Best practice for new RT-AC86U - USB+SSD or only SSD?

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Huberer

Occasional Visitor
Hello,

in a couple of days I will get a brand new RT-AC86U which will replace my RT-AC68U (with John's fork). On the RT-AC86U I will install latest merlin firmware. The router will be used for TimeMachine-backups (one MacBookPro and one iMac) and also for downloads (pyload/sabnzbd). For the downloads and TM-backups I want to connect a 1TB SSD to the USB 3.0 port.
Beside of this I want to install "amtm" and a swap-file (1 GB).

Now my question is "what is better?"
To use a USB3.0-thumbdrive at the USB2.0 port for amtm and a 1GB swap file or to partition the SSD in two partitions. One small partition for amtm/swap and the second one for downloads/TM-backups.
Unfortunately I can't find any example for this here in the forum.

Any tip would be grateful

Thanks in advance
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
amtm itself is a tool that installs into jffs, it doesn't install on a USB drive.
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
I recommend you try the Asus firmware first. A bunch of us are running an Asus version that was released on April 14, but since pulled for some reason, with no issues and great performance.
As for the USB, on any firmware version set the USB3 to USB2 operation to avoid interference with wifi 2.4 GHZ. A swap file of 256 to 512 mb should be enough. Yes, you can put a swap file on stock Asus firmware, too. You can even run Entware.
 

Huberer

Occasional Visitor
@ColinTaylor
Thanks for the info. Didn't know that I don't need a thumb drive/hard drive for amtm.

@bbunge
Since three years (I guess) I'm running Asus-routers (RT-AC68P, RT-AC56U and RT-N66U - all three still on duty) with Merlin-firmware (John's fork) on it. I love his firmware and that's why I will install Merlin-FW on it.
I don't care about USB3/2.4GHz interference because I only use 5GHz. 2.4GHz is turned off back home.
For me it's important what is better for the swap file/entware. To use it on a thumb drive (on the usb2 port) or on a one partition on the external ssd?
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
@ColinTaylor
Thanks for the info. Didn't know that I don't need a thumb drive/hard drive for amtm.

@bbunge
Since three years (I guess) I'm running Asus-routers (RT-AC68P, RT-AC56U and RT-N66U - all three still on duty) with Merlin-firmware (John's fork) on it. I love his firmware and that's why I will install Merlin-FW on it.
I don't care about USB3/2.4GHz interference because I only use 5GHz. 2.4GHz is turned off back home.
For me it's important what is better for the swap file/entware. To use it on a thumb drive (on the usb2 port) or on a one partition on the external ssd?
Since you are planning to use a SSD, it will be OK for the swap. Better yet, spend the bucks for a NAS. A year ago I invested in a Synology NAS and have not regretted the cost.
 

cmkelley

Very Senior Member
Hello,

in a couple of days I will get a brand new RT-AC86U which will replace my RT-AC68U (with John's fork). On the RT-AC86U I will install latest merlin firmware. The router will be used for TimeMachine-backups (one MacBookPro and one iMac) and also for downloads (pyload/sabnzbd). For the downloads and TM-backups I want to connect a 1TB SSD to the USB 3.0 port.
Beside of this I want to install "amtm" and a swap-file (1 GB).

Now my question is "what is better?"
To use a USB3.0-thumbdrive at the USB2.0 port for amtm and a 1GB swap file or to partition the SSD in two partitions. One small partition for amtm/swap and the second one for downloads/TM-backups.
Unfortunately I can't find any example for this here in the forum.

Any tip would be grateful

Thanks in advance
I'm using a 120 GB SSD, just one large partition for swap, Entware, and everything. There's really no benefit to partitioning that I can see.

Format the SSD on the router using amtm, choose ext4 with journaling for the filesystem, SSDs are so fast that the journaling overhead is not noticeable and you're much more likely to not corrupt anything if you have a power failure or need to turn it off with the switch. Even when I had a much slower USB thumb drive I used journaling and it didn't really seem to make any noticeable difference. Amtm is part of Merlin's firmware now, so you don't have to "install" amtm anywhere. Also, use a 2 GB swap file, just because it won't hurt.
 

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