[lug] The slow-lowmemory-headless-server-with-plenty-of-disk distro?

Chris Riddoch riddochc at gmail.com
Tue Nov 14 19:39:07 MST 2006

On 11/14/06, Nate Duehr <nate at natetech.com> wrote:
> Are you planning on running the filesystem directly from the CF card?
> Swap partitions can really beat up the physical portion of the card that
> swap is located on.  Remember, CF does have a limited number of
> read/write cycles before a bit will "die".

That assumes I actually use a swap partition.  I'm hoping I can get
away without it.  Even if the CF card lives a long time, reads/writes
aren't exactly fast.  Using it for swap on an already slow system
seems absurd in the first place.  I wouldn't be surprised if using the
300G disk over the USB 1.1 port would be faster.  Either way, it'd be
glacial.  I'd rather not swap in the first place, if I can avoid it.

> My friend's project, he put in a ton of RAM, and he loads the entire
> contents of the filesytem in from the flash drive at boot and never
> touches it again during run-time.  The box runs from RAM disk.  Nice for
> speed, but have to be real careful about file sizes! :-)

I'd rather just make sure whatever software I run on it doesn't have
to touch the filesystem more than necessary.

> He has custom scripts to sync the filesystem from RAM back into the
> flashdrive via mounting it back up and rsync'ing it (at least I think
> that's the technique he's using) after updates.

I think it would be easier to read up on tweaking the kernel's caching
of filesystem data to delay writes by an appropriate amount.  There's
an obvious tradeoff between using my 128 megs of memory for the
filesystem versus application memory space.

> If you're doing mail on it, though -- you're probably going to have
> Spamassassin on it.

I'd much rather use CRM114.  http://crm114.sf.net/  I've been using it
for a few years already, and I haven't had to change the training in
about six months.  It just works.  Not the simplest beast, but it's
got a nice bit of magic inside it for classifying mail.

My main issue is that, as you can see, I find myself using gmail more
and more lately.
I'd rant more about what I want out of my mail system, but that's
another thread for another time.

epistemological humility
  Chris Riddoch

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