Extreme SSD 120GB - No TRIM support for latest Linux? $150 wasted?

I’m a long-term Sandisk customer, and generally been happy with their products.

My preferred and only OS is Linux, like millions of PC, notebook, tablet and smartphone users world-wide. I am about to take delivery of a brand spanking new Sandisk Extreme SSD 120GB. It’s my 2nd SSD (the other is from Kingston). I just found this comment on-line (newegg.com) regarding current Sandisk Extreme SSD TRIM support for Linux:

"Cannot support Trim on LINUX. I use EXT4 also discard tag in /etc/fstab and it doesn’t work. I emailed Sandisk. They said: “I understand that you were not able to enable TRIM command on your SSD extreme 120GB running linux. We are sorry about the inconvenience this issue might have caused.”

Then I remember seeing this in Sandisk’s own SSD info on-line:

“Any operating systems can be installed on an SSD drive. There are NO compatibility issues in reference to operating system. Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix of any version or DOS can be installed on an SSD drive.
Some features such as TRIM are only supported natively on the latest operating systems such as Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.6 and higher.”

I am concerned. Firstly I always use the latest Linux version, continuously updated, and make all necessary preparations for peak SSD performance (including AHCI operation and fstab edits). Secondly my other SSD has worked flawlessly since new (installed 6 months ago) including TRIM under Linux.

Then I’ve read elsewhere that Sandisk do not provide SSD firmware updates (yet?). Is that correct?

If so, then Houston, we have a (major) problem. Product not fit for purpose? Product misrepresentation? Inadequate technical support? Engineering incomplete before dumping on market?

I might be worrying unduly. Heck, I truly hope someone can steer me to help, clarity and TRIM unlimited. That I get to use my new Sandisk Extreme SSD just like my other drive, without stressful product development for Sandisk. (Before Win7 and Mac fanboys let loose, Linux is as valid in the real world as any corporate-drone OS. Heck one day you too might see the light…)  :wink:

Now, this linked official joint news release is most interesting (dated 2009):

http://www.ubuntu.com/news/sandisk-ssd-netbooks

In part it states:

" Computex, Taiwan, June 2 2009: Canonical today announced that it has been collaborating with SanDisk , the global leader in flash memory cards, to improve how Ubuntu runs on the solid state drives ( SSD s) that provide the memory – and memory management – for most netbooks and laptops in the market today. Engineers from both companies have worked closely on system optimizations resulting in longer battery life, reduction in heat levels & better system responsiveness. This is done to optimise the user experience and offer original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) a better solution to bring to market.

In addition to remote collaboration, SanDisk engineers have engaged at events like the Ubuntu Developer Summit in San Francisco and Barcelona where the technology industry and Ubuntu community plan future releases of the award-winning platform…"

That’s almost 3 years ago?

I think you are jumping the gun a bit here. TRIM is a standard ATA command. The Extreme SSD does support TRIM so all you need is OS support. I am not all that familiar with Linux but if the release you are using supports TRIM then it will be no problem with this SSD. For more info on operating systems that support TRIM see the following link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM

When a company writes knowledgeable articles the information is intended for the majority of users. Like it or not Linux is not a heavily saturated operating system in today’s market. In late April 2011 Linux only made up .99% of the market. That is less than one percent. When you are using a piece of software with such low penetration rate you should check your facts before jumping the gun and claiming false advertising etc. 

Thanks for your response. I hope you’re right. If the Sandisk Extreme SSD actually does support TRIM according to the industry standard, there should be no problems at all under the most recent Linux OS.

Could you please substantiate your claim of insignificant world-wide Linux usage? Are you referring to desktop users only? Internet server installations? Mobile devices? Embedded devices? Robotics? All these and more require memory and storage.

Linux celebrates its 21st birthday this year. Installed on millions of computers world-wide, and the number is growing rapidly. Today there are millions more Linux installations than even Apple Mac. The OS used on smartphones and tablets, Android, is of course actually Google Linux. Embedded devices (automotive, robotics, remote controls, scientific, medical, academic, military etc etc) mostly use Linux. Most internet servers use Linux because it is bullet-proof 24/7. Apple Mac OS is based on Unix, just like Linux. Yet Sandisk supports Apple Mac. And I’ve seen support references to Android for Sandisk flash memory products right here on your web-site.

The constructive point I’m making is, given increasing SSD and other flash memory product sales, Sandisk would do well to buck the standard  “head in the sand” industry approach to acknowledging a valid and widely-used OS. What would Linux tech support actually entail? Far less time, trouble, cost and resources than supporting any M$ product. Heck, if a company like HP can have a manager and small team dedicated to ensuring every HP product is Linux-compliant (Open Suse), I’m certain Sandisk can. Simple. Easy. And Sandisk would win more customers!    :wink:

this is a retail product. look at the retail market share of linux computers. it is .99% less than one percent. 

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Good news all round. Extreme SSD arrived and installed without a hitch. Also received a number of helpful email responses from Sandisk Tech Support (thanks, in particular, to Lance, who stepped up to the plate). Briefly, if you have a recent Linux kernel installed, opt for ext4 file system on both / and /home. But first make absolutely sure that you’ve selected the AHCI option in SATA mode section of your mainboard BIOS. (Flashing the latest mainboard BIOS should also help.) Then to enable TRIM under Linux suggest you edit your /etc/fstab file to include the instructions ‘noatime’ and ‘discard’ in the lines referring to / and /home. Save and you should be good to go. So to respond to my own original doubts - TRIM is supported for latest Linux OS provided you follow basic set-up process. Did I waste $150? Probably not, though only time and Toggle NAND will tell!

@drlucky wrote:

 

When a company writes knowledgeable articles the information is intended for the majority of users. Like it or not Linux is not a heavily saturated operating system in today’s market. In late April 2011 Linux only made up .99% of the market. That is less than one percent. When you are using a piece of software with such low penetration rate you should check your facts before jumping the gun and claiming false advertising etc. 

Your comments about TRIM (the actual topic) are reasonable. As for Linux, the latest estimate is around 1.6% of the *desktop* market. Note that Linux has some very large percentage of the *server* market, however (numbers are a little vague there, since it depends on how you measure). Since these are consumer SSDs, it’s probably a fair point to make that even at 2%, Linux is a tiny fraction of the desktop market.

also keep in mind most all server related linux installs are not the commonly released build and the company using them generally writes the drivers for the hardware they use. 

@drlucky wrote:

also keep in mind most all server related linux installs are not the commonly released build and the company using them generally writes the drivers for the hardware they use. 

I don’t know where you got this comment from, but it’s completely off base!  I am in that business and you made two completely incorrect assertions in one short post. First, most companies (leaving aside tiny startups or whatever) are buying ONLY supported distros (e.g. RHEL or SLES) for their servers. Second, and a consequence of the first, the drivers come from the distro.So a typical server company would get, say, RHEL 5.7 or 6.2 plus the AHCI driver that shipped with the distro.

The base build of course is a built off of a common distro but most companies I have delt with do use customizations. 

Lets look at Oracle for instance. They use and distribute a customized version of Linux called Unbreakable Linux which is based off the red hat distro. If they were to come to a SSD manufacturer and say we want to replace all the HD in our servers with SSD do you not think that the SSD manufacturer would work directly with them creating drivers and software specific to their needs? Of course they would. This is not going to happen for a retail product but OEM business is a completely different animal.  

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Many enterprise users use standard, off the shelf commercial Linux releases. Many more enterprise users - particularly MS users - will use non-commercial/free Linux distributions for some servers or other applications where Linux is the easiest and most inexpensive way to go. However, very few will develop their own hardware drivers, unless its for huge deployments.

The figures on Linux penetration are probably quite skewed. It looks like they were derived from Netmarketshare, and I doubt these figures include servers. Moreover, the huge variation of 30% in the Linux user group is highly improbable (check their operating system share trend). Even if the figures are reliable, things can change VERY fast in this world, as has been demonstrated by Apple taking the mobile device market in storm (where is MS Windows Mobile now?).

I am concerned that Sandisk does not provide Linux-information on the website. Is it correct that Sandisk released a new firmware for the Sandisk Extreme series? If so, how am I to flash the firmware using Linux?

I do understand that Linux users do not have the TRIM-related problems that MS Windows users suffer. Still, if Sandisk’s new firmware release offers better performance and/or a longer lifetime, I do hope the company will provide me with the tools to install the firmware. Else this will be my last Sandisk purchase.

You are refering to Linux usage in desktop computers, though you figure may well be outdated.

In the server realm Linux/Unix make way over 60% of the worldwide market share, with MS struggling for any percentage point they can get.

In the Supercomputer realm its Linux all the way (95%), with a MS share of 0.2%.

Mobile is divided between Apple and Linux-based OSes, MS is irrelevant.

Sandisk SSD technology can be and probably is used in all of the above applications. Even if you don’t use a Linux desktop, you are using Linux: in your cellphone (a 50% chance), while using the Internet (routers and servers usually use Linux), making phone calls (the exchanges use Linux, and even switches and other telecom equipment often uses some realtime Linux), and probably at work while accessing some servers.

For Sandisk not supporting Linux doesn’t make any sense. The entire Internet, telecom, hosting, as well as large enterprise clientele would have to avoid Sandisk.

The Sandisk Extreme series may not be geared at servers, but i bet they are being used in small servers. I know enough companies that recycle old Windows PCs and run Linux-based server applications on them, where SSD would often be the best solution.

Sandisk Extreme 120GB update. So far, so good. Not a single glitch in use. The description “FAST” seems redundant. Boots in something like 10 seconds (Linux Mint LXDE). Apps open almost instantaneously. R.I.P. traditional HDDs. Not before time, given recent HDD failure rates (circa 30% with Seagate). Now all we need are larger range of SSD storage capacities and lowered cost.

There’ll be linked FAQs and wikis for TRIM testing in Linux. Anyone recommend sure-fire simple method for Ubuntu/Mint using ext4? Thanks.

You are lucky …

My Extreme 480Gb don’t work. Received yesterday & with latest firmware

test with hdparm sync & read & rm filetested

wasted 305€