[PC-BSD Testing] More on: Beta 1 balky using 8GB Thumb, contention issue?

Bill Leeper protagonist at charter.net
Mon Sep 8 18:27:58 PDT 2008

I can confirm your observations on the thumb drive installations. But  
I would lay it more to the poor read/write speed of a standard flash  
drive. I intend to pick up a high speed flash drive in a month or two  
and try it with that. I would suspect that with a 16 GB high speed  
flash drive it should do much better.

On Sep 8, 2008, at 4:55 PM, Peter Brewster wrote:

> Some investigation -
> 1)  Confirmed that Xubuntu on a thumb boots and runs well.  What I  
> thought was a minor balk is Xubuntu giving to much time to grunt  
> work and not enough priority to human interface.
> 2)  Confirmed that beta-1 takes a long time to boot from a thumb  
> drive and then runs in a very balky manor.  Operations are  
> eventually correct but system is not usable.
> 3)  Installed a 7200 rpm disk.  Beta-1 install took about 20 minutes  
> vs. three hours to SanDisk thumb.  Operation was very nice from the  
> first start.  Ksysguard showed similar cpu and memory usage but  
> about 10 fewer processes using disk vs. thumb (137 vs. 147.)
> Bottom line:  I'll give up on the thumb drive for PCBSD . . at least  
> for now.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Peter Brewster
> To: Testing at lists.pcbsd.org
> Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2008 6:26 PM
> Subject: Beta 1 balky using 8GB Thumb, contention issue?
> System is 2.8 MHz Celeron with .75 GB RAM, no hard drive, USB 2.0.
> 1)  System had been in use with Xububtu on an 8 GB Ocz thumb.  Very  
> nice except an occasional one to two second "balk" when launching a  
> new application or scrolling in Firefox.
> 2)  Removed Ocz and plugged in a new SanDisk thumb, fresh from  
> package.  Tried to install from net.  DHCP was OK and target FTP was  
> correct.  File system went in OK.  Looks like install died on first  
> file needed.  Gave that up.
> 3)  Burned a three-CD beta-1 set.  Installed with Firefox, Office  
> and Development selected on third CD.  Install took about three  
> hours but went OK.  However from the first reboot some operations  
> took several minutes, either to launch or to so something simple  
> such as pull down a menu.  But the actions generally seemed correct  
> if I waited long enough.  Now and then a launch would just get lost  
> - including that doggone bouncing thing.    The thumb drive had  
> about 900 MB free.  System was basically unusable.
> 4)  Removed the SanDisk thumb and WinXP formatted it.  (This left  
> the U3 partition of 65 MB.  That's OK.)  Reinstalled just the two  
> CDs.  Took about two-plus hours.  Now KDisk Free shows /dev/da0s1a  
> as 76% used with 1.8 GB free.   /dev/md0 is 8% used with 700 MB  
> free.  This looks OK to me.  However there is no apparent change in  
> the balky behavior.  I notice that often, while waiting seconds to  
> minutes for some function to appear, clicking on something else will  
> cause the first item to happen.  I've seen this behavior when  
> installing very fast disks on systems that worked well with slower  
> disks - usually resolved by paying attention to relative  
> priorities.  So system is still not usable.
> Kris - KDisk also shows a line entry "devfs   ?  1 KB   100% used  0  
> free" and the thermometer is filled with red.  No slashes around  
> devfs.  I have no idea what that is about and don't know if it is a  
> concern.
> Peter Brewster
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