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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge
init development
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Crash


Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 430
Location: Garland, TX

PostPosted: Tue 05 May 2009, 02:48    Post subject:  

vg1,

I feel more comfortable knowing your results are consistent with mine. I figure it takes at least two people to get repeatable results before something can be declared a success.

WhoDo,

I'm pretty happy with this latest small change. I'm still testing and haven't broke it yet.

This was a good exercise for me, because it gave me some incentive to re-acquaint myself with GRUB. I'm beginning to see why so many people prefer GRUB over alternative boot loaders. The DOS version is good for a beginner. It contains a very helpful menu.lst template that was easy to modify for these tests. Besides, when all else fails, it can drop back to DOS. Then I can go back to my old standby programs to figure out what is going on (I still have my floppy distros of Xtree and Norton Utilities in the garage).

This testing session also gave me incentive to take Puppy Version 4.2 out for a test drive. I had been using V4.12 up until now. The newer versions always bring something new and refreshing. Version 4.2 didn't disappoint.

I'm also getting more familiar with using Linux at the command prompt level, so when the GUI doesn't load I don't panic so much now. I'm not sure if it will ever replace DOS. But then again, I eventually weaned myself off of CP/M, so maybe there is some hope.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Fri 15 May 2009, 00:36    Post subject:  

Crash, your work with the init script is very impressive...it is a very complicated piece of engineering work. It is now possible to launch different users from the Grub menu on a computer...with an attractive graphical frontend!

If you would relish a further challenge, there is a need for a further enhancement/boot parameter of the init script, to help Puppy meet its objectives.

Code:
puppy pfix=recycle


BarryK wrote:

Puppy Linux Mission Statement:

* Puppy will easily install to USB, Zip or hard drive media
* Booting from CD, Puppy will load totally into RAM so that the CD drive is then free for other purposes
* Puppy will be extremely friendly for Linux newbies
* Puppy will boot up and run extraordinarily fast
* Puppy will have all the applications needed for daily use
* Puppy will just work, no hassles
* Puppy will breathe new life into old PCs


The last point is particularly relevant

Currently our new users find it very difficult/complicated to install GRUB and get their computers booting without the CD. There is also a "lockout" barrier to installing puppy on really old pc's...correct me if any of my details are not quite accurate, from my research

To boot puppy in liveCD mode you need at least 48mb of ram, to be able start the (very complicated) installer. Puppy has been reported to work on just 24mb or RAM. 32mb is a very common figure.

Many people when they try puppy, they just want to install puppy to the hard disk, and pass their cd onto someone else to use....currently many continue to use the CD because the installation (GRUB Install/Puppy Universal Installer) is so difficult to use. This stops many more people from trying puppy.

Recycling operations for charity or to avoid landfill (which many people on here use puppy for) need a way to recycle their old computer donations with a minimum of training. For them TIME is their most valuable resource. Most computers just have a single hard drive, and on older ones the data already on them is expendable....in fact its often very welcome to be able to wipe this off easily before giving the computer to a new owner. Gparted/grub config/Puppy universal installer is "overkill" for this.

An install routine in "init", triggered by "pfix=recycle", which runs before the pup_4xx is loaded into RAM would make recycling a computer very fast (and worthwhile), and bypass the minimum ram requirement on very old hardware. It would run from the console.

The script might have these steps...

1. Explain to the user/recycler what was about to happen (all data wiped), and confirm
2. Format 2 partitions - a 250mb swap, and the reminder to ext2
3. set the partition "bootable", or write to the MBR
4. Install GRUB to the hard disk
5. Copy the initrd.gz, vmlinuz, files to the hard disk from the CD
6. Ask the user to choose between a (well explained) choice of FULL or FRUGAL install, and perhaps even check the available RAM to give a recommendation.
7. If FRUGAL, copy the pup_4xx.sfs from the CD to the ext2 partition, if FULL, extract it to it.
8. Create a grub menu.lst files *with the file locations in the right place*
9. Eject the CD (this would be "nice") and ask the user to reboot

Much of the code for this already exists in the existing rc.shutdown scripts/universal installer.

I would be happy to work with you to design the screen, and the "newb english" (newblish?) needed to make it usable. I could also provide testing for it, by asking for it to be included it in the HanSamBen I am working with at the moment, plus the puppy 2.14ce "Phoenix" I will be working on.

This would make puppy available to many more people than it currently is, with a lot less "hassle". How big a pile of old computers can you image? You would save that Cool

Many thanks for your work so far.

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Crash


Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 430
Location: Garland, TX

PostPosted: Fri 15 May 2009, 14:57    Post subject:  

Ecomoney,

What you suggest is potentially very useful, and kind of dovetails into two other action items I've been looking at:

"Missing pup_save.2fs file error dialog - what to do next", and "Investigate problem with PUI and Grub not installing properly".

I think a good way for me to start this is to just make another separate script file that I can test using an existing Puppy install from the GUI. Once that is working, it should be able to be incorporated into INIT. The test platform that I have that most closely resembles what you are interested in is a K6-2 Baby AT computer. I have run it with as little as 128 MB, but I can probably find even smaller memory chips to do further testing. It has a hard drive, floppy, CR-RW, and USB. Very cute computer in a small, low profile case, and fairly "green".

As always, don't hold your breath for the final product. But this would be a pretty modular project, and I can probably give periodic reports when I reach certain milestones.

Thanks everyone for your support and suggestions. As I have said before, Puppy Linux is a wonderful teaching resource, and I continue to have a fresh learning experience every time I use it. We have both Barry to thank for his origination of the project and all the Forum members to thank for their continued support.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Fri 15 May 2009, 21:52    Post subject:  

This has made me Very Happy

I have about 47 Pc's at my disposal at the moment, all of various ages/specs Cool

This includes two P233/96mb/4.3mb machines with EDO ram I use for demonstration purposes.

Qemu/other virtual machine may help you with the "first draft". Let me know where I can help.

In your own time Crash, this feature has been waited for a long time. Perhaps another thread would be appropriate. Would you like me to write up the "requirements/spec" (similar to above) to start things off?

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Crash


Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 430
Location: Garland, TX

PostPosted: Sat 16 May 2009, 02:01    Post subject:  

Ecomoney,

This does indeed deserve a separate thread. The primary task for this thread, "specify pup_save file from boot loader", I believe has been accomplished. Further, I like your description of what needs to be done. We also have a great Vision Statement: "Puppy will easily install", "Puppy will be extremely friendly for Linux newbies", and "Puppy will breathe new life into old PCs".

Note that for the first iteration, I am not committing to "install to USB, Zip or hard drive media", just to a hard drive. The USB and possibly Zip can be added later, but the hard drive install is essential.

So if you can start another thread essentially repeating what you said back a couple of posts, that is a great starting point. Although when taken as a whole this looks like a big project, each one of the parts is easily bounded and well understood. Once an initial product is developed, we could go into some test and evaluation to see if anything else would be worthwhile to add. I'm a believer in sticking to the original specs and creating a product to those specs rather than iterating the specs during development. Then after evaluation, maybe other features could be added. This falls probably under the definition of "Spiral Development".

Actually, I'm surprised someone else hasn't done this previously. But it's never too late to start.

Also, I welcome others to suggest additional features that could be integrated into what you have already laid out. I'll actually be working on what you have already suggested, as I think no matter what, all the tasks you present are worthwhile.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sat 16 May 2009, 08:26    Post subject:  

Thank you crash, Im glad your aware of different software development methodology...Im just about to go on a "family day out" to a local fiddle festival, Rolling Eyes and havnt got the time now to write a thorough spec, I will do it when I get in. I will start it in "Puppy Projects section"?

I dont believe that anything other than hard drive installation (by far the most common type) would be necessary...and we still have the PUI for that. Offering too many option would confuse the user. This would be more aimed at new Linux users who want their computer to "just work", and recyclers who will "breathe new life" into new machines.

Im very much looking forward to working with you Crash

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Wed 20 May 2009, 19:53    Post subject:  

Hi Crash, Ive been busy at the cybercafe...will get those specs to you soon though.

Heres the current procedure Wink

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charlie6


Joined: 30 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010
Location: South of Belgium

PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov 2013, 04:43    Post subject: specify pup_save file from boot loader  

Hi,
how do the 5 lines code in the init file (see page 1) look with the current initrd.gz versions (for later Puppies lucid, raring, wary, wheezy etc...)?

Their pupsave files names syntax indeed are no longer written as for puppy_4.12 and 4.20.

Thanks for any help, Charlie

edited:
i tried the Psave parameter as documented here
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/BootParametersPuppy
without success:
my /boot/grub/menu.lst looks like
Code:
...
kernel /slaktin/vmlinuz pmedia=ATAHD psubdir=slaktin pfix=fsck psave=wheezysave-work.3fs
...
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8257

PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov 2013, 08:26    Post subject:  

psubdir perhaps .... but you would get more help posting in the users help section of the forum

mike
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technosaurus


Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 4351

PostPosted: Sat 16 Nov 2013, 00:34    Post subject:  

This thread is too outdated to be relevant to the current state of init. You probably want a new thread in the users section.
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charlie6


Joined: 30 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010
Location: South of Belgium

PostPosted: Sat 16 Nov 2013, 02:42    Post subject:  

@mikeb and Technosaurus,
many thanks for the advice !
post moved here:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=737408#737408
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