The question was asked over 2 years ago and clearly it was not smart to try it mainly due to the USB bottleneck of the card reader.

Can we expect the situation to be any different today?

  • SD cards are faster (or it's cheaper to get faster ones),
  • card readers may transition to USB 3.0 (not too soon?),
  • it is possible to just install the system to a SD/MMC (/home on HDD) and use F2fs (with minor tweaking, /boot on a different partition fs, Saucy coming with gparted 0.16). [well I hope the result is better than a live-usb...]

Bonus question: could MMC be better than SD (my Vaio has a dedicated MMC reader that would thus be put to good use)))?


For what it's worth, I was able to install ubuntu 13.10 on f2fs. I used vmware for that, which makes it easier to mess with disks, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work with physical drives. Here's what I had to do:

  1. Install base operating system to disk1. I made two partitions: one for /boot (128Mb), and another for root file system (the rest). Both formatted as ext4, since installer did not give me option
  2. Once operating system has installed:
    • install package f2fs-tools using apt-get
    • modify /etc/initramfs-tools/modules, adding line f2fs to the end
    • run update-initramfs to regenerate initramfs with f2fs support in it
    • modify /etc/fstab, and replaced UUID=xxx with references to actual devices (/dev/sda1 for /boot and /dev/sda2 for root)
  3. make a duplicate of disk1 to disk2 for backup
  4. I used a separate Ubuntu installation for this step, but you could get away with the one you are installing, or maybe even live cd:

    • format /dev/sda2 on disk1 as f2fs using mkfs.f2fs /dev/sda2
    • copy all files from ext4:

      mkdir /mnt/a

      mkdir /mnt/b

      mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/a -t f2fs

      mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/b

      cd /mnt/b

      cp -a * /mnt/a/

  5. Disconnect disk2 and restart machine. On grub prompt, press e to edit boot commands. There will be line looking like linux /vmlinuz-3.xx.xx-generic root=UUID=uuuuuuu xx. Replace UUID=uuuuuuuu part with /dev/sda2 and press F10 to boot

  6. If you successfully booted, run update-grub2 to fix boot config. You should be able to boot properly at this time

This is it. I'm sure there's a lot more elegant way of doing it, but that can at least get you going.

| improve this answer | |
  • What about the mount options for F2FS? Have you looked them up? – felipeduque Jul 27 '17 at 11:18
  • How would I adapt this for a fat32 /boot/efi set up on a GPT drive? – warsong Aug 4 '17 at 16:17

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