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DavidS
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SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:42 pm

I decided to look at some of the introductery information on the RPi (normally not of much interest to me since it does not help with Bare Metal Programming, or HW moding). I could not help but notice that it consistantly says that an SD-Card greater than 2GB is required. THAT IS NOT TRUE:
  • . Having enough of an usnderstanding for how they work, there is no reason that they could not be used.
    . I have booted and ran my RPi from cards as small as 64MB.
I do not understand this claim in so much of the starter documentation. Are we attemptingt o scare off those that do not have a 2GB+ SD Card and are unabe to get one for what ever reason?? Or is this just an oversight in the documtation?
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mahjongg
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:50 pm

of course 2GB cards "work", (as long as they are SD-cards, not the older MMC cards) smaller cards only are not large enough to contain a typical Linux distribution.

When people say "you need at least at least a 2GB card", its short for "you need at least a 2GB card for a linux distribution".

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DavidS
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:24 am

I seem to have posted this in the wrong sub forum. Meant to put this thread in General Descutin. Sory about that.
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mahjongg
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:38 am

this is the better place for it, as you are asking about something thats not too big for a 2GB SD-card, and a homebrew (bare metal) OS would be small enough. for most users 2GB would be too small as they tend to use Raspbian. Perhaps RiscOS would also fit on smaller SD-cards.

pksato
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:09 am

Hi,
Smallest SD card what I have is 16MB.
I put berryboot in it.
Berryboot load, but, I not tried to install any OS.
Left only 730k on card.
Berryboot kernel use 10.5MB.
Rasbian kernel have 2.6MB.
Possible to build some minimalistic linux (uclib, busybox, etc) that can fit on less that 16MB.

Is possible to boot from SPI eeprom? (eeprom with fat fs or raw fw data)

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DavidS
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:26 am

@mahjongg:
There do seem to be a lot of RISC OS users (some of which have asked about smaller SD cards), a few Plan 9 users, and a reasonable number of Puppy Linux users. All of these would be perfectly happy with a 256MB SD card, and the RISC OS and Plan 9 users would have a usable system in 32MB (though we may want more).

My intent whas to make it a little more public that smaller SD-Cards are indeed quite usable, and there by promote a greater user base.

If you can buy a RPi for $35+S&H and add a 256MB SD-CARD for $1, then you would probably feel much better about letting your kids play with and mess up (while learning from) the RPi. Though if a 2GB $12 is considered the absolut minimum the same people (who have not yet used a RPi) mwy think that they really need to get a 8GB ($20+) SD Card.

This is just my view. Though I do believe it would help.
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jojopi
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:15 am

DavidS wrote:There do seem to be a lot of RISC OS users (some of which have asked about smaller SD cards), a few Plan 9 users, and a reasonable number of Puppy Linux users. All of these would be perfectly happy with a 256MB SD card, and the RISC OS and Plan 9 users would have a usable system in 32MB (though we may want more).
The standard pre-built images of RISC OS and Plan 9 are designed for 2GB cards, and the Puppy image is actually built for a 4GB card. Considerably fewer than all of the users of these systems will have the skills, time, and supporting platforms available to make smaller images.

Also, cards smaller than 2GB are generally more expensive. I do not think they are still made.

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Jim Manley
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:16 pm

jojopi wrote:The standard pre-built images of RISC OS and Plan 9 are designed for 2GB cards, and the Puppy image is actually built for a 4GB card. Considerably fewer than all of the users of these systems will have the skills, time, and supporting platforms available to make smaller images. Also, cards smaller than 2GB are generally more expensive. I do not think they are still made.
This is an unfortunate response from the kind of people who are not in the original intended (and mostly still waiting) educational user community. The end users don't have to do anything since anyone here with even a passing familiarity with any of the OS distros should know what large chunks of the directory structure can be emptied and a much smaller image created without affecting an educational user's ability to make outstanding use of the Pi. If additional packages are needed, that's what the package manager utilities are meant to do, and utilities like raspi-config already provide an option for expanding an image to occupy as much of an SD card as is desired. I've asked that this be considered for future distro releases, but I haven't seen any responses, positive or otherwise.

No one needs to buy SD cards less than 2 GB in size - they can be had for zero, zip, zilch, nada just for the asking from pretty much anyone who has ever owned a digital camera that uses them, as they're sitting in drawers, camera cases, computer bags, purses, wallets, and pretty much every other containment device imaginable. There are probably tens, maybe even hundreds of millions of such cards Out There, depending on the size needed. Asking for them on mailing lists associated with sites like Freecycle.org will probably net you more free SD cards than you could fit in your desk drawer, and I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority have rarely been written to more than a few full card's worth. Not everything has to be bought - that's just sooo pre-post-consumer era thinking ;)
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johnnyvibrant
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:26 pm

indeed..i actually would like to know where i could purchase a 32mb sdcard as i haven't seen one available for years
Jim Manley wrote:
jojopi wrote: No one needs to buy SD cards less than 2 GB in size - they can be had for zero, zip, zilch, nada just for the asking from pretty much anyone who has ever owned a digital camera that uses them, as they're sitting in drawers, camera cases, computer bags, purses, wallets, and pretty much every other containment device imaginable. There are probably tens, maybe even hundreds of millions of such cards Out There, depending on the size needed. Asking for them on mailing lists associated with sites like Freecycle.org will probably net you more free SD cards than you could fit in your desk drawer, and I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority have rarely been written to more than a few full card's worth. Not everything has to be bought - that's just sooo pre-post-consumer era thinking ;)

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DavidS
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:21 am

johnnyvibrant wrote:indeed..i actually would like to know where i could purchase a 32mb sdcard as i haven't seen one available for years
Well New Egg carries them down to 128MB for $3.99USD;
And DigiKey has them down to 16MB for $0.32USD (though you may wish to order a few to make S+H worth it at that low of a price).
And that whas just a quick search, there are probably many more vendors of new SD-Cards.
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jojopi
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Re: SD-Cards Smaller than 2GB do work.

Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:30 am

Jim Manley wrote:This is an unfortunate response from the kind of people who are not in the original intended (and mostly still waiting) educational user community.
Just to be clear: are you criticising me, for explaining the sizes; the creators of the images, for making them in your view too large; or the Foundation, for recommending the large images?

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