[sf-lug] partitioning/formatting USB memory stick

Ken Shaffer kenshaffer80 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 18 12:25:27 PDT 2013

If you intend to access the stick's data from a Windows machine, FAT32
would be preferable to ext, but then also depends on what data you store --
4G max per file on FAT32, so  maybe enough for an HDMI movie, maybe not
enough for a big data log.  I tend to use ext2 for my sticks, but I've
heard ext4 without the journaling is better -- no direct experience with
that.  It's the writes that will be the problem, they write an "erase
block" chunk of data at a time, and while finding the erase block size on
cards is trivial, I never figured out how to get it from a USB stick, other
than searching for the mfg specs.  The smaller cards' erase block size is
128k, but the big cards have larger ebs.  Never had a 64 G, so no ideas.
Awhile back, Alison posted something that made me think a 4m alignment
might be better than the minimal 128k, even on my smaller 4G cards.

On Sun, Aug 18, 2013 at 7:43 AM, Alex Kleider <a_kleider at yahoo.com> wrote:

> On a Raspberry Pi I'd like to use a USB memory stick (Kingston 64GB
> DataTraveler Micro) for extra storage space and am seeking advice as to how
> best to do this.
> The first question is how to format it.  It's currently formatted for FAT:
> """
> Command (m for help):
> Disk /dev/sda: 61.9 GB, 61872793600 bytes
> 32 heads, 63 sectors/track, 59943 cylinders, total 120845300 sectors
> Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
> Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Disk identifier: 0x7eb36409
>    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
> /dev/sda1   *          63   120845087    60422512+   b  W95 FAT32
> Command (m for help):
> """
> I'd like to use a Linux type file system-
> Which would be best?  ext4??
> Another question has to do with partition boundaries.  I've read that it
> is best to have them line up with the way the read/writes are done and
> although this is not predictable, using a number such as 2048 is usually a
> good bet.
> The question more specifically then is whether it is best to "Start" at 63
> or to start at 2048 or some other number?
> Alternatively would it be better to leave a shortened FAT partition at the
> beginning and make the rest of it EXTn?
> Any advice would be appreciated.
> Alex Kleider
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