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Pet made with Absolute Links?
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec 2017, 19:59    Post subject:  Pet made with Absolute Links?
Subject description: Pseudo-sfs Pet for Full Pups
 

G'day,

On my desktop, I have some small partitions (about 3GB each) dedicated to running some Full Pups. I have a large data partition (300GB-ish) that is mounted at boot to be available to whichever Pup is run.

With Frugals, for my personal applications, I simply use sfs files (each mounted at boot with Boot Manager) of my collected&combined applications (browsers, LibreOffice, games, graphics, utilities, and wine with various installed MS programs). This way, I don't need a big save folder or file for each Frugal Very Happy , even though my several applications sfs files are now over 2GB Shocked .

Full Pups suffer because pets and installed sfs take up their partition space Sad . So a 3GB Full partition is now too small if I were to make pets of these sfs applications.

However, in a Full Pup, I can run quite a few of these personal applications via sym-links from directories on my data partition. These links I have to create manually in each new Full Pup. Which is quite slow and complex compared to simply mounting the sfs in a new Frugal.

Can I create an all-applications pet for my Fulls that is composed just of absolute links from my data partition expanded sfs program files?

To 'install' my personal applications to a new Full Pup, all I need do is run this links-only pet. This will minimise the increase in the Full Pup partition usage so 3GB will still be more than enough for each Full while I can still have all my applications.

On my data partition, I hold expanded directories of my application sfs so I can make small changes to any files and then re-create/update the sfs with mksquashfs.

For example, the first screen-shot shows the directories in my expanded LOwinegamefile.sfs (LibreOffice, games, wine+programs, file managers) and the second screenshot shows the /usr/share/applications file list for this sfs. The third screenshot shows the size of this expanded sfs directory which is why my 3GB for Fulls would be under pressure.

Is there some way to easily make a new directory of this expanded sfs directory, creating absolute sym-links for every file in the sfs directory?

That is, copy the individual contents of the directory as corresponding absolute sym-links, without doing it one-by-one?

My theory is I could then use dir2pet to convert this directory of absolute links into the space-saving applications pet for my Fulls. Just run this pet in a new Full to have all my applications available without bloating the Full's partition.

Thanks for your time, and any advice.

David S.
applications-sfs-structure.jpg
 Description   base directories in this particular applications sfs
 Filesize   38.52 KB
 Viewed   199 Time(s)

applications-sfs-structure.jpg

usr-share-apps-in-main-sfs.jpg
 Description   applications in this sfs with .desktop files
 Filesize   212.2 KB
 Viewed   199 Time(s)

usr-share-apps-in-main-sfs.jpg

size-of-main-sfs.jpg
 Description   size of expanded sfs
 Filesize   46.66 KB
 Viewed   199 Time(s)

size-of-main-sfs.jpg

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Sailor Enceladus

Joined: 22 Feb 2016
Posts: 1323

PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec 2017, 09:42    Post subject:  

Hi David,

I'm on a Full Install lately too, because I found that my 1GB RAM does not get overloaded as quickly on it (then hitting swap) as when using Frugal. I noticed that when you click on an sfs (at least when I tried it with the devx) it copies it all onto the partition, which was an interesting change. Since my partition is 20GB this is all good to me, only using about 2GB of it now. Smile

From what I understand, you're saying that you want the sfs to be copied into it's own folder, then symlinked back to the root? And that you want all your pets to go into that folder? I'm trying to wrap my head around if this is possible, because I think there can only be one / and one /usr etc. but I could be wrong. In a frugal install you can just put all your programs into the adrv so it's separated before it all gets loaded, still not too familiar with if anything like that is possible in Full install though.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 9642
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec 2017, 10:39    Post subject:  

Just an idea.

Put all the sym-links in a directory.

Copy that directory to a new full install of Puppy.

Navigate to the directory.

Click on whatever sym-link you want to.

Add a new program, add a new link to the directory.

Keep a copy of the directory on your data partition.

Another idea.
You could just keep the directory on the data partition and make a sym-link to it.
This sym-link is all that you would need to add to a new full install. Click on this sym-link and it would open the directory with all the sym-links in it.

You could make a desktop icon for the directory or a sm-link to the directory, for easy access.
Not in the menu, but opening a directory, with a bunch of links that would start programs, is not much different than navigating the menu.

You could even separate the sym-links into sub directories. All the games in a games directory, browsers in a browser directory, etc.......

Quote:
For example, the first screen-shot shows the directories in my expanded LOwinegamefile.sfs (LibreOffice, games, wine+programs, file managers) and the second screenshot shows the /usr/share/applications file list for this sfs. The third screenshot shows the size of this expanded sfs directory

If I understand you already have this link directory on the data drive.
You just need a link to it you can put into any full install Idea

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s243a

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 685

PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec 2017, 15:41    Post subject:  

If all the symlinks are in one director then just create a symlink to that directory. Call it mnt/share or something. Then all your paths to your applications will start out as "/mnt/share" followed by 0 or more folders, followed by a symlink and then the application name.

You still might want to create an sfs of symlinks though for non portable applications which expect to find things in specific paths.

Alternatively for non-portable applications you could compile them with a prefix that matches the name of your symlink directory (e.g. /mnt/share.
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Wed 06 Dec 2017, 18:11    Post subject: Pet of sym links?
Subject description: Copy every file in a tree as a Sym-link
 

G'day Sailor Enceladus, bigpup and s243a,

Thanks for your posts. I apologise for not being totally clear as to what I think I want - I'm not sure I know myself yet Shocked .

A pet installs applications/programs into a Pup so these are integrated into the Puppy - such an 'app' can become the default package for certain tasks, appear on menus, etc. But these pet package files may take up considerable memory in the Full Pup's hard-drive partition.
If instead, every file in the Pet was a sym-link back to each file stored on another big-but-mounted partition, the pet of sym-links would only add a minimal extra memory to the new Pup.

A pet or sfs can be expanded into a directory containing its original files in their original tree-structures. This is a reversible process - the directory can be converted back to the original pet or sfs with, for example, dir2pet or mksquashfs.

Is there a simple way to take such a pet or sfs directory and copy every file into a sym-link in the 'same' directory? And retain this directory structure so a pet or sfs made of this new all-sym-link-files directory will 'install' each link into the right place in a new Full Pup?

At present in any new Full Pup, I'm doing this manually copying files as sym-links from my data partition directories to the same directories in the Full Pup, but it is time-consuming, sub-directory by sub-directory, and I sometimes/often lose track of where I'm up to Embarassed .

My default option for this idea is to manually make a sym-links copy of each pet or sfs of its original files onto my data partition and make a pet of this new all-files-as-sym-links directory.

To add my applications to a new Full Pup without using up its partition, I just run this pet, not the 'big' original pet version.

So, I was wondering if there is an easy way to sym-link every file 'automatically' in a complex directory structure and keep the directory structure, rather than manually subdirectory by subdirectory as I do now?

Or is this not possible?

Thanks again,

David S.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3205
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Wed 06 Dec 2017, 20:16    Post subject:  

Hiya, David.

Hm. That's an 'interesting' one, I gotta admit.

As a long-time user of your method for running apps 'remotely' via sym-link from an external/alternate 'data' partition/directory (which works extremely well, BTW), this is one that interests me, too.

I can't see any reason why this wouldn't work. I mean, many .pets/SFSes contain sym-links somewhere in their structure.....so why not a .pet comprised entirely of sym-links? (I wouldn't bother with doing this as an SFS; the final size is going to be negligible, even if you put the multiple sym-links for several remote packages into the one .pet.)

I'll have to try this one out myself tomorrow; I've got a few smaller, easy-to-unlink apps on my 'data' partition, which won't take long to re-set if this don't pan out..I reckon as long as you create the links directly into your .pet directory, using 'Link(Absolute)' - not 'Link(Relative)' - it ought to work. Will report back with the results, mate.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Sailor Enceladus:-

What David's talking about is that in your remote 'data' partition/directory, you recreate all the necessary system folders (/opt, /root, /usr, /usr/bin, /usr/lib,/usr/share, etc) simply because it's easier to see what you're doing when you 'install' the remote app (which is, of course, all copied in manually anyway). It also makes it simpler to see where you need to create all the necessary sym-links as it's linked into each Pup.

(I do a lot of this; running the same 5 browsers in each of 10 Pups, no way am I installing 50 browsers! Think of the mass-duplication.....and all that extra space that would be 'gobbled up'. Anyway, you can only run one Pup on the same machine at any given time.....and you only really want to run one browser at a time, too. Think about it.....)

Hopefully, that makes some kinda sense..?


Mike. Wink

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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3205
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Wed 06 Dec 2017, 21:34    Post subject:  

@davids45:-

Well, since I wasn't ready to go up the wooden hill, I decided to have a go at this. Accordingly, I deleted all the sym-links for my remote copy of 32-bit Chrome 48 in today's Puppy (Precise 571), and made up a .pet comprising of all the appropriate sym-links for Chrome, using 'Link(Absolute)'.

Since I use Trio's Pet-Maker most of the time, which creates a directory in /root called 'make-pet', I created the directory in that, then created the necessary folders, and 'dragged' the sym-links into the appropriate locations. Some of your entries will have to be actual directories.....specially if your multiple apps have entries in the same one.

Final size of the actual .pet was less than 1k; 642b to be exact! But, it installed fine.....leaving me simply to drag the /usr/share/applications entry onto the desktop, edit the name, and move it into position. And it works perfectly.

So, like I said, there's no reason why you can't make up a .pet with multiple sym-links for several 'remote' apps all in the same .pet. Size is going to be pretty tiny; a few k at most.

See how you get on with it. It'll certainly simplify installing all your remote apps, that's for sure; something like this has got to be a 'custom' .pet, anyway, specially created for the individual's personal set-up. No two individuals will have the 'remote' on the same /mount point, or be running the same apps; you can't really make a 'generic' .pet of this, 'cos I bet there's probably only a handful of Puppians who run stuff in this manner. And, er, thanks for the idea, BTW. It hadn't occurred to me, I'll admit..!


Mike. Wink

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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3205
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 15:48    Post subject:  

Hi, David.

Further to my last post, I've taken it one step further.

I've been running Tahrpup ever since release, 3 years ago. In that time, it's had so much stuff done to it (not all sensible, either..!), it was getting more than a wee bit the 'worse for wear', and somewhat tatty around the edges. I decided it was time for a fresh install, so this afternoon I waved a fond 'bye-bye' to it, and upgraded to Tahr 6.0.6 (uefi).

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try this idea out for real. That said, I took the time to make up a 'Symlinks' .pet package for all progs/apps on my remote data partition, and, having got Tahr 606 up-and-running, installed the .pet.

The resulting .pet was all of 2721b in size; it works perfectly.....and definitely speeded up the whole business by at least a factor of 5, I would estimate. So, yes; it's definitely worth pursuing, mate, 'cos the principle does work.

If you do decide to try it, let us know how you get on, yes? Thanks.


Mike. Wink

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Last edited by Mike Walsh on Thu 07 Dec 2017, 16:37; edited 3 times in total
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s243a

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 685

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 15:54    Post subject:  

Mike Walsh wrote:


Well, since I wasn't ready to go up the wooden hill, I decided to have a go at this.
See how you get on with it. It'll certainly simplify installing all your remote apps, that's for sure; something like this has got to be a 'custom' .pet, anyway, specially created for the individual's personal set-up. No two individuals will have the 'remote' on the same /mount point, or be running the same apps; you can't really make a 'generic' .pet of this, 'cos I bet there's probably only a handful of Puppians who run stuff in this manner. And, er, thanks for the idea, BTW. It hadn't occurred to me, I'll admit..!


Mike. Wink


If we could all agree on one symlink as a root prefix then such pets would be something that we can share. This way to switch a partition you juat change one symlink.
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2048
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 16:42    Post subject:  

Hi s243a,

Actually, I'll bet that there is some bash-code which could determine location(s) and assign it/them to variable(s). That code and those variables could be used in a pet regardless of where one's 'root' or other partition is. Smile

Unfortunately, I only know enough bash to be able to haltingly sometimes read it; not enough to write it. Sad

mikesLr
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3205
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 18:00    Post subject:  

@ s243a/Mikeslr:-

s243a wrote:
If we could all agree on one symlink as a root prefix then such pets would be something that we can share. This way to switch a partition you just change one symlink.


Mm-hm. You're probably right. My own strength is more in assembling software where the various parts are already available.....coding (especially Bash stuff with environment variables, etc), is way over my head. I just cannot get so much as a start on figuring it out!

My point is that the way David (and at least myself that I know of) do things is somewhat unusual. His original post is buried several pages back in the how-to section; it's not as though there's been a lot of people showing much interest, after all.

Even if we did figure out a 'standardised' way of implementing this in a ready-to-use package, I somehow doubt there'd be much of a queue lining up to use it!

-----------------------------------------

mikeslr wrote:
Actually, I'll bet that there is some bash-code which could determine location(s) and assign it/them to variable(s). That code and those variables could be used in a pet regardless of where one's 'root' or other partition is. Smile

Unfortunately, I only know enough bash to be able to haltingly sometimes read it; not enough to write it. Sad


You and me both, mate. battleshooter (and one or two others) have attempted to drive some of the basics of Bash 'variables' through my thick skull.....but they're facing an uphill task, I'm sorry to say..!

We're all different, of course. What one person will mightily struggle with, another will pick up as naturally as breathing. This is why the community works as well as it does.....we all contribute, but in our respective different ways. However, I've always thought the 'core' Forum membership who are able to contribute toward, and help shape the future development of, the next-generation Pups are of necessity going to be a small group at best.

Coding is not summat that comes naturally to very many of us. (*shrug*) I try to do what I can, but most of it is like so much Russian, Arabic & Greek to me. Languages were never my strong point; I've always been more of a 'mechanic' than a 'technician'... Embarassed Rolling Eyes


Mike. Wink

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theru

Joined: 23 Jul 2015
Posts: 152
Location: Heers, Belgium

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 19:31    Post subject:  

I only know a little bash but I have knocked together something that may be useful as a template:

Code:
ls -1 -R /initrd/pup_ro9 | tr -d : | sed 's/\/initrd\/pup_ro9//' | while read line; do
if [[  $line =~ ^/ ]]
then temp=$line ; mkdir /tmp/Slimjet$temp
elif [[ -f $temp/$line ]]
then ln -s "$temp/$line" "/tmp/Slimjet$temp/$line"
elif [[ -h $temp/$line ]]
then ln -s "$temp/$line" "/tmp/Slimjet$temp/$line"
fi
done


In this case a slimjet sfs was loaded at /initrd/pup_ro9.

The code does the following:

- create the directory /tmp/Slimjet
- do ls -1 -R of the contents of /initrd/pup_ro9
- remove the colon of the output and the /initrd/pup_ro9 prefix (at this point it looks similar to the contents of the files in /root/.packages)
- if a line starts with / then it's a directory path that will be assigned to variable $temp and it will be recreated in /tmp/Slimjet
- if a line doesn't start with / then it's a file or symlink inside the current directory. The full path will be recreated using $temp$line
- If this path is really an existing file or symlink then symlinks will be created at the correct place in /tmp/Slimjet pointing to the mountpoints of these files and not to the files itself.

It can be adapted to something like this:

Code:
ls -1 -R /mnt/sda1/data | tr -d : | sed 's/\/mnt\/sda1\/data//' | while read line; do
if [[  $line =~ ^/ ]]
then temp=$line ; mkdir $temp
elif [[ -f $temp/$line ]]
then ln -s "/mnt/sda1/data$line" "$line"
elif [[ -h $temp/$line ]]
then ln -s "/mnt/sda1/data$line" "$line"
fi
done


In this case non-existing directories should be created in the filesystem and files/symlinks should be linked to from the place where puppy expects to find them.

I can't test this myself so I recommend testing it first.
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 20:34    Post subject: A small win with a small-ish pet
Subject description: An 'Oh dear' with a big pet.
 

G'day,

Well, as a first test, I made a copy of my expanded browsers.sfs directory and then went through this copy, replacing its files with sym-links back to the same ones in the original browsers.sfs directory.
Where there was a sub-directory in the copy that was unique to the particular browser, I sym-linked that directory itself as I thought the pet process would not be in conflict with one of Pup's pre-existing sub-directories.

This processing considerably reduced the size of the copy directory which should mean installing this as a new pet would take up much less of the Full partition that the original collection of browsers would have (screenshots).

Once I thought I'd replaced every file of my browsers expanded directory copy with a sym-limk, I ran dir2pet on the copy directory to give me a browsers-all-links.pet. This pet was encouragingly much smaller than the original sfs (screenshots).

I then installed this pet into a new Full StretchPup.
All the browsers in this pet appeared in the Menu. I dragged their .desktop files to the pinboard as I prefer to start stuff from the pinboard.
Each browser worked and used its desired profile stored on my data partition (screenshot).

So, a win Very Happy .

Wrongly thinking this just wasn't 'beginners luck' Embarassed , I then did the same copy-the-directory and replace-files-with-links for my big sfs (LOwingamefile.sfs, over 2GB expanded - screenshot). This sfs I use/share with every Frugal Pup. This manual find-and-link-replace took about a hour Sad .

The resulting .pet directory with these links was considerably smaller in size to the expanded sfs directory, as was the 'links' pet to the standard sfs. (final screenshots)

I ran the new LOwingamefilelinks.pet in the same StretchPup and as installed, it seemed mostly OK but some icons were MIA as was some text for the pet applications.
On a reboot however, the pinboard was without its wallpaper and all its icons now red triangles and text problems. Oh dear.

So there is a problem or two in my making of the links pet of the big sfs.

Being a Full Pup, I'll have to re-install the StretchPup - I'm already missing the Frugal simplicity of just reloading the saved Save file/folder Smile .

I should back-up the test Full Pup next time, before installing any new all-links pet. One advantage of using small Full Pup partitions.

I may try splitting the applications in my big sfs into groups (e.g. file managers, LibreOffice, games, wine+programs) and make separate pets of these, so problems with one all-links.pet won't affect the others.

Still (mostly) harmless fun, to paraphrase Douglas Adams.

David S.
usr-bin-after-links-pet.jpg
 Description   showing links have small 'footprints' compared to original files
 Filesize   124.13 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

usr-bin-after-links-pet.jpg

expanded-sfs-usr-bin.jpg
 Description   example directory in original expanded sfs
 Filesize   43.77 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

expanded-sfs-usr-bin.jpg

expanded-sfs-alllinks-usr-bin.jpg
 Description   same example directory in all-links copy (for later pet creation)
 Filesize   46.83 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

expanded-sfs-alllinks-usr-bin.jpg

expanded-size-browsers-sfs.jpg
 Description   Full Pup partition 'footprint' size for normal install
 Filesize   41.83 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

expanded-size-browsers-sfs.jpg

expanded-size-browsersalllinks-sfs.jpg
 Description   Links use much less of a Full Pup partition
 Filesize   39.67 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

expanded-size-browsersalllinks-sfs.jpg

FullStretchPinboard-after-linkspet-installed.jpg
 Description   each browser runs via sym-link back to data partition
 Filesize   100.53 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

FullStretchPinboard-after-linkspet-installed.jpg

expanded-size-mainapps-sfs.jpg
 Description   size comparison of normal files and links for big sfs
 Filesize   42.82 KB
 Viewed   46 Time(s)

expanded-size-mainapps-sfs.jpg

expanded-size-mainapps-sfs-alllinks.jpg
 Description   alas, it made a mess of my test Full StretchPup so needs re-doing/checking
 Filesize   43.66 KB
 Viewed   45 Time(s)

expanded-size-mainapps-sfs-alllinks.jpg

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s243a

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 685

PostPosted: Thu 07 Dec 2017, 21:21    Post subject:  

Aside from the technical issues mentioned in the previous post it would be worth trying the pet2sfs tool in order to compare the size of an sfs of symlinks vs a pet of symlinks.
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Today, at 00:54    Post subject: "mini-pets' made with Links successful in next test
Subject description: Still one big package not right yet (Gimp)
 

G'day,

With a problem I had in converting my big +2GB personal apps pet/sfs to a pet of sym-links (I lost pinboard icons, text,etc), I have made pets from my various small (individual) pets and sfs that constituted the big sfs/pet I had added to each Pup I try via the big pet/sfs.

This way, I hoped also to find which component of my big pet/sfs was the trouble-maker, or if there were two or more.

So I've made about a dozen and a half links-only pets of these apps and installed each one into a test new Frugal (screenshots). I realised I'd had a 'Doh!' moment using a Full Pup as a test-bed Rolling Eyes . A Frugal is so much easier to handle when something goes wrong. I have now just used rcrsn51's Save-file back-up for this testing-Frugal-XenialPup (while in another Pup) after each successful Links-pet install or restored the Save file from the back-up when the links-pet test was not so good.

I haven't yet got a Gimp-2.8 links-pet to work - Gimp-2.8 works in my big sfs, so it can be done.

Once I have Gimp fixed, I then will try these small links-pets one-by-one in a new Full Pup.

And if that's OK, I should work out how to combine all these pets into a single 'all-my-apps' pet so it's just one pet to install into future new Fulls on this computer.

Tweaking of this eventual, final, big/small-pet may be needed for the different Pup breeds (e.g. Slacko vs Ubuntu vs Debian vs whatever Barry K is using in his latest Quirky/Pyro). Library files seem to be the issue mostly, so I do already have several apps that have fixes for the various Pup bases.

I haven't yet tried anyone's script suggestions but thanks for the interest and if I get this done the hard way, I'll then see how these may help.

David S.
directory-links-only-pets.jpg
 Description   list of the small links-pets made for test installing - only Gimp missing yet
 Filesize   73.77 KB
 Viewed   13 Time(s)

directory-links-only-pets.jpg

xenial-plus-links-pets.jpg
 Description   pinboard with many icons of pet-added apps run as links to data partition
 Filesize   112.64 KB
 Viewed   13 Time(s)

xenial-plus-links-pets.jpg

xenialtesting-directory.jpg
 Description   directory structure of testing Frugal
 Filesize   61.99 KB
 Viewed   13 Time(s)

xenialtesting-directory.jpg

save-folder-with-links-pets.jpg
 Description   Save-file with links now much smaller
 Filesize   58.17 KB
 Viewed   13 Time(s)

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