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Author Topic: Bitcoin's disk activity issues  (Read 1959 times)
wolftaur
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July 12, 2011, 08:36:29 PM
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Bitcoin's disk usage makes the system completely useless on any system using a solid state disk that isn't top of the line. I was trying to set up a more secure second system, but since I'm not drowning in modern, high-end hardware, I was using an older, previously unused netbook.

Four days later it still hasn't finished with getting the block chain, because the amount of disk access it has to do when fetching each block is taking quite a long time on a relatively standard SSD. I tell the client to exit. Well, here we are three hours later and it still hasn't finished its disk activity and exited.

I suppose I'm not exactly surprised given that on a $3,000 Mac Pro with a hardware RAID10 array, the client often takes ten minutes before it finally quits.

Is there any plan whatsoever to address the fact that bitcoin's disk bandwidth requirements are so high that the notion of any lower-end system acting as a payment terminal is completely unattainable?

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July 12, 2011, 08:40:58 PM
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Bitcoin's disk usage makes the system completely useless on any system using a solid state disk that isn't top of the line. I was trying to set up a more secure second system, but since I'm not drowning in modern, high-end hardware, I was using an older, previously unused netbook.

Four days later it still hasn't finished with getting the block chain, because the amount of disk access it has to do when fetching each block is taking quite a long time on a relatively standard SSD. I tell the client to exit. Well, here we are three hours later and it still hasn't finished its disk activity and exited.

I suppose I'm not exactly surprised given that on a $3,000 Mac Pro with a hardware RAID10 array, the client often takes ten minutes before it finally quits.

Is there any plan whatsoever to address the fact that bitcoin's disk bandwidth requirements are so high that the notion of any lower-end system acting as a payment terminal is completely unattainable?

Something is wrong with your system.  I sync the full block chain onto a lowend SSD here on an old 2.3ghz cpu in about 35 minutes and then the system is much pretty idle.   You haven't provided much information: What version of bitcoin, what OS, what system, etc?



wolftaur
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July 12, 2011, 08:43:42 PM
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Something is wrong with your system.  I sync the full block chain onto a lowend SSD here on an old 2.3ghz cpu in about 35 minutes and then the system is much pretty idle.   You haven't provided much information: What version of bitcoin, what OS, what system, etc?

Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, bitcoin 0.3.24, Asus EeePC 900-something. 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB RAM, stock SSD. dmcrypt in use on entire drive. I've tried both JFS and ext4 so far.

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wolftaur
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July 12, 2011, 08:46:20 PM
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Amendment: Not the stock SSD. It has an aftermarket one that's significantly faster than the stock. It's the other netbook that still has the stock SSD, I got them confused in my head for a moment.

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July 12, 2011, 08:48:55 PM
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I've seen this issue on some systems but not others. I was just about to dig into it and see if I can figure out what's going on.

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wolftaur
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July 12, 2011, 08:52:52 PM
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I've seen this issue on some systems but not others. I was just about to dig into it and see if I can figure out what's going on.

I do know the partition is aligned correctly, for what that's worth.

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July 12, 2011, 08:55:01 PM
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I've seen this issue on some systems but not others. I was just about to dig into it and see if I can figure out what's going on.

I do know the partition is aligned correctly, for what that's worth.

Ha. As soon as I attach strace to it, it starts behaving. Go figure.

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wolftaur
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July 12, 2011, 08:56:55 PM
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Ha. As soon as I attach strace to it, it starts behaving. Go figure.

Yay, a Heisenbug!

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July 12, 2011, 11:22:43 PM
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I've seen the same issue on an older laptop.  It was running Puppy Linux and the block chain and wallet were on a USB Flash Memory stick.  The light on the USB stick never stopped flashing, even after days of downloading the initial block chain.  I ended up removing bitcoin from that computer, for fear of wearing out the flash memory.

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July 13, 2011, 10:20:24 AM
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I think you'll find it's the addr.dat file and a fix has already been checked in. But Bitcoin is disk intensive, always will be.
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July 13, 2011, 05:38:08 PM
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I think you'll find it's the addr.dat file and a fix has already been checked in. But Bitcoin is disk intensive, always will be.

That might be why I can't find it. I'm tracking git pretty closely (not to mention several people's forks).

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gim
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July 14, 2011, 02:06:52 AM
 #12

I've resurrected the original pull request.
This should reduce disk access. Please tell us whether this helps or not.
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