Friday, November 27, 2009

Three Simple Tweaks for Better SSD Performance

As I explained in the previous post, replacing my notebook's hard disk with an SSD significantly improved the overall system performance -- even without any additional tweaking.

But there are also a couple of simple tricks that can boost performance even further. The first one is to disable the sreadahead service.

The sreadahead tool helps to speed up the boot process with conventional hard disks, but it actually slows the boot with SSDs.

To disable the service, open the sreadahead.conf file for editing using your preferred text editor:
# sudo nano /etc/init/sreadahead.conf

Comment then the following line:
# exec /sbin/sreadahead -t 0

Next trick is to add the elevator=noop kernel boot parameter to disable the elevator scheduler.

On Ubuntu 9.10, open the grub.cfg file for editing:
# sudo nano /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Add then the elevator=noop parameter as follows:
linux     /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-15-generic root=UUID=b5c7bed7-58f1-4d03-88f4-15db4e367fa0 ro   quiet splash elevator=noop

This scheduler is used to read and write data from the hard disk sequentially. Since an SSD is not a conventional hard disk, disabling the elevator scheduler significantly improves the read and write performance of your SSD.

Finally, you might want to set the file system mount option to noatime. To do this, edit the /etc/fstab file, so it looks something like this:

/dev/sda1    /  ext4   noatime,errors=remount-ro   0       1

Adding the noatime option eliminates the need for the system to make writes to the file system for files which are simply being read -- or in other words, this means faster file access and less disk wear.

That's it. Now reboot your machine, and you should notice faster boot and better performance.

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