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4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives & Linux

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General Linux

Recently, I bought a pair of those new Western Digital Caviar Green drives. These new drives represent a transitional point from 512-byte sectors to 4096-byte sectors. A number of articles have been published recently about this, explaining the benefits and some of the challenges that we’ll be facing during this transition. Reportedly, Linux should unaffected by some of the pitfalls of this transition, but my own experimentation has shown that Linux is just as vulnerable to the potential performance impact as Windows XP. Despite this issue being known about for a long time, basic Linux tools for partitioning and formatting drives have not caught up.

The problem most likely to hit you with one of these drives is very slow write performance. This is caused by improper logical-to-physical sector alignment.

via Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives | OS News.

If you’re going to grab some new hard drives, the above article is worth reading. The article dates to Feb, 2010 - so I’m not sure if this situation still exists. Further more,

These drives are on the market now. We’ve known about this issue for a LONG time, and now it’s here, and we haven’t fully prepared. Some distros, like Ubuntu, use “parted”, which has a very nice “-align optimal” option that will do the right thing. But parted is incomplete, and we must rely on tools like fdisk for everything else. But anyone manually formatting drives based on popular how-tos that pop up at the top of Google searches is going to cause themselves a major performance hit, because mention of this alignment issue and how to fix it is conspicuously absent.

Sathyajith Bhat
Sathyajith Bhat
Author, AWS Container Hero and DevOps Specialist.


Amarok 2.2.90 Most Irritating Bug #228014: File metadata not displayed If File Is Not Present In Collection
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General Amarok Applications Linux
Well it’s no secret that I’m a music fan and love to keep my music organized, and neatly tagged. ( Well, if you didn’t - now you do ). I’d posted quite sometime ago on how to keep your music well tagged and organized, so there’s pretty much no way that my files wouldn’t be tagged. Of course, there exceptions here and there but majority are tagged. So I was rather surpised today when Amarok , during playback wasn’t showing any metadata.
My Laptop Chronicles: Installing openSUSE 10.3 on my Dell Inspiron 1520
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General Linux
When I got my Dell Inspiron, the first thing that I wanted to do was install openSUSE 10.3 on it. After all openSUSE has been serving me well all these years! Because of time restrictions and office workload being too much, I couln’t do it. So when the weekend arrived, I decided to install it! Since I dont have an Internet connection, downloading it was out of the question, so I had grabbed a copy of last month’s Digit magazine which had a Bootable openSUSE10.
Spotify for Linux
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News Applications Linux
A lot of our developers are using Linux, obviously they want to listen to music while they’re coding away and looking at the feedback we get it appears that they’re not the only ones. So today we’re pretty happy to present a preview version of Spotify for Linux. Built by our brilliant developers during hack days and late nights, it shares most of the same features as our Windows and Mac OS X desktop applications.