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Re: [nslu2-general] OpenSlug + USB stick -- some questions

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  • Jochen Rüter
    ... Maybe. But I think this doesn t really matter, because a slug without any disks attached is more or less worthless - either unslung or openslug. ... right.
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 1, 2005
      lew1193 schrieb:

      > I flashed OpenSlug-2.5-beta-firmware.zip with no difficulty, and had
      > Linux up and running. It was nice to feel at home and find all the
      > usual tools. I have nearly twenty years of Unix, but unfortunately,
      > not enough as sysadmin (and my copy of O'Reilly's "Essential System
      > Administration" is 1996 vintage!). Still, I think I should manage.
      >
      > Some initial questions that came to mind. I did some browsing, but
      > I'm still not fully oriented in the www.nslu2-linux.org pages.
      >
      > The openSlug image is about the same size as official LinkSys images.
      > Yet it contains neither Samba nor HTTPD. Is this because, instead, it
      > contains a whole lot of Unix tools? Ie, a more "general purpose"
      > Linux?

      Maybe. But I think this doesn't really matter, because a slug without
      any disks attached is more or less worthless - either unslung or openslug.

      >
      > If all I initially wish to do is Samba (but with better control over
      > the problems & config), which of the samba package do I want. ipkg
      > list gives me a few.
      > cifs - 3.0.14a-r12 - Version 3.0.14a-r12 of package samba
      > + kernel-module-cifs - 2.6.12.2-r6 - cifs kernel module
      > samba - 3.0.14a-r12 - Version 3.0.14a-r12 of package samba
      > swat - 3.0.14a-r12 - Version 3.0.14a-r12 of package samba
      > I presume "samba - 3.0.14a-r12" ?

      right. Swat is a web based configuration utility for samba,
      kernel-module... is self explaning i thing. what cifs is i don't know...

      >
      > Is Samba with FAT drives to be avoided? Seems to cause network
      > disconnections on stock Linksys F/W but also on opeNSLUg according
      > to some messages here!?

      Yes it is. You can't copy big files to FAT drives shared by samba
      (except if you do some samba hacking, but most people here think this
      isn't a good idea)

      > [snip fdisk...]
      >
      > The partition info looks like total garbage?

      The mistake is that you did a "fdisk -l /dev/sda1
      sda1 itself denotes already a partition, so you looked, which partitions
      are in your partition :).
      The correct command would be "fdisk -l /dev/sda, as sda denotes the drive.

      >
      > I'd like to (as a start) use a stick as memory drive. So do I just
      > repartition it with fdisk, build the FS with mkfs, and so on?

      It depends if you want to use unslung or openslug...

      >
      > http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/UseAMemoryStickAsMainDrive
      > writes:
      >
      > To wrap things up you'll have to make sure the slug doesn't use
      > the tiny swapspace on the stick.
      >
      > Why is this a bad thing? USB sticks wear out?

      Right. I think the number of writes is defined for each sector. So if
      only one sector gets written 1000000... ?? times, this one will
      (probably) get defect.

      Jochen
    • Pierre Lewis
      ... Vielen Dank für die Antworten... ... I m slowly coming to that conclusion too. Maybe it explains some of the headaches I had with stock Linksys F/W: too
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 1, 2005
        On Thu, Sep 01, 2005 at 06:28:07PM +0200, Jochen Rüter wrote:

        > lew1193 schrieb:

        Vielen Dank für die Antworten...

        > > The openSlug image is about the same size as official LinkSys images.
        > > Yet it contains neither Samba nor HTTPD. Is this because, instead, it
        > > contains a whole lot of Unix tools? Ie, a more "general purpose"
        > > Linux?
        >
        > Maybe. But I think this doesn't really matter, because a slug without
        > any disks attached is more or less worthless - either unslung or openslug.

        I'm slowly coming to that conclusion too. Maybe it explains some
        of the headaches I had with stock Linksys F/W: too many changes
        in disk configs. I hadn't realized that the F/W would use the
        disk for its root, I thought it was just for user data.

        > The mistake is that you did a "fdisk -l /dev/sda1

        A beginner's mistake! I've always found disk names a bit
        confusing. It looks much better with the correct command:

        Disk /dev/sda: 513 MB, 513802240 bytes
        16 heads, 32 sectors/track, 1960 cylinders
        Units = cylinders of 512 * 512 = 262144 bytes

        Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
        /dev/sda1 * 1 1960 501744 e Win95 FAT16 (LBA)

        Now that makes perfect sense. Thanks!

        > > I'd like to (as a start) use a stick as memory drive. So do I just
        > > repartition it with fdisk, build the FS with mkfs, and so on?
        >
        > It depends if you want to use unslung or openslug...

        OpenSlug. So I can make a new (ext3) fs on /dev/sda without any
        big risk of zapping the device? Would I need a swap disk (in which
        case I guess I should avoid memsticks) for samba and thttpd?

        I think this NSLU2 is going to be a nice opportunity to get back
        into Linux (my last significant exposure is five years ago, ~
        RedHat 5 or so). I'm not sure whether it will be a memstick or a
        real disk yet. Not too many projects, but samba and thttpd for
        sure.

        One page mentioned that updating access times should also be
        turned off to conserve write cycles on memsticks. Haven't done
        any googling yet, but maybe someone has a quick URL.

        Tschüß (or maybe Adele?),
        Pierre
      • lew1193
        ... Thanks for the answers (I thought I had already posted a reply, but ... openslug. ... partitions ... drive.
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 8, 2005
          --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Jochen Rüter <webseiten@j...> wrote:
          > lew1193 schrieb:

          Thanks for the answers (I thought I had already posted a reply, but
          >
          > > I flashed OpenSlug-2.5-beta-firmware.zip with no difficulty, and had
          > > Linux up and running. It was nice to feel at home and find all the
          > > usual tools. I have nearly twenty years of Unix, but unfortunately,
          > > not enough as sysadmin (and my copy of O'Reilly's "Essential System
          > > Administration" is 1996 vintage!). Still, I think I should manage.
          > >
          > > Some initial questions that came to mind. I did some browsing, but
          > > I'm still not fully oriented in the www.nslu2-linux.org pages.
          > >
          > > The openSlug image is about the same size as official LinkSys images.
          > > Yet it contains neither Samba nor HTTPD. Is this because, instead, it
          > > contains a whole lot of Unix tools? Ie, a more "general purpose"
          > > Linux?
          >
          > Maybe. But I think this doesn't really matter, because a slug without
          > any disks attached is more or less worthless - either unslung or
          openslug.
          >
          > >
          > > If all I initially wish to do is Samba (but with better control over
          > > the problems & config), which of the samba package do I want. ipkg
          > > list gives me a few.
          > > cifs - 3.0.14a-r12 - Version 3.0.14a-r12 of package samba
          > > + kernel-module-cifs - 2.6.12.2-r6 - cifs kernel module
          > > samba - 3.0.14a-r12 - Version 3.0.14a-r12 of package samba
          > > swat - 3.0.14a-r12 - Version 3.0.14a-r12 of package samba
          > > I presume "samba - 3.0.14a-r12" ?
          >
          > right. Swat is a web based configuration utility for samba,
          > kernel-module... is self explaning i thing. what cifs is i don't know...
          >
          > >
          > > Is Samba with FAT drives to be avoided? Seems to cause network
          > > disconnections on stock Linksys F/W but also on opeNSLUg according
          > > to some messages here!?
          >
          > Yes it is. You can't copy big files to FAT drives shared by samba
          > (except if you do some samba hacking, but most people here think this
          > isn't a good idea)
          >
          > > [snip fdisk...]
          > >
          > > The partition info looks like total garbage?
          >
          > The mistake is that you did a "fdisk -l /dev/sda1
          > sda1 itself denotes already a partition, so you looked, which
          partitions
          > are in your partition :).
          > The correct command would be "fdisk -l /dev/sda, as sda denotes the
          drive.
          >
          > >
          > > I'd like to (as a start) use a stick as memory drive. So do I just
          > > repartition it with fdisk, build the FS with mkfs, and so on?
          >
          > It depends if you want to use unslung or openslug...
          >
          > >
          > > http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/UseAMemoryStickAsMainDrive
          > > writes:
          > >
          > > To wrap things up you'll have to make sure the slug doesn't use
          > > the tiny swapspace on the stick.
          > >
          > > Why is this a bad thing? USB sticks wear out?
          >
          > Right. I think the number of writes is defined for each sector. So if
          > only one sector gets written 1000000... ?? times, this one will
          > (probably) get defect.
          >
          > Jochen
        • lew1193
          ... Thanks for the answers (I thought I had already posted a reply, but it is nowhere). And my apologies for the post just now (I hit the ENTER button by
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 8, 2005
            --- In nslu2-general@yahoogroups.com, Jochen Rüter <webseiten@j...> wrote:
            > lew1193 schrieb:

            Thanks for the answers (I thought I had already posted a reply, but
            it is nowhere). And my apologies for the post just now (I hit the
            ENTER button by mistake).

            fdisk -l /dev/sda gave me the proper data! Device ids have always
            confused me.

            > Yes it is. You can't copy big files to FAT drives shared by samba
            > (except if you do some samba hacking, but most people here think
            > this isn't a good idea)

            What (briefly) is the issue, if I may ask?

            The whole discussion on memstick write wear got me a bit worried
            wrt my usage patterns. More to explore...

            > It depends if you want to use unslung or openslug...

            I've been progressing nicely. No problem formatting the
            memstick as ext2 (avoided -j because wear) and doing turnup
            on it.

            Quite an interesting exercise overall, and a nice opportunity
            to discover new things (dropbear, busybox) that are relevant to
            embedded Linux (something which could end up being useful for
            work even).

            Couple further questions (to which I haven't yet found an easy
            answer):

            1) Is there a telnetd for this box? I've seen that some
            versions of busybox come with telnetd. But not the one on
            OpenSlug. I was surprised to find no telnetd in the
            packages.

            2) I wish to install a minimum of gcc to compile C programs.
            Which of the following do I need?

            cpp - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            cpp-symlinks - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            g++ - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            g++-symlinks - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            g77 - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            g77-symlinks - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            gcc - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            gcc-doc - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            gcc-symlinks - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            gcov - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            libg2c-dev - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            libg2c0 - 3.4.4-r0 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            libgcc1 - 3.4.4-r0 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            libstdc++-dev - 3.4.4-r1 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.
            libstdc++6 - 3.4.4-r0 - The GNU cc and gcc C compilers.

            I figure at least: cpp, gcc (what are the "symlinks"
            packages for?). But which library (if any)? Is there more
            extensive descriptions of the available packages?

            3) When compiling, will I need a swap space (a file?) or will
            this be possible in the small memory of the slug?

            4) top reports "Mem: 11136K used, 19544K free". In addition,
            df reports on a tmpfs which has 15340 1K blocks total
            (15 MBytes). The sum of all three exceeds the 32MB that
            the slug is supposed to have. What am I missing? tmpfs
            is included in the numbers reported by top (ie. FS only
            grabs memory as it needs it)?. Altho I could be worng,
            I'm not supposed to have any swap (I certainly have no
            swap partition).

            Tia,
            Pierre
          • Chacko
            I read the following in a FAQ: If using a memory stick, `touch /.ext3flash to let the system know not to hammer the flash memory and wear it out (note that
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 8, 2005
              I read the following in a FAQ: If using a memory stick, `touch /.ext3flash' to let the system know not to hammer the flash memory and wear it out (note that /var/ is on ramfs so all logs are lost on reboot).

              I have a 512MB flash, configured as the harddisk on DISK1 and unlung to it. By adding the above file, and rebooting, I do not see any difference in operation. How do I determine if /var/ is mounted on ramfs? [My linux experience is minimal].

              Cordially, CN
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