[mythtv-users] USB Flash Memory for boot/system. What is fast enough?

Andrew Close aclose at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 15:27:51 UTC 2009

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 8:22 AM, Jim Stichnoth <stichnot at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Andrew Close <aclose at gmail.com> wrote:
>> i'm planning out a Zotac IONITX-B-E Atom N230 FE and am looking to
>> boot/run off of a USB stick.  what speed is fast enough to limit any
>> hiccups during playback/menu navigation?  i wouldn't think it would be
>> a huge deal since the USB stick will just contain the OS and FE while
>> all content would be coming over the wire, but i've seen mention of
>> slow USB sticks causing issues.
>> most of the sticks i've looked at list their speed at 200x, but what
>> does that mean?  i've only seen a few that have any r/w performance
>> listed. any thoughts/suggestions?
> My experience is that you need to worry about more than the "up to
> 200x" or whatever rating the manufacturer gives.
> My first USB stick had some sort of bulk write problem.  If I did too
> much sustained writing, I would get an I/O error and Linux would stop
> recognizing the drive until I reinserted it.  This is clearly a
> problem if you're trying to install the OS onto the USB stick or clone
> an existing OS.
> My second USB stick was fine for bulk writes, but had some other sort
> of problem.  During myth playback, every 5-30 minutes or so, playback
> (and presumably the whole system as well) would pause for a couple
> seconds.  I tried cloning it back to a hard drive and it ran
> flawlessly for a week, so I'm certain it was a problem with the USB
> stick.
> For my third stick, I decided to choose something with hundreds of
> high Newegg ratings.  This led me to the "Patriot Xporter XT Boost"
> line, which was rock solid for as long as I used it.  I recommend the
> 8GB size.  4GB was enough for me, until I started installing this
> package and that, until it pushed a little over 4GB.
> By the way, be sure to use the "noatime" option when mounting file
> systems on the USB stick.  Otherwise every file that is opened, even
> for reading, will actually involve another write to the file system.
> Of course, in the spirit of ION systems and minimalism, your next step
> is obviously to set up your system for net-booting. :)  How to do this
> may be obvious to many or well-documented elsewhere, but I documented
> my own experience on this list.
> http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/391239


thanks for the reply and the pointers.  netbooting probably is the
next logical step, but i figured the USB stick would be easier for a
novice.  i'll definitely check out the link you shared and look up
netbooting as well.  maybe it'll save me an extra $30. :)

Andrew Close

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