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Re: run debian off usb flash drive

On Sat, 2004-03-06 at 18:30, Marc Singer wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 07, 2004 at 03:06:37AM +0100, Steinar H. Gunderson wrote:

> > 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.

I have set up something like this on a small PowerPC box, with a 64MB
flash card. I have put lots of stuff into ram disk (/tmp,
/var/{log,lock,run}, /var/{lib,cache}/apt), using bind mounts. It is
running for about half a year now, usually always on (so few reboots). I
am still a little bit worried about /etc/mtab and /etc/network/ifstate
(the latter can be put on ram disk as well).

Of course, on reboot I loose all my log files. And I need to call
apt-get update again, but that's not a problem.

I have built a small Debian package for the ram disk setup, tell me if
you are interested.


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