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 From:  Lee Sharp <leesharp at hal dash pc dot org>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch, m0n0wall dash dev at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: Does system run in memory, or on disk...
 Date:  Thu, 21 Aug 2008 08:20:26 -0500
Steve Bertrand wrote:
> I'm hoping one of the *core devs* can provide me a quick answer here.

Well, I have done some work that was included, and I am online, so I 
guess I will do. :)

> Although I haven't used m0n0 in some time, I still follow the lists 
> (good work on IPv6 BTW).
> I'm relaying a message from a very prominent, experienced and respected 
> person in regards to not only OSI in general, but with core FreeBSD 
> network coding and other integration management on even the latest of 
> branches.
> The request is simply thus:
> "Does anyone know whether the above mentionned bsd systems boot to a ram 
> disk or keep their filesystem on teh flash/disk? "

Yes, and no...  If you look at the m0n0wall image, it is a compressed 
disk image.  Open it up, and inside is a few files, and another 
compressed disk image.  Open that one, and you have the filesystem. 
When you "image" a system, you are uncompressing the main image and 
writing it to a device. (flash, hard drive)  If you look at that drive, 
you will have a fre files, and a compressed disk image.  That second 
image is loaded to a ram disk, and m0n0wall runs from that.  The config 
file is stored on disk.  However, that disk is only accessed during 
system load, and config saves.  While the disk device "could" be 
removed, any config file operations would error out.  If you search the 
lists, there are more than a few stories of running systems with dead 
disks, and how to save the config file to a new drive.

> ...the request was regarding 'monowall' and 'pfsense'...

pfsense is different in it's filesystem, so you will want to post there.

> Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Even if m0n0 doesn't run from 
> memory at this time, has anyone successfully completed the objective of 
> having the ability to go against this, and removing the boot medium and 
> running solely from memory? I do this now with all of my FreeBSD 
> routers. If this can't be done at this time, what is the limitation?

As stated above...  But why would you want to do this?

> Aside from this, here is some of my own, personal feedback. I don't post 
> here often, but I may as well speak when I do:
> I like m0n0, and from the standpoint of an ISP op, it has promise as a 
> good ADSL CPE (especially with IPv6). Someone needs to 
> standardize/invest on a cheap piece of plastic to put it in for 
> production commercial sales.

Does that mean you have a FreeBSD supported ADSL interface we can use? 
There are lots of small box form factors supported allready.

> Also, it needs a base OS that has the ability to be wiped clean from NAT 
> and the like so that the 'system' can be loaded into a more 'provider 
> class' type box so that it has the ability to perform BGP, ISIS etc...

There was a BGP patch a while ago, and there was the m0n0wall router 
project as well.   Both "died on the vine" from lack of interest. 
However, you can disable NAT and use it as a full router now, just 
without BGP, RIP or any other "automatic" routing.