Adding drive space from my SD card

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Adding drive space from my SD card

Postby jeffpk » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:15 pm

Hi Guys,

Here's another one for you. I've more then tripled my "drive" space by putting a 2 gig SD card in. However yum still wants to install everything to the main flash :(

Is there a clean way to install some of my software to the SD card or do I have to go file structure hacking and move things around myself?

If the latter, thats a pretty nasty limitation. Any chance that in the future the OLPC will be able to see the SD card as "first order" storage?
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Re: Adding drive space from my SD card

Postby alanpater » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:53 pm

Rumor has it that the SD slot was only added at the request of an OS manufacture that is not technically gifted enough to create an operating system that works in a finite amount of space ;-)

As such, what you are suggesting is outside of the intended use of the SD slot, so some file system tricks may be your best bet. ... rd_slot.3F "It is not intended for casual use, but intended for (semi)permanent augmentation of flash storage on the system."
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Re: Adding drive space from my SD card

Postby franco » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:49 pm

Unless there is a switch for yum that allows an install in a user-selected directory, then you have to learn how to install programs with rpm.

The XO has the capability of holding far more programs than will ever fit on a teeny 2GB SD card. But first, I'll deal with your problem.

1. Some yum installations will put the installed program in one directory (with all it's necessary sub-directories) only. Once the install is complete, copy that directory to your external drive and test run it from the external drive. If all runs well, then delete the directory from the internal "hard drive."

2. Some yum installations will put some files outside the main installed directory. Moving the installation to an external drive will still work because the config files know where the other files are to be found. The only problem here is that if you had to reinstall the whole OS then you will lose these other files, and you will have to re-install the program.

3. I yum an install if I have to, but I prefer to find the compressed .tar or .rpm (or .gz or . bz2, etc.)file using another computer or using Opera on the XO. Opera lets me control where the compressed install file is to be put. I put the install file in a temp directory on my external drive and rpm (tar, etc.) it from there to start the installation and it creates a directory with the installed program (along with sub-directories, if necessary). I test it and if all goes well I then move it to its own directory wherever I want it. Then I wipe the temp directory so it is ready for the next install. But a warning: Even this kind of install will sometimes put a few files on the internal "hard drive."

4. Installing on the external drive means that, if you screw up or the intended program doesn't work with the XO, you can just delete the contents of your temp drive and start over or try something else.

Now a word on external storage. As I said, I only yum when there is no other option. For instance, I did a yum of the file manager Midnight Commander, because it installs Perl. But the MC program itself was only a single file and I put that on an external drive. Really, I didn't need to as it was only about 80Kb. I put Opera and Skype and MPlayer on my external drive. I learned how to do links which is a small file that you put on the internal drive that allows you to run a program from the external drive because it "links" to it. Look up the linux link command in google. Very useful.

You are aware, I am sure, that you are not limited to 2GB for your external drive. I use a 40Gb pocket usb drive that I can take with me and I have a 120Gb external usb hard drive on my desk. I also have two 40gb IDE hard drives that are ready to use with a IDE to USB cable. You can also put programs on a CD and run them from a USB DVD or CD.

All of this requires some knowledge of beginning linux.
If I give advice it is usually because I did it / tested it successfully on my XO. I will warn you otherwise.
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Re: Adding drive space from my SD card

Postby jpbourdillon » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:56 pm

you seem to be able to do a lot of things with the XO from an external storage device
with the new build it is impossible to install mplayer or vlc or skype via the yum command
could you give a detailed description on how to do that via a key or an sd card
many people,me first! go on the BBC news site the XO won't play the audio stream and of course
not to mention the video clips any idea on how to get the XO do that
merci pour votre réponse

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Re: Adding drive space from my SD card

Postby generalludd » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:02 pm

The following is a post i made to another topic (even this Forum is confusing to me), before i happened on this one. I think that my comment thoroughly reflects a user point of view.

I am having great difficulty learning linux so a term like "yumming" doesn't tell me what that entails. In any case my question touches on Adding drive space, etc. This is what i want to do, however; i haven't the foggiest idea how to do it. Also familiarity with other systems doesn't help, because some terms (e.g. activities for applications or programs) and that "journal" do not match previous experience.

There may be others in a similar situation who see the possibilities, but are frustrated by how to carry them out. BTW why do so many sets of comments seem to end in the 2008s. Did people get discouraged and quit?

Regards, and excuse me if i am out of my league :oops:

Re: Memory-doubling hack? (why?)
by generalludd » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:07 am

This comment may be irrelevant to the above, but i assume the writer must mean to take apart the XO and solder in another memory chip somewhere. Concerning Memory the OLPC Specs state:

DRAM memory: 256 MiB dynamic RAM;
Data rate: Dual — DDR333 — 166 Mhz;
1024KB SPI-interface flash ROM;
Mass storage: 1024 MiB SLC NAND flash, high-speed flash controller;
Drives: No rotating media;

To me that means 1GB of flash ROM which contains the non-changeable (except through a special set of Terminal commands that involve going to sugar lab) parts of the OLPC software which i dig into at my own peril.

The Mass storage, the place where activities and data are stored, is equivalent to a 1GB drive.

Now it is possible to plug a 8GB SD card into the OLPC which i have done. In addition i can also plug a USB drive (I have a 16GB) into a USB port. These "drives" need to be formatted to MS-DOS (Fat 32) or they won't load (or at least they won't be seen at the bottom of the journal). I haven't tried a 40GB HD drive yet. My drives are Mac formatted which definitely will not be "seen". I do not have the knowledge to format from the OLPC so i do it first (MS-DOS) on a Mac, then "sneaker net" it to the OLPC.

Now it seems that to increase memory there should be some way to expand that built in Mass storage to include the installable media. Why open up the XO and risk destroying the machine?

However; nobody seems to have addressed that possibility. The key to knowing what is currently in the machine is supposed to be the Journal. I guess using the terminal command "tops" also would give a hint if only there were some way to print it out of the OLPC.

1. The "Journal", which I find murky, allows me to copy activities to either external, however what is copied is totally unclear. Instead of the journal, there should be a more conventionally formatted display similar to a folder listing, with specific date, time, size, and type shown. Seeing twenty items that indicate "terminal activity", some 6 months and 20 days ago or more, tell me nothing after the fact.
2.When trying to run the movie/audio/still activity i get the "your journal is full" message. If i look at the journal in the home view i may see there are 109MB left. Erasing each journal activity (too bad there isn't a mass erase feature) still doesn't seem to help.
3. I assume that activities can be run out of the terminal as a command. Opera (i have 9.52) is one example, since my attempts to create an activity for it have been unsuccessful.

Before tearing the machine apart, it would be good to figure out how to better use what currently is there.
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