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Old 08-21-2008, 03:51 AM   #1
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Question dsl install on flash-drive (readonly but with ability to upgrade/update)


i have a mini-itx board, 1 gb ram, 1 flash-ide 2gb and a sata-hdd.

the hdd have to be spinned down for the most of the time to save power. that' s quiet easy with jfs and hddparm.

But i want to use the flash-drive for the operating system with the following possibilities:

- small operating system
- ability to install additional programs
- easy to update to latest versions

is it correct, that i can mount / readonly and mount /log with tmpfs?
After that does dsl run without problems?

Can I re-mount / with readwrite without a reboot to update programs like browser or install additional things? And how is it possible?

after that is done, im finish with my storage system....

thanks a lot
and have fun
Old 08-21-2008, 09:01 PM   #2
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You may want to set some directories like /var and /tmp to run on tmpfs; the usual trick is to use tmpfs, copy over the contents of the real /var and /tmp, then mount tmpfs over /var and /tmp; you can do all this in the 'init' script of the initramfs image. The rest of the system should still run from the USB stick except that it is mounted read-only. Even with this scheme there is a danger that /var and /tmp get huge and take up your RAM.

Other problems include:
1. you need to mount r/w to install new programs or change config files (/etc). Some programs like pppd always want to mess with /etc (for /etc/resolv.conf and /etc/ppp/resolv.conf) so you may consider putting /etc on tmpfs as well.

2. When you remount as r/w, be careful what happens to /var and /tmp. Usually /var will have information used by your package manager, so you need to make sure that it is updated as well. If you're not careful with how you handle /tmp, you can mess up the system a little.


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