[mythtv-users] Diskless

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Fri Feb 2 23:20:44 UTC 2007

On Feb 2, 2007, at 4:04 PM, David Brodbeck wrote:

> Brad Templeton wrote:
>> One trick to make diskless mythstations -- you can buy adapters  
>> that plug
>> an compact flash card into an IDE or laptop mini-IDE adapter for  
>> just a
>> few bucks on eBay.    And cards are cheap as you know.   This will  
>> then
>> boot on any computer, even computers without ethernet boot or with
>> unusual ethernet cards.
> I used to work at a place where we routinely built industrial control
> PCs that worked that way.  I highly recommend it.  It's reliable (no
> moving parts) and easy to set up, because to the host computer the  
> card
> just looks like an unusually small IDE hard disk.
> The adapters are pretty cheap because they have no electronics on  
> board;
> they're effectively just a connector adapter, because CF cards do IDE
> natively.

Flash-based CF cards are cheap, but: Using a flash device to hold an  
operating system will work, but the flash device has a finite number  
of memory write cycles that it will tolerate before it starts to fail.

Although it seems counter-intuitive, the flash device, with no moving  
parts, is actually slower and will not last as long as a micro-drive  
or similar unit that is the same interface but is actually a small  
spinning drive.

If you do try and use a flash device you should try and avoid write- 
intensive activity like swapping and perhaps mount any filesystem  
with the "noatime" option so it does not write a timestamp for every  

Devices that use conventional RAM technology and not flash are  
available which do not have these limitations but they are much more  
expensive than flash devices. These are actually available in the  
terrabyte range, but I suspect none of us can afford them :-)


More information about the mythtv-users mailing list