View Full Version : USB-Style Installation to Maximize SSD Life?

October 11th, 2010, 12:40 AM
Hello Ubuntu-ers,

I'm new to the Ubuntu Forums but have been using (x)ubuntu for a couple years now on all of my PCs. I recently purchased a netbook with a small SSD- only 12 gigabytes. I only want to use it for web browsing, writing a few emails, and a little bit of light programming (mostly debugging on the road), so I don't need many features, just a web browser and a text editor.

I do, however, want this to last for years- preferably to get me through another 5 years of school. Not having to replace the SSD would be great. As such, I've been figuring out how to maximize the SSD's life by minimizing the writes- I've seen several guides that involve storing temporary folders to memory and such, but I've been told that there will still be system writes every few seconds. I was thinking that there might be an even better way.

Linux, and (x)ubuntu, can be installed to a USB drive. Though this can be made with persistence, it's common to install a completely non-persistent system, where the computer doesn't write anything at all to the USB. Is it feasible to install a USB-style release, customized with a proper browser installation and a few additional programs, like SVN and Kate, to a SSD, and run the system non-persistently? Any actual data could be written to another partition, or simply operate off of a SD card or USB drive. It seems that this would make the SSD writes drop to zero- and hence, maximize the drive's life, while still providing the quick-boot and quick-program-open benefits of an SSD.

Although I like to think that I'm not a complete newbie when it comes to Linux, this sort of thing is a bit out of my league. Any advice, input, or resources would be appreciated.