Embedded Linux PC

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I am planning on building a new project in the near future.

One of the features I am attempting to add is a compact flash drive
connected through IDE which would hold linux system processes normally
run in ram.

In effect I would like to have the system shut itself down when logged
out and have a minimal load time when booting back up. With everything
normally loaded into ram at bootup, stored in the flash drive instead,
the only load time would in effect be the bios boot.

I think Linux would be the best way to go about achieving my objectives,
especially since there are many prominent embedded linux projects. What
I want to do is have everything that would be normally loaded up to the
point when you get to the X, KDE, GNome (Whatever) logon screen, stored
solid on a flash drive interfaced through IDE. After you login, it would
  load stuff from the harddrive, to ram. Is there any similar project
out there allready or anything that could help me? Any help is
appreciated, thank you.

The objective of the system would be a demonstration that network
systems in schools and businesses who sit at the logon screen 75% of the
time, could be shutdown and the minimal network, system and logon
processes stored in rom, drastically reducing power consumption.

Re: Embedded Linux PC
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That's called "software suspend", or "swsusp", I think.
It's a feature of the kernel.  You might be able to just enable it.
The interesting bit would be reusing the same swsusp image;
usually people don't do that, but there's no reason you couldn't.
- Dan

Re: Embedded Linux PC

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There are at least three implementations.
    http://swsusp.sourceforge.net/features.html

--kyler

Re: Embedded Linux PC
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I am running KDE/Kongueror on a 256M Compact Flash Drive at this
moment.  However, KDE alone is approx 180M, which is loaded across the
network.  With 512M, the whole thing can be loaded from Flash.

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My system is on 10 to 12 hours a day.  With the monitor in stand-by,
power consumption is minimized.  My guess is approx 15W to 20W usage.

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Why bother with hard drive?  You can load everything from flash and
store user data over the network.

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See: http://ide-cf.info-for.us

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This can be done with just a single 512M Compact Flash Drive,
currently around $100 each.  It should be in the $70 to $80 range
later this year.  We are still in the process of negotiating for a
volume contract witht he manufacturers and will pass on the savings to
our customers.

Re: Embedded Linux PC
Wow this forum is allot more helpful than the forum I suggested doing
this with windows. :-)

Are there any projects implementing Myth TV in flash?

Tech Support for IDE-CF wrote:
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Re: Embedded Linux PC

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Just to push my ditch-the-flash-and-use-the-network idea a bit more...

There's a MythTV Knoppix distribution.  There's also a Knoppix
capability that allows netboot machines to boot from a machine running
Knoppix.  I have no experience with either.

--kyler

Re: Embedded Linux PC
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If you don't have to save any video files, 512M Compact Flash Drive
should be sufficient.  If you must (and got the money), 4G Compact Flash
Drives are available for only $700 each.  You can stuff your PC with 4
of them with 16G for a mere $2800.

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There are times when over-the-network loading is meaningful.  For example,
if you have a constantly on NFS/Samba server and two or more stations.

But there are times when single flash drive is more appropriate.  Some users
don't even know the meanings of NFS/Samba, let alone setting up one.

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Re: Embedded Linux PC

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I suspect that you could get essentially equivalent power savings
without using any local storage by booting off the 'net and just
putting the machines into a low-power ("instant on") state especially
if you turn the machines off at night.  At the very least, you could
pay for the tiny increase in electricity used with the money (and
effort) you save by not having extra flash memory.  Resume times
would be dramatically lower too.

If you still really want to be able to suspend the systems, take a
look at the NFS support being developed for Software Suspend 2.

--kyler

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