QUOTE(spanky @ Jul 6 2006, 11:40 AM)
I was asking the same questions a couple of days ago, and because of problems with my SD card (1GB sandisk), the decision was made for me. If I ever tried to use AltBoot and boot off the SD, it would give errors with the SD card (don't have the exact text here now, but i think it was saying problems trying to mount it), and then just drop to the console. However there don't appear to be problems with the SD card, as I'm currently running using CardFS. I'm not sure whether the problems that were reported were with the card itself, or with the loop file, but I wasn't sure how to find out, and now that I'm running everything fine with cardFS, I'm not sure I want to try (at least not for a bit). I had a couple of altboot images on the card, and if I tried to use the SD card, it wouldn't even present me with the list of loop files to choose from, it would just give card errors. When I copied the files to a CF card it would present the list to choose from, but when I chose one I got the same errors.
Impossible to debug w/o exact error messages.
While I now have a better understanding of the difference between altboot and cardFS, I still have a couple of questions.
Are you saying that when altboot is used, the entire OS and packages etc are all run directly from the SD card, but when cardFS is used the OS is running from flash, but the packages are installed and run from the card?
If this is the case, what is the overall difference? From the point of view of performance, stability and ease of upgrade, which is more appropriate to use? I realise different people may have different opinions on this, but that's what I'm curious about - opinions. On the various websites, I could find quite a lot of info about how altboot works, and how cardFS works, but no reasons as to why you'd use one over the other.
With cardfs your rootfs is still in flash. All programs installed on SD (by cardfs or manually via package manager) must be linked back to the rootfs with ipkg-link.
In short, ipkg-link is a bloody support nightmare, it's causing lots of wierd problems and is faaaaaar from beeing userfriendly.
On the other hand when you boot off SD or CF (and thereby having SD or CF as your rootfs) ipkg-link is no longer required. All new packages are installed into / directly, no messy linking needed.
The only problem with this method is that many SD cards produce error messages when formatted w/ ext2. Many won't work at all. That is a hardware problem with these cards and can not be worked around.
Another (slightly) related question. I'm, thinking of repartitioning my SD card to give me some FAT space. Is this as simple as backing up everything on the card, repartitioning and formatting, and then copying everything back, or is there more to it?
Nope, symlinks do not work with FAT so cardfs doesn't work either.
Sorry if these are some noob questions, but I just got the Zaurus off e-bay 3 days ago. am loving it now - especially since I got Kopi/Kapi running with pi-sync to my desktop, and my wireless seems to work flawlessly (after installing the prism packages)... now just to get IrDA and bluetooth working with my phone.