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Old 11-19-2006, 11:00 AM   #1
motorollin
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Distro which doesn't need to be halted


Hi all

I have built an arcade cabinet which currently houses an XBOX. I want to replace this with a Pegasos PPC machine running a PPC Linux distro. I am trying to find out if there is a distro which does not need to be halted before turning the computer off, so the arcade machine can just be turned off. Any advice would be much appreciated :-)
 
Old 11-19-2006, 11:22 AM   #2
2damncommon
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Quote:
I am trying to find out if there is a distro which does not need to be halted before turning the computer off, so the arcade machine can just be turned off.
Considering why a computer should be shutdown properly that seems unlikely.
 
Old 11-19-2006, 11:26 AM   #3
matthewg42
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If you run a live distro from read-only media it shouldn't be a problem, but you shouldn't mount anything read-write, which gives you a difficult challenge if you need to save any data.
 
Old 11-19-2006, 11:30 AM   #4
motorollin
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I forgot about the filesystem journal. Would a non-journaling filesystem be safer to simply power off? Take for example the Amiga filesystem. As long as disk activity has stopped, you can just turn the machine off. It does not have a shut down function.
 
Old 11-19-2006, 11:35 AM   #5
motorollin
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@Matthew
I had thought of booting from a read-only medium, but this would likely be slow to boot (if it was a CD) and as you said, I wouldn't be able to save anything.
 
Old 11-19-2006, 12:06 PM   #6
matthewg42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorollin
@Matthew
I had thought of booting from a read-only medium, but this would likely be slow to boot (if it was a CD) and as you said, I wouldn't be able to save anything.
You can install some LiveCDs from a USB drive. I had Knoppix installed on a HDD which sat in a USB caddy. It was a little fiddly to install that way, and I forget exactly how I did it, but it was quite OK. The boot time wasn't as good as a non-live distro, but it wasn't bad.

I think non-journalling filesystems are generally worse at recovery.

If you want to force flushes to disk all the time, I think there is a mount option, sync. The mount manual page says this is only available for ext2, ext3 and ufs at the moment. The description is "All I/O to the file system should be done synchronously.". This might give you some more protection from corription on poweroff. I'm not sure.
 
Old 11-19-2006, 01:10 PM   #7
motorollin
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I don't want to hack it by modifying an existing distro by trying to change the way it mounts its partitions, and then risk damaging the filesystem. How about this:

1. Install a Live CD distro to HDD so it boots from a RO partition
2. Create another partiton and mount it RW on boot, which contains the home directory and the location of the games/saves for the arcade machine
3. Have a "quick shutdown" feature which just unmounts the RW filesystem to protect it. Since the boot partition is RO, it can safely be shut down without risk of damage.

Would that work ok?
 
  


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