Installing a Solid State Disk (SSD) on a Jetson TX2 is good, clean fun. Looky here:
Serial-ATA drives are used in many desktop and laptop computers. While this article describes installing a Solid State Disk (SSD), this information can be used to install other types of SATA drives. SATA drives are probably the fastest external storage interface to the Jetson TX2, they can be more than twice as fast as USB drives. Also, SATA drives are relatively inexpensive for the amount of storage they hold.
You can simply use the SATA drive as supplemental storage, or choose to use the drive as the root directory of the operating system. This basically means that the system runs from the SATA drive instead of the internal flash (eMMC) memory.
This method is a mostly GUI solution, there are command line equivalents that others may use and are more sophisticated. Just be forewarned that if you ask for help, others may speak in ‘CLI‘ language.
You’ll need a SSD drive of course. Here’s links to items shown in the video:
- The Samsung 850 EVO (250GB) installed in the video
- The Samsung 850 PRO SSD (256GB). Provides about twice the lifetime as the non-PRO version.
- A SATA cable is a 22-pin (7+15) Sata Male to Female Data and Power Combo Extension Cable.
Note: The installation on the video was done on a Jetson TX2 running L4T 27.1, after flashing with JetPack 3.0.
Because the installation demonstration is using mostly GUI tools, please refer to the video for the walk through. Here are the basic steps:
Make sure that the Jetson is powered down, and disconnect the power. Attach the SATA SSD to the Jetson using a SATA extension cable. Some SSD drives will fit on the Jetson TX2 SATA connector directly. However, this can be rather precarious as the SSD can act as a big lever which when bumped may and break off the connector from the TX2 carrier board. Adding a cable minimizes this risk.
With the SATA drive installed, connect the power and start up the machine.
Format the SATA drive by adding at least one partition with a ext4 format. There are a couple of ways of doing this, an easy way is to use the Disks application which provides a GUI for formatting disks. In the L4T 27.1 release there seems to be an issue with creating a partition on the disk. Remember how this was good clean fun? Not so much as a few blue words were sprinkled in before using a Terminal to cast the magic incantation:
$ sudo parted /dev/sda/ mklabel gpt
where /dev/sda is the location of the SSD. This creates a partition on the SSD. Format the disk using ext4 afterwards.
Next, mount the SATA drive. Double clicking the SATA drive icon in the sidebar will mount the SATA drive and open a file browser. Now enjoy the sea of GB goodness.
In the video we talked a little about different technologies used in SSDs. Here’s an article, Flash Memory and You, where we cover that ground and then some.