[Soekris] CompactFlash cards and Soekris boards

Bill Maas bill at stsx.org
Fri Oct 10 17:56:51 UTC 2008

Hi Oleg,

On Fri, 2008-10-10 at 10:10 -0700, Oleg Smolsky wrote:
> Bill Maas wrote: 
> > On Thu, 2008-10-09 at 16:15 -0700, Oleg Smolsky wrote:
> >   
> > > Hey there, I'm thinking of getting the new net5501 board and would like to find out the common way people use CF cards. I assume the board can boot from a CF card, and my question is whether can I create an ext3fs partition on the CF, mount it on / and use it as if I had a normal IDE/SATA drive? Or do I have to boot from a filesystem image in read-only mode?
> > >     
> > Yes and no (in that order). To the Soekris comBIOS the CF is just an IDE drive, and you can format/partition/mount it any way you like. If you don't need to store excessive amounts of data and you can live with not-very-hot write speeds during installations and updates/upgrades, a CF card is in fact a much more practical thing than a real HDD, if only because you can get about 12 of them for the price of 1 HDD;).
> >   
> Right, thank you for the reply - the main point is that it looks like
> an IDE device and can be partitioned like one. This is going to be a
> replacement router (iptables, openvpn) and I want to be able to run
> "apt-get install ..." on the box. The Debian install will be
> configured with no swap.
> The next thing that I need to figure out is how to get /var into its
> own (cramfs?) filesystem and flush it to disk when the box reboots.
> Has anyone tried this type of thing?

With OpenBSD that's very easy, in fact it's practically pre-done for
you;). For Linux, this might point you in the right direction:


I have good experiences with rsync for flushing /var's contents at
shutdown, but you will probably have to set that up yourself. Here's an
(OpenBSD) example:


That's a shell script by the way, it just has a .txt suffix to avoid
browser annoyance. Here's the story:


Good Luck,


> Also, re: net5501 board - does it work with Debian's stock
> linux-image-2.6-686 (lenny) image? Is there any merit in building a
> more-specific AMD Geode kernel?
> Thanks again,
> Oleg.
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