Booting from SSD vs Installing on Hard Drive

Posted on 2011-04-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Can anybody tell me the pros/cons of installing Linux on a 4GB SSD vs installing on a regular 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive?

This is for a home/work PC, and I wanted to do a nice clean re-install and was considering moving from Windows 7 to Ubuntu, which led to finding that you can run Ubuntu off of a SSD.

This is the item I'd like to run it off of:

Now I assume I'd have to have a separate hard drive to hold the installed programs/etc.  I've heard SSD drives have read/write limits though and if the OS is on a SSD there will be writes going on correct?  That makes me nervous if every time I make a change relating to the OS that it has to write to a drive with limited writes.

Anyways, very new to this but would like an education on it, all info appreciated
Question by:ProdigyOne2k
    LVL 46

    Accepted Solution

    A 4GB USB SSD is a convenient way to do things, but you could also just buy yourself a 16GB USB flash drive.   Yes there is a limit to the amount of writes, but in grand scheme of things, you probably don't need to worry about it, as much as worry about the SSD failing, going through washing machine, or losing it.

    For the money, you will come out ahead if you buy a few quality USB flash drives and keep one as a backup.  Also it is much more convenient because you can stick it in ANY computer.  If you go for an ubuntu live USB download then it will create a read/write partition for data, and leave the boot part where the O/S is as non-volatile, so all you have to do is back up the partition you carve out., then any system can boot the stick.

    Author Comment

    What is less reliable?  a 16GB USB Flash drive or a 4GB Intel SSD?

    Ubuntu live - thank you for the recommendation
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Statistically, with a sample size of 1.  Both have same reliability.  But since you can easily buy 2 USB-attached SSDs, and you don't have to crank open the box to boot and use it , and the USB devices are architected to handle drops and dirt, dust, .. so you are just better off getting a pair of those.


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