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Is this feasible? Install Ubuntu onto a new laptop's 32-GB SSD, and use a much larger HD on the same laptop to store a Win7 Pro VHD and a Win ...
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  1. #1
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    Ubuntu on a laptop with one SSD and one HD...


    Is this feasible?

    Install Ubuntu onto a new laptop's 32-GB SSD, and use a much larger HD on the same laptop to store a Win7 Pro VHD and a Win 8 VHD that will run inside of Ubuntu. That larger HD would also store the Linux Home directory, pictures, music, etc. If that would work, which of these two drives should hold the Linux swap file and critical directories like /tmp , /sbin , /var , etc? How to guarantee that application installs don't use up the SSD's precious little space? I've heard that XFS is best for solid state drives, but is not as hospitable to the Linux bootloader as ext4 is. Maybe the boot menu isn't as big of an issue if I'm not dual booting, and just virtualizing?

    If the above is not feasible, then are there recommendations regarding the minimum SSD size required to support such a Linux virtualization host in a HD//SSD-combo environment? I'm not a gamer, and don't have lots of graphics-intensive stuff. This would not be a commercial environment. I just want to gain hands-on experience using
    a bunch of OS's at once. I have been through Linux+ lectures and hardware simulations, but have no hands-on. Hope I'm not cheating by bringing up multiple issues in one post.

    Jeff in Colorado

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome.

    If you put /var, /home and the location of the VMs on the harddisc, you should be good to go.
    32GByte is plenty even for a desktop linux system.
    As for xfs vs ext4: booting from xfs needs grub version 0.97+
    But for a practice system there is probably no harm in using just the default ext4 with a "batched discard" cronjob.

    There is another method, that will improve the performance overall by using the ssd as a generic cache for the harddisc called SRT
    Smart Response Technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    You will need a fairly new chipset and the bios needs to support it also.

    This setup is defined in the bios similar to a raid.
    The operating system only sees one disk

    There are two modes:
    1) The first is a pure read cache.
    Blocks get read as usual and additionaly stored on ssd.
    If the same blocks are read again, they will come from ssd.
    2) Writes can also be accelerated.
    As soon as the blocks have been written to ssd, the os gets a signal, that the write is finished.
    In the background, the changes will be synced from ssd to hd.
    This is more dangerous.
    If the ssd breaks, the data on the hd is potentially corrupted.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
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    Thank you.....lots of good information in your response!!

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