Author Topic: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card  (Read 6575 times)

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  • morbius

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    I have an LG Optimus Fuel.  It is rooted (stock kernel and ROM), TWRP recovery image installed, and the external SD card is write-enabled.  In a nutshell, I want as much as possible by default to be installed to/stored on the external SD card.  I have a Class 4 16gb microSD card (not yet installed) to support this.  I intend to factory reset the phone, then install everything anew rather than moving previously installed apps.

    I've read guides on how to do this until my head is swimming (to include searching this forum and scanning all six pages of the "All things Fuel" thread).  Most solutions involve some 3rd party app like Link2SD or Cache2SD, which seem to me to be a rather piecemeal approach to resolve a larger problem.  Not to start a religious war about what constitutes 'Linux,' but if Android were a 'regular' Linux, it would be a simple matter to create a symbolic link with the proper permissions on the internal pointing to a directory on the external and Bob's your uncle.  But I gather this is not possible, else that would be the standard method instead of <something>2SDs (if it isn't possible, what prevents it?).  A couple of guides I've found do portray themselves as a more comprehensive approach but they require a ROM that supports init.d (with I gather the Fuel's does not).

    Also I know that with this relatively new of a device, development in such areas occurs in fits and starts, so what was written just a few weeks ago ago might no longer be a "best practice."  So I'm writing to ask, based on the current body of  knowledge, which method to use to have as little as possible written to the internal SD and the maximum written to the external?  Even if that means changing kernels or ROMS (measures I would rather not take, all else being equal, if it can be avoided).


    Thank you for your consideration.
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 02:10:57 PM »
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  • ibub

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    I'm not sure that a 2SD solution has been discussed for this phone. At least for me, this phone has plenty of internal storage. But if initd is necessary for the mod that you want, daishi4u has made a modified and bumped kernel (boot.img) that includes it:
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 03:00:56 PM »
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  • clark71822

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    I had a SanDisk class 4 16 gig sd card that I had split up in two partitions (one was 4 gb ext4, the other 12 gb fat32) and used Link2SD to create symbolic links for the apk, dex and libs. It worked fairly well for me until my sd card died. There is an option to automatically link files on newly installed apps as well, though I prefer to do it manually. The paid version of the app can also move data files, which is nice as I had a problem with Google's music app data files getting upwards of several hundred mb even though I set the app to save music downloads to sd.

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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 11:43:42 AM »
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  • morbius

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    I had a SanDisk class 4 16 gig sd card that I had split up in two partitions (one was 4 gb ext4, the other 12 gb fat32)....
    clark71822, I had seen reports in a post in another forum (more than two years old) stating that Android could not mount a second partition on the external SD card larger than 2GB, but it didn't give any explanation.  I've been trying to track this down and see if it ever was true, and especially if it is now with the L34C and KitKat, but with no luck.  So you're saying you were successful in getting a second 12GB Ext-formatted partition to mount?
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 12:23:58 PM »
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  • clark71822

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    The 12 gig partition was the fat32 one I used for general file storage, whereas the 4 gb partition was formatted as ext4 that was used for installing apps to. Both partitions worked fine for me though.   I am inclined to think that maybe that 2gb limit was more of a guideline on limited spec devices than anything in my opinion

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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 03:46:49 PM »
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  • morbius

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    Thanks for the info, clark71822.  I needed to know that because I was having problems getting a second partition to mount, but that was before I installed daishi4u's boot kernel, which has init.d support.  So if I continue to have problems after installing daishi4u's boot kernel, it's good to know that is one variable I can rule out.


    Did you mount the Ext partition manually, or use some app to do that?
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 05:10:15 PM »
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  • blazer64

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    I had a SanDisk class 4 16 gig sd card that I had split up in two partitions (one was 4 gb ext4, the other 12 gb fat32)....
    clark71822, I had seen reports in a post in another forum (more than two years old) stating that Android could not mount a second partition on the external SD card larger than 2GB, but it didn't give any explanation.  I've been trying to track this down and see if it ever was true, and especially if it is now with the L34C and KitKat, but with no luck.  So you're saying you were successful in getting a second 12GB Ext-formatted partition to mount?

    It can be either 2 partition parts example:

    Fat32 and linux swap/ext

    Or 3 partition parts example:

    Fat32, ext2/3/4 and linux swap

    The fat32 can have more bigger space over 1gb or more depending on which sdcard you get.

    On the ext2/3/4 partition may have around 1gb-4gb of space

    On the swap partition needs to be half of what your RAM is or equivalent.

    The fat32 are for regular storage like pics, files, documents, music..things you download from the internet ect.

    The ext2/3/4 partition are for apps and there data, libs, dex ect. So youll need either link2sd or similiar app

    Lastly the linux swap partition is for having more RAM space but itll build up within time depending on what your doing on live tasks.
    That can either be enable by shell scripts within init.d, initramfs or an app called swapper/2 or similar app. But you need a kernel that supports swap though, Possibly as well ext2/3/4 support.
    With all that going on your sdcard will become unstable through time even if its high class sdcard.
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #7 on: February 14, 2015, 01:16:04 PM »
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  • clark71822

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    Thanks for the info, clark71822.  I needed to know that because I was having problems getting a second partition to mount, but that was before I installed daishi4u's boot kernel, which has init.d support.  So if I continue to have problems after installing daishi4u's boot kernel, it's good to know that is one variable I can rule out.


    Did you mount the Ext partition manually, or use some app to do that?
    I actually used Link2SD to create the mount scripts necessary to mount the ext partition.

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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 11:08:00 AM »
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  • morbius

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    I got my second partition mounted but after reading the thoughts of the author of the Link2SD app, I decided there are complexities to Android's directory structure (whole lotta emulatin' goin' on) that make creating simple symlinks and moving the entire app and all associated files risky, so I went with Lin2SD as well.

    I've rebuilt the phone (the original died, which solved my dilemma over not having installed daishi4u's recovery image) up to approximately the same level as the previous, all the same apps as the old phone, but with the most of them linked to the 8gb Ext4 partition on the external SD card.  At this point, with the old phone, there was only about 400mb free space remaining.  Now I have almost 1400mb free.  Enormous difference, so I'm quite happy with that development.
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #9 on: September 06, 2015, 08:41:36 PM »
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  • DarkStar

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    I had a SanDisk class 4 16 gig sd card that I had split up in two partitions (one was 4 gb ext4, the other 12 gb fat32)....
    clark71822, I had seen reports in a post in another forum (more than two years old) stating that Android could not mount a second partition on the external SD card larger than 2GB, but it didn't give any explanation.  I've been trying to track this down and see if it ever was true, and especially if it is now with the L34C and KitKat, but with no luck.  So you're saying you were successful in getting a second 12GB Ext-formatted partition to mount?

    It can be either 2 partition parts example:

    Fat32 and linux swap/ext

    Or 3 partition parts example:

    Fat32, ext2/3/4 and linux swap

    The fat32 can have more bigger space over 1gb or more depending on which sdcard you get.

    On the ext2/3/4 partition may have around 1gb-4gb of space

    On the swap partition needs to be half of what your RAM is or equivalent.

    The fat32 are for regular storage like pics, files, documents, music..things you download from the internet ect.

    The ext2/3/4 partition are for apps and there data, libs, dex ect. So youll need either link2sd or similiar app

    Lastly the linux swap partition is for having more RAM space but itll build up within time depending on what your doing on live tasks.
    That can either be enable by shell scripts within init.d, initramfs or an app called swapper/2 or similar app. But you need a kernel that supports swap though, Possibly as well ext2/3/4 support.
    With all that going on your sdcard will become unstable through time even if its high class sdcard.


    Hello Blazer!

    Boy!  I hope you (or even one of your learned colleagues) will look back at this post.  It goes a long way toward answering my questions about the best practices concerning the formatting of an External SD card!  I do have some follow up questions that I would appreciate getting answered if you will:

    First,  in the three partition model that you describe in you post, I subsume that the partitions are listed in the order that they should be created on the SD card, correct?

    Second, With the second partition, you indicate that it should be created using the EXT format, but you are quite vague as to which of the three possible EXT formats would be best for Morbius' particular situation (which is the same as mine, BTW).  Is that because there is no appreciable difference between the three formats, or what?  Likewise, you specify that the size of this partition should not exceed 4GB.  Will you please explain to me why that is?

    Lastly, you made some remarks about the Linux swap partition that I find confusing.  First example:

    "Lastly the Linux swap partition is for having more RAM space but it'll build up in time depending on what your doing on live tasks"

    Did you mean that this partition will 'fill up over time'?  Why can't the space within the partition be re-used over and over again?  Also, would you please expand on what you meant when you said "...depending on what (you're) doing on live tasks."  Honestly, I have no comprehension of what that statement means at all.  Lastly, is there not some mechanism or app that would permit the selective erasure, or possibly even re-formatting, of this specific partition as it becomes filled with detritus?  Then there is this statement:

    "That can either be enable by shell scripts within init.d, initramfs or an app called swapper/2 or similar app. However, you need a kernel that supports swap. Possibly as well ext2/3/4 support."

    Again, even within context, I have no earthly idea about what you are saying.  That is probably a consequence of my ignorance about the subject (which is great), but would you please try to 'dumb it down' so that even someone as green as I am might understand?  Additionally, you make the statement 'you need a kernel that supports swap'.  Can you tell us if the kernel that comes standard with the L34C Fuel (kernel 3.4.0+) supports swap or not?

    Finally (and I know you've got to be jumping for joy to hear that word!), you state:

    "With all that going on your SD card will become unstable over time even if it's a high class SD card."

    This statement is clear, and it makes perfect sense.  You're telling us that even a class 10 SD card is going to wear out with repeated use.  My final question to you, sir is:  Can you give us any sort of a time frame that we can expect a class 10 SD card to last before we should proactively replace it?

    I appreciate your time and your patience in going over these points with me.  To you, it's probably of no great consequence, but to me, it is everything!

    Best regards,

    Dark Star   8)
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #10 on: September 06, 2015, 09:44:01 PM »
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  • blazer64

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    [Q] First,  in the three partition model that you describe in you post, I subsume that the partitions are listed in the order that they should be created on the SD card, correct?

    [A] yes - the swap partition always needs to be the last one.

    [Q] a- Second, With the second partition, you indicate that it should be created using the EXT format, but you are quite vague as to which of the three possible EXT formats would be best for Morbius' particular situation (which is the same as mine, BTW).  Is that because there is no appreciable difference between the three formats, or what?

    b -Likewise, you specify that the size of this partition should not exceed 4GB.  Will you please explain to me why that is?


    [A]  a- the ext2 is kinda old but its still useful as for the ext3/4 and ext4 are like new, now a days most of the Android OS partitions are ext3/4 or formatted to ext3, since its smoother and fast load up. i recommend using ext3/4.

    b- cause that particular partition are for libs, dex, cache, etc. from apps that needs to be loaded within the OS, especially big apps, imagine if you have 2gb of data or more into your partitioned sdcard and you start download even more and more apps into it. that'll cause it to load slowly since it haves a lot of data to load (linked) from sdcard to your device and vice versa. it'll take some time especially if you have a cheap sdcard, so i recommend a 10 class or above sdcard.


    [Q] Lastly, you made some remarks about the Linux swap partition that I find confusing.  First example:

    "Lastly the Linux swap partition is for having more RAM space but it'll build up in time depending on what your doing on live tasks"


    [A] RAM=virtual memory. so, the swap partition is for that its like the ext3 partition for memory.

    for example lets say i have device that has only 500mb of RAM since the OS take out about 150-300 mb now i would have like 280mb in the internal of device (the real hardware part) plus the apps that we might of download like facebook or any other big eating RAM+MEMORY apps our device will be laggy and slow to load etc. even though the LMK(low memory killer) will kill some of it itll still be laggy within a few minutes or so. thats when swap will take place and help our devices "alittle". when i say a little i mean that through time itll be laggy depending on the usage of the app/apps installed, plus if they're open.


    [Q] Did you mean that this partition will 'fill up over time'?  Why can't the space within the partition be re-used over and over again?

    [A] yes, and the partition can be re-used over and over as you wish
    on the ext2/3/4 partition can be reuse over and over as you uninstall the app/s youll be able to install other app/s, or installed til its full.

    on the swap partition, it will do its part automatically.
    thats why dont take out the sdcard unexpectedly, unmounted first.


    [Q]
    Again, even within context, I have no earthly idea about what you are saying.  That is probably a consequence of my ignorance about the subject (which is great), but would you please try to 'dumb it down' so that even someone as green as I am might understand?  Additionally, you make the statement 'you need a kernel that supports swap'.  Can you tell us if the kernel that comes standard with the L34C Fuel (kernel 3.4.0+) supports swap or not?


    [A] an app called link2sdcard look it up on the play store all you need is that and swap support in the kernel, and partition your sdcard. the ext3 partition is for more memory (particularly apps) the swap partition is for more RAM.

    and to see if the kernel has swap support all you do it download terminal emulator, first type su for root permissions later type swap. if you see zeros then its not supported but if you see numbers other then zeros then its supported.

    the init.d/initramfs scripts are for those that know how, but youll be able to learn though if your interesting  :)


    [Q] This statement is clear, and it makes perfect sense.  You're telling us that even a class 10 SD card is going to wear out with repeated use.  My final question to you, sir is:  Can you give us any sort of a time frame that we can expect a class 10 SD card to last before we should proactively replace it?

    [A]and yes even a class 10 or above can wear out, depending on the way you use it. if you play alot of hd gaming then yeah itll wear out or having alot of the RAM within the swap partition also.

    ill give you some heads up:
    swap will makes your sdcard dead soon depending on the user, as it read/writes a lot which is battery consuming also, so my suggesting is not for a heavy user. lol

    Plus this new devices have a internal sdcard, which in my opinion sucks :D well it doesnt sucks but its just isnt the proper path for it.

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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #11 on: September 12, 2015, 03:35:51 PM »
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  • DarkStar

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    Perfecto!

    Thanks SO much for taking the time to pass on your knowledge.  It is truly appreciated!  You answered all of my questions in such a way that even I could understand it!   ;D
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    Re: Best practice installing/storing as much as possible on external card

    « Reply #12 on: September 12, 2015, 06:23:16 PM »
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  • blazer64

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    Your very much welcome sir :) hope it helps along your android adventures haha :D
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