Custom/Turnkey SAFEnetwork farming hardware

@bitseed: all true, though worth noting that most have an SDRAM card slot and you can use those to create very compact, cheap, low power farming devices (lots of those noted the “Best farming hardware” topic: Odroid, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi - you mentioned Pine64 too :slight_smile:)

@switch01 those are unanswerable questions! I bought a couple of Odroids for farming over a year ago. Still ready and waiting! The only answer, and not a very useful one I’m afraid, is: it depends (on things we don’t yet know). Sorry.

SD cards have a problem with failures when used in an application when there are a lot of writes to the memory. This is why we went with SATA and an HDD or SSD. It also allows for much more storage than an SD card.


But what is “a lot”, and will there be “a lot” of writes to a vault? I don’t know the answers, but I’m planning to try it out :slight_smile: with vaults on both HDD and SDRAM.

I think also it depends on the SDRAM. I’ve heard the same about SSD drives but not experienced this myself.

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This is awesome. Looking at the @bitseed device I was considering one if only for bitcoin, if you can get cjdns and maidsafe running aswell on it, no brainer - il be grabbing one.

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Would you consider some kind of referral, re-sale or affiliate program?
I’d love to either buy some for friends and family and resell them or just promote them.

We have a lot of Baby Boomers in Australia that are slowly all beginning to retire, most of them know how to use a computer, smart phone and the Internet and I think many of them will be interested in having something like this run on the side and earn them a little bit of money with little to no effort.


The research paper, A Large-Scale Study of Flash Memory Failures in the Field, quotes " the number of times that a cell can be reliably programmed and erased before wearing out and failing dropped from 10,000 times for 50 nm cells to only 2,000 times for 20 nm cells" . This is a very good study on flash memory and SSD drives, with good info and references to previous research on flash memory as well.

If the data is mostly stored once and only read most of the time, the memory will last a lot longer than if the data is constantly overwritten and moved around. For Maidsafe farming where data will tend to be written once and reside for a long time. this could work well. For blockchains, it doesn’t work so well since they are pruned and rewritten frequently.


@MaxSan: Thanks! We are working on a Maidsafe build, have also experimented with cjdns, but Maidsafe will precede it.

@goindeep: an affiliate program could work really well. We have had Bitseed listed at, so having affiliate marketers as well is a great idea. I’ll forward this to our business development lead. One of the other founders and I have done internet marketing in the past, so we are familiar with how affiliate marketing is structured.


With the current so called solid state memory system (USB sticks, SD cards, SSDs etc) that use a managed storage algorithm the amount of free space affects the life of the device if run as a r/w drive.

Each cell (page actually) has a life of xxxx writes to it. the xxxx value varies amongst the chips used. They started off with a low 1000 write and now in low 10 thousands if I recall correctly.

So if one can have free space on the device then the memory management in the device spreads writes across the (free) cells/pages that have had the least writes.

Now if I have a 100GB SSD and 25% is files that never change and 25% files constantly changing (for an example only) and 50% free space. Then the simplistic management that just spreads writes across cells/pages with the least writes means that I get 3 times the life out of it compared with minimal free space

If the constantly changing amount is say 5% as one would have in the c: drive of windows. then for 45% unchanging files, 5% changing, 50% free we get 11 times the life.

So if the 5% change over 3 days and 10,000 writes per cell/page, you get 330 thousand days.
If the 5% is mostly OS cache then average change is on the order of 1 minute ( for whole cache) for the whole. And you get around 200 days.

But rarely do we see those convenient ratios. For an SSD with 50% free space, you can expect a few years.

For an SSD used as a vault then one has to look at the on/off cycle time. A vault will mostly be static data rarely changing since they are chunks stored then only read, To compensate for potential dynamic control data for the vault, you only need to keep a good amount of free storage on the device. Say dynamic is 100MB worth then 2GB free is plenty, but all SSD devices should be left with a good amount of free storage for early cell/page failures on write attempts.

So if turn off once a day and can refill it fully then expect about 1/2 of the chip write count, due to dynamic data and possible early failure of some cells/pages. say 1000 to 5000 days depending on the SSD/SD/USB-stick used.

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Whats the latest guys? Anything new?

Been pretty quiet on this front. Maybe after MVP has been released there will more time focused on this.

The road map shows work on safe code for arm processors will be done. Good news for these sort of devices. @happybeing keeps more upto date on the progress of ARM stuff.

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Along similar lines, but without spending a penny: I have been thinking of a SAFE “distro” image that is downloaded and is already configured for one or more vaults and other services, selectable in an installation wizard, that runs on old PCs. People in many countries, and many people in the first-world, have old, cast-off PCs but can’t spend even £100 on a customized unit.

EDIT: It’s not as vague as it might sound. I’ve read up on Debian Live but had no compelling use case to use it for. There is an option to install the OS rather than run the disk live. I imagine that the image might in turn load the docker image that is coming. Longer term, a SAFE OS could replace the Debian/Linux OS.


That sounds like a great idea to me out here in Indonesia where money is scarce and old PC’s are plentiful. Drawback, as usual, is access to internet and the download/upload speeds are, let’s just say, v e r y s l o w. Many people use data service on mobiles which will probably turn out to be the preferred device here but, again, very slow. I think the idea of a downloadable image in a wizard is very creative. Like the Safe computer idea, it gets Safenet to people in a plug n play way. Easier the better. :smiley:


I honestly think reduxOS is the best option. They use “everything is a url.” This fits perfectly with the safe. It is memory safe because it was build in rust.

The devs manage to install it on old laptops, arm, and tablets.


Longer term, perhaps. Debian Live already has the tools to build a downloadable, bootable image

I suspect most people may prepare a prepared docker image with everything and just run it on computer uless you are using dedicated hardware.

Listed on along with a bunch of others…wondering if @dirvine has come any further with his micro tinkerings.

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Cool machine, thanks for linking!

Me too. And am very keen to see what @faddat is doing.

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@dirvine, I have received a couple of those C.H.I.P. 9 dollar computers yesterday and today it took 5 minutes to download the ARMV7 vault binaries and get a vault running on one of them.

Power requirements is less than 5 watts (could make it half if I went completely headerless and removed the USB keyboard/mouse

Been running now for a while and routing table has gone up/down and is currently 42.
User Get 484/484/0
client GET recv 67


Yes this is what really interests me. Iot type device size. You should check out unikernels and rust. I Think there is an opportunity for a safe_vault unikernel running on bare metal ARM which would be incredibly secure and even more resource friendly.

They can pretty easily run on xen, such as but bare metal is a more interesting use case here I think.

In any case really great to see this. Nice one !!!