Rockstor taking a REALLY long time to install

so i found out the hard way that the installation is supposed to be on a usb drive. first i installed it to the main hard drive in my computer that im using as a personal server and that went quick, no more than 15 minutes but i logged in and couldn’t create any pools because the entire hard disk was being used already for installation so i did some research and found out that im supposed to install Rockstor on to a usb drive and boot from there so im in the middle of installing it to a usb drive but so far im on day 2 and it still isn’t finished, its still going, it hasn’t stalled or anything but it is taking a really really long time. day one was just installation and that finished, now im on day two and i did ‘yum update’ and it has 714 updates it needs to do and its been about 2 hours and its only on number 12 so its going to take all night and probably all day tomorrow to update. so my question is, is this normal?! i have great internet connection and new hardware so i don’t know why it would be taking this long to install and update, has anyone else had this problem?

@cmdywrtr27 Welcome to the Rockstor community.

I think the key element here is that it is best if the system drive is dedicated. You can usually create shares on the ‘dedicated’ system drive but they are more restricted in their flexibility and of course would vanish on a re-install. So Rockstor is best if the system drive is an independant / dedicated block device.

As for choice of USB drive if that is the way you are to go. Your choice in this case is clearly wrong as even if it complete the install, and hasn’t worn out by the time it’s finished, your experience will be very flaky as it will be so slow that some of the Web-UI functions will simply time out as they wait for your slow key to save/return the required data.

In our Quick start doc sub section Minimum system requirements we have the following:

  • 8GB drive for Rockstor; if USB key use only fast variants (16GB+ SSD recommended).

So I would suggest that your chosen USB key is far from fast given the insanely long time the install is taking. A good fast USB key can be faster than many HDD. An example here might be the now unavailable Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0, which was essentially an SSD on a USB stick. But again this also depends on if the USB port you are using is also USB 3.0 or greater. Anything less than USB 2.0 is going to be a very bad experience. So in your case I would not bother to wait as this install is going to be unusable as is it’s install time. If it takes a long time to install it’s going to run horribly anyway.

Hopefully others can chip in with suggestions for USB keys they have found to be adequate but you have already seen the difference with regard to your HDD install. If you have the spare SATA port or whatever you would be better using a small, and now very cheap, SSD dedicated to the system drive. Most cheap USB keys are pretty rubbish, especially on write speed, and some don’t even have wear levelling.

So in short don’t use a USB key if you can help it. If you have to use a USB key make sure it’s a fast good quality one. If buying new check specs and if there arn’t any write specs then it’s rubbish. Otherwise check write speeds before the install or just plough forward and bail early if it’s taking ages in favour of a better option. And also take into account the install medium. If you are installing from another slow USB key then you are compounding your slow install issue. Although pretty much all keys are faster to read than write.

A rough indicator of a keys speed could be how long it takes to write the iso image to it.

Below I’ve copied in some recent tests all performed on the same machine using the same USB 3.0 port:

# SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 32 GB

sudo time dd if=Rockstor-3.9.1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=64k
12656+0 records in
12656+0 records out
829423616 bytes (829 MB, 791 MiB) copied, 8.68624 s, 95.5 MB/s
0.00user 1.01system 0:08.68elapsed 11%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 2276maxresident)k
0inputs+1619968outputs (0major+114minor)pagefaults 0swaps

/dev/sdc:
Timing cached reads:   27596 MB in  1.99 seconds = 13875.22 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 790 MB in  3.00 seconds = 262.93 MB/sec



# SanDisk Extreme GO USB 3.1 64GB

sudo time dd if=Rockstor-3.9.1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=64k
12656+0 records in
12656+0 records out
829423616 bytes (829 MB, 791 MiB) copied, 5.24771 s, 158 MB/s
0.01user 0.39system 0:05.24elapsed 7%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 2048maxresident)k
0inputs+1619968outputs (0major+112minor)pagefaults 0swaps

sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sdc

/dev/sdc:
Timing cached reads:   27664 MB in  1.99 seconds = 13912.05 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 610 MB in  3.01 seconds = 202.88 MB/sec



# SanDisk Ultra Fit  (ID 0781:5583)

sudo time dd if=Rockstor-3.9.1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=64k
12656+0 records in
12656+0 records out
829423616 bytes (829 MB, 791 MiB) copied, 12.1263 s, 68.4 MB/s
0.00user 0.40system 0:12.12elapsed 3%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 2012maxresident)k
0inputs+1619968outputs (0major+109minor)pagefaults 0swaps

/dev/sdc:
Timing cached reads:   27760 MB in  1.99 seconds = 13958.43 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 418 MB in  3.00 seconds = 139.28 MB/sec



# IS917 innostor 16GB (USB 3.0) more ‘regular’ USB 3.0 key

sudo time dd if=Rockstor-3.9.1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=64k
12656+0 records in
12656+0 records out
829423616 bytes (829 MB, 791 MiB) copied, 35.1284 s, 23.6 MB/s
0.01user 0.38system 0:35.12elapsed 1%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 2144maxresident)k
0inputs+1619968outputs (0major+115minor)pagefaults 0swaps

/dev/sdc:
Timing cached reads:   26472 MB in  1.99 seconds = 13307.74 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 364 MB in  3.01 seconds = 120.96 MB/sec


# SanDisk Cruzer Fit 16GB (USB 2.0 I think) in USB 3.0 port:
# (ID 0781:5571)

sudo time dd if=Rockstor-3.9.1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=64k
12656+0 records in
12656+0 records out
829423616 bytes (829 MB, 791 MiB) copied, 150.716 s, 5.5 MB/s
0.00user 0.38system 2:30.71elapsed 0%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 2212maxresident)k
0inputs+1619968outputs (0major+113minor)pagefaults 0swaps

sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sdc                               

/dev/sdc:
Timing cached reads:   26490 MB in  1.99 seconds = 13315.59 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:  72 MB in  3.04 seconds =  23.70 MB/sec


# And for comparison:

# Crucial MX500 SSD in external Orico USB3.0 caddy.
# (ID 357d:7788 Sharkoon QuickPort XT)

sudo time dd if=Rockstor-3.9.1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=64k
12656+0 records in
12656+0 records out
829423616 bytes (829 MB, 791 MiB) copied, 3.3814 s, 245 MB/s
0.00user 0.40system 0:03.38elapsed 12%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 2204maxresident)k
0inputs+1619968outputs (0major+113minor)pagefaults 0swaps


sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sdc

/dev/sdc:
Timing cached reads:   26318 MB in  1.99 seconds = 13230.02 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 806 MB in  3.00 seconds = 268.31 MB/sec

So note we have here a range of write speed from an older compact USB 2.0 5.5 MB/s to 158 MB/s with the Extreme GO, with the MX500 in enclosure getting 245 MB/s. And the read speeds have a similar span. If the MX500 was to be put directly on an SATA it would be significantly faster again. The USB bus is generally considered to be inferior for block storage. But if you are only running a single device pool on it and have no actual ‘data’ there then it’s mostly OK.

So as the minimum system requirements say, you are after as fast a device as you can get really. But as long as it’s roughly HDD speed or above you should be OK.

And more importantly when reading and writing randomly such as when hosting a OS, the internal controller speed would play even more of a part. In this respect the now unavailable original Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0’s are pretty impressive. From a little experimenting the ‘replacement’ GO variants are in fact slower (note the hdparm read test). I’ll have more of a play with this in time.

Hope that helps and let us know how you get on.

1 Like

thanks for the reply phil, that is some extremely helpful information, i wasn’t expecting all that from a forum post lol but i stopped the install, it was driving me crazy, i assumed it was due to slow read/write speed i just wasn’t expecting it to be THAT slow. at the moment i just have the one 500gb SSD thats inside the computer, so i thought usb was my only choice but i’ll search around for a cheap laptop drive to put the OS on…
follow up question… i have 2 desktop computers, one is the 500gb SSD 16gb ram intel core i5 and the other is a 1tb HDD 4gb ram intel core2 duo, which would be better used as the server? the other i just want to use as my personal desktop computer

@cmdywrtr27 Your welcome. And yes, a 2 day install would drive anyone crazy.

Your i5 is like a space ship in comparison to the the dinosaur intel core2 duo. So given that in most home use cases a desktop is far more stressed than a server and a great deal more irritating when slow. The choice, I would say, is definitely use the i5 with SSD as the Desktop. This does however leave your server as fairly low spec. And it is likely to only have USB 2.0 also. So definitely use an internal drive for the system disk if you can get one. That way you avoid the slower USB ports/bus. Rockstor should run just fine on the Core2Duo but it’s age, now slow CPU, and minimum memory, means you should limit your expectations with regard to the number of Rock-ons etc it will handle sensibly. But with this in mind it may very well make a nice Rockstor machine. Plus you have the larger storage with the 1 TB HDD which again is slower for desktop use but find for a NAS as the network speed will likely be the limiting factor there.

Hope that helps, and good luck on searching out a cheap/spare OS drive. SSD’s are getting pretty cheap also and given you will need very little space on the system drive they may still be an option. And are almost always faster than HDDs. I like the crucial SSD’s myself, ie BX100 (depricated) / BX200 as budget options.

Hope that helps.