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Boost Your Hard Drive with Bcache

Nov 10, 2015, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Albert Westra)

A few weeks ago I converted my friend's Chromebook from its stock ChromeOS to Ubuntu. As payment, he let me keep the Kingston 16GB M.2 SSD which we replaced with a bigger 240GB SSD. My laptop has two mSATA ports, which means I can put that 16GB SSD in my Laptop as long as I get the correct adapter, but 16GB is pretty small for a heavy user like me. So what can a guy like me do with this small drive? Well how about using it as cache drive?

Luckily for us, as linux users, we do have quite a few options to accomplish this task, but the one that stood out to me was Bcache. Bcache is, for all intents and purposes, a Kernel module that allows a SSD to cache all writes if writeback mode is enabled, or caching blocks read from the main backend drive; which ,in my case , would be my 750GB HDD. In a nutshell, it allows a cheap large storage drive to have marginally the same performance as a SSD.

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