Rober33 wrote:Thanks for your reply, I found the links by having a good read through the Wiki so I have a bit of a better understanding now.
Can you tell me, on the link that I posted above the instructions are for ubit v0.6 I believe. Is it 'safe' to follow this tutorial to get Arch Linux ARM working on my GoFlex Home?
The instructions are mostly OK but...
The GoFlex Home has one SATA disk and one USB socket. The instructions mention installing to USB storage. This works OK but might not be what you want. Losing your USB socket just to run the OS is a bit of a waste, depending on what else you might want to plug into the USB socket. Using a USB hub is a disaster generally for reliable booting.
The GoFlex SATA drive is going to be 1TB or larger. The OS will only ever need to be a small proportion of this size and needs to be 'ext3' format. If you format the drive as one big partition using ext3, you will not be able to read the drive on Windows or Macs plugged in using any of the other GoFlex Desk adaptors (USB 2.0, Firewire, USB 3.0 or eSATA). As the bulk of the drive is going to be used for data, it might make sense to make a separate data partition and have it readable (and writeable) by all relevant systems. This can mean that you end up formatting the bulk of the disk as FAT32 (universally read and writeable), but the most basic and feature-poor file system imaginable. The Linux driver for FAT32 is also slower than native formats (files cannot be larger than 4GB, no journalling, etc.)
The default formatting of the GoFlex Home disk is NTFS which is not writable on Macs and performs very slowly under Linux. All things considered, the GoFlex Home is my least favourite device. The OE HipServ system is very poor compared to Pogoplug as well.
The point of this is that installing to USB is a "partitioning" in itself and it leaves all the decisions regarding the main disk to you. However, running swap space on USB flash drives is a terrible thing to do and you do lose the use of the USB socket. These two points may be enough to make you want to sort out the partitioning and install on the main disk. The problem here is that the main disk is not hot swappable, so the instructions for plugging in the USB stick don't translate to plugging in the hard disk - the partitioning needs to be done with an 'unmounted' disk, so you need to know enough to go in and 'umount' the drive at the appropriate place.
Summing up, there are a number of install options:
Option 1: follow the USB install instructions. Should work for install. Isn't optimal. May be unreliable or limiting in the long run.
Option 2: one big ext3 partition on the main disk. 'umount' the disk in order to partition and format it. Won't be able to plug the disk into any Windows/Mac machine afterwards. Also partition in some swap space while you are at it.
Option 3: some sort of partitioning scheme, with the OS on ext3 and the bulk of the disk as FAT32. This will be slower for all disk operations on the data partition, but you will still be able to access your data by plugging the disk in to other machines. You cannot store large files on this setup. Also partition in some swap space while you are at it.
Option 4: some sort of partitioning scheme, with the OS on ext3 and the bulk of the disk as NTFS. NTFS will be slow but will mount on Windows machines (not writeable on Mac). You will need to install ntfs-3g in Arch Linux ARM. Also partition in some swap space while you are at it.
Option 5: some sort of partitioning scheme, with the OS on ext3 and the bulk of the disk as ext3 or some other Linux native filesystem also. ext3 will be a good, fast, reliable option. ext4 is not necessarily better, but you need to google to find answers about the best choice. The data partition won't mount if the disk is plugged directly into Windows or Mac. Also partition in some swap space while you are at it.
For me I went with option 6 (!) which was ext3 for data with the variation that I installed the OS to NAND memory (a true PITA that I can't begin to recommend for a beginner).
... and that is why the instructions are marked as being provisional, because I haven't worked out how to explain all of that in a format that won't scare a first-timer!