SSD and HDD
Hi, I'm new at the forums. Nice to meet you all.
Until now I've been using Windows, but now I'm going to change to Debian. The computer I'm going to install it on is ThinkPad T61. I have a new Intel X25-M 80gb SSD, which I'm going use as the primary drive and install the OS and applications on it. For storage I got Hitachi Travelstar 500gb HDD I'm going to put in the UltraBay. I got 4gb RAM (not dual channel).
As I understand it, it would be better that I install the OS before putting the second drive in. I was also thinking of not doing any partitions as it seems to be pointless on SSD and on the HDD I've got no need. I hope all this sounds reasonable. Just tell me if it isn't. I've never done partitioning, used SSD, installed OS, or anything much besides from using a computer, really.
Now then, to the questions:
Can I just put the SSD in and select to boot it at start up from BIOS, and then go about to install Debian?
I was thinking along the lines that I select the SSD as C drive and the HDD as D drive (though I'm not sure about this since I'm thinking in Windows terms). Also if possible, I'd like to make it so that the desktop is on the HDD as I have a habit of directing DDL files on the desktop and organizing files from there to other places. I read somewhere about moving the user profile, but as my OS and apps are on the SSD I'm not sure how I should go about it.
I'd also like to know which of these things I need to do during the initial setup and which I can figure out later, and if there's something I should do with the drives before installing the OS.
EDIT: Installing 64bit Debian
Hello and welcome to the forums!
There are currently a lot of different opinions on what all special configurations and tweaks should be applied when using SSDs, and some companies are now saying that no special tweaking efforts are necessary for some of their SSD offerings... just install and use them like a regular hard drive.
I'd recommend reading over the recommendations in the Arch wiki regarding SSDs:
Most of that should apply pretty much toward any distribution. A Google search for SSD tweaks linux should also garner some suggestions.
That said, the only special tweaks that I'm using with my own SSDs is to change the scheduler to "deadline" and to add "noatime,discard" to the fstab file.
Thanks, that clears things up.
But what about the C and D drives? Do they go like that automatically. Do I choose somewhere what type of drive I want them to be? And can I do the desktop thing I described?
Linux doesn't label the drives like C: or D:.
You create mount points for your partitions and can name then however you want. For example, I have a second harddrive I stuck in my computer and I just mount it as /storage. (The / indicates the root path of the file system hierarchy.)
On that note, the root directory is at a minimum necessary to create when you install, so your SSD drive will need to be partitioned and mounted as root (aka /).
You can choose to create more than one partition on the SSD and mount different directories on said partitions. Many folks, myself included, like to create a /home partition separate from root.
As you mentioned above that you wanted your Desktop to be on the harddrive, so you could mount /home there as well. (Your "desktop", personal files, and personal configurations will all be under your /home directory.)
If you're installing a desktop environment, such as GNOME or KDE, they have tools to automatically mount drives if you have not specified a mountpoint. In that case, they will dynamically create and destroy mountpoints under the /media directory, based on the label name of the volume if available. It will treat your harddrive just as would a USB flash drive in this case.
If you're not using a desktop environment with those tools available, you can either mount a device manually, or define it in the file /etc/fstab.
If you have the harddrive in during the Debian installation, you should be able to conveniently add your harddrive to fstab during the installation process, at the same point you are partitioning and adding mount points for the SSD drive. If you are using the HD as your /home directory, I would recommend doing it this way.