From HDD to SSD w/ EFI boot

Linux

Oh, Oh! Santa is back in town and I bought myself a small gift to upgrade my Arch Linux garage server from HDD to SSD, here is the step-by-step how to…

0. Before upgrade

Cleanup the packages' cache, tmp folder or any other folder that you no longer want.

  paccache -rk1

==> finished: 664 packages removed (disk space saved: 6.55 GiB)

1. Upgrade

1.1 Partition the disk

We are going to create 2 partitions and GUID Partition Table (GPT) using gdisk tool.

  gdisk /dev/nvme0n1

1.2 Make filesystems

Partition 1 is FAT32 because it is required by EFI boot.

  mkfs.fat /dev/nvme0n1p1
  mkfs.ext4 /dev/nvme0n1p2

1.3 Mount the partitions

  mkdir -p /mnt/ssd/boot
  mount /dev/nvme0n1p2 /mnt/ssd
  mount /dev/nvme0n1p1 /mnt/ssd/boot

1.4 Rsync data

You can also exclude large folders (e.g. blockchains) as this can be copied after migration.

  rsync -aAXv --exclude={'/dev/*','/proc/*','/sys/*','/tmp/*','/run/*','/mnt/*'} /* /mnt/ssd/

1.5 Generage fstab

Generate new /etc/fstab file.

  genfstab -U -p /mnt/ssd > /mnt/ssd/etc/fstab

1.6 Chroot into system

Mount required virtual filesystems and chroot.

  mount --rbind /dev /mnt/ssd/dev
  mount --rbind /sys /mnt/ssd/sys
  mount -t /proc /mnt/ssd/proc
  chroot /mnt/ssd /bin/zsh

1.7 Create EFI entry

Before any EFI change we need efivarsfs mounted for user-space tools.

  mount -t efivarfs efivarfs /sys/firmware/efi/efivars
  efivar-tester

Test it with efivar-tester, if you get "EFI variables are not supported on this system" error then something is wrong and efivars are not avaialble to user-space.

  efivar-tester
About to test empty
testing efi_set_variable()
testing efi_get_variable_size()
testing efi_get_variable_exists()
testing efi_get_variable()
testing efi_get_variable_attributes()
testing efi_del_variable()
testing efi_append_variable()
testing efi_get_variable()
testing efi_del_variable()
...
About to test eleven
testing efi_set_variable()
testing efi_get_variable_size()
testing efi_get_variable_exists()
testing efi_get_variable()
testing efi_get_variable_attributes()
testing efi_del_variable()
testing efi_append_variable()
testing efi_get_variable()
testing efi_del_variable()
...

Alright, if all is good, now is time to get the PARTUUID.

  lsblk -dno PARTUUID /dev/nvme0n1p2
c74f4ff4-0fa4-4490-90e3-036638b796ac

Create an EFI entry to boot from SSD using excelent efibootmgr tool.

  efibootmgr --disk /dev/nvme0n1 --part 1 --create --label 'Arch on SSD' \\
  --loader /vmlinuz-linux \\
  --unicode 'root=PARTUUID=c74f4ff4-0fa4-4490-90e3-036638b796ac rw initrd=\initramfs-linux.img' \\
  --verbose

Note: alternatively we can just ls the devices to get the PARTUUIDs.

  ls -l /dev/disk/by-partuuid/
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 Dec 22 08:31 3a0f3b78-ecd4-443c-83e7-cf1f56f9be8e -> ../../nvme0n1p1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Dec 21 07:55 411c9357-34d8-4ef3-9a28-e6699c0d5a0d -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 Dec 22 08:31 c74f4ff4-0fa4-4490-90e3-036638b796ac -> ../../nvme0n1p2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Dec 21 07:55 e514bb6f-5d47-4f8d-a5e6-b46567ea0166 -> ../../sda2

1.8 Boot sequence

Temporary boot order for next boot only.

  efibootmgr -n 2

REBOOT!

  systemctl reboot

You made it this far… then make boot sequence permanent and cleanup old EFI.

  efibootmgr -o 2,0
  efibootmgr -b 1 -B

All DONE!

This is final boot sequene:

  efibootmgr
BootCurrent: 0002
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0002,0001
Boot0001* Hard Drive
Boot0002* Arch on SSD

and partitioning:

  df -h -t ext4 -t vfat
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/nvme0n1p2  916G  507G  363G  59% /
/dev/nvme0n1p1   99M   51M   49M  51% /boot

2. After upgrade

TRIM

Enable TRIM optimization for SSD devices.

  systemctl enable fstrim.timer

Benchmark

Performance bench… it should be around 10x better than plain old HDD.

  hdparm -Tt /dev/sda
  hdparm -Tt /dev/nvme0n1

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   7260 MB in  2.00 seconds = 3631.83 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 660 MB in  3.00 seconds = 219.69 MB/sec

/dev/nvme0n1:
 Timing cached reads:   7434 MB in  2.00 seconds = 3719.17 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 4046 MB in  3.00 seconds = 1348.28 MB/sec
linux  arch  hhd  ssd  efi  boot 
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