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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Barebone XVesa (86MB) with PXE (boot)
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3675

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2015, 16:05    Post subject:  Barebone XVesa (86MB) with PXE (boot)  

Download the 86MB ISO https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ItUogvtN4ZHtwew3Y0yKgwkk8Aq71HZi/view?usp=sharing

Wary 5.3 XVesa barebone pup, added to 3.14.55 LTS recent (32 bit noPAE) kernel

XVesa is a pretty generic, basic graphics server so tends to load to GUI OK on a wide range of equipment, but doesn't utilise the benefits of your graphics card. Kernel is relatively new, so supports a wide range of hardware/firmware up to relatively recent.

PXE server included. And a special (fast) remaster process that requires no CD ISO image. As a PXE server needs a image to serve so that other PC's on the same LAN can net boot, you first have to run the remaster script (desktop icon) to create the initrd and vmlinuz files for the PXE server to serve.

Remastering will record the image of the PC at that time, so best to only ever remaster after first booting, and perhaps having made a few changes if desired. i.e. DON'T load sfs's etc before remastering as they'll be included in the newly remastered image (unless of course that's want you want). In most cases you can select to remaster using ram as the temp workspace and when so it remasters very quickly (few seconds).

Most network cards support net booting, but you usually have to enter the BIOS setup to set that as a boot option (that usually is set to something like boot from CD first, HDD second ... or whatever). Also usually you have to press the F12 function key after first switching the PC on in order to either netboot immediately or provide a netboot menu.

Once one PC is running this pup (that has remastered a initrd and vmlinuz, and then clicked the PXE icon to activate the PXE server), another PC can net boot and start up (hopefully) running that same pup. In turn that PC could then remaster and fire up its PXE server ... to serve netbooting of other PC's. The PC's bios (usually accessibly by repeatedly pressing F12 after having pressed the Power On button) needs to be set so 'safe boot' is off and where PXE boot has been activated and set to be a higher boot priority order than your normal HDD boot choice ... or you can press F12 repeatedly after having pressed the Power On button until it shows the boot selections and you select the Realtek PXE (or similar) boot choice from the bios boot menu when shown.

In using a low graphics requirement (XVesa) and recent kernel (that supports a wide range of hardware), booting to desktop stands a good chance of being successful on most PC's.

The pup is spartan (in having used Wary 5.3 BareBone XVesa CD as a base - so many of the menu items if selected will just do nothing). This iso is primarily just intended to be used for PXE purposes.
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Last edited by rufwoof on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 08:58; edited 21 times in total
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oui

Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 3499
Location: near Woof (Germany) :-) - 3 PC's: DELL SX280 750 MB Pentium4, Acer emachines 2 GB AMD64. DELL XPS15

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2015, 16:12    Post subject: Re: Barebone XVesa pup with PXE server  

rufwoof wrote:
The tar.xz file is 58.6MB in size, for the setup however I've not used any compression of the initrd file, nor the puppy sfs file (which is inserted into initrd). In total in uncompressed state its around 180MB in size.


why not?
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3675

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2015, 18:33    Post subject:  

So that remaster really fly's. On my old clunker it takes less than 5 seconds. Add compression and it slows things down considerably.

If you've PXE booted one PC and the PC that you initially booted from has been turned off, then you can remaster to create a initrd and vmlinuz in the PXE servers directory (which 'remaster' does automatically i.e. creates vmlinuz and initrd files in /root/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/) on the machine your using and then click the PXE desktop icon to start up the PXE server, and another PC on the lan can then net boot from that.

The other use is that a newly created initrd is a snapshot image of the PC at that time, i.e. a save file. If you boot using grub4dos then replace the initrd with the newly created one and then any changes are preserved across reboot.
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3675

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2015, 18:37    Post subject:  

Just realised I'd mixed the two links up in the original post. I've edit that post to swap the two links around.
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3675

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2015, 21:01    Post subject:  

Should perhaps mention that you don't have to remaster that pup to create a initrd and vmlinuz for PXE server to boot, but can drop any initrd and vmlinuz into the /root/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg folder that the PXE server is configured to use

The only thing with pup's is that you have to pass the puppy sfs along with the initrd

I usually open up initrd.gz by cd to where it and puppy sfs are located and then

mkdir NewDir
cd NewDir
zcat ../initrd.gz | cpio -id
cp ../puppy_whatever.sfs .
find | cpio -o -H newc >..initrd

where puppy_whatever.sfs is of course replaced with the actual name of the puppy sfs to be inserted into initrd. i.e. produces a larger initrd file that has the puppy sfs contained within it.
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov 2015, 05:04    Post subject:  

I'd left some queued squashfs files in /root in the fomer version. Just uploaded a later version without those files that weighs in at a leaner 57.1MB
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov 2015, 08:57    Post subject:  

Another update/upload. Replaced the get_latest_firefox script in the /root directory with a "FireFox" script that downloads and creates a sfs and sfs_loads that (and then runs firefox), or simply just runs firefox if the sfs has already been downloaded/created/loaded.

The web page when that firefox is activated is my googledrive directory in which there are currently just two files (openly shared to all). The wxv file is the tarbal of vmlinuz and initrd. The topdog_wary55.sfs file is basically Wary 5.5 with the Startup directory emptied - which if sfs loaded after being downloaded in effect adds all of Wary 5.5 functionality, abiword, gnumeric ... etc. (I've also thrown in Skype into that for good measure).

After downloading and installing that sfs you may have to RestartX.

Bit of a mix running a Tahr6 32 bit relatively recent kernel, with Wary 5.3 Barebone XVesa, with Wary 5.5 then laid on top - but seems to work relatively well. For instance I've just :

Grub4dos booted a old PC to fire up the PXE Wary 5.3 barebone vmlinuz and initrd (Xvesa desktop with net connection)

Ran remaster (desktop icon) which took seconds.

Clicked on PXE Server icon to start up the PXE server

.... and then on the latest PC on our LAN ...

Net booted (switched on, pressing F12 as booting until the netboot screen came up (I'd previously changed that PC's BIOS boot sequence to include netboot))

..... watched all the dots across the screen for around 3 rows worth (took around less than a minute to load) ... and then saw Puppy Wary 5.3 boot up and load straight to desktop.

I then opened HOME (desktop icon) and clicked the FireFox .. which downloaded and fired up firefox, loading my googledrive directory. I then downloaded the topdog_wary55.sfs and once that had completed (again less than a minute) I opened my download folder (beneath root), right clicked on the sfs and selected sfs_load (I opted for the NOCOPY) option and then restarted X ... and skype, gnumeric, abiword .... etc all are working fine.

That wary 5.5 (sfs) download needs work - there are lots of duplicate files in Wary 5.3 barebone that also appear in that topdog_wary55.sfs such that the topdog_wary5.5.sfs can be made a lot lighter. I'm currently looking at a means to automate that (perhaps using something like rdupe (remove duplicates)).

Last edited by rufwoof on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 12:12; edited 1 time in total
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3675

PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:51    Post subject:  

Uploading a new version. A bit bigger at 59.4MB.

Pre-loaded with a revised (latest) FireFox configuration that includes zoom page and noscript automatically being loaded.

FireFox script in home directory replaced with a LoadTopDog script. After booting to desktop that should be the first thing you run (open HOME icon at the top left of screen, single click on the LoadTopDog file)

That will

1. Run remaster to that a image of the newly booted pup will be dropped into the PXE server. After that you can click on the PXE desktop icon and anyone else on your LAN will be able to net boot the same pup image.

2. Downloads the latest firefox and fires it up.

3. Downloads and installs TopDog (Wary 5.5 programs), so you'll also have AbiWord word processor, gNumeric spreadsheet, Skype .... etc.

Generally at any prompts you want to select the RAM (when remastering) or NOCOPY (for SFS loading) options assuming the PC has sufficient memory (1GB or more). For example when remaster runs it will ask where to and the last option is usually RAM (ramdisk). When SFS LOAD installs TopDog it provides options one of which is NOCOPY.

I've also changed the PXE server to use a compressed initrd.gz file instead of non compressed - as compressed transfers (boots) quicker

The default firefox home page is set to my shared googledrive folder, so there's additional SFS's that can be downloaded and sfs_loaded (right click menu option) - such as Libre Office.

Whoops! Just noticed I didn't change the PXE servers configuration to point to the initrd.gz, it still points to the non compressed initrd file

For the time being you'll need to edit

/root/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default and change the line

append initrd=initrd rootfstype=ramfs

to

append initrd=initrd.gz rootfstype=ramfs

before starting the PXE server.

I'll correct that and re-upload at a later date as I intend to also create a ISO version, i.e. burn to CD so that CD can be booted in any one PC and then become a net boot server for other PC's to net boot. Conceptually you could have a number of PC's all with just a network card and no HDD's and the worst that could happen if a virus penetrated the network would be just the single session risk only, rebooting would clear everything. And for storage either plug in a portable HDD, or USB, or store somewhere in the Cloud.

Update : it what quicker and easier for me to change and upload a replacement straight away

Last edited by rufwoof on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 14:51; edited 1 time in total
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rufwoof


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PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov 2015, 13:51    Post subject:  

Wary_5.3_XVesa.iso 82.6MB ISO uploaded (to the usual directory https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4MbXu8cvE_WQnRKWnNwejd1WjA&usp=sharing. I used a modified Wary 5.3 ISO to create the ISO.

Direct to file link https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4MbXu8cvE_WM1NBaVc4b2FLR1k/view?usp=sharing
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rufwoof


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PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov 2015, 14:09    Post subject:  

Whilst many/most network cards support net booting (PXE), the method to set up the computer to net boot varies.

Typically you boot up the client computer, and try to have it PXE by pressing F12 (usually). More often then not, this works or at the very least, gets you to a "boot options" menu. With that said, there are cases where PXE needs to be first enabled in the BIOS before you can use it. If that is the case, go into BIOS, this step may be a little different for every computer. In most cases this involves pressing either F2, F10, or DEL. Then, if the option exists, enable PXE/Network booting.

In some BIOS setup's there may be a couple of places you have to setup network boot, such as enable LAN ROM or suchlike.

On later/recent Window's machines you probably have to disable secure boot by pressing F2 as the PC is booted to get into the BIOS and under security set Boot Control to Disabled and set the boot preference. You'll have to ask/read around for the exact detail as I haven't touched Windows for nearly two years now so I can't offer help on that front. Barry wrote a report of how to turn Windows security boot off here : http://bkhome.org/quirky/uefi.htm
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Last edited by rufwoof on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 18:19; edited 2 times in total
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ally


Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 1935
Location: lincoln, uk

PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov 2015, 15:35    Post subject:  

mirrored: http://archive.org/download/Puppy_Linux_Wary/wary_5.3_XVesa.iso

Smile
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov 2015, 20:26    Post subject:  

Wary 5.5 (TopDog layer) comes with flashplayer already installed. I've just uploaded the latest version of flashplayer to my googledrive repository. If you'd rather flash be disabled then after loading the TopDog navigate to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins and delete or rename the libflashplayer.so
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rufwoof


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PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2015, 11:49    Post subject:  

Updated the ISO to exclude gpartedbin from the base pup (available in the TopDog) and to store the /lib/firmware and /lib/modules in a compressed tar file that's decompressed at start up (within /etc/rc.d/sysinit). The remaster process was also modified to take that into account. Reduces the initrd.gz filesize down by around 8MB making PXE boot (file transfer) that little bit quicker (smaller initrd.gz with puppy sfs contained within that (combined 73MB)) - at the expense of making startup a little bit slower.

As modules and firmware are now in compressed tarball, any changes to /lib/modules or /lib/firmware need to be reflected in that /lib/firmware_and_modules.tar.xz file (that was compressed with the xz -e (extreme) compression parameter/switch). Otherwise a remaster will not see the changes reflected into the new version.

Last edited by rufwoof on Thu 12 Nov 2015, 17:41; edited 2 times in total
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rufwoof


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PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2015, 17:29    Post subject:  

Wary 5.5 TopDog updated to have the latest Mozilla flashplayer plugin. The UnderDog (Wary 5.3 barebone boot) has no flash, so if you just boot to that and load a portable firefox on HDD then you'll have no active flash.

I've also added (fast decompression) LZ4 compression to mksquashfs, unsquashfs and as a standalone.

leafpad changed for a later version due to multiple/repeated search bug in the former version.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2015, 20:08    Post subject:  

@rufwoof (really for anyone who can answer) --

Is the "base" (Wary + Tahr kernel) made compatible with Tahr packages by using the TahrPup kernel? By "Tahr packages" I mean in particular Ubuntu Trusty Tahr *.deb packages, not just dotPETs for TahrPup.

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