Improve Raspberry Pi performance with USB stick

How can we squeeze more performance from a Raspberry Pi aside from overclocking? Run Raspbian from a USB stick

As you know I’ve been testing the boundaries of the basic hardware that makes up the Raspberry Pi. In my recent post I overclocked my Pi to 1GHz with some great results. Although under mathematical bench marks a considerable power gain was noted, I felt this didn’t make a huge improvement to the overall speed of the RPi as a web server.

Also running Raspbian off an SD card did start to highlight the flaws in having an OS operate from one; mine became corrupt and this site went offline as a result, bad times. I’m guessing it’s down to the many movements of small data. It didn’t take long for MySQL databases to start corrupting, then the system stopped log entries, and stopped booting altogether. My immediate thought was that maybe the overclocking had caused poor writes and instability.

Cutting a long story short (and if you’ve read this far well done) I moved the OS partition to a USB stick, and left only the boot instruction on the SD card. It’s a simple process and I’ll write up a short tutorial when I’ve got some more time! I’ve finally written the tutorial – read it here! The long and short is, stability improved, and the RPi is a hell of a lot quicker for it!

I’m disabling caching for the weekend to see how the RPi handles the 30 odd visit the site gets a day, let me know by leaving a comment your experience of the speed of the site overall.