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Re: run debian off usb flash drive

On Sun, Mar 07, 2004 at 03:06:37AM +0100, Steinar H. Gunderson wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 08:25:50PM -0500, Jeff Johnston wrote:
> > With 512 MB and 1 GB USB flash drives becoming cheaper and cheaper I'm
> > thinking that it would be a fantastic way to have a boot drive with no
> > moving parts that could (almost) never die of old age.
> Just a side note: They'll probably die a lot quicker than your hard drive,
> given that you're not mounting them read-only. Those things have a more or
> less fixed number of writes before they start to break.

Doesn't it matter how the system is used?  

Most of the flash parts are rated for 100K erase cycles per 128KiB
block (StrataFlash).  Cheap hard drives are usualy waranteed for only
one year.  Assuming the best case for flash, and worst case for a hard
drive, the flash device can take about 250 block erase cycles/day in a
year of continuous use.  The wear-leveling flash filesystems will
substantially extend the lifespan of the flash device.  If the system
is setup to reduce unnecessary writes to the flash device, it seems
possible to get many years of use before the flash device fails.

In other words, it seems reasonable to use flash as a hard-drive
replacement as long as one is clever.


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