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Re: Minimum SD Card Size

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:42 am
by seana11
I'm thinking of making a beowulf cluster out of PIs at some point in the future.  In order to minimize costs for the slave PIs, I want to know what the minimum SD card size is. I'm thinking of using fedora.

[quote="The RPi Wiki"]As of October 15 2011: the Raspberry Pi alpha board boots Fedora F13 (armv5tel) to a character-mode login prompt in about 23 seconds, taking 14-17MB of memory.

Does this mean flash memory, or ram memory?

I'm also having problems with the wiki's lack of instructions for linux users on formatting flash drives.

Re: Minimum SD Card Size

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:35 pm
by plugwash

I"m thinking of making a beowulf cluster out of PIs at some point in the future.


If you are doing this to learn about clustering go ahead, if you are doing it to get computing work done don't bother.


In order to minimize costs for the slave PIs, I want to know what the minimum SD card size is. I"m thinking of using fedora.


Depends entirely on what you want to store locally on the "slave pi"s.

If you want to have a distro installed locally you will need enough space to install it. Fedrora is a fairly bloated distro and from their system requirements it looks like unless you are prepared to do manual trimming you are looking at a minimum of a 1 gigabyte card to install it. Debian is rather less bloated and you could probablly get away with a 512 megabyte card if you just install the base system.


Does this mean flash memory, or ram memory?


Those numbers almost certainly reffer to ram

At the other extreme if the only thing on the SD card is the kernel image and everything else is pulled over the network you could probablly get away with a 32 megabyte or maybe even smaller card.


I"m also having problems with the wiki"s lack of instructions for linux users on formatting flash drives.


Can you clarify what exactly you mean by formatting?

Re: Minimum SD Card Size

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:40 pm
by jamesh
No flash on the Raspi.

Smallest images we make here are 2GB. You could probably make smaller, but can you even get SD cards < 2GB nowadays???!!

We don't format the cards. We dd (or win32diskimage.exe) the image straight on to the card. This sets up the required partitions.

Re: Minimum SD Card Size

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:03 am
by Docteh
Speaking from experience, always good idea to have enough of the operating system stored locally that you can at least ssh into it and ask it to reboot.

Re: Minimum SD Card Size

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:17 am
by rpt
JamesH said:


can you even get SD cards < 2GB nowadays???!!


You can get 1GB cards. For the same price as 2GB cards!

Re: Minimum SD Card Size

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:53 am
by grumpyoldgit
Looking through Amazon and Play.com at Sandisk SDHC cards, you would be silly to get anything lower than a 8GB Class 4, which retails at about £5, inc p&p. The 4GB cards are the same price and while you can get a lower capacity, lower class, or a generic brand, the difference in cost is a few pence. The prices on Amazon actually change several times a day but the one on Play.com has stayed at £5 for several days now.