...

I'm about to buy a new computer and will initially be using it to run Ubuntu 18.04. In future I may well, of course, change the operating system to another version of Linux. The operating system will be on an SSD and the home directory will be on a separate HDD.

There is a choice of sizes for the SSD ranging from 120GB to 1TB. If I was buying a Windows machine I'd probably put the operating system on a 256GB or 512GB SSD in order to provide plenty of room for the operating system to grow as I added additional programmes. Is this necessary for a Linux machine? Is there any benefit to buying any SSD larger than 120GB?

I'd appreciate any advice that you can give me.

Hi Dexter Hovis how much data do you currently have , if any, do you intend to copy that onto your new pc, that would be a reasonable starting point, as I mentioned in an earlier post it will depend on what you will use the pc for, I have thousands of hd photos and scores of hd videos and will continue to add to this, think about what you are likely to store and what back up plans you have and how long you may wish to keep the pc and all your data , I have four cloud back up services for the really important stuff one for business records and another for general stuff then another for important personal stuff, I like to keep things separated for additional security different passwords different clouds.
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#8
What's your budget for an SSD? I'd get at a minimum a 250GB drive. This will allow you to have windows, the updates, and frequently used programs on the faster platform.


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#9
If you keep collections of videos or photos on your computer, or do any CAD work such as for 3D printing, you will be using a lot more space in your home partition than the average user and should have a separate (spinning) HD for them. If you only keep WORD (LibreOffice) documents, emails, and other correspondence on your computer, then a single SSD will be fine for your computer.
You could add mount points within your user directory on your home partition on the SSD that point to directories on a separate HD for video, photo, and data. Note that not many laptops (except for expensive 17" 'workstation' types) have bays for more than one HD drive. Many do support space for a miniPCI drive card plus a 2.5" SATA drive. In this case, put the root partition and home partition on the SSD in the drive card slot, and your data files on the 2.5" SATA drive. You might consider putting your swap partition on the HD as well, but turn 'swapiness' down to 0 or 1.
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#10
(01-30-2019, 02:40 PM)WA2MZE Wrote: If you keep collections of videos or photos on your computer, or do any CAD work such as for 3D printing, you will be using a lot more space in your home partition than the average user and should have a separate (spinning) HD for them.  If you only keep WORD (LibreOffice) documents, emails, and other correspondence on your computer, then a single SSD will be fine for your computer.
You could add mount points within your user directory on your home partition on the SSD that point to directories on a separate HD for video, photo, and data.  Note that not many laptops (except for expensive 17" 'workstation' types) have bays for more than one HD drive.  Many do support space for a miniPCI drive card plus a 2.5" SATA drive.  In this case, put the root partition and home partition on the SSD in the drive card slot, and your data files on the 2.5" SATA drive.  You might consider putting your swap partition on the HD as well, but turn 'swapiness' down to 0 or 1.

I daresay that arrangement would work but it's unnecessarily complicated for my liking. I just bung everything on the one drive and ensure I take regular dual backups of the lot.
Cliff Coggin
Mint 18.3
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