How good is it.. Really....
#31
Running OpenELEC with /storage on USB is very fast, probably more of a performance gain than overclocking. Of course this depends on the quality of your SD card, unless you have the Sandisk ultra/extreme cards you will get a very nice boost from this. They seem to be the only ones that perform near the same speed.

Easy steps to setup OpenELEC via USB if you're on Windows:

1. Download the latest OpenELEC image, if you're moving your install from an existing SD skip to step 3
2. Install to your SD card.
3. Non-Linux users, download a live Gparted image (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/liveusb.php) install it on a thumb drive and boot into it from your computer
4. Open gparted
5. On your USB hard drive, delete all partitions so its empty (this will delete all files!)
6. Select the /storage ext4 partition from your SD card, click copy
7. Select the empty space on your USB hard drive, click paste
8. Optional, resize the /storage partition on the USB hard drive, you probably can't do this step later so I went with 32gb just in case
9. Create a new partition filling the remaining space on the USB hard drive for shared storage, I chose NTFS since all my desktops are Windows
10. Delete the /storage ext4 partition on the SD card, leave the unpartitioned space empty
11. Open the cmdline.txt on the fat partition of the SD card, change the line to disk=/dev/sda1
12. Plug in SD and USB hard drive before powering on the Pi
13. Allow a moment of silence while you sit in astonishment at how fast XBMC is now

I chose to keep the OS on the SD, it's loaded into RAM so you will not see any performance gain in XBMC from running it off USB. This allows you to continue using the normal update process as well.

With the tweaks I included on page 1 and using a USB hard drive for storage, I can use the Quartz Reloaded theme (https://github.com/pecinko/quartz.reloaded), Showcase Lite view type, and when I mash arrow keys in TV or Movies the UI is very smooth.

Hope this helps!
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#32
One thing people forget is that they can use their Raspberry Pi to format their USB memory stick... boot into OpenELEC or Raspbian, and from the command line run "sudo umount /dev/sda1" (in case the USB memory stick has been auto-mounted) and then "sudo mkfs.ext4 -L Storage /dev/sda1" which should reformat the regular FAT32 USB memory stick to ext4, no partition deletion/creation/resizing necessary (unless the memory stick has been resized/repartitioned previously).
Texture Cache Maintenance Utility: Preload your texture cache for optimal UI performance. Remotely manage media libraries. Purge unused artwork to free up space. Find missing media. Configurable QA check to highlight metadata issues. Aid in diagnosis of library and cache related problems.
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#33
@MilhouseVH - remembering for the newbies, this will lose all data on the USB stick... (You know that, I know that, but someone will try it and blame you for their precious pr0n disappearing.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
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#34
Well, after a few days of learning, playing and a few headaches, it's all working very well. Still a few bits to do (like remote) but otherwise, very sucessful. A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all contributors to this thread, I couldn't have done it without you !
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#35
If OpenElec loads into and runs from RAM, does this allow us to update the Kernel files on the SD and the OS files on the USB whilst it's running, using WinSCP to copy over the new files?

I'm just trying to avoid having to remove either the SD card or USB stick and plug them into the PC (updating the USB would also require booting the PC into Linux as it's ext4) as a) it's a pain to get them out and b) doing so risks damaging the SD slot.
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#36
Just drop the four KERNEL, SYSTEM and associated .MD5 files in the Update folder, and OpenELEC will update itself when you next reboot.

You can copy the files to the Update folder by mounting the Pi on a Windows PC, or if you're using WinSCP the folder you need to copy to is called /storage/.update
Texture Cache Maintenance Utility: Preload your texture cache for optimal UI performance. Remotely manage media libraries. Purge unused artwork to free up space. Find missing media. Configurable QA check to highlight metadata issues. Aid in diagnosis of library and cache related problems.
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#37
Great, thanks.
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#38
(2013-01-06, 23:38)spjonez Wrote: Running OpenELEC with /storage on USB is very fast, probably more of a performance gain than overclocking. Of course this depends on the quality of your SD card, unless you have the Sandisk ultra/extreme cards you will get a very nice boost from this. They seem to be the only ones that perform near the same speed.

Easy steps to setup OpenELEC via USB if you're on Windows:

1. Download the latest OpenELEC image, if you're moving your install from an existing SD skip to step 3
2. Install to your SD card.
3. Non-Linux users, download a live Gparted image (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/liveusb.php) install it on a thumb drive and boot into it from your computer
4. Open gparted
5. On your USB hard drive, delete all partitions so its empty (this will delete all files!)
6. Select the /storage ext4 partition from your SD card, click copy
7. Select the empty space on your USB hard drive, click paste
8. Optional, resize the /storage partition on the USB hard drive, you probably can't do this step later so I went with 32gb just in case
9. Create a new partition filling the remaining space on the USB hard drive for shared storage, I chose NTFS since all my desktops are Windows
10. Delete the /storage ext4 partition on the SD card, leave the unpartitioned space empty
11. Open the cmdline.txt on the fat partition of the SD card, change the line to disk=/dev/sda1
12. Plug in SD and USB hard drive before powering on the Pi
13. Allow a moment of silence while you sit in astonishment at how fast XBMC is now

I chose to keep the OS on the SD, it's loaded into RAM so you will not see any performance gain in XBMC from running it off USB. This allows you to continue using the normal update process as well.

With the tweaks I included on page 1 and using a USB hard drive for storage, I can use the Quartz Reloaded theme (https://github.com/pecinko/quartz.reloaded), Showcase Lite view type, and when I mash arrow keys in TV or Movies the UI is very smooth.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for do easy something difficult for me and non linux users.
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#39
(2013-01-01, 23:04)spjonez Wrote:
Code:
# Make display smaller to stop text spilling off the screen
# see also http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=15700
overscan_scale=1
disable_overscan=1

# Adapt overscan values to your needs
overscan_left=20
overscan_right=20
overscan_top=20
overscan_bottom=20

This will make the screen fit your TV, the other option is to scale the GUI via settings in XBMC. I prefer this method since it makes the terminal fit your screen if you ever exit XBMC.

Do the GUI settings override the config.txt settings? I'm just wondering if I use the config.txt settings to adjust it on my TV and then send it to my brother, if he'll be able to tweak it if necessary for his TV using the GUI settings?
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