flashmemory plugin for OMV 5.x

    • OMV 5.x (beta)
    • Resolved
    • flashmemory plugin for OMV 5.x

      Hello everyone.

      Because of increasing frustration with several QNAP devices, I installed OMV on a TerraMaster NAS (with HDMI output) a few days ago - and I really like it.

      For the OMV operating system I used an USB stick, which I plugged in into one of the two internal USB 2.0 ports; I bought a stick with MLC flash cells.

      Now I found the plugin "flashmemory" on the omv-extras page, but it seems available only for the OMV versions 3.x and 4.x.



      1.)
      Does someone know if there is a version for OMV 5.x installations - I'm actually running version 5.1.3-1 (Usul)?
      Or... is it possible to install/run the plugin version 4.2.1 on OMV 5.x without damage?

      2.)
      Are there some possible setting inside the OMV which will protect the USB flash memory stick of to excessive write load?


      Thank you in advance.


      Kind Regards,

      FriendlyUser
    • Did you install omv-extras yet? The flashmemory plugin is there. I am running v5.0.1 on OMV 5.1.3-1 AMD64.

      The omv-extras page for OMV v 3.x and 4.x is not for v 5.x.
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    • Wow, I'm impressed.
      Several helpful answers in such a short time.
      A big thank you.

      - - - - -

      I installed the OMV-extras accordint to the instructions and then found the entry "openmediavault-flashmemory 5.0.1" under the tab named "Erweiterungen". After marking this point and starting the installation I got a new menu entry "OMV-Extras" directly under the tab "Erweiterungen".

      The packets "install status" is marked with a green dot. So far I've understood everything.

      But one question is left: Is there something to configure, to activate, or is this installation the only action to take?



      And as written above: Thank you in advance. :)



      Kind Regards,


      FriendlyUser
    • Under Storage, click on Flash Memory and follow the directions.

      Be very careful when editing the /etc/fstab file. Any mistakes made there can render the machine non-bootable, but easily repairable.
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      RAID - Its ability to disappoint is inversely proportional to the user's understanding of it.

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    • Well, I've done as described.
      I was a little bit excited and nervous, but after the reboot everything seems fine.

      - - - - -

      The USB Stick I use is a 32 GB Transcend 780 (chessboard design) with MLC.

      Directly after the initial installation of OMV I decreased the SWAP partition (including the extended partition) from 12 GB to 8 GB, so the leftover of the stick is empty.
      The background is that I can then clone this stick as a whole (without losses) to copy it to another 32 GB stick, which may be some bits smaller.


      I thought about the following:
      The system has a total of 12 GB RAM; I don't think the SWAP partition is used in normal operation; wouldn't it make sense to leave it activated if it is needed?
    • I run on 16GB of RAM with no swap at all. I have run the same machine with 8GB of RAM and no swap and never had any problems.

      Try deactivating swap for a while and see what happens. If the machine doesn't crash in your use case you can probably do without swap permanently.
      --
      Google is your friend and Bob's your uncle!

      RAID - Its ability to disappoint is inversely proportional to the user's understanding of it.

      ASRock Rack C2550D4I C0 Stepping - 16GB ECC - Silverstone DS380 + Silverstone DS380 DAS Box.
    • Maybe this suggestion is a little bit challenging - I wanted to write "risky" first.
      But I think it's a good beginning to figure it out.

      - - - - -

      I'm running a 2-bay NAS from TerraMaster, and took out the inside plugged in USB Stick with 128 MB.
      I could not imagine that there are still such small sticks...


      There are 4 GB RAM soldered directly on the board, and I placed additional a 8 GB bar in the one available socket.

      So the next time I will open the case, I'll take the additional bar out and try to "drive the system to/against the wall" with only 4 GB RAM an disabled SWAP partition. If it runs smoothly, then I will be sure, the 12 GB RAM without SWAP will be fine for the rest of the life.


      - - - - -


      For testing the performance and the difference between Ext4 and Btrfs I places 2 identically HDDs (WD Red 3 TB) into the case, each formatted separately as a volume without RAID.


      I tried to do some stress on the device, with 2 "full power" data streams, I fired one stream each to one disk directly.



      Therefore I used this program: heise.de/download/product/h2testw-50539

      It writes each 1 GB files onto the drive, and it reads it back again. If there is one bit wrong, the colour changes to red.
      But the main point is: It's an easy way to generate files with high speed.
      The program can be told exactly how many GB/TB it should write, and it can be executed several times in parallel, to different folders/drives.

      In this moment I write 2 streams to 2 HDDs and the CPU load fluctuates up to 40%.
      The write/read speed is >50 MB/sec each stream, which I think is ok for that casing.

      Now:
      => Dashboard => System information => Memory Usage
      But the memory... remains stable at 0.
      Exactly zero-point-zero. Wondering...


      In the past, when the "measuring devices" had mechanical drives, they were more reliable. ;)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by FriendlyUser ().

    • I think you'll find, even with 4GB of ram, you won't need a swap file. I'm running a USB thumbdrive as a boot drive, with 4GB of RAM, running a ZFS mirror. (ZFS is known to eat memory.) There are SBC users running 16GB boot drives (SD-cards) with 1GB ram and they're doing an amazing number of tasks simultaneously.

      I really don't think you'll have a problem. Linux is excellent for efficient utilization of RAM.

      ______________________________________________________________________

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    • 1.)

      These are concrete facts and comforting words.

      In addition to the productive system, I have purchased a "game system" on which I can first test new functions safely.

      I will now courageously deactivate the SWAP partition.



      2.)

      The further tip to the forum was very helpful, so I was able to tidy everything up and leave it clean.

      However, my original posting is only visible again when a moderator has activated it.


      -----------------------------------------------------------------


      Basically a big thank you to ALL participants of this thread, I am thrilled by the community.
    • I am thinking about a question or a suggestion for improvement:

      As I read here, quite a few - and that makes perfect sense - use a (USB) flash medium or SSD for the operating system.
      They all have the same problem that too much write load causes the memory to age prematurely.


      Wouldn't it be practical to set up a general menu, a separate page, for this purpose, on which logging on the flash memory can generally be switched off with a "main switch"?

      Furthermore, there could be a split listing of the different logging topics below this main switch, also with a switch for each subject.

      The system knows on which device it is running on, and there in the menu "drives" the user could mark a check box that it is a flash medium (for confirmation), which will active the "extra page" suggested above.

      - - - - -

      I found this "flash issue" nearly randomly, and I know a lot about flash consumption, but I think, this point should be more communicated.

      I'm running a small PC with Open-E installed on an EXTERNAL plugged USB drive - one from the time they were flashing, before the industry cancels the LED because of cost saving - and I notice, that this drive flashes extremely rarely.

      For Open-E, installing on flash is the recommended method.

      Many years ago, when IDE was still the standard connection for hard drives, there was a 40-pin IDE connector for plugging directly onto the mainboard in which the flash memory was located.

      de.transcend-info.com/Embedded/Products/No-820
    • FriendlyUser wrote:

      Wouldn't it be practical to set up a general menu, a separate page, for this purpose, on which logging on the flash memory can generally be switched off with a "main switch"?
      Nope. If you want to turn it off, uninstall the plugin. I really don't see any reason to turn it off though.

      FriendlyUser wrote:

      Furthermore, there could be a split listing of the different logging topics below this main switch, also with a switch for each subject.
      I'm not sure what this means. The plugin is meant to be simple. Just install it and you have the majority of writes moved to ram. The instructions in the plugin are optional and just remove a little bit more. I have a system that has been running for over four years on a cheap usb stick without the option instructions.
      omv 5.3.2 usul | 64 bit | 5.3 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 5.2.4
      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

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    • Sorry if that came across as criticism, that was not my intention.

      My idea or suggestion is that it might be useful to point out a possibility of reducing the write load on a flash medium, because not every user knows that consumption on the cells can lead to an unplanned / early failure.

      An SSD controls the function of so-called "wear leveling" and is probably also more durable than a USB stick that does not know this technology and therefore always writes to the same cells when changing the same file.

      And not everyone can install an "additional" SSD for the OS in their NAS, because the housing may be too small. I have for example a 2-Bay NAS from TerraMaster, which only offers space for USB sticks inside.


      What I want to say:
      A user has to be "sensitized" somehow to search for the Flash plugin AFTER the basic installation.

      I read the problem of "premature failure" somewhere and was triggered on it and looked for it.

      Ok, the installation was a "less demanding than feared" option with the description above - THANKS again.

      BUT a "normal, uninformed user" would be aware of the problem if he found a menu for it. That was my intention to convey.

      - - - - -

      If I now read that a normal USB stick has been in service for 4 years, I am a little more relaxed.

      Since the stick is installed internally in my most important device and I can only get to the stick after disassembling the housing, it made me a little nervous, becauseI had to take the stick out to prepare a clone.

      Unfortunately, a clone with, for example, "Parted Magic / Clone Zilla" does not work within the device, I have to take it out.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by FriendlyUser ().

    • FriendlyUser wrote:

      Unfortunately, a clone with, for example, "Parted Magic / Clone Zilla" does not work within the device, I have to take it out.
      If your Terramaster is running on i386 or amd64 (but not arm) you can use the bootloader (grub) to boot into Clonezilla.
      This feature is available in OMV from the omv-extras > Kernel tab. There you can install (download and add to grub) Clonezilla. After that you can configure grub from the same menue to boot into Clonezilla the next time the server is restarted. Once started you can ssh into the server which is then running Clonezilla.

      Works very well.


      FriendlyUser wrote:

      A user has to be "sensitized" somehow to search for the Flash plugin AFTER the basic installation.
      Yes, would be a nice feature to install the flashmemory-plugin either by default or in case flash drive is detected.
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    • FriendlyUser wrote:

      Sorry if that came across as criticism, that was not my intention.
      Nope, I didn't take it that way. I thought you were presenting an idea.

      FriendlyUser wrote:

      My idea or suggestion is that it might be useful to point out a possibility of reducing the write load on a flash medium, because not every user knows that consumption on the cells can lead to an unplanned / early failure.
      True but that is why we recommend installing the flashmemory plugin.

      FriendlyUser wrote:

      A user has to be "sensitized" somehow to search for the Flash plugin AFTER the basic installation.
      Most of the users who don't know about this want to use an arm board like the RPi. The install script that we recommend automatically installs the flash memory plugin. This script can be used on any system though.

      FriendlyUser wrote:

      BUT a "normal, uninformed user" would be aware of the problem if he found a menu for it. That was my intention to convey.
      The problem is the flashmemory plugin is a third party plugin (omv-extras) and there can be nothing I can do to present information to an uninformed user. If the user reads anything on the forum or watches any of the videos, they will see that they should install omv-extras and the flashmemory plugin.

      FriendlyUser wrote:

      becauseI had to take the stick out to prepare a clone.

      Unfortunately, a clone with, for example, "Parted Magic / Clone Zilla" does not work within the device, I have to take it out.
      Why can't you leave the omv usb stick plugged into an external usb port?
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      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

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    • @ macom:


      1.)

      Yes, it's a CPU Intel Celeron J3455 / 4 cores / 1.5 GHz. Passively cooled with a large aluminum heat sink.

      I tried it with the build-in CloneZilla inside PartedMagic, but with several attempts it get stuck / freeze.

      I will test it, use the "OMV internal" ClozeZilla according to your suggestion.

      - - - - -

      Inside this little box it seems a nearly normal mainboard, with 2 internal USB 2.0 ports and 2 external USB 3.0 ports. I found articles in several forums, you can also run Windows on it.

      BUT (for example) I started DBAN on it, to delete/blank the inside plugged in USB stick, and it get stuck after some minutes.

      I have the suspicion that whenever high write performance on USB is required here, the device freezes. The installation of OMV, however, worked.

      I am currently doing experiments with different USB sticks, both 2.0 and 3.0, since they are allowed to use different power consumption.


      2.)

      You got it. In a nutshell.

      Or in German: Mit wenigen Worten auf den Punkt gebracht.


      #################################################################


      @ ryecoaaron:


      1.)

      Because I downloaded the OMV as an ISO image, not for installation on an RPi, but on a NAS hardware, the recommended script completely passed me by.

      Weeks ago, I saw some videos to several NAS distributions, to decide, which I will chose for my requirement. My urgent need was to dispose of a QNAP NAS for final destruction and recycling!

      First I took a large tower case out of the basement, with lots of (throttled) fans, fitted it with an old but unused Intel Atom motherboard, and made my first attempts there. But the huge thing was just too big, heavy, and above all too loud.

      I read some Amazon reviews in which people describe how they install OMV on a TerraMaster. Then I ordered a few; one productive at first, the other for safe experimentation; and one as a hardware reserve, cold standby.


      2.)

      The obvious first: an internally inserted USB stick is more safe / elegant.

      As I wrote above, there are only 2 USB 3.0 ports outside. For initial installation I need this ports for a.) keyboard and b.) USB stick or DVD drive on which the OMV setup image is running from. Later I will need one of them for USB hard drive for backup.

      Maybe afterwards I could then plug in the internally installed stick to an external port, BUT then the boot order will be mixed up; and I already had problems booting from an USB 3.0 port at all, too.

      I have to test it - definitely on a fresh "game system", all the way, from the scratch on.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by FriendlyUser ().

    • macom wrote:

      If your Terramaster is running on i386 or amd64 (but not arm) you can use the bootloader (grub) to boot into Clonezilla.This feature is available in OMV from the omv-extras > Kernel tab. There you can install (download and add to grub) Clonezilla. After that you can configure grub from the same menue to boot into Clonezilla the next time the server is restarted. Once started you can ssh into the server which is then running Clonezilla.

      Works very well.

      I am doing some tests meanwhile.

      After installing the CloneZilla and setting GRUB to boot once with it...
      I was able to clone the internal plugged in USB drive to an external HDD.

      But we've made a thought mistake:
      In the assumed case that OMV crashes I wasn't able to trigger GRUB to boot into CloneZilla to restore the USB drive.

      - - - - -

      What else I noticed, and that seems logical to me:
      While booting into CloneZilla, I was not able to use SSH / PuTTY.
      If I think about it... the server could have got a different IP address...
      I have to test this point again.

      - - - - -

      After I was running into some problems connecting the remote/wireless USB stick of the keyboard/mouse combination - the clock frequency of USB 3.0 disturbs the BlueTooth - I opened the case "yet again" and moved the internal USB drive with the OMV on it to an outside USB 3.0 port, and plugged the wireless USB stick into an USB 2.0 port.


      If I don't want to unscrew the housing very often, I have to "sacrifice" a separate keyboard for each device.

      But if that solves the problem and is comfortable - according to me.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by FriendlyUser ().