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Old 09-11-2009, 07:45 AM   #1
euripides
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can I use a USB stick for home and swap?


I had to give in and install windows on the old laptop, and now I've got very little hard drive left. I wondered if I could squeeze a light distro onto it (I love Antix Mepis) and use a USB stick for /home and /swap partitions.

Will that work or will there be issues with mounting the USB stick?

And no, I can't do a boot from USB (that's how old it is!) and live CDs run way too slow.

I also have a multi card reader built in and could use the SD card.

Any advice on this would be most welcome. (and on how much drive space I can get away with for root, home and swap partitions. Machine has just under a gig of RAM.)

Thanks!
 
Old 09-11-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
hw-tph
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While you could use an USB memory stick or memory card to house the /home partition, I strongly recommend you do not put the swap on that type of flash memory. With the frequent writes that using it as a swap partition means you would probably write destroy the memory card or USB stick within days. Built-in SSD's, at least those of higher quality, deal with frequent writes in a different way and will last longer, but memory cards and USB sticks will simply stop working gradually if you write to them often enough.

OK, enough of that.

I suggest you use /home on the USB stick or memory card and mount it with the "noatime" option in fstab. This will cut down on the number of writes to the flash memory and hopefully prolong its life, at least for a bit. While some people may (or will?) argue that you shouldn't use a journaling file system on flash memory, I think you should. It might save you when flash memory starts failing and allow you to make a backup before replacing the flash memory with a new one. This comes from first hand experience.

But with 1GB of bona fide RAM you should be able to run without any swap at all. Don't run tons of different apps at the same time or edit huge video or image files, but 1GB should be plenty for a small distribution.
 
Old 09-11-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
karlatLQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hw-tph View Post
But with 1GB of bona fide RAM you should be able to run without any swap at all. Don't run tons of different apps at the same time or edit huge video or image files, but 1GB should be plenty for a small distribution.
Agreed.
 
Old 09-11-2009, 05:24 PM   #4
euripides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hw-tph View Post
I suggest you use /home on the USB stick or memory card and mount it with the "noatime" option in fstab. This will cut down on the number of writes to the flash memory and hopefully prolong its life,
thanks for your advice; I hadn't thought about the wear issue. Interesting; one of my USB sticks is being used on my daughter's computer to 'speed up performance' in Vista; I wonder if it is effectively using it as swap and burning it out. It's only a cheapie so in a way it doesn't matter, so long as I don't forget and go putting anything important on it.
 
Old 09-11-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
linus72
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Actually, I bet plop bootmanger can boot that old computer
it boots all mine 3 that wont boot from usb

I would suggest, modestly, that you try my ThorsHammer and download the .zip, if you dont wish to burn to cd-r
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...remble-751227/

download info here
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...08#post3664408

Now, you can use the usb to hold grml's, pmagic's and puppy's save functions
too
or, you can put it all on usb too

NOTE that I included Plop too
you can run plop from a linux hd,usb or even from windows hd too
Quote:
Running without harddisk installation from Floppy, CD, Windows boot menu, Syslinux, LILO, GRUB, network
http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html

the one I use, on thorshammer, doesn't install, just boots usb, usb-cdrom, etc

if you prefer something smaller, go with Browserlinux0909
a puppy remaster, which my rescuepuppy is based off of
http://www.browserlinux.com/

so, hope that helps
try plop and try ThorsHammer!
LOL
 
Old 09-13-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
euripides
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
Actually, I bet plop bootmanger can boot that old computer
it boots all mine 3 that wont boot from usb

I would suggest, modestly, that you try my ThorsHammer
Oh this sounds interesting - anything called ThorsHammer has GOT to be worth a try. PLoP has a far less attractive title but if it works I'm all for it.

I hope your documentation is reasonably n00b proof. A couple of hours of tinkering shall be my reward for getting my work done by lunchtime.

thanks so much!
 
Old 09-13-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
lhorace
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My entire OS is mounted on 4 GB flash drive and 8 GB sd card.... Since my computer is newer and have enough ram... I hardly touch either..... I heard about noatime, with your suggesting, i'll add that option to my fstab, for more on the safe side... I knew you can wear them out, I just figure, it would slow them down... I didn't know it could eventually fail...
 
Old 09-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #8
lhorace
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Also, should I put 'noatime' for my swap...
 
  


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