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batocera.linux_architecture [2020/01/28 20:47]
genetik57 created
batocera.linux_architecture [2020/11/19 18:14] (current)
lbrpdx [User data file system]
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-~~NOTOC~~ + 
-===== batocera.linux architecture =====+===== Batocera.linux internal architecture =====
  
 ==== Buildroot ==== ==== Buildroot ====
-batocera.linux is based on buildroot. You can see buildroot as a Linux distribution while it maintains base packages. However, it's a tool to build root file systems (like a firmware). batocera.linux mainly includes extra packages not available on buildroot (emulators) and configuration.+Batocera.linux is based on [[https://buildroot.org/|buildroot]]. You can see buildroot as a minimal Linux distribution while it maintains base packages. However, it's a tool to build root file systems (like a firmware). Batocera.linux mainly includes extra packages not available on buildroot (emulators, front-end, additional drivers for devices...) and configuration.
  
-More information about buildroot can be found here : [[https://buildroot.org]]+More information about buildroot can be found here : [[https://buildroot.org]].
  
 ==== System mount points / firmware / overlays ==== ==== System mount points / firmware / overlays ====
 Technically, batocera.linux has 2 partitions. 1 for the system, 1 for the user data. Technically, batocera.linux has 2 partitions. 1 for the system, 1 for the user data.
-The partition named BATOCERA visible on any computer under Windows, MacOS or Linux is the system data.+The partition named BATOCERA visible on any computer under Windows, MacOS or Linux is the **system**. It is a partition formatted in FAT32, which is kind of a universal format, supported by almost every OS, and boot system (BIOS or UEFI).
  
 It contains mainly 3 files : It contains mainly 3 files :
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   * BOOT : this partition is visible on Windows. This is where the batocera.linux system is.   * BOOT : this partition is visible on Windows. This is where the batocera.linux system is.
   * FREE : this free space is filled with a SHARE partition on the first boot to save all the user data (ROMs and ancillary files like screenshots, video snaps and so on).   * FREE : this free space is filled with a SHARE partition on the first boot to save all the user data (ROMs and ancillary files like screenshots, video snaps and so on).
-  * SHARE : this partition replaces FREE at the first boot. It is partitioned as EXT4.+  * SHARE : this partition replaces FREE at the first boot. It is partitioned as EXT4 by default, but you have other options depending on the usual OS you have on your other computers. See the chapter "Userdata file systems" below.
  
 === RPI SD CARD == === RPI SD CARD ==
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        512     48K         640K        512     48K         640K
  
 +====User data file system====
 +
 +This is an important question: what is the best file system to choose to host your user data (ROMs and ancilliary metadata). 
 +
 +Here are a few guidelines:
 +
 +  * If your own other Linux systems, you're probably comfortable with ext4 and it's still one of the best options.
 +  * Btrfs is a newer option, if you have Windows machines, Batocera comes with the driver embedded. No restriction when using Btrfs, but you can't read it natively with MacOS.
 +  * NTFS is an OK option - it provides the ability to use your userdata drive with Windows, MacOS and most Linux distributions.
 +  * FAT32 and extFAT are **outdated filesystems**. Yes, they are well supported under any Operating System (you bet, those file systems are 40 year old!) but they have restrictions in terms of maximum file size (especially for newer console systems with ROMs sizes that can exceed 4GB!) or the ability to support the exec bit to run Linux applications. It will also limit the use of certain emulators and systems that rely on features like symbolic links or special character filename handling, that are not possible with FAT32 and ExtFat: Amiga or Wine/Windows are popular systems that won't work well with those filesystems on ''/userdata''.
 +
 +How can you format a disk in Btrfs (or ext4, or exFAT)? Batocera can do it for you, in **SYSTEM SETTINGS --> DEVELOPER --> FORMAT A DISK**. Of course, when you format a partition, you lose everything that was on it. So, backup your ROMs and user data before doing this!
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