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I would install and booting Debian on an USB drive, thus using all Hard Drives just for storage. It's that safe? Which life of an USB drive could I expect?

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Reading from SD cards or USB pen drives should not be problem. Writing to them is often limited though. For this reason people either use a flash aware filesystem, or use a ramdisk (The contents of the ramdisk are loaded -read- from the SD card, but the normal writes go to RAM only). Without specifying if you are going to use either of these techniques the answers will vary a lot. –  Hennes Mar 21 '13 at 14:05
    
Actually debian is installed normally, without using ramdisk i.e. –  Pleiadiano Mar 22 '13 at 10:15
    
With an 83 days uptime, iostat is showing just 8MB written on that partition, so there are not many writes. I'll take a look on using ramdisk anyway –  Pleiadiano Mar 22 '13 at 10:26
    
If you start logging information or if you start compiling that will change. But as I said, that depends on how you use it. Just the OS on SDcard and the drives as data storage can work fine). –  Hennes Mar 22 '13 at 12:21

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