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Installing on SD card: what to think about?
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gustafbstrom
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Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Uppsala, Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: Installing on SD card: what to think about? Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm following this guide to install Gentoo for my Raspberry PI on a SD card. However, when booting up, doing a few configurations and then rebooting (once or twice), the OS starts to act weird, e.g. /sbin can't be read after one reboot but works after the next, or some services fails to be started while booting up, etc. This has happened many times in a row while trying to start from the beginning with my installation. I've also tried to change to another SD card, but it suffers from the likewise issues.
Hence, I wonder if there might be something with the procedure of installing on the SD card itself. My question is therefore: is there anything I should consider - besides the comparably short life of a SD card - that I should consider, compared to an e.g. regular SATA hard drive? Any tips are welcome.
Thank you and cheers!
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NeddySeagoon
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 32018
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gustafbstrom,

Welcome to Gentoo.

Raspberry Pis are very picky about PSUs and SD cards.
During writing, the SD card uses a lot of of the power budget.
I have found that Class 4 SD cards work but my only class 10 device does not. Very quickly, the filesystem becomes corrupt.

If the SD card survives a Gentoo build, you will die of old age while it does it.

You only actually need /boot on the SD card. All the other file systems can be on a USB HDD.
If you don't have space on a USB HDD, then put /boot and <swap> on the SD card and mount root over NFS from your main system.
You are not supposed to use <swap> but its marginally better then the OOM manager killing random tasks to keep the kernel alive.

Lastly, use crossdev on your main system to set up an ARM cross tool chain so you can use distcc on the Pi to get your main PC to do most of the work.

Its mostly covered on the official gentoo wiki.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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gustafbstrom
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Joined: 20 Jan 2013
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon:
Thank you, the 4 vs 10 SD Card type problem might for sure be the reason my installation fails over and over again. I will try with some USB mounted hard drive instead. Thanks again, very much!
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