eMMC vs NAND vs no builtin flash memory

Started by DannyS, March 10, 2019, 04:03:14 pm

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March 10, 2019, 04:03:14 pm Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 10:03:08 pm by DannyS

I would like to ask if there are any significant differences between Lime2 board with eMMC, NAND or without neither eMMC nor NAND (beside the price difference).

Here is what I have found so far:

  • no builtin flash memory

    • naturally you have to rely just on and external storage

    • installation to flash memory is supported "just" by ARMbian and Olimex official builds anyway

    • Possibly ??something like the fewer parts your hardware has the fewer problems can occur??

    • most compatible operating system always explicitly state that their are compatible with no builtin flash version of Lime 2 but mention usually just one form the eMMC, NAND. So to stay on the safe side when it comes to software compatibility, no built in flash seems like the best option.

  • eMMC

    • Lime2 user's manual presents eMMC as the best option
      • "Currently, there is higher demand for boards with eMMC since seem to require less power, have longer life, corrupt harder. Additionally, the eMMC memories that we use have an industrial temperature range version."

    • FreedomBox explicitly mentions compatibility only with no builtin flash and NAND Lime2, not with eMMC. Although, even the "extra 4GB NAND storage that is not used by FreedomBox".

    • NAND

      • ARMbian supports Lime 2 with no builtin flash and with eMMC, however Olimex Lime 2 NAND is not mentioned.

      My plan is to use Lime2 as a personal server. At first try Younohost  and FreedomBox, install [Matrix] server Synapse and NextCloud (I heard that NextCloud is really slow on Single Board Computers but I still want to try) and other. Later maybe move to ARMbian operating system if I would found out that I can get from it something more than from FreedomBox or YounoHost.[/list][/list][/list][/list]


      Hi Danny,

      Thanks for the interesting topic.

      As you figure out not all packages can use the new faster and better eMMC flash memories.
      Freedombox for instance is very conservative and uses old kernels and didn't yet implemented support for the newer LAN chips we use.

      This leads me to the idea to make special Home Server Kit on our web. It will contain A20-OLinuXino-LIME2, LiPo battery as UPS to allow work up to 10 hours with no mains power supply, Ethernet cable, Power supply adapter, Metal box, all assembled and tested. 32GB Class10 fast flash card for file storage.

      To support all listed packages we will do it with A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-REV.G2 which is a bit old but well supported by all listed by you packages.
      I assigned job to one of our developers to test these:
      1. Freedombox latest image
      2. nextCloud latest image
      3. Yuno host
      4. Matrix
      5. Intercube
      6. Armbian/debian/ubuntu with instructions how to setup NAS, Streaming- Kodi/Plex, Home Assistant, Print server, Minecraft game server, torrent server with Resilio Sync , CloudFlare, Nginx.

      If you have idea what else to test let us know, I think we can manage to check all these (exept perhaps Kodi/Plex) by next week and then will blog the results. Our friend Stefan which is ex-XBMC developer will help to setup OpenElec/Kodi on LIME2, but I can't push him so this will be done when done :) last time he try there was no good video acceleration support, but time pass and now in Linux Kernel 5.0 things are different.

      We will place all tested images on our FTP for download so anyone can simple download burn and setup all these servers above.

      As you know LIME2 has native SATA so there is possibility to attach 500GB HDDs we sell on our web, again we have to test if all packages will use it.



      March 18, 2019, 11:49:35 pm #2 Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 01:56:26 am by DannyS
      Hi Tsvetan,

      thank you for an amazing response. It is much more than I have ever expected.

      Home Server Kit is great idea.

      I would include and internet router with a low electricity consumption as an additional optional item for the kit.
      I have stumbled upon this project by lowtechmagazine.com of Lime2 web server, powered only by solar energy (the server is offline when the battery is drained out, so here is hackaday article about it as a back up). However, their router is powered by the grid electricity as it requires 10 watts. So if you could offer something less power hungry, some people would be definitely interested.
      I have browsed through hackaday router category and found these small low-powerd microrouters GL-USB150, TL-MR3020, GL-MT300N-V2, however, as far as I know, none of them can be classified as Open Source Hardware.
      Than I have remembered that there is this modular OpenWrt based router from the Czech Republic called Turris MOX that seems to even be Open Source Hardware as it has its schematics and PCB 3D model published (see under "Documents") and it should be licensed under CERN OHL (see "What kind of license do you use with the open hardware?").
      It's MOX A (CPU module) should have "power consumption is between 2 and 3 watts" so it seems like perfect router for Lime2.
      So you might just start to produce that router on your own, put it into one box with Lime2 to and have a really unique product (or alternatively try to team up and have a nice Bulgarian-Czech partnership, depending on what suits you more). ;)

      I'm also planning to create my own box for the Lime2 as a personal project. I want to learn how to work with 3D printer and best way is learning by doing. :) I will probably start with modifying some existing copylefted boxes designs for other single board computers. If I will be successful I will post it on somewhere as well, if that's OK.

      As for the testing of the software, I cannot even express how grateful I am. This will save me loads of time and trouble.
      Maybe I would just ask what Intercube is as I couldn't find that project just be simple web search.

      I know that I'm answering too late for suggesting additional software to test, although probably it would be nice to know if Mastodon instance could run fine on Lime2.
      I would also love to suggest PeerTube and I might be wrong but Lime2 seems to match their minimal requirements. However, in their FAQ under "How do I install PeerTube?" they say that they "recommend not to install PeerTube on low-end hardware or behind a weak connection (for example, on a RaspberryPi with an ADSL connection): this could slow down all federations", so we should probably respect that.

      Sorry for a late reply. Thanks a lot once again.