My laptop will turn two (years old) soon. Some people would find this computer young enough for their task but they are not me. Actually, it started to feel ancient on my hands a few months ago Do not mistake! I like it, I like its design, it is slim and light (well… it can be lighter) and it was surprisingly efficient when I bought it… two years ago.
Nowadays, there are amazing ultrabooks everywhere: Samsung series 9, Asus Zenbook, Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre/Folio, Vizio thin+light… They are so thin and so light and so beautiful and so… everything! And comparing those beasts with my puppet would be unfair, isn’t it? I think that my Acer 3820T would lose all possible benchmarks.
Anyway, last week I decided to keep this one and upgrade some components instead of buying a newer one because I don’t want to spend more than 1,000 euros on a laptop that I like and I’m not going to waste several hundred of euros in one that I don’t and that it’s not really what I want.
So, I made a list of upgradeable components and checked that I would bring a second childhood to my laptop just replacing its HDD and 9-cells battery for and SSD unit and a lighter and slimmer battery. This time i’m not in RAM and processor races; both of them are not squeezed enough yet.
SSD Units recommendations
- The first one is to disable the swap partition. Their arguments were that disk swapping requires a lot of read and write operations and this could reduce SSD lifetime. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this at all but, configuring your system to consume more RAM before swapping to disk would be a good idea.
NOTE: Remember! it is possible to configure modern Linux systems to use a file as swap area.
- The second one is to enable TRIM. I had no idea of what TRIM meant before reading its Wikipedia page and a question on AskUbuntu about it. Actually, it looked something very specific on SSD units and I don’t recommend to enable it on current HDD.
- The last one is about migrating all logs and temporal files into main memory. It ‘s something tricky because you need to know what you are doing. I mean, you need to know what these files can tell you and, later, ask yourself some questions like: Is it smart to lose all your log data every time you turn off your computer to increase the whole system performance? Wouldn’t it be smarter to switch off all your logging? At the end, you won’t keep this information for so much time! As always, nothing is just black or white so, let me explain what I’ve done.
Moving temporary files and logs to main memory
STEP 1: Add these lines to /etc/fstab
STEP 2: Stop the rsyslog daemon
STEP 3: Delete your temporary/log files
STEP 4: Mount your filesystems
STEP 5: Start the rsyslog daemon (or just reboot)
NOTE: There was a project called Ramlog that provided a similar functionality with some useful extras like syncing log files into disk before shutting down and so on but it doesn’t seem to have any activity since early 2010.
Results and warnings
 Swappiness Wikipedia article: link
 Useful information about swap (includes how to configure swap files): link
 TRIM article on the Wikipedia: link
 Question on AskUbuntu regarding TRIM: link