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

Greg Cope gregcope at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 16:09:47 UTC 2009

On 23 Nov 2009, at 15:29, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:

> On Monday 23 November 2009 08:08:32 Richard Morton wrote:
> The best solution is to not have a swap file or partition on a flash  
> device at
> all. Depending on how much RAM you have, and what you are doing, you  
> may be
> able to get along without any swap at all. That's what I am doing  
> with my
> flash-based Debian system.

I would argue that for an FE you should only tun things for playback  
implying that they should not be swapped out.

However I see no technical reason why you could npt have swap on  
flash, and with it's low seek tume flash is actually quite suited to  
it.  Windows ready boost is using it in this way (ie extending VM).

> I'm not sure what the noatime parameter would do with a swap  
> partition, it's
> intended to eliminate writing the access time each time a file is  
> accessed on
> a normal file system, but swap is not handled as a normal filesystem.

Noatime will do nothing for swap.

> If it's not causing any problems it certainly couldn't hurt, but I  
> would try
> to get swap off a flash device, either by eliminating it entirely if  
> you can,
> or writing it to a standard HDD partition, or even use an NFS- 
> mounted file.
> Swap can be enabled on either a partition or a file, as you probably  
> know.
> Perhaps someone with a better understanding of how the kernel  
> handles swap
> will have better suggestions?
> --

You can trun down swappyness or run with none at all as long as you  
have enough memory to run all the bits you need.  Otherwise when the  
kernel gets desperate it will run an OOM killer that usually zaps  
something important.  Memory is pretty cheap.

Netbooting is usually easy to configure and update.  Once running in a  
ram disk things are usually pretty fast.  You then avoid any USB  
storage issues and the CPU overhead of USB storage (Scsi emulation  

Having said that if you are not going to run nfs and or this is for a  
backend flash can be ok as long as you get a reliable stick.  If  
anyone has any recomendations bar the patriot xts pls share!


> Brian Wood
> beww at beww.org
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-
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