Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

What would you like to do?
Making a SSD working as a Cache for a HDD with bcache.
There are 3 Methods for using a SSD as cache.
dm-cache, bcache,enhance-io all three should be avaliable in Kernel Version 3.10.
Performance differenceses are discussed here =>
In this tutorial I will use bcache since dm-cache didn't worked for me.
At the moment there is only an rc5 candidate for kernel 3.10.0
How to compile it is explained below. If you have a newer kernel than 3.10 and it is bcache enabled you dont need to compile it by yourself. In this case just jump over the kernel-compile-exlanation. If your kernel is compiled with bcache support you can test with "modprobe bcache". If that doesnt throw an error it should work :)
I will link to the tutorials I used. If you found better ones please paste a link in the comments
How to compile a kernel by yourself is explained at:
I used Fedora 18. If you got it done in another distribution you may want to do a fork of this tutorial and change the stepps which differs.
In short the steps are:
sudo yum-builddep kernel
sudo yum install xz tar ncurse
tar xvf linux-3.10-rc5.tar.xz
cd linux-3.10-rc5
make oldconfig
hold enter until everything is choosen
make menuconfig
go to "device drivers" -> "Multiple devices driver support (RAID and LVM)" -> "Block device as cache" enable it!
save and exit
make -j20
make -j20 modules
sudo make modules_install
sudo cp arch/x86/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-3.10.0-rc5
sudo cp /boot/
sudo cp .config /boot/config-3.10.0-rc5
sudo dracut /boot/initramfs-3.10.0-rc5.img 3.10.0-rc5
sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg #this path can be other just search for grub.cfg in /boot " find /boot -iname grub.cfg" #this differs from the tutorial because the tutorial is for an old Fedora Version
Now try to reboot and test if the new kernel boots
when this works you are done half of the way
You now need a clear SSD and a clear partition on the HDD you want to cache.
But first things first.
sudo yum install git libuuid libuuid-devel
git clone
cd bcache-tools
sudo make install
this should it be.
Now you can follow
In short: #Please of course use the devicenames of your own devices!
modprobe bcache
make-bcache -B /dev/mapper/fedora_virthost-home
make-bcache -C /dev/sda1
modprobe bcache
echo /dev/mapper/fedora_virthost-home > /sys/fs/bcache/register
echo /dev/sda1 > /sys/fs/bcache/register
mkfs.ext4 /dev/bcache0
mount /dev/bcache0 /home #you can mount it whereever you want it!
ls /sys/fs/bcache/ #get uuid
echo 766e3ca5-f2db-44c9-97cc-13a97b32d348 > /sys/block/bcache0/bcache/attach #The number is the uuid from previous step
Now you should have a working partition in /home (or whereever you mounted it)
But this is just till the next reboot
so lets make it peresistent
place the following script in /etc/init.d/bcache
cd /etc/init.d/
sudo yum install nano
nano bcache
and copy everything between the lines in the file...
customise the marked lines
# chkconfig: 2345 20 80
# description: Mounting bcache on /home
# Source function library.
. /etc/init.d/functions
start() {
modprobe bcache
echo /dev/mapper/fedora_virthost-cache > /sys/fs/bcache/register #please customise!!!!
echo /dev/sda1 > /sys/fs/bcache/register #please customise!!!!
mount /dev/bcache0 /home #please customise!!!!
stop() {
umount /dev/bcache0 /home #please customise!!!!
case "$1" in
echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
exit 0
close and save (Strg + x and enter)
chmod +x bcache
systemctl enable bcache.service
now we test if it is there again with
df -h|grep bcache
there should be something like this
/dev/bcache0 852G 255G 554G 32% /home
Thats it have fun.
Thanks for all the tutorials/websites i used below.
I not tested the tutorial so I may forgot a step. If that happend or you find a bug please let me know in the comments!
I will correct it.
I just didn't found a straight forward tutorial so I made one after I got it done.
So all these steps are reproduced and NOT tested!
Have fun Jakob Oesterling
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment