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Thread: Does using a CF card as the root parition help Linux boot-up?

  1. #1
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    Does using a CF card as the root partition help Linux boot-up?

    I've heard that CF cards have faster acess rate then most normal HDs, but I'm curious what moving the root directory (along with the boot loader, kernel and initrd images) will do to boot times. I'm presuming that the faster speed will help with initial decompression of the kernel, but beyond that I'm not sure.

    Anyone have benchmarks of how long it takes to boot off a 4200 RPM laptop drive (or other HD) vs. a Cf card (same kernel and image config)?

    I'll probably do some kernel hacking to get the boot times down, but if hardware I have laying around (256MB CF card + port on motherboard for CF) can make it boot even faster, that'd be great.

  2. #2
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    http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=16#p2602 if you need to find a adapter

  3. #3
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    I don't think CF cards are faster than a hard drive. I believe their access times are around 25ms, whereas a hard drive is usually around 8-10ms.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    I installed a basic linux install on a cf card but it wasn't any faster than a HDD, I did it so could easily make it read only and not have to worry about shutting down.

  5. #5
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    I know the output on them is quite limited but I dunno how much bandwith the linux OS will try and pull out of it while its booting

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    all depends on what your loading at boot time, there are pauses in disk reading while hardware is initialized and such

  7. #7
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    Moving it to CF does not help your boot time significantly, even if CF access is faster than your HDD. Majority of boot time from the time the computer received power is BIOS and kernel decompression which initializes the devices. Then your distro sets up the system thru /etc/init.d. Unless you have a fast BIOS, what you can really do to save time is in the OS setup. Less processes = less time.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    True, my mini-itx takes longer to post than Linux does to boot.

  9. #9
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    I may just use a CF for just shock protection, then.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    Thats what I was doing. Was going to boot off the CF and run other things such as OBD-II monitoring and such then have the mp3's on an old laptop drive so that if the drive failed I would still have some functionality.

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