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Optimizing Flash Drives - The Linux Way

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  • Optimizing Flash Drives - The Linux Way

    I know not where else to ask this, so here it goes:

    I just bought a Transcend JetFlash V30 2GB Pen Drive. I want to optimize it for performance. I also want to run a distro through it. Please give me some good advice for this.

    1. I plan to use the YAFFS2 file system for maximum performance on flash memory. HOW do I do it on linux ? I run Arch now, and I am planning to move to slackware when I have free time.

    2. I want to run a distro in this, but the distro should NOT make any changes to data on the drive, and must behave like a live CD unless I explictly state it to apply changes to the drive. This I want to do to increase life span since flash has limited write cycles. So no system logging for me please. WHICH distro do I use ?

    3. I need some space for exchanging data with windows PCs too, and I want to know which FS is better - NTFS or FAT32. And if I end up ending the life of this partition due to frequent usage, would I still be able to use the remaining space in the pen drive ?

    4. Are there any good enryption mechanisms for data ?

  • #2
    For the distro, you might want to look into Puppy Linux; ISTR that it has a setup where filesystem writes initially go into a RAM disk and the state can be committed to disk/flash in a configurable way (e.g. never, only at shutdown, maximum one update every 10 minutes, etc.).

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    • #3
      I wanted to try NimbleX. Is it good ?

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      • #4
        I thought we had determined that in normal usage the expected lifespan of a flash device was somewhere around a 1,000 years, unless you run them through the washing machine like I do.

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        • #5
          Using a flash filesystem is meant for direct-access flash devices that don't do translation and wear levelling. Using one on flash that does those, such as usb sticks or mem cards, would add overhead.

          Encryption - from what I've heard, loop-aes is the way.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rbmorse View Post
            I thought we had determined that in normal usage the expected lifespan of a flash device was somewhere around a 1,000 years, unless you run them through the washing machine like I do.
            right as well as wrong.
            a flash drive has virtually unlimited super fast read cycles but only 100,000 or so write-eraze cycles.

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            • #7
              It is highly unlikely that your flash drive will die of too many writes. I guess even when you run a test script one month permanently it will still work.

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              • #8
                You sure about that ? JetFlash V30 has never been famous for being highly reliable...

                offtopic: I have lifetime warranty on this thing. Would it include death due to lots of writes ?

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