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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Thoughts on a web boot Linux. No download, install, etc.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5016
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun 2007, 04:26    Post subject:  Thoughts on a web boot Linux. No download, install, etc.  

I realized that if Puppy booted from the web it'd solve a whole bunch of problems.
Also it'd help to make Linux so simple that everyone could use it easily.
As the title says, no DnLding, installing, configuring, or package installing, etc.

And... M$ would then have a very hard time charging anything for WinBlows.
In fact I realized that the very idea of a web boot OS probably scares them bad.
A free web boot OS that meets most users needs might well crush M$.

The concept is to strip everything from Puppy so as to not DnLd anything extra.
Barry has already done a good job of this for the initrd.gz file in Puppy-2.xx.
The kernel only needs: NIC drivers, SquashFS, etc. to connect & mount files.
Virtually everything else would be DnLded as modules as hardware is detected.
The bootup scripts would call a DnLd handler as hardware was identified.
PC brand ids could allow for machine profiles which would simplify bootup.
The SFS files would be web mounted, as would be the user's HOME save space.
User's portable & personal USB devices allow for local storage, media, & PDAs.

All this makes the PC alot more like the data terminals on Star Trek Next Gen.
IT departments would all but disappear, PCs would be almost trouble free.
Imagine all the PC maintenance hassles gone, no installing, viruses, etc.

It wouldn't be perfect, but like a rail system to replace the roads, it'd make
life a whole lot easier & cheaper for the populace, just what's needed.
Potential to better a civilization? ....... Thoughts, suggestions, etc.?
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Lobster
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun 2007, 05:52    Post subject:  

http://eyeos.org/

Smile

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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun 2007, 15:55    Post subject:  

Lobster; Very interesting, it looks like a web browser OS.
There wasn't much tech. info about what it actually was though.
Using a browser occured to me, but it limits what can be done.
Plus running through a browser is another software layer (slow & flakey?).

My thoughts were more toward a real desktop OS just like Puppy is.
Just like LanPuppy (local network), except it'd be WebPuppy (internet).
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Lobster
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun 2007, 22:29    Post subject:  

I tried it and it did not work for me (EyeOS)
[shrug]
The support forum showed similar probs to mine (and unanswered)
The principle is good. If it worked - very nice. If they get their act together I would be happy to use something like this. Maybe.

I have done a lot of research on web based OS and Ajax (web2) and we are being pushed towards it because it is a cash cow (monthly leasing charges will be the norm)

It is money and marketing which often decides what a 'good idea' is.

Another possibility is this ByzantineOS
http://byzgl.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

I think your idea is radically different to what Puppy is and really deserves to be started and implemented from that perspective rather than adapting an existing project (like Puppy) which has a different approach and intent.

We shall see Smile

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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun 2007, 23:44    Post subject:  

The demo worked for me, I didn't install the package though.
If I'm right, it's an OS in a browser & so it's a fancy keosk or info term.
eyeOS isn't really a web boot OS, but it's bound to have it's uses.

Actually Puppy's ideal for the purpose, that's why I used it for LanPuppy.
The only difference is the method of bootup, web vs network.
PXE needs a network server, web boot needs the client PC to do it all.
The only other local equipment needed is a router & a modem.
I think I have clear in my mind just how to do web booting... Must test.

I've used LanPuppy for over a year now & network mounting files is
very solid, the web just WAN vs LAN, why is it any any different?

There's security issues, like using ssh to connect to the web boot server.
And I'm sure there's other things I haven't even thought of yet.
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Lobster
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 04:16    Post subject: web based OS  

Sunburnt Smile

I may not really understand what you are suggesting (happens all the time)

Here are some more web based OS
they may inspire you
http://franticindustries.com/blog/2007/06/16/another-10-web-operating-systems-reviewed/

. . . just thought you might be interested Smile

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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 11782
Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 04:48    Post subject:  

What I understood from Sunburnt's story is instead of booting from a CD (or any other mean) to boot from a web place.
Once booted you run from ram as is the case now.
You would need a little "bootstrap" program to do so.
There should also be a "pup_save" facility to retain your personal settings.

Advantage, you would always have the latest to work with.

Sunburnt, correct me if I am wrong.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 17:13    Post subject:  

Lobster; Wow, lots of competition going on in the web OS market!
As close as I can tell, all of the OSs were run in a web browser like eyeOS.
This type of technology is pretty well developed at this point, but still limited.

Beem; Your quite correct, same as LanPuppy, just internet boot, not network.
Yes a boot loader is needed, PXE does network boot, so it can web boot also.
As I said, the standard PXE boot is from a local network server.
With PXE web boot, the client's boot strap loader has the PXE executable in it.
This way no local network server is needed, the client PC boots all by itself.
So roaming laptops & PDAs would be able to boot anywhere, wirelessly too.
No current PCs have this setup in their BIOS, only standard PXE booting.
After bootup, then connect to web space for mounting the SFS file, & finally
another connection to the user's HOME save space, like webDrive storage.
Puppy uses all available USB devices, so users have full use of accessories.

Yes, web boot like LAN boot saves the users from having to administrate PCs.
Next bootup would load the latest setup, no installs, no HD crashes, no defrag.,
no viruses, & little configuring, if a problem occurs just reboot like Puppy.
Infact the whole setup is Puppy, just booted & accessed in a whole new way.
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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 18:08    Post subject:  

Would PXE boot support IRDA?
I have an old Thinkpad with no CD, USB but IRDA.
Recently I saw a post here with an example of an irlan0 device.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 21:22    Post subject:  

For LAN or WAN booting the kernel needs NIC drivers & TCP/IP to connect.
Same for anyother mount or connection like wireless, the drivers are needed.
IR is probably not much different, but I don't know, seems it'd work as a LAN.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul 2007, 17:23    Post subject:  

I found this: HTTP-FUSE-KNOPPIX

http://unit.aist.go.jp/itri/knoppix/http-fuse/index-en.html

It looks to be exactly what I've been talking about here.
The Knoppix cloop file (Puppy's Squash) is kept on & accessed from an http server.
The download-install of the kernel & other needed parts is only 5MB !
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gabev

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 38
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep 2007, 02:02    Post subject: Here is the answer  

hi Sunburnt,

Here is the solution:

http://www.etherboot.org/wiki/httpboot

I remmember that I've tried your LanPuppy last year but somehow sliped out from the forum due to family circumstances.But always in the back of my head I had that "vision" of booting of the net (via HTTP) using PXE.Well it seems that I wasnt the only one and here you go, today I was revisting the boot option bookmark and I run into etherboot again.Here you go , booting using gPXE.Now that's gonna be a nice addition to your LanPuppy, so to speak , pushing Puppy as on the first fully functional and light weight distribution booting of your personal server.Give it a try.
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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep 2007, 14:38    Post subject:  

I hate to be negative but I can't see this working totally disklessly any time soon. Very few people have a connection to make dling even a kernel and basic drivers every boot a nice proposition. The other problem is authority. I don't know how much you guys know about the PXenviroment, but this is what I know:
    1) The boot loader is integral to the BIOS, so we can't change anything client side without introducing a boot disk. If we're having a boot disk then I don't quite see the point.

    2)The Client doesn't know anything, the network topography and server locations must all be set by a DHCP server.

This last one is the killer, we would need a way of sending this information over the Internet, to a computer that is simply sending a broadcast request over it's network interface. This would be detected by the ISP, and answered, even if it did get past the modem / router. There is no step along the way that we can hijack, no way for a user to tell the computer to look for a specific server (i.e. ours)
The only way to circumvent this issue is to use a prefigured boot floppy, which could conceivably be based on gPXE. But, as I say, if you need to carry a boot floppy, why not carry a boot CD? Esspecially when a boot floppy would take a lot longer to load, and take up a lot more RAM.
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gabev

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 38
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep 2007, 15:30    Post subject: booting across the Atlantic using HTTP  

"The boot loader is integral to the BIOS, so we can't change anything client side without introducing a boot disk"

yes, indeed, but we do have instructions on how to do exactly that.if you look at the documentatin page on the link I posted here is what u find :

"Putting Etherboot into ROM Chips or Motherboard BIOS

*
Burning ROM chips
o
More specific: for Realtek 8139 NICs
*
Putting EtherBoot into your BIOS"

Also quote:

"HTTP can handle much larger files than TFTP, and scale to much larger distances. You can easily download multi-megabyte files, such as a Linux kernel and a root filesystem, and you can download from servers that are not on your local area network. We have successfully tested booting across the Atlantic using HTTP!"

Sunburnt, is that what you were looking for?
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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep 2007, 16:18    Post subject: Re: booting across the Atlantic using HTTP  

gabev wrote:
yes, indeed, but we do have instructions on how to do exactly that.if you look at the documentatin page on the link I posted here is what u find :

"Putting Etherboot into ROM Chips or Motherboard BIOS

*
Burning ROM chips
o
More specific: for Realtek 8139 NICs
*
Putting EtherBoot into your BIOS"

Yes, I've seen that around before (I'm working on a puppy project involviong PXE booting myself), but the problem is that it ties the BIOS to a single NIC, and there is still a fair chance of of bricking a system totally. Fixing that yourself generaly involves unsoldering componants. Bye Bye warentee. It also only supports a couple of brands of BIOS, causing the worst hardware support in any puppy version, ever. It also ties you to using PC's you've flashed, so, unless you have very trusting friends / boss / web cafe owners you'd be out of luck. I think I could persuade my friends to let me use a CD, but to flash the BIOS? I think not!
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