[CDBUG-talk] atactl--?

Steve Moon steve.moon at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 21:36:15 EST 2006

Hi everyone,

I _finally_ got openbsd working nicely on my old thinkpad T20 laptop. A
combination of 3.8 and some extra patience seemed to do the trick.

One thing I'd like to do is run a full-screen 'rdesktop' to monitor a
windows server. This works fine, but the hard drive of the machine is really
noisy, and I'd like it to spin down once the app(s) are running -- there's
no real need for hard drive access once it's working.

I found the atactl command, and it does indeed provide settings that
actually cause the drive to spin down. But then is spins back up frequently,
does whatever it needed to do, then spins down again, etc.

I figure it must be some process or kernel process that wants to access a
temp file or whatever every few minutes.

Is there a simple way to defer any access like that until the drive is
already spinning? Maybe use a ramdisk? I'd RTFM if I just knew which one to
read. I'm not quite sure what to search for or what I'm up against.

I've found an alternative: Boot a knoppix CD, use hdparm to spin the drive
down, and since it never used the hard drive on bootup it never needs to
access it, so I've got a completely silent winterm from a recylced laptop.
Ultimately I'd like to do a lot more with the machine, and I'd rather use

Any thoughts/ideas appreciated.
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