Mother board compatibility and CF card usage as main storage device for small DNS server

Kaya Saman kayasaman at
Thu Sep 30 14:35:20 UTC 2010

Thanks very much Brian:

On 30/09/2010 17:02, Brian A. Seklecki (CFI NOC) wrote:
> On 9/30/2010 4:11 AM, Kaya Saman wrote:
>> I mean for a DNS server (all be it a small one) is it wise to use
>> compact flash as storage??
> For our GSLB DNS Slaves, we boot embedded/low power (or even VMs these 
> days) systems with CF images off of flash, keep a shadow copy of /etc 
> around, and program all file systems with R/W activity 
> (/var/chroot/named/cache, where all zone files are fetched from Master 
> NS) on MFS partitions, eliminating almost all write operations to the 
> CF card.
> No swap, and RD / (/var, etc.) and MFS /usr extracted from a tarball 
> via modified rc(8).  /shadow is mounted noatime.

Are you saying that you custom compiled the kernel here??

I'm not that advanced with FreeBSD yet as I've only been using it for a 
few months even though I have other UNIX based experience.

> [...]
> Where it gets risky is if you just plain install a live functional 
> FreeBSD on CF.  A million inodes for /usr/src and CF is about as fast 
> as an ESDI hard drive in an IBM XT.

I was planning to go Standard Minimal Install then build Bind9 from 
ports and of course use SSH as login system and perhaps hack out the 
Serial port to give me some SPARC/POWER/Cisco style RS232c login.

 From what you mention it sounds like a bad idea as the system disk will 
have many R/W's going through it it seems as /tmp and Swap get written 
to all the time.

I mean this would have been a cheaper alternative to buying an SSD drive 
or SAS 2.5" drive but now I'm a bit worried.....

> ~BAS



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