[PC-BSD Dev] PC-BSD on stick

A.Y. yerenkow at uct.ua
Thu Nov 20 06:12:25 PST 2008

Well guys, my external WD Passport were killed by long time and constant 
usb-power from my AsusEEE :)

So, I yesterday bought "fastest" usb-stick - corsair voyager GT 16gb.
I spent few hours (formatting and benchmarking it) until confirmed that 
speed is reasonable.
Read - 30 Mb/s
Write - 18 Mb/s (it's relevant in ideal "vacuum" environment, not in 
real life)
Random Write - 3,5 Mb/s (that's the real numbers :)

Next, I've installed on this stick x86 7.0.1 with UFS+Journaling
that took 1h46m of time with OO, Opera, Kdevelop and Thunderbird. On my 
modern and not bad PC :)
Pretty long as for "fastest" stick :)

Next, I booted and added in fstab option "noatime". I didn't check speed 
differencies at same PC, but plug usb into EEE. Performance was almost 
all time good, but sometimes system freezes for 4-10 seconds, I'm 
assuming this is when FS stores changes to stick (I think so because I 
check fstab, and found there async option).

Now, I'm making some few scripts for making memfs disks, copy there most 
used files (I started with /lib /usr/lib /usr/bin /bin, etc.)
Currently all branches (/lib, /usr/lib) are on different mdisks, created 
by script while booting.

Also I'd like to tell about linux on my EEE.
It has a 4g disk, partioned on three smaller:
1st is / partition, which is read-only;
2nd - is union for /, which is writeable (all changes goes to it)
3rd = small (<8m) msdos partition, for storing bios images when need update

What benefits we see here:
all from 2nd partition can be deleted, and system became vanilla and 
intial. This is very, very good option for a device without cd- ot dvd-rom.

So, I think of creating few tweaks and scripts for PC-BSD, to make it 
more laptop-friendly and USB-sticks compatible.
Currently we have performance which not satisfies me, and note that I 
have a speed one stick :(

1. Kris, is a little hidden partition with original files can be done? 
So user could repair whole OS by itself files, without cd/dvd/usb/net.
For not wasting space we could use this partition as read-only root, and 
mount real root as union if possible;

2. Other peoples, maybe have you some experience with tracking which 
files are frequently accessing, maybe there some ready-for-use tools, or 
collected statistics? I could make a scripts which will cache most 
frequently-asked libs in memory, about 50-150 megs memory useage could 
give a noticeable boost on low-spec hdd/usb/cards.

3. Could someone tell me, which FS will be better for usb-stick: UFS, 

4. Many of you probably read in recent news something like "howto make a 
linux boot in less than a 10 secs". Any help about same topic for PC-BSD 
(FreeBSD) very appreciated!

Thanks =

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