To squashfs or not (new install, x86_64, plenty of space)

Will be installing on a mini-pc (x86_64) that came with a 256gb flash drive and 8gb ram (I'm sure way more than needed, but it came that way.)

Are there any advantages/disadvantages to using the squashfs image vs. not? E.g.

  • Which is easier to upgrade?
  • Is squashfs any more secure because it's "immutable"? (But it's used in overlayfs so at least changes/additions should be easier to identify?)
  • Any significant performance differences? Probably not once everything is running?

Mainly upgrading, though, which is easier/more flexible?

Have enough storage to make extra partitions for staging/recovery if that would be useful. (backup would be off device.)

Squashfs is easier to upgrade, but harder to resize.

Note, using the combined images, will shrink your partitions back to default.

There's however a script for it.

EDIT: found it

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I've seen this said before. In what respect is it easier to upgrade than using, say, ext4?

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Squshfs will behave as a router image, if you use the combined image.

I'm using Sysupgrade help for x86_64 - #14 by frollic on my Roqos RC10.

I suppose I have some more reading to do before deciding... or just dive in and plan on reimaging it after I've figured things out.

No rush. Existing router works fine. And I just figured out how to set up a "virtual network" in virt-manager, so I have openwrt in one vm, and two alpine linux vms, that can ping each other and internet addresses while the openwrt is up, but can't ping the internet if I shut down the openwrt vm. So no rush to image my actual device either, except... I wanna play with the hardware. :slight_smile:

Running OpenWrt in a VM is possible, and an important tool for developers and seasoned admins, but it does complicate the issue, as you end up having to duplicate a lot of the configuration on the hypervisor and then again under OpenWrt. If you are (very) familiar with your chosen hypervisor, this would be a familiar problem - otherwise it's a lot easier to run OpenWrt on the real hardware (or an older device just for the experimentation). Especially in the beginning, it is very reassuring to physically see WAN and LAN ports, to be able to pull- and insert your your cables to see what happens - rather than having to trust your hypervisor configuration.

OpenWrt runs pretty well from USB sticks or sdhc cards, so you can leave the internal SSD alone, until you've come up with your desired setup.

I suspect you may have misunderstood?

I don't mean using the hardware at all, like running OpenWRT under ProxMox or something.

Just, on my Linux desktop, using virt-manager (Virtual Machine Manager, similar to VirtualBox/VMWare) to run one VM with OpenWRT having two NICs, one NAT (WAN) and one isolated (LAN) and then run other VMs that use only the isolated NIC (LAN.) For testing, experimenting, not for final use.

I just meant, I can think about whether I want to install on real hardware with SquashFS or not, while I learn OpenWRT configuration on the VMs. And probably test upgrades on the VMs, too. (Install older version, upgrade it to latest.)