Thank you Brian, thank you Robert for your responses!
I am now running slugOs with no swap: The root system is on my memory
stick on usbPort1 (I will always leave the memory stick plugged in).
It is doing very well, but I have to say I have not done yet much
apart from formatting harddrives and installing nano. We'll see how it
does when I install Samba.
The harddisk is on usbPort2. I can switch it on and off as I want and
leave the slug running. I get automatically mounted into /media/sdb1
when I turn it on. I can spin the drive down manually by calling
scsci-stop /dev/sdb. I have not found out yet if it is going to be
spun down automatically if I wait long enough (is this what the kernel
patch is supposed to do?)
I think I will reserve a swap partition on the harddisk but only
activate it when I need it - that could be a good option! If the drive
spins down despite the activated swap partition (like Robert's drive
does), I could leave it activated all the time.
Brian Wood wrote:
> On Mar 2, 2007, at 3:04 AM, johannes wrote:
>> Thank you Brian for your response!
>> 1.) Your experience makes me think it should be possible (though maybe
>> not advisable) to run SlugOS with no swapping. What would happen if a
>> slug with no swapping runs out of memory?
> To make a long story short: It stops running properly.
giving random errors etc? does not sound nice!
>> 2.) As for the silent slug, I have been rethinking my question:
>> Let's say my slug is running 24/7 in my living room but I only access
>> it once a day to make a backup. The slug swaps onto the harddrive that
>> is attached to it. Will the harddrive get any rest?
>> I mean, if the slug does not have anything to do, does it need to
>> access the swap on the harddrive at all? Will the network traffic (not
>> when I am trying to backup, but any lost packages swirling around)
>> cause access to the swap?
>> Maybe the harddisk can be spun down even though there is a swap space
>> on it? What do you think?
> If all you want to do is run backups I would think the stock firmware
> would do it with the exception of the spindown, remember that the
> stock F/W runs with no swap space. Running backups will probably not
> require swap at all but you might need it for some of the
> installation routines (depends on the F/W you use) and you would
> definitely need it to compile anything beyond "hello world" (and
> maybe even then).
I don't think I'll start compiling things on my slug (yet) - but then
I would certainly have to activate some swap space on my harddisk.
> But some questions come to mind:
> How much data are you needing to back up? If it's over 100GB or so
> the small form factor drives are pretty much out of the question.
I bought a desktop drive because it they are lot cheaper than the
laptop ones. It's a Hitachi one because it was said to be not too
noisy. 320 GB had the best price per MB right now (at least in
europe), so that's what I went for.
> Why does the slug have to be in your LR ? Since it is on your network
> I'd think you could put it just about anywhere.
I am a student and I pretty much only have one room that I have to
share with my computer equipment :-)
> How much noise can you tolerate? As I said the small drives are
> pretty quiet these days.
The drive I have actually is quite ok - it makes about as much noise
as my macbook when the fans are starting to spin up a bit.
> Many USB drive/case combinations can handle spindown, and you could
> connect the drive to a regular Linux/Unix machine and use the
> standard utilities to set up the spindown. I know the Maxtor units
> can do this - in fact they come set to spindown and I had trouble
> getting them to stop doing that. I'll bet if you connected one out of
> the box to the stock F/W or UnSlung it would work fine and spindown
> well. I think there's lots of info on spindown on the NSLU2 sites as
I guess that by 'setting the spindown' you are referring to method1
(hdparm) on http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/FAQ/SpinDownUSBHarddisks
I am using method3 (scsi-stop) to spindown.
> I run backups using a slug as an NFS server and a spun-down condition
> simply results in a brief delay when the job starts.
that's about what i have in mind. i don't think i'd care about the
delay too much, though.
> I know a lot of folks will disagree with me, but I believe you are
> better off not spinning down a drive. The constant running will age
> the motor and bearings more, but IMHO it will increase the overall
> life. Every drive I've ever had fail did so at startup, and replacing
> them more often due to drive/bearing failure is something I'm willing
> to accept. Please no flames on this, it's just an opinion :-)
yes, i've heard about this, and I respect your opinion. (I know
there's a lot of discussion on this topic)
my calculation is: if the drive supports about 50.000 spinups (I don't
remember where I found this number), it would last for more than ten
years even if I'd spin it up 10 times a day. Considering the comfort
of sleeping in total silence, I think I will spin the drive up and down.
thank you all for your kind help,