[mythtv-users] Best options/howto for diskless frontends

Tim Phipps phipps-hutton at sky.com
Mon Nov 26 11:46:14 UTC 2012

Quoting Paul Gardiner <lists at glidos.net>:

> My hopes are (anyone of which can be dropped if it simplifies things):
> 1) Not to have to add a disk to my Zotac ION.

I would drop this and install a cheap SSD, I've tried NFS roots and it  
adds latency when going back to menus after watching programmes.  
Watching a programme tends to use up the local buffer cache so when  
going back to the menus the frontend has to fetch the text from the  
NFS server (which has also paged it out because it was serving the  
programme file). The same paging will happen with an SSD but it will  
be straight from disk to memory and not disk-memory-network-memory

> 4) To perform updates to the front end from the server. I'm
> thinking chroot, but that might be impossible because my server
> is running x64, where as I'm guessing the ION has to be 32bit.

Your frontend will have to be shutdown while you do this otherwise  
there is a chance of it panicking when you change/delete the contents  
of programs/libraries. It doesn't damage anything but not nice to watch.

> 5) To be able to switch off the diskless machine without
> shutting down.

This is certainly easier with diskless booting, just hit the big white  
switch on the wall!

With an SSD you could run with a read-only root. Once you have the  
config sorted add "ro" to the /etc/fstab options for the root  
directory and reboot. I use this with Debian and once I'd figured out  
how to divert some files/directories to writeable NFS mounts or tmpfs  
it's fine. You need a tmpfs for /tmp, /var/run and /var/lock and  
either divert /var/log to /tmp or NFS. After that there are a bunch of  
files that need to be symlinked elsewhere but you will find those when  
you boot readonly.


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