OPNsense Forum

English Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: jonakarl on February 09, 2019, 06:23:31 am

Title: Is the Nano image run from RAM or of the sd card?
Post by: jonakarl on February 09, 2019, 06:23:31 am

Sorry if this is answered or explained before but I tried to search and I could not find it.

As I understood it the nano installation would run from RAM (to not wear down the sd card and be faster) but in my basic installation of opnsense 18.7 nano (using the defaults) it feels like it is running the entire OS from the CF card except /tmp and /var, is this the case ?

If this is so, I do not understand the difference between the nano and a regular install with the option set to store tmp and var on a ramdisk. Maybe I misunderstood the point of the nano installation but I thought the idea was to run in RAM to not wear down the sd card and overcome the slow read/write speeds of the sd card.
I run the installation from a old reused server but it has 8 x Intel Xeon E5606 @ 2.13GHz and 48 GB and the sd reader is a built in DELL (the server used to be a esxi host booted from sd card in the past).   

The reason I ask is that the system is very slow when I would expect it to be very snappy if run from RAM. Also when looking at the installation (My FreeBSD skills is not the best) the fstab looks like this :
# Device      Mountpoint   FStype   Options      Dump   Pass#
/dev/ufs/OPNsense_Nano   /      ufs   rw      1   1   # notrim

and these are the mount points :
/dev/ufs/OPNsense_Nano on / (ufs, local, soft-updates)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, multilabel)
tmpfs on /var (tmpfs, local)
tmpfs on /tmp (tmpfs, local)
devfs on /var/unbound/dev (devfs, local, multilabel)
devfs on /var/dhcpd/dev (devfs, local, multilabel)

Unless /dev/ufs/OPNsense_Nano is a special device (it does not look like it) I would say that everything except /var/ /tmp/ is run from the sd card, please correct me if I am wrong.

If anyone wonder why I am not using a regular installation on this powerfull machine is that (atleast with 18.7) the kernel hanged when loading the modules for the raid card. Me and a colleague tried for a couple of days to force freebsd to not load any raid drivers and use the bios disk that the raid card supplied but gave up. All HW works and all disks (as configured in the HW raid card) show up in linux OOB (I used ubuntu 18.04 to test only because we are much more linux savvy than freebsd savvy).
Title: Re: Is the Nano image run from RAM or of the sd card?
Post by: chemlud on February 09, 2019, 11:42:52 am
If the required kernel/software is in the RAM, why should the machine "run from SD-card"? The write-intensive stuff (/tmp) is in RAM, too...

Hmm, I have some Dell Precisions here, you don't need RAID, if you go by SD-card as an alternative ;-)

Simply use a normal SATA HDD/SSD attached to your SAS ports or even the built-in SATA ports (disable RAID controller in BIOS and don't forget to activate respective ports in BIOS...). Should work, I had sense s running on such machines in the past, although I didn't try again recently.
Title: Re: Is the Nano image run from RAM or of the sd card?
Post by: jonakarl on February 11, 2019, 07:25:52 am

Thanks for the reply, I think I got a answer to my question although it was not what I wanted to hear ;-)

By "running from the SD Card" I mean like a normal installation that mounts root directly from the disk.
I come from a vyos installation that has run for years on crappy HW (but now needs an upgrade). That installation loads the entire OS including the root file system into RAM and only uses a USB stick/SD card for storing config changes (that are all stored in special folder that get mounted on the disk). I got the impression that the nano installation was something similar but I guess not.

Yes I am aware that I can use the SATA ports on the machine but then I lose the redundancy
/possibility to change HDDs/SSDs on the fly if one breaks that I get with the raid card (We have plenty of SDDs/HDDS laying around but I trust none to run for more than a year or so).

Title: Re: Is the Nano image run from RAM or of the sd card?
Post by: chemlud on February 11, 2019, 03:44:29 pm
...if you use an industrial grade CF-card your machine should be doing fine for some time. Don't know if I would run critical router on SD-card anyway ;-)

PS: Or use this little monster:


see here: