USB management

Derek Broughton news at
Fri Oct 21 18:33:25 UTC 2005

Christoph Bier wrote:

> Derek Broughton schrieb am 21.10.2005 17:25:
>> Christoph Bier wrote:
>>>But `atime' shouldn't be set for flash drives. As `async' `noatime'
>>>should be set.
>> That's a matter of preference.
> Flash drives have a limited write lifetime. The amount differs from
> 10 000 to 100 000. Every time you write access time to a sector it
> shortens the lifetime of this sector and thus of the flash drive.
> With an mp3 player for more than 200 Euro and a 1GB xd card for my
> digicam my preference focuses on lifetime :-).
> Do you really need access times on a flash drive especially under
> those circumstances?

As I understand it, the kernel doesn't usually write to flash drives "very
often" (the quotes are because I really don't know :-)), which is why you
can't just pull a USB stick out of the port and expect it to be consistent.  

You're right that I don't need atime - in fact, I've _never_ needed atime on
my own system - but it's still a matter of preference, and therefore not a
bug (though it might qualify as wishlist).  I've fairly frequently seen
posts on this and other lists asking how they can make flash drive writes
synchronous, primarily so that they don't have to worry about the effects
of removing a partially updated stick.

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