File server with Linux OS on Flash drive?

I'm planning to build a file server that MAY also serve as a basic htpc (play music, some movies, etc) from my old sempron pc... Is it a good idea to run the OS on a flash drive and use the HDD primarily for file storage? I'm planning to use Ubuntu server as the OS... Kubuntu is also pretty tempting and with a bit of work, can be made into a nice server OS...
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  1. Question: why use a seperate drive at all, are you planning to run RAID? If not, why not just make a partition on your drive and install the OS there?
  2. ^+1

    i use a separate HDD for my OS since i use RAID
  3. sub mesa said:
    Question: why use a seperate drive at all, are you planning to run RAID? If not, why not just make a partition on your drive and install the OS there?


    I've heard that flash drives have good access speeds. Since its a file server, not much writing will be done in the OS partitions. Because the read speeds are good, it may boot up faster and apps may load faster. Atleast, thats what i thought. Pls correct me if i'm wrong.

    And sorry for the late reply. Went on an extended trip.
  4. mindless728 said:
    ^+1

    i use a separate HDD for my OS since i use RAID


    But wouldn't it be better if the OS was on RAID too?
  5. The flash drive will accelerate booting and application launch, yes, but even the sporadic writes that will hit the filesystem, may slow down your computer. So a cheap flash SSD without controller thats good at reading but sucks at writing, is only useful as bootstrap disk.

    Instead, with Linux you can use software RAID on partitions. If you have 4 disks you can make two partitions on all four:

    1) 20GB
    2) <the rest; 480GB for example>

    Well now you have 4 disks with each a 20GB partition, install the OS on there. Since you have four of these partitions, you can use each of them for a different purpose (mounting on /, /var, /usr and /home).

    So that leaves the other 4 partitions with alot of space; we'll use this for the software RAID. Using dm-raid in linux you can create a RAID0 of these 4 partitions. So this kind of works like MatrixRAID; but the operating system just uses normal partitions so it doesn't have to boot from RAID.
  6. sub mesa said:
    The flash drive will accelerate booting and application launch, yes, but even the sporadic writes that will hit the filesystem, may slow down your computer. So a cheap flash SSD without controller thats good at reading but sucks at writing, is only useful as bootstrap disk.

    Instead, with Linux you can use software RAID on partitions. If you have 4 disks you can make two partitions on all four:

    1) 20GB
    2) <the rest; 480GB for example>

    Well now you have 4 disks with each a 20GB partition, install the OS on there. Since you have four of these partitions, you can use each of them for a different purpose (mounting on /, /var, /usr and /home).

    So that leaves the other 4 partitions with alot of space; we'll use this for the software RAID. Using dm-raid in linux you can create a RAID0 of these 4 partitions. So this kind of works like MatrixRAID; but the operating system just uses normal partitions so it doesn't have to boot from RAID.


    Okay... Thank you...

    Anyway, fried my processor. The fan got dislodged somehow. I was installing ubuntu, so i guess it got too hot. :ouch:

    Slightly OT, but dunno where to put this question. I'm getting my bro's Pentium dual core on intel mobo pc. I know it is the worst choice for an always-on pc. :( But its better than the Core2Quad i'm using now. And i'm low on cash, so i have no choice. Any suggestions for lowering power consumption and noise?
  7. Udayakiran said:
    Okay... Thank you...

    Anyway, fried my processor. The fan got dislodged somehow. I was installing ubuntu, so i guess it got too hot. :ouch:

    Slightly OT, but dunno where to put this question. I'm getting my bro's Pentium dual core on intel mobo pc. I know it is the worst choice for an always-on pc. :( But its better than the Core2Quad i'm using now. And i'm low on cash, so i have no choice. Any suggestions for lowering power consumption and noise?



    Why not getting a cheap and low power processor such as the AMD PhenomII -65 watt or Athlon X2 - 45 watt? Together with a normal mothebroard you will have a low price (my gues is < 120 euro's). You will then have a new system, low power consumption and years of fun.

    Erwin
  8. Erwin, please do not resurrect old threads. The OP will not read your response anyway and you risk wasting other people's time if they do not see this is an old thread and reply to it.
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