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Re: [Xen-users] [XCP] Install to Flash Media

On Thu, 2012-02-09 at 10:01 +0100, Roger Pau Monné wrote:
> 2012/2/8 Nick Couchman <Nick.Couchman@xxxxxxxxx>:
> > Well, now that I've figured out that network booting XCP is not really
> > going to be feasible, I'm moving on to my next option: flash media
> > installation.  The systems that I purchased have SDHC slots on them, so
> > I figured I'd attempt to install XCP to one of these cards.  I had
> > already read that there's a minimum disk size in the installer
> > (apparently 12 GB in XCP) and so have factored in that.  However,
> > whenever I try to install I get an error message that the "Partition
> > size in sectors is negative."  Any ideas on this one?
> I've successfully installed XCP on a SD card some time ago, but I
> don't recommend that. Running an OS from a SD is not recommended
> because the access time is large, and the system can feel
> irresponsible some times.

I'm willing to take the risk - I'm using Class 10 SDHC cards (10MB/s),
and there isn't going to be a lot going on at the dom0 level that is
going to require responsiveness.  Additionally, I'll be doing syslog to
a remote machine, so this should take care of some of the normal
read/write traffic that would be on the local disk.

> > Any better way to
> > install to flash media?  I suppose I could go ahead and do the install
> > to a regular HD, then use a rescue system and dd to grab an image of the
> > system partition, then transfer it to the flash media.  Any other
> > possible paths?
> Installing the image and doing a dd will not work straight away, you
> will have to use syslinux to make the usb bootable, but again you will
> face access problems.
> > Anyone running XCP or XenServer off SDHC or other
> > flash-based media?
> I'm using a SD card to boot a regular Xen install (4.1.2) on some of
> my servers, using Alpine Linux which is easy to install to a SD card,
> has a very small footprint and works great with Xen. Don't have
> experience with XenServer.

I did throw a 16GB SDHC card into one of the systems and ran the XCP
install, and it worked fine.  It installed to the SDHC card.  The only
issue I ran into is that in the case the SDHC card is seen as a USB
storage device by the O/S, and the default XCP initrd did not have
usb-storage loaded.  So, I had to boot into a rescue system, mount the
SDHC card, and regenerate the initrd, and reboot.  It is working well,
now, and I've ordered SDHC cards for the rest of the systems so that I
can install XCP this way.  I will have to see longer-term if there are
any adverse side-effects of install XCP this way - performance,
degradation of the flash devices, etc.


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