Cheap USB drives, and even many CF drives, aren't much good as random
read-write devices.  On my Soekris boxen I run FreeBSD, and mount the
root filesystem rw,noatime.  And I don't write to it. ;-)  /var is a
memory filesystem, there /var/db/... contain symbolic links to
/usr/local/db/.. because the package database can grow quite large.
/tmp is a symlink to /var/tmp.

Configured this way, these machines are trouble-free.
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