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Re: How to bring HD activity to a minimum

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 22:40:31 +0100
MrVanes <mrvanes@no_mrvanes_spam.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I have a couple of debian systems acting as media PC's that I want to make
> as silent and economic as possible. One of the challenges is making the HD
> spin (and stay) down when I don't use it for more than an hour or so.
> The problem is that both system (single HD) seem to write to (or read from)
> the HD every 10-20 seconds or so. At first I thought these were kernel/log
> messages being written but a little investigation revealed that this wasn't
> it (timestamps, and disabling the kernel and syslog daemons). Then I
> thought it might be the ext3 fs writing it's journal, but even mounting the
> HD as ext2 (is changing the line in fstab enough?) made no difference.
> I tried to stop every daemon alive until I was left with a barely living
> system to no avail.
> Can anybody tell me where to look or how to find out what process is writing
> to (or reading from) the HD that makes spindown in a single HD system
> impossible?
> I use a homebrewn kernel (2.6.14). Is or are there kernel option(s) that
> check the filesystem that I can (should) disable like inotify or dnotify?

Have a look at laptop mode. There are scripts in the kernel doc directory to
make it work. it uses /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode and there is also
the /proc/sys/vm/block_dump entry to show you what is writing to disk IIRC.

Will write more about it later when I have the time.

> Grtz,
> Martin.
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