NanoBSD 4gb | installed on8 GB SD card | Showing 2 GB ?



  • Hi All,
    I installed on my box Pfsense 2.1.15 using the 4gb NanoBSD image.
    I used for that a 8 GB SD Card.
    Who can explain why the system is showing me only 2 GB disk space although I used a 8GB SD card ? What happened with the rest of space on the memory card  ?And how to get it back ?

    Would be it the same if I used a mSATA disk for the installation?

    4GB nanoBSD means it will always show 2 GB disk ?

    Thanks!



  • You did not install nano, you copied the 4GB image to the card, right? That explains what happened.

    If you install the full version to a HDD or SSD then you can use the whole memory available.


  • Netgate Administrator

    The reason you see only 2GB (rather than 4GB) is because that's how Nano works. It uses two system slices, one running, one as backup, each is just smaller than half the images size.
    https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/nanobsd/

    Steve



  • @chemlud:

    You did not install nano, you copied the 4GB image to the card, right? That explains what happened.

    If you install the full version to a HDD or SSD then you can use the whole memory available.

    Oh I understand now :)
    1 - But is there any way to get back the free space of the SD card ?

    2- Is there a way to install the full version on a SD card ?



  • 1. Dunno exactly, hard to imagine, do you want to re-size the two slices? Its BSD, are you familiar with UFS?

    2. I have an install on USB, with 1-2 tricks its not really rocket science. The SD-card should be not that different, but what would be the advantage over an USB-stick?


  • Netgate Administrator

    It is possible to partition, format and mount the remaining space on the card, others have done similar things. However it will involve some hackery that won't survive an upgrade. What do you want that space for anyway?

    Steve



  • @chemlud:

    1. Dunno exactly, hard to imagine, do you want to re-size the two slices? Its BSD, are you familiar with UFS?

    2. I have an install on USB, with 1-2 tricks its not really rocket science. The SD-card should be not that different, but what would be the advantage over an USB-stick?

    No I'm not. I'm really a newbie :) Still learning everyday :)
    But I would rather have the disk inside the "box", already from security perpectives.
    But please could you tell me how to do it on USB Stick ?

    3.@stephenw10:

    It is possible to partition, format and mount the remaining space on the card, others have done similar things. However it will involve some hackery that won't survive an upgrade. What do you want that space for anyway?

    Steve

    Steve, I want the space to use it for cache (proxy cache).
    By the next upgrade, I Will just buy a mSATA or USB as chemlud suggested.



  • ooops, sorry, the USB-stick is a nano, not a full install, see here how to make it work:

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=78127.msg426804#msg426804

    So if you want a full install with lots of free memory you should stick to SSD…



  • @chemlud:

    ooops, sorry, the USB-stick is a nano, not a full install, see here how to make it work:

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=78127.msg426804#msg426804

    So if you want a full install with lots of free memory you should stick to SSD…

    OK so meaning you have also with your usb just 4 GB Disk total, 2 GB free right ?



  • On the nano you always have two identical slices (4gb nano: 2x 1.8 GB), the rest of the memory is the "overarching" partition, where the config.xml resides [Steve, please correct me if I'm wrong again…], one slice is actually used, the other is backup, you can copy the functional installation (incl. installed packages etc.) to the other slice, switch boot slice (in the GUI or on boot, from console)…


  • Netgate Administrator

    Exactly. On your 8GB card with the 4GB Nano image loaded on it you have three slices (partitions). A running system slice, a backup system slice and a 50MB config slice that holds the config.xml file among other things. Each system slice is indeed around 1.8GB. That leaves 4GB of unpartitioned space on the drive that you could potentially use for something.

    However you should not be using that space as a proxy cache. Flash drives are simply not designed for continuous writes. Using it as a cache will burn through the limited write cycles in short order leaving you with a dead SD card. If you want to run Squid with caching then use a full install to a real HD or an SSD with proper ware leveling.

    I'll also point out that there are almost no advantages to running a caching web proxy for most soho networks in terms of speed or bandwidth use. Most people running Squid are doing so in order to use it with Squidguard for web filtering which does not require caching.

    Steve



  • Thanks for all those details :) Then I'll better go for mSSD in the future and be able to use full functionnality :)

    A very interesting comment from Steve:
    @stephenw10:

    I'll also point out that there are almost no advantages to running a caching web proxy for most soho networks in terms of speed or bandwidth use
    Steve

    Please could you explain me further what you mean ? I though that a caching web proxy is always  a benefit in terms of speed or bandwidth.
    Or when / start when is it necessary to implement it ?


  • Netgate Administrator

    If you test it you'll find almost no improvement in general browsing. Some people report it's actually slower. Caching becomes useful when you have a large number of clients on the network and more so if they are frequently using the same pages. If yolu can persuade Squid to cache things like Windows updates or anti-virus definitions then that can help a lot. The problem is that the modern web is very dynamic and is often served from content distribution networks and that is hard or impossible to cache.
    Of course it depends on what your network is and how you are using the web but don't expect to see a big increase in browsing speed or a reduction in used bandwidth. There are a number of threads here with people reporting similarly disappointing results.  :-\

    Steve



  • Oh ok I understand it much more better now.
    So for a location like a hotel, the implementation of cache will not be benefit as customers are changing every day (just as a good example).
    Does it make sense to implement an Antivirus on the Firewall ?

    Regarding to the discussion about the swap from SD installation (nanoBSD) to Full Install on HDD oder SSD.
    Can I use the backup file of the configuration under the nanoBSD installation to restore all my settings on the full installation on the SDD disk ? or do I need to start from scratch ?



  • SOHO - Home / office has few users, so squid cache doesn't help much.

    Depending on the size of the hotel and the occupancy rate, one would think that a fast squid cache on a fast drive would help.

    The fact the the customers are daily changing doesn't matter.  Its the number of users online at one time that matters.

    So, squid is a good use for hotel - better than home anyway.



  • OKay Thanks to point this out. I will consider all those options, test live and see the performace.

    Regarding to the discussion about the swap from SD installation (nanoBSD) to Full Install on HDD oder SSD.
    Can I use the backup file of the configuration under the nanoBSD installation to restore all my settings on the full installation on the SDD disk ? or do I need to start from scratch ?



  • I don't know.  However, its super easy to re-install pfsense so try it.  See if it works.
    If it does, fine.

    If not, start from scratch.



  • easy YES but time consuming and that's the main issue I have.


  • Netgate Administrator

    The config file is the same, you can restore it to a full install.
    If you switch architecture, 32 to 64 bit, the chech the system update url afterwards.

    Steve



  • Thanks Steeve.