[CLUG-tech] Best practice for compact flash mounted root

Jonathan Groll lists at groll.co.za
Tue Feb 21 13:11:37 SAST 2006


On Sun, Feb 19, 2006 at 06:47:30PM +0200, Mark Ter Morshuizen wrote:
> Hi Cluggers,
> 
> I'm playing around with using compact flash cards to replace the hard drives 
> in some of my machines and was wondering if anyone here as any suggestions on 
> the matter.


There are very good CF flash mini distributions for *BSD.

For Open BSD I can recommend the following:
Chris Cappucio's flashdist
http://www.nmedia.net/~chris/soekris/

I have used this as a starting point to install a STANDARD 3.8 open bsd
system (without the man pages, and obviously with a heavily modified rc
script). I even run with a generic kernel. When I need to change
something I just remount / rw,noatime, make the changes and then remount
ro. If you would like me to tar up the 256MB drive 'a' partition I can
do it for you, this is a basic firewall gateway with dhcpd, pppoe and pf
as the firewall (I can't make you a dd image - most CF disks differ in
their geometry).

There are also Open BSD flash distributions that run completely off a
RAM disk -
http://www.mindrot.org/flashboot.html
"Flashboot sets up a system where you boot from a single file on the
flash that populates your RAM disk. You then operate the entire system
primarily from RAM. This is in contrast to flashdist, which will setup a
system that reads the flash on demand for executables and libraries
(Much like you would do with a normal hard disk)." 

For me it would also be very useful to have a Debian system running off
CF with apt and with / mounted ro, so if you manage to get it working
nicely on Debian please let the list know, I would certainly like a copy
of the disk image please ;-)

Cheers
Jonathan 


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