Install from a USB Pen (semi OT)

Mikel King mikel.king at
Wed Jul 22 15:29:16 UTC 2009

On Jul 20, 2009, at 2:48 PM, Ken Smith wrote:

> On Sat, 2009-07-18 at 11:41 +0800, Fbsd1 wrote:
>> Took 3 times longer to download the 8.0-BETA1-i386-memstick.img  
>> that to
>> download the 8.0-BETA1-i386-disc1.iso. I suggest you look into  
>> another
>> method of creating the memstick.img so it downloads faster. dd does  
>> no
>> compression of the data.
> You're comparing apples to oranges here to some extent.  disc1 isn't
> compressed either.  The reason the memstick is larger is that it
> contains more stuff than disc1.  That extra stuff is usually  
> referred to
> as "livefs" and having that allows the memstick to be used in "Fixit"
> mode - you can boot off the memstick and enter into sysinstall's  
> "Fixit"
> menu item which in turn you can use to get to a usable shell that has
> all the normal FreeBSD base system utilities available.  That
> functionality can be useful for recovering a machine from mistakes.
> The CDROM media has a separate livefs.  We needed to separate them out
> because of size issues on the CDROM media - the contents of disc1 plus
> the contents needed from the livefs disc to make it work in Fixit mode
> are too big for our target CDROM media size (700Mb).  The DVD media
> contains both so DVDs can be used for this 'Fixit' mode as well.
> If you're going to use download time as any sort of evaluation of the
> memstick's merit you need to compare the speed of downloading it  
> versus
> the speed of downloading both disc1 and livefs.  Though I'm not quite
> sure why that's any measure of the memstick's merit.
> I think I've settled on the memstick images containing what was  
> provided
> with BETA2, which will be the installation bits from disc1, the livefs
> bits, and just the packages that make up the documentation.  Put a
> slightly different way it's the contents of the DVD minus all packages
> except for the documentation packages.  That's my best guess on the
> trade-off of size versus functionality that would benefit the most
> end-users.
>> Using a 8gb memstick as the target to install 8.0 on took 2 times  
>> longer
>> than disc1 cd installing to same 8gb memstick.
> This shouldn't come as too big a surprise, for *typical* machines  
> things
> slow down a bit if you're using the same I/O subsystem for both reads
> and writes.  I'm guessing your CD isn't USB.  Even if it is, you're
> again comparing apples to oranges to a large degree here.  If a speed
> comparison is important to you here then compare the speed of  
> installing
> from the memstick we provide versus one you create with your script  
> from
> disc1.  I'd be surprised if installing from the one you created using
> your script was faster than the memstick we provide.
>> Here is a script i have used in the past to convert the disc1.iso to
>> bootable memstick. Maybe its better to add this script to the place
>> where 8.0-BETA1-i386-disc1.iso is located in place of the  
>> memstick.img.
>> That way the 3 times larger memstick.img is not needed any more.
> Per above the 3 times larger memstick.img we're providing has more
> functionality than what you would get by running your script.  For  
> some
> people your script also causes something of a chicken-and-egg  
> issue.  It
> may not be particularly convenient to run your script if you don't
> already have FreeBSD installed on a machine.  I don't see the harm  
> in us
> providing one pre-built memstick image for peoples' convenience.

Just curious, but is there an easy way to get all of this onto the pen  
in the first place? I missed the origin of the thread.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list