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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Puppy on "One Laptop Per Child" OLPC?
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7047
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan 2008, 18:37    Post subject:  

rrolsbe,
Have you looked into whether the OLPC boots off an external USB drive? Maybe this has already been discussed, but I'm coming into this subject cold.
The Classmate was a pushover, as it is very conventional, an ordinary BIOS that I was able to configure to recognise external USB pen drive or CD drive.

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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4752
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:10    Post subject: OFW  

BlackAdder posted previously about the Open Firm Ware FAQ:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OFW_FAQ
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rrolsbe

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jan 2008, 13:51    Post subject: Booting from external USB and SD Cards
Subject description: Can the OLPC XO boot from external media
 

Barry

You may have seen my post in this thread regarding running Debian on the XO. When I first scanned the instructions for doing so, I assumed Debian would be running from the USB stick; however, the USB stick is only being used to store the downloaded tar files that are ultimately transferred into the XO's internal NAND JFFS2 file system. Not sure why Ivan did not gzip the two tar files to reduce the file download time??

From what I have read online, I believe the XO is capable of booting from many external USB sources. The stickler is figuring out how to make it work with the non-standard OFW bios.

With X-Mas, the passing of my Step-Dad and work, I have not had much time to pursue booting other OSes on my XO.

Glad to hear you received your donated XO. I have only read about the new ASUS laptop, but from what I can deduce, the hardware on the XO has some unique features the ASUS doesn't have. The XO also makes a great bookreader for the same cash outlay as a Kindle.

Regards
Ron

PS.. I only use the XO keyboard and mouse pad when I am truly portable. An external keyboard and mouse work great. I have a very small external USB mouse and plan to buy a small folding keyboard. ALSO, load up the Opera Browser ported to the XO you will be glad you did!
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1255

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 10:23    Post subject: hacking OLPC  

This article was just slashdoted. http://www.geek.com/feature-hacking-the-xo-laptop/
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PlatonicPimp

Joined: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 18:31    Post subject:  

Ubuntu has already been hacked to work on the XO, perhaps reading these or contacting their authors will assist.

http://www.freelikegnu.org/?p=21

Admittedly, I can't follow it myself, so I have no idea if it's useful to you.

http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=1436.0

If I'm following what's going on there correctly, they've ported the special bits to the kernel, recompiled, and then shared the files so others can download their special modified kernel. Maybe that's all it takes?

And in those instances XO is decidedly booting from the USB. Some people have reported success booting from and SD card as well, but others have reported resounding, drive reformatting failure.

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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4767
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2008, 07:30    Post subject:  

The Hacao story on DWW:
http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20080121
is worth reading.
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jonyo

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2727

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2008, 14:36    Post subject:  

Thx for the link.
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rrolsbe

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2008, 16:06    Post subject: I firmly believe Puppy will perform better that Ubuntu on XO
Subject description: Booting linux Distros from USB/SD on OLPC XO's
 

I posted this to the following web page discussing running Ubuntu from a USB stick.

http://www.olpcnews.com/software/operating_system/how_to_ubuntu_on_xo_laptop.html

Thanks for information on running Ubuntu from a USB/SD device. I have not tried Ubuntu on my XO yet but plan to do so. Since I have not tried it yet, some of my observations and questions might be obvious.

Observations and food for thought for this documented implementation.

After boot, does Ubuntu run entirely or partially from physical RAM? Or is it accessing executables from USB/SD flash? Are the files on the flash compressed? For example with 256MB of RAM, Puppy Linux can load and run entirely from a squash file system resident in physical RAM. Puppy also sets up SWAP in RAM. One of my main concerns using low end compute devices such as the XO is minimizing application launch time. Running entirely from a squash file system resident in RAM is fast but slows down on low end compute devices due to the horsepower required to decompress the executables. My guess is launching executables resident on a fairly fast flash device, whether compress or not, would not be any faster than launching the same executable from a squash file system resident in physical RAM. Looks like some XO application launch time testing might be in order.

Here are some but not all of the variables to consider:

The speed of the USB/SD flash being used.
The speed of the USB/SD interface.
The speed of the physical RAM.
The processor speed.
Whether compression is being use and what type of compression.
What other processes might be using processor resources.
Etc.

I am very excited at the prospect of running Ubuntu from a USB device but, at least from what I know, Puppy should perform better due to it being designed from the ground up to run on low end compute hardware and having the capability to run totally out of 256MB of RAM. I am also aware the the baseline install of Puppy doesn't offer everything Ubuntu offers; however, I am quite happy with what Puppy offers for lower end compute platforms such as the XO.

Here to running as many OSes as possible on the XO!

Thanks for your read time!
Regards
Ron
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BarryK
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7047
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2008, 19:37    Post subject:  

None of the information I have read so far really properly describes how to boot any variety of Linux off an external USB stick.
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BlackAdder


Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 382

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2008, 23:52    Post subject: USB Boot  

Barry,
I presume you have read this page. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OFW_FAQ
I read it to say that boot from USB should work if you have /boot/vmlinuz and /boot/initrd.img on the USB device. Might initrd.gz need to be changed perhaps?

HTH
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4767
Location: GB

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 04:02    Post subject:  

BIOS settings seem to be critical. That brings one huge and immediate problem - 90% of users have never seen a BIOS screen! If they did, it could bring disaster if they change the wrong setting. Worse, there are far too many brain-washed users still buying proprietary boxes instead of doing their own PC assembly. ipso facto, they are stuck with those dreadful truncated Phoenix BIOSes requiring to mount a (W98?!) hard disc to use a utility to open up the hidden settings. Activating those hidden settings can be a risk even for hardened fiddlers.......
Probably it can all be done in Linux? That reduces the field of those that can to a vanishingly small number.
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BarryK
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7047
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 05:16    Post subject: Re: USB Boot  

BlackAdder wrote:
Barry,
I presume you have read this page. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OFW_FAQ
I read it to say that boot from USB should work if you have /boot/vmlinuz and /boot/initrd.img on the USB device. Might initrd.gz need to be changed perhaps?

HTH

I tried changing its name to 'initrd.imz' as that was in one of the examples, also tried uncompressed 'initrd.img'. No go.

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PlatonicPimp

Joined: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2008, 02:06    Post subject:  

Barry: Did you get a developer key? Also, I think to boot from the USB stick you have to turn the power on while holding down the "O" key on the game pad in order to initiate an "alternate boot".
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I am running Buddapup 4.00 on an Itronix gobook 1 with an intel 85 processer and 256 MB ram, and an old desktop who's stats I completely don't know. In both cases I boot from CD at all times. I'm desperately trying to get this to work on an OLPC.
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delphi

Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2008, 07:01    Post subject: Re: USB Boot  

Barry,

Maybe this will help:

Dual-boot Ubuntu/SD with Sugar - got it!
( http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=1767.msg13017#msg13017 )
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7047
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2008, 08:31    Post subject: Re: USB Boot  

delphi wrote:
Barry,

Maybe this will help:

Dual-boot Ubuntu/SD with Sugar - got it!
( http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=1767.msg13017#msg13017 )

Ah ha! That might be it. I was getting that "Loading ramdisk" then it just froze. I'll try this fix.

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