Hybrid nanoBSD plus hard disk configuration support

  • Now there are systems like this available: http://store.netgate.com/Netgate-FW-525B-P1919C83.aspx
    and posts like this, from people making hybrid CF card plus hard disk setups: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,66251.0.html

    I think that a hybrid system like this is useful, because you get the benefit of the dual-slice booting off the CF card, enabling easy reverting of the base system if an upgrade goes wrong or you mess something up badly with the FreeBSD files or… and can also use packages that want some disk space to work with.

    There could be an option to enable mounting of a real disk when on nanoBSD. I guess it would need:
    a) selection of the disk and partition to mount
    b) a way to format the disk/partition if it is not already done
    c) protection against people choosing the CF card and formatting that!
    d) option to put /var and /tmp on hard drive partitions (or keep these in memory
    e) option to add an extra partition for other crud, would be easiest to give it a fixed mount point like "/data" or ?

    Then packages can select /data/xxx... as the place to put their cache files, big logs, whatever...

    Assuming it is designed and coded well, is this something that would be acceptable/useful in the base system?

    What comments do you have about the "feature list" (a) to (e) above?

    If there is some support I can add a feature request to RedMine.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes there are quite a few questions about this type of setup such as that you linked.
    I would definitely like to see a feature like this. I would be happy to see a limited version version such as:
    Storing the fstab in the config file and having some way to edit it from the gui. Maybe just additional fstab lines.
    Ability to specify a location for /var and /temp and that stored in the config file
    Ability to specify locations in Squid and Snort for temporary files and logs, stored in the config file.

    The syslog-ng package allows this I think.  :-\

    Do we really need a gui method for formatting the disk?

    The greatest advantage of running Nano is that it's much less susceptible to power failure or other catastrophic interruption. However if you've moved logging onto a HD what happens if it's not shutdown correctly? There would need to be some logic that handled a corrupted file system or you've lost the robustness on Nano.


    Edit: typo

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    If such a thing were to be "officially" supported, then we would need a way to format drives in the GUI.

    As it is, someone could manually format it, shove a script/line in a shellcmd to mount it, and run it however they want.

    fstab isn't even used for mounting on NanoBSD it's all done in /etc/rc.embedded.

  • Banned

    Semi-OT: While messing with this, having gmirror configurable from the GUI would be awesome.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Some things are available in the "/installer/" web installer code, could probably be re-used for such a thing.

    One of the things I have in my notes for 2.2 is some gmirror management in the GUI (add drive, remove drive, etc, etc)

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