A small tweak for improving SSD performance

Although most power-users might be aware of this, I would like to remind SSD owners in Mac computers (original or hackintoshes) that a small tweak as published last year by Ricardo Gameiro is a little extra to improve the performance of SSD drives of the system.

The following tweak was performed on both original and hackintosh machines running Snow Leopard, irrespective of the model of SSD drive used. I post this information as I have done a clean installation of 10.6.8 on my new OCZ Vertex 2 SSD in my Core i7 hackintosh.

It is usual for UNIX file-systems to record the last access time of every file. This means that every time a file is read, a write is made on the file-system to record this action. No point and not necessary doing so; disabling it poses no secondary effects that I am aware of. Thus, to disable it, just create a file named for example “com.nullvision.noatime.plist” in the directory /Library/LaunchDaemons/ with the following contents:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN"
        "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
	<key>Label</key>
	<string>com.nullvision.noatime</string>
	<key>ProgramArguments</key>
	<array>
		<string>mount</string>
		<string>-vuwo</string>
		<string>noatime</string>
		<string>/</string>
	</array>
	<key>RunAtLoad</key>
	<true/>
</dict>
</plist>

The next step is to assign root ownership to this file, as it is located in /Library/LaunchDaemons/ and needs to be executed upon every reboot:

sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.nullvision.noatime.plist

Upon rebooting the computer, open Terminal and type the following command to verify that it is working:

Prompt $ mount | grep " / "

This command should confirm the successful activation of the tweak, assuming your system runs on partition disk0s2:

/dev/disk0s2 on / (hfs, local, journaled, noatime)

This is it. A simple tweak for a small improvement.

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