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How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Write Reduction

"This brought up a feature of excessive write to storage in particular: such writes might prematurely wear out the SD card."

I have done a fair amount of work on this very same thing for my machines with SSDs. I submitted a SSD saver patch on RH bugzilla here:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=223722

In general, booting up produces several MB of write. I have reduced this to essentially zero by putting things that don't need to be persisted to tmpfs, e.g.:

/tmp

/var/cache/yum

/var/lib/yum

/var/log (only on laptops)

/var/run

/var/tmp

There are a lot of additional things that are on tmpfs, depending on the application of the machine (e.g. browser caches).

I also disable swap in favour of compressed RAM as swap:

http://code.google.com/p/compcache/

Other things you may want to check out for lowering CPU power consumption is undervolting via PHC. Intel chips have a LOT of margin for error in them, and I have generally achieved peak TDP drops of up to 25% on Core2 class CPUs with no loss of stability (verified by days of OCCT and other testing). Have a look here:

http://www.linux-phc.org/

All the functionality is already built into Intel processors since the Pentium M, you just have to leverage it properly.

You also mentioned CPU governors and on-demand one specifically. Conservative CPU governor generally yields much better results in my experience.

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