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SSD overprovisioning in Linux


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#1 paul88ks

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 11:13 PM

Since Samsung magician doesn't work in Linux, I was wondering about overprovisioning without using that tool. I just used Gparted and left about 10 % of the drive empty at the end of the drive. Is there anything else I need to do?- Paul



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#2 mremski

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 02:14 AM

That's not "overprovisioning" that's simply partitioning.  If you are talking about a 500G SSD, you created a 450G partition and then installed Linux (or created a filesystem) on that 450G partition, then Linux will only use 450G of that 500G, leaving 50G for the controller on the SSD to do what it needs to do for wear leveling and other hidden magic.


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#3 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 05:42 AM

Yup, I agree with mremski.

 

That's exactly what I do with the IDE/PATA SSD in ye olde Dell lappie. PATA drives don't support 'trash collection', and some of the other stuff that SATA drives do. They do have wear-levelling, but that's about it. So, like you, I leave 10% of it empty; 64GB drive (approx 59.6 GiB) so that's around 6 GiB.

 

As mremski says, it can hardly be described as 'over-provisioning'. You're simply partitioning it, intelligently, to give the controller space to rotate 'old' blocks out of service, prior to deleting, and then informing the system that they're ready for re-use.

 

It is, of course, the 'intelligent' manual workaround to the 'trash collection' problem for SSDs.

 

 

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Edited by Mike_Walsh, 19 August 2017 - 05:44 AM.

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#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 05:01 PM

'Overprovisioning'. Is that not a manufacturer's technique to get around the fact that NAND cells can only take so many writes ?  As I understand it, to pull numbers out of thin air, a 100GB drive might actually be manufactuered with 105GB of memory to allow for some of the cells failing and to extend the drive's service life. And this has nothing to do with the way you use it or partition it, it is down to the drive's firmware.

 

By all means leave some headroom to allow for the OS moving files around or creating temporary files. In a different OS you are advised to leave approximately 10% of the OS drive free but that is 'headroom' not 'overprovisioning'.

 

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#5 paul88ks

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:09 PM

I dunno guys- no need to get all high-brow about it.Just wanted to know if that was correct. Provisioning or "overprovisioning is what Samsung magician calls it- or that's just a phrase that I've heard somewhere?


Edited by paul88ks, 19 August 2017 - 10:49 PM.


#6 MadmanRB

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:50 PM

Either case I dont think its an issue linux would have anyhow due to the differences between windows file systems and those found in Linux.

Linux file systems like EXT4 are quite well built, more like a filing cabinet.

NTFS is more like a series of post it notes.

Of course there are other systems like BTRFS, XFS and others but they seem to follow a very organized file allocation too.


Edited by MadmanRB, 19 August 2017 - 10:50 PM.

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#7 mremski

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 02:44 AM

@paul88ks  Sorry, wasn't meaning to be all highbrow or anything.  Just making sure that we were at least all agreeing on the language.  As for what Samsung may call it, that's fine.  Bottom line:  what you did was fine, a lot of folks even consider it the correct thing to do.    Modern SSD technology is different (better) than old flash technology, but they do a lot of stuff behind the scenes on you in the controllers.  NVME devices are basically "SSDs without a controller" so the device driver needs to do more work.

The type of filesystems used on an SSD really don't matter, it all boils down to the devices having a limited number of erase cycles (don't worry, normal home use it's on the order of years).  Leaving some unused blocks on the physical device, marking them as unused (DuckDuckGo for "SSD TRIM") lets the controller do things for you to extend the life (wear levelling).  You write data out to a device, blocks get used.  You erase data from a device (rm a file), blocks get unused, but not immediately erased.  Enough blocks in an erase block on the device get marked unused, TRIM command can mark them unused, shuffle things around and actually erase the block (most flash devices need to be erased before they can be written to.  It's just the way the devices work at a physical level).

 

@Chris_Cosgrove:  The easy way for a manufacturer to do this is by making "1GB not 1GB"  (base 10 vs base 2, 1000*1000*1000 vs 1024*1024*1024).  They give you the specs in base 10, but the devices internally are all base 2, instant headroom.


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#8 cat1092

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 04:46 AM

Since Samsung magician doesn't work in Linux, I was wondering about overprovisioning without using that tool. I just used Gparted and left about 10 % of the drive empty at the end of the drive. Is there anything else I need to do?- Paul

 

Paul, that's really all you need to do at this point. :)

 

Samsung, as well as some other SSD OEM's recommends at least 10% for overprovisioning, this works on the firmware level, independent of the OS, to help keep your SSD fast & working normal. Here's a link with information about running Linux with a SSD, while the article is for Linux Mint, applies to most any distro based on Ubuntu. Please read the article carefully & understand how to perform the steps before doing anything.

 

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd

 

While the article says 7%, which may be OK for a 1TiB or larger SSD, 10% is better for those with 512 GiB or lower capacity. :)

 

Good Luck!

 

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Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#9 paul88ks

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 02:58 PM

 

Since Samsung magician doesn't work in Linux, I was wondering about overprovisioning without using that tool. I just used Gparted and left about 10 % of the drive empty at the end of the drive. Is there anything else I need to do?- Paul

 

Paul, that's really all you need to do at this point. :)

 

Samsung, as well as some other SSD OEM's recommends at least 10% for overprovisioning, this works on the firmware level, independent of the OS, to help keep your SSD fast & working normal. Here's a link with information about running Linux with a SSD, while the article is for Linux Mint, applies to most any distro based on Ubuntu. Please read the article carefully & understand how to perform the steps before doing anything.

 

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd

 

While the article says 7%, which may be OK for a 1TiB or larger SSD, 10% is better for those with 512 GiB or lower capacity. :)

 

Good Luck!

 

Cat

 

Thanks Cat! I would have never known to take those extra steps! I have implemented steps 1-10. I don't use Firefox or Chrome much.As you know, I prefer Opera,which works beautifully on Linux.I will see if there is a workaround for Opera for the browser settings.I now have dedicated SSD's,1 for Windows,and 1 for Linux Mint ,with a Terabyte regular drive for backups. 500 gig for Windows and 500 gig for Mint!



#10 DeimosChaos

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:29 PM

Man... I feel out of the game on hardware. Haven't heard of this "overprovisioning" (or whatever you want to call it) thing on SSDs before. Good info though.


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#11 cat1092

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:29 AM

While SSD's doesn't have to be handled as though eggs in the past, in fact are more reliable than HDD's, leaving that bit of space at the end helps to last & maintain peak performance even longer. :)

 

This applies to NVMe based SSD's also. The main difference between installing Linux to a SSD is creating a larger than norm root partition, around 40 GiB. This ensures that usage will stay below the 50% mark, create Swap between root & /home, then after /home, leave 10% unformatted space. If dual booting with Windows, over provisioning using the Samsung utility can be accomplished by creating a small (4GiB) NTFS partition at the end of /home. That's what it's looking for, a NTFS partition. On the other hand, Crucial has their utility in Storage Executive in both Linux & Windows formats, so a dual boot isn't needed for the operation. An extra benefit of Storage Executive is that it has a RAPID type app, which helps to limit writes to the SSD. 

 

Am considering one of the Crucial BX300 240 GiB for a secondary PC ($89.99 w/free shipping), which not only has the benefit of MLC technology combined with SLC write acceleration (detail in 2nd link) for extra burst. Plus the Crucial Storage Executive, which can be installed on M500 series & newer. :thumbsup:

 

http://www.computershopper.com/storage/reviews/crucial-bx300-240gb

 

http://www.crucial.com/wcsstore/CrucialSAS/pdf/product-flyer/crucial-bx300-ssd-productflyer-a4-en.pdf

 

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-BX300-240GB-Internal-Solid/dp/B0742BC3DQ/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1504261586&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=crucial+BX300+ssd

 

At this price point, I can take the risk, have yet to have a SSD die, not even close, will most likely grab one in the next month or two. I'd say that with the Crucial Storage Executive, these are more compatible with Linux than Samsung SSD's, of which the firmware has to be upgraded on a Windows computer, unless provided as a bootable ISO, which Crucial uses for this operation. Not sure if Samsung does the same. The other advantage, while Samsung boasts 5 & 10 year warranties, the few that does need it gets the runaround getting a RMA approved. Crucial handles these in days rather than weeks, another consideration favorable in my viewpoint. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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