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I'm relatively new to linux and I'm trying to build an Arch linux that will have a gaming VM. I have 2 disks: a 500GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. I've settled on a LVM with a swapfile and extra space for snapshots. I don't intend to use the base linux and only use VMs for both personal and business ends. I'm trying to figure out the best way to partition and organize the disks. In order to do that I have a few questions:

  1. Given the specifications, how would you go about doing that?
  2. Can I install Arch on the HDD but put the VMs on the SSD?
  3. Can I have the swapfile on the SSD but the system on the HDD?
  4. Can I have both the SSD and the HDD on the same volume group?

Ultimately I would like to know what's the most optimized way to do what I described.

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Can I install Arch on the HDD but put the VMs on the SSD?

Yes.

Can I have the swapfile on the SSD but the system on the HDD?

Yes. Maybe a swap partition (or LVM) on the SSD rather than a swap file is easier to configure. But note that whichever disk you use for swap it will hurt your performance and you generally want to avoid heavy swapping...

Can I have both the SSD and the HDD on the same volume group?

Yes.

And you’ll still be able to manually assign either the SSD or HDD as the storage when creating a new logical volume by appending the disk/partition as an additional position parameter to your lvcreate command line

For instance

lvcreate -L 10G -n my_test_volume VolumeGroupName /dev/fast1 
    

Ultimately I would like to know what's the most optimized way to do what I described.

Maybe by using the SSD as a cache will give you the most benefit? See for instance: https://rwmj.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/using-lvms-new-cache-feature/

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