Optimizing Ubuntu 14.04 for SSD usage or how not to abuse

On revamping a netbook from the grave, in fact just the only thing working about it is the motherboard! I decided to swap out the SSD in my Dell Studio 1737 which was in the second drive bay as my Ubuntu boot up.

So on ebay I found a Kingston S200 30GB SSD drive for £30 GBP. But for some reason instead of just popping it in, preparing a USB with Ubuntu and getting on with it I decided to do a bit of reading. To my horror I discovered I’ve been guilty of ssd abuse… For quite some time.

Read all the four source pages before attempting anything.

  • Create your swap partition on a conventional hard drive
  • Consider /var/log partition on a conventional hard drive
  • Consider /tmp partition on a conventional hard drive
  • Leave 7% of your EXT4 main Ubuntu partition unallocated at the end
  • With “noatime” in /etc/fstab, you disable the write action “access tim//e stamp”

An adapted line may look like this:

UUID=cf741928-1eb0-4253-91c6-cea28105dbef           /         ext4   noatime,errors=remount-ro      0       1

The cleaning action TRIM is necessary for the good performance of your SSD in the long run. Otherwise it’ll become very slow after some time.


#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will “exit 0” on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.
fstrim -v /
exit 0

  • Disable the superfluous weekly cron job for TRIM
    • sudo mv -v /etc/cron.weekly/fstrim /fstrim


Create a RAM disk to optimise Chrome and FireFox

sudo mkdir -p /media/ramdisk
sudo vi /etc/fstab
tmpfs /media/ramdisk tmpfs rw,size=512M 0 0

double check chrome cache location:

ls -ls ~/.cache/google-chrome

rm -rf ~/.cache/google-chrome
ln -s /media/ramdisk/ ~/.cache/google-chrome

in address bar create
By right-clicking over the variables list
Right-click somewhere in the list and select “New > String”
For the name of the preference type or copy’n paste: browser.cache.disk.parent_directory
Enter the string value


Next locate the preference browser.cache.disk.enable, it must be set to true, if it is not, double-click on it to change its value
By default firefox stores cache in cacheme whereas chrome in Cache folder.

Restart firefox, you’ll find new folder in /media/ramdisk/

Note: for caching to work make sure browser.cache.disk.capacity is set to true


Maybe Cameron isn’t an idiot? But a closet property developer #CameronCryptoBollox

Well our Prime Minister David Cameron really set the tongues wagging for the 1% with a vague concern about the small issues surrounding the freedom of speech on Monday 12th January 2015. The alleged “I am clearly an idiot with mentally challenged advisers” was as follows:

“Are we going to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremis, with a signed warrant from the Home Secretary personally, that we cannot read?”

“No we must not. The first duty of any government is to keep our country and our people safe.”

You see, I live near to Totnes in the UK, you may have heard of it even Internationally, it’s the home of Transition Town. Every now and again we’ll get the odd strange planning application come up in the local paper. The Duke of Somerset to build on green belt, yarda yarda. Then there’s the plot at the end of Plymouth road by the Council offices, yarda yarda and again a lovely green field site previously owned by the Dartington Hall Trust. Going under concrete as I type.

So I reckon Cameron is maybe a closet property developer? If you follow a local planning issue in your town and I’m writing as a Brit, I’m sure it’ll be the same story in your own town where ever you live.

  • Property Developer wants to build 100 homes
  • Property Developer applies to build 500 homes
  • Local outrage
  • Local authorities grant permission for 150 with stipulation to provide help for local amenities
  • Property Developer horse trades and settles for 100 without helping out local authorities

Directive 2006/24/EC-Directive 2002/58/EC 

According to the directive, member states will have to store citizens’ telecommunications data for a minimum of 6 months and at most 24 months. Under the directive the police and security agencies will be able to request access to details such as IP address and time of use of every email, phone call and text message sent or received. A permission to access the information will be granted only by a court. On 8 April 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the Directive invalid in response to a case brought by Digital Rights Ireland against the Irish authorities and others. (Wikip)

Germany’s Merkel urges new EU law on data tracking
15th January

An EU directive on data retention was made invalid by a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling last April.

That 2006 directive opened up private communications data to police, but message content was still protected.

Ms Merkel’s statement contrasts with the uproar in Germany last year over US mass surveillance of internet traffic.

She was speaking in the lower house of parliament (Bundestag) about measures to prevent attacks like the killing of 17 people in Paris last week by Islamist gunmen. (BBC)

Have have ever met a poor property developer? Or builder?
So as we know that banning encryption is clearly a stupid planning request, but we can see that providing the requirement for several hundred million or possibly a billion pounds plus of IT expenditure would be of great benefit to the private IT sector. The very same people who are calling Cameron an idiot – I’m not so sure.

Why I would bet against the Conservatives forming the next government post 2015 general election?

From the Guardian’s “UK population: how will it change over the next few decades?“. We can extrapolate the following chart below.

M+F UK population figures dirtily against housesold requirements 2016-2027 for age groups 40-50 & 51-60

M+F UK population figures dirtily against housesold requirements 2016-2027 for age groups 40-49 v 50-59

For each year I’ve added up the age ranges totals for 50-59 and subtracted 40-49 totals.

So here is my logic, those couples aged 50-59 will be looking to downsize after their children have left university, each year on the graph plots the difficulty of selling your house. This age band needs to do this due the lack of retirement funding they hold. Previous generations have been successfully following this pattern to acquire a small buy-to-let portfolio of perhaps just two properties.

After the next General Election in 2015, around 2017 there will be dramatic problems in the UK housing market. Downwards!

There were less people born after this batch of boomers, so there if there are less couples to buy the boomers property. QED something bad is going to happen to the UK property market. If only half that population that block are a couple. 200,000 then say potentially 50-100,000 couples downsizing is big volume, and I’m being optimistic it’s going to be this small.

Lets have a look at pensions.


As a country UK debt is considerably worse than the US.

Cameron and the Conservative Party will do their up most not to win the next General Election.

But if they win again in 2020, they could stay in power for a considerable period of sustained property lead prosperity.