I've been putting together a router box with 5.2-RC installed, but had found that the hard drive was far too noisy. I've found a way to make the hard drive stay spun down for extended periods of time, and thought this might be useful to people running gateway boxes or even laptop users.

In addition to the standard advice of making sure that cron and syslog aren't accessing the disk very often, I also set vm.defer_swapspace_pageouts to 1 because my gateway box only has 40MB RAM and I don't want it swapping unneccessarily (performance isn't critical).


ataidle sets the idle timer on ATA (IDE) hard drives, so the drive spins down when the period of inactivity has expired.
To use it on FreeBSD you must be using 6 or newer; under Linux a 2.4 or newer kernel is required.

Usage: ataidle [-h] [-i] [-s] [-o] [-I standby_mins] [-S standby_mins] [-A aam_level] [-P apm_level] device

The latest version of ataidle is 2.7.1
As usual, please read the README and the manpage.

You can download the latest version of ataidle from here

ataidle-2.7.1.tar.gz md5: c91fdd119bffcd919419b5ef35818af9