XigmaNAS File Format Information
The LiveCD/LiveUSB mode allows you to install XigmaNAS for the first time or perform upgrades. Also potential the very old way to run a XigmaNAS server using your LiveCD/LiveUSB via cd-rom/usbstick and floppy drive/usbstick for it’s configuration storage.
What this means is that every time you boot from the LiveCD/LiveUSB, XigmaNAS will load the required config.xml file that stores all your server settings. To update to newer revisions of XigmaNAS you will have to download a new LiveCD iso or prepare a usbstick with the LiveUSB. The LiveCD/USB main task is for the XigmaNAS initial installation!
You just boot from it and press 9 to go into the installation menu.
The better option here is to perform an install of the embedded version into a separate usb key or SSD drive. The system will load the OS into the system memory and operates from there with very minimal wear to the usbstick or SSD drive for a very long life cycle.
Embedded Installation (preferred method):
The embedded installation method is truly what XigmaNAS was designed for. With an embedded install you would install the system onto a USB key, SSD drive or a compact flash card (CF). You do still have the option of installing embedded onto a HDD/SSD, but again you lose a valuable IDE/SATA port that could be used for additional storage drives and defeats a key advantage of having an embedded system.
The other advantages to using the embedded installation are that by use of flash/ssd devices those are more energy efficient and the software will load into system memory eliminating unnecessary system writes to the install device and will maximize it’s life cycle without wearing out so fast.
The updating process with an embedded install is also much easier. With an embedded system update you download a special firmware that is in an .img.xz format which is much smaller than the LiveCD/LiveUSB iso/image. Once you download the firmware, updating is a breeze. All you do is open the webgui in your browser of choice, select firmware from the system navigation menu, enable firmware updates, browse to the downloaded image file, click update, and let the system do the rest.
The system will load the file, update the system, reboot, and you’re done!
The full install allows you to install XigmaNAS to a internal hard drive (HDD) with a system, data, and swap partition. With this method, you do use a valuable IDE/SATA port that could be used to have an additional storage drive. Full installs have no benefit over embedded installations!
To update the system you would have to download the latest full LiveCD/LiveUSB iso/image file again, boot from it and select the upgrade option. Full can upgraded over WebGUI as off late 11 series with the use of the full.tgz upgrade file.
Whichever method you choose is your choice in the end, but hopefully after reading this you will have a good idea of how you want to run XigmaNAS on your hardware.