LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 07-20-2009, 07:30 PM   #1
babypeng
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Distribution: Puppy
Posts: 42

Rep: Reputation: 15
max number of "write" actions on flash memory stick


Hello All,

I just managed to install GRUB on my new "Disk-On-Key",
hereby refered to as "memory stick", and it is now bootable.
The next step is to install an operating system on it.
I thought about DSL, Puppy and/or Ubuntu.

I know that current memory stick technology limits
the number of times a "write" action can be done
on a single memory location, and if/when exceeded,
that location will no longer be able to store data.

When installed on a memory stick, an operating system
will access it many many many times and I suspect it will
render it useless very quickly.

Am I correct ?


And BTW, a SSD drive is not a good comparison because
even tough it's a flash memory, it also has a redundancy
management system inside it to extend its life.
Memory sticks don't have such redudndancy system inside them.


Any help appreciated.

Babypeng
 
Old 07-20-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,084

Rep: Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336
Um
hey that's cool your in Israel

Are you talking about a usb flash drive?

If so, there are many distro choices

here's what's on my 4gb ext3/fat32 usb now

Quote:
Super Grub Disk
Grub bootloader
Grub4DOS
PLOP Bootmanager
SystemRescueCD-1.2.2
Fedora 11 LiveUSB
Clonezilla Live 2009-jaunty-9.04
Sidux-2009-02-xfce Debian-sid
Mini-PartedMagic
PartedMagic-4.4
Ubuntu Samurai 9.04
TinyCore_2.2rc2 with JWM
RescuePuppy49
zorOS-3.6
NetbootCD 3.1.2 Net-install a Major Distro
their all persistent frugal too
only reason i had to make a small 500mb fat32
partition was cause ubuntu won't run right if the casper-rw is on a ext2/3 fs?
so that's where the casper-rw for samurai lives

if you want I can hook you up with all the grub sub-menu stuff

Quote:
When installed on a memory stick, an operating system
will access it many many many times and I suspect it will
render it useless very quickly.
I don't know
my 2 usb's go thru hell each and every day and
not a burp yet

Last edited by linus72; 07-20-2009 at 07:44 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
Hern_28
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: North Carolina
Distribution: Slackware 12.0, Gentoo, LFS, Debian, Kubuntu.
Posts: 906

Rep: Reputation: 38
nimblex would be a good choice. I have not tried many usb distro's and you may be able to do this with many of them, but this one i know you can lock the stick so nimblex does not keep writing it.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
scgtrp
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2009
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 1
Quote:
When installed on a memory stick, an operating system
will access it many many many times and I suspect it will
render it useless very quickly.
USB drives do something called "wear leveling", which means they pick areas that haven't been used as much to write new data to. That will help extend the life a bit longer.

Also, reading the drive won't wear it out. Only writing to it will. (So don't put a swap file on it.)
 
Old 07-20-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,084

Rep: Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336
Yes
never put a swap file/parttion on usb
that will screw it up quick
 
Old 07-20-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
kirtimaan_bkn
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: INDIA
Distribution: Various Distros
Posts: 203

Rep: Reputation: 31
scgtrp, thanks for the tip about swap partition.
 
Old 07-21-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
babypeng
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Distribution: Puppy
Posts: 42

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Hello All,

I read your replies and I also looked
for info about all the distros you mentioned.
I didn't find anything saying specifically
that a certain distro is designed NOT to write
too many times to the USB stick/flash memory/flash disk/
disk-on-key/usb-stick/etc', in order NOT to reach
the device's write cycles limit.

I did find something about Puppy, that when installed "frugal",
it runs from the RAM, it saves to the RAM, and it only writes
to the non-volatile device during shutdown, or when the user
initiates a "write".
I wonder if DSL is also designed for such operation ?

Hern_28 - When locking the Nimblex for writing,
is it possible to manually save changes to it ?

Another consideration :
I am looking for a Debian based distro, and not for a RH/Suse
based distro because I am a newbie, I started with Debian,
and I don't want to make things more difficult than they are now.

About "wear leveling",
as I wrote, I know it exists on SSD drives,
but does it exist on little "USB sticks" ?
(I didn't find any mention of it on the internet)


And about the issue with avoiding the swap partition
on a Non-Volatile Device:
Newbie or not, I am proud to say I was not going to fall
into that pit, but thank you anyway.

And again, thank you all for you help and for your time.

Babypeng


And BTW, "Non-Volatile Device" (NVD) sounds like a pretty good
description for all the above flash memory terms I used,
so please write in history that I am the one who used this term
for the first time ......... lol
 
Old 07-21-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,084

Rep: Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336
Actually, babypeng
since you like Debian alot
you can't go wrong with
Sidux-2009 dude
http://sidux.com/


it's cutting edge and has many more features than reg debian
like many remastering options and runs from usb 2 different ways
and you can choose at boot for or no persistence
so, you can boot fresh

if booting from a fat32 usb using syslinux:

vfat file system

Quote:
When vfat is used, persistance is made through a file that can be maximum 2GB but not less than 100MB (as it would be of no use). This file should be named sidux-rw. Assuming the disc you want to use is mounted and writable on /media/sdb1 and you want to create a 1GB file to use as your persistent drive you could use the following commands (no need for root if you can write to the file).
ext3 file system (usb or hd)

Quote:
ext2/3 file systems

With ext2/3 the full partition will be used, the current root is taken and a directory /fll is created which is used for the persist allowing the usage of all free place in the device for the persist system.
the awesome thing about Sidux is how fast it will boot from a usb using the options
"persist" and "fromiso"
bootup and shutdown using fromiso persist is very quick

here is my menu.lst from my usb for sidux-2009-xfce (482mb)
Code:
##ISO boot
title sidux (USB) 2.6.30-1.slh.3-sidux-686
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.30-1.slh.3-sidux-686 boot=fll fromhd=UUID=45674521-df38-44d1-8f8d-ec264870efbe fromiso=/sidux/sidux.iso quiet persist lang=us tz=Eastern/US vga=791
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.30-1.slh.3-sidux-686

##ISO boot fresh
title sidux (USB) FreshBoot 2.6.30-1.slh.3-sidux-686
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.30-1.slh.3-sidux-686 boot=fll fromhd=UUID=45674521-df38-44d1-8f8d-ec264870efbe fromiso=/sdb1/sidux/sidux.iso quiet lang=us tz=Eastern/US vga=791
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.30-1.slh.3-sidux-686
see how it's actually booting the kernel/initrd and then the iso
it's pretty nice
 
Old 07-22-2009, 12:13 AM   #9
scgtrp
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2009
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 1
I assume you mean these. That page mentions:
Quote:
USB flash drives allow reading, writing, and erasing of data, with some allowing 1 million write/erase cycles in each cell of memory: if 100 uses per day, 1 million cycles could span 10,000 days or over 27 years. Some devices level the usage by auto-shifting activity to underused sections of memory.
So I suppose it depends on the quality of your drive.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Memory Stick Card Reader, Debian "Lenny" FAILURE! mkisow Linux - Hardware 6 04-27-2009 10:15 AM
The "Log out" and "Lock screen" actions cannot be executed through keyboard shortcuts Snood Linux - Desktop 0 04-22-2009 10:30 AM
boot "disk" on flash stick amishtechie Debian 1 08-18-2007 04:10 PM
"Patriot" 1GB Memory Stick alfredh Suse/Novell 8 01-11-2006 03:28 AM
"Turning off" USB memory stick before unplugging/disconnecting detly Linux - Hardware 3 03-15-2005 01:34 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration