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lightning strikes
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caieng

Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep 2009, 17:28    Post subject:  lightning strikes
Subject description: lost ability to access Puppy
 

the first help topic to explore, after logging into the forum

Yes, I did consult it. No luck however, finding the answer to my question:

I installed, successfully, and relatively easily, Puppy Linux. Well done designers and implementers of this excellent distribution. Thank you.

I had tried two dozen other distributions, all of them failed my three tests, (see below), only Puppy succeeded ("23 Coasters"):

1. permit the live install CD to be ejected upon pressing the button on the front of the CDROM device.

2. access the internet by simply clicking on an icon (well, there was a bit of fudging here, for Puppy does require answering a few questions, but, still, better than half of the other distros, which either would not boot at all, or would not complete booting, or in the worst case, demanded a password in order to commence booting!!!

3. Able to play music, OGG, with a single click of the mouse, at my favorite web site:
http://www.rozhlas.cz/d-dur/portal/

nota bene: must be OGG.


No other distribution of Linux (live CD) permitted those three actions, only Puppy Linux.

Well, everything was going well, for a couple of days, no problems, until yesterday, a big storm came along, and the power was lost, as the music was playing.

Upon rebooting, I reached GRUB (mounted on the Linux partition, not the MBR), satisfactorily, however, when I selected Linux from the menu, instead of going to the desktop, as usual, I found myself staring at a # sign.

It is not that difficult to reinstall the OS, but, I thought it may be the case that someone here on the forum knows how I may reaccess the desktop, by typing the correct command at the # prompt......

I look forward to hearing from anyone who has had a similar experience, i.e. a non-smooth termination, with inability to reattain the desktop upon restarting.... Alternatively, if the best solution is to start over, it is not an earthshaking problem, as with some other operating systems, whose names will not be mentioned....

regards,
CAI ENG
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8393

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep 2009, 17:35    Post subject:  

The command is
xwin

you may need to implement this fix for full installs
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=36944
mike
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caieng

Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep 2009, 21:10    Post subject: Thank you  

Thanks Mike.

Yes, that was the proper message. I typed in winx and immediately saw the Puppy desktop.

Great.

Could not, however, connect to internet, so started over with that, and finally reached my favorite Czech radio station, however, no sound.

Oops. Volume control had been reset to zero. I changed it to 100%, but still nothing.

I visited the site where you engaged in a long discussion with lots of typing, commands I suppose. I wouldn't have a clue how to begin such typing, don't even know how to find the editor to type, nor what to do with the code, afterwards.....

I guess I will be obliged, tomorrow, to reinstall the OS. Not the end of the world, but I did have my hopes up, after seeing the familiar desktop again!!!

Still, it does raise the question, why is the operating system so fragile? It seems to me that it ought to be able to return, at least to its initial pristine installation state, with a single click of the mouse....Why not? Surely, it is not for lack of MEMORY??? Holy Cow. When linux was first invented, more than 15 years ago, think of the memory on the average desktop computer: RAM maybe 4 megabytes, Hard Drives, typically, those days, 40-80 Megabytes.
We have a thousand times more memory available today, than in the days when Torvalds invented Linux. Surely, it ought not be that difficult to save an additional copy of the fully installed system, which could then be invoked, with a single mouse click, after the power unexpectedly failed.....In places where I have lived in previous decades, like Africa, Asia, South America, electric power was inconstant, at best.

Such a catastrophic disabling seems to me quite contrary to the underlying philosophy of Puppy Linux, or perhaps, I have that wrong too?

Not to drop names, but, I never experienced such an amazing loss of control, with ANY M$ product, and I am ashamed to admit having used same for three decades now....

The power goes down here regularly, say, once a week or so, during the monsoon season, and so, I have often been obliged to wait, an extra minute, as windows XP reboots following a less than graceful exit, because of the storm. But, I have never, until today, been obliged to reinstall the whole os, just because the power went down....

Mind you, if there had been a surge of electricity, and some of the hardware stopped working, well, that would of course be different, right? But, so far as I can determine, by dual booting, there is nothing wrong with the computer, i.e. all of the components work fine under M$ software....

regards,
CAI ENG
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep 2009, 22:10    Post subject:  

Nothing to do with lack of memory...

Puppy should not have the problem of not starting X anymore. At least half the time anyway. See, there are two separate things that can cause the issue. Both have been known for a loooong time. In Puppy 4.x we finally adopted the fix I posted for one of them (it took a while because that instance wasn't actually a bug, it was just very much less than desirable behavior to most people. But it had been intended to do that. So it took a while before Barry realized it wasn't the best way to go.)

The other reason this happens really is a bug. And we know exactly what causes it. I thought we had fixed it during Puppy 4.2.x, but I don't remember. It should only impact people with Full-HD installs. The problem is that for them, /tmp/ is not stored in ram like it is for everybody else, meaning that on reboot, it is not empty unless Puppy shut down properly (which includes deleting everything in /tmp). When you start X it creates a file in /tmp so that X won't try to automatically start any time you open a terminal (that is a possibility because Puppy starts X from /etc/profile, which it also happens to source every time a terminal is opened). When Puppy doesn't get a chance to shut down correctly, that file is left behind.

To ensure it doesn't happen again, just add this line to /etc/rc.d/rc.local:
Code:
rm -f /tmp/bootcnt.txt



As for the volume, run alsamixer (from a commandline) so you can make sure that it isn't muted. Because it will allow you to change the volume level without unmuting it, which can lead to confusion. To toggle the muted-ness, just press the m key. The state of mute will be shown in the box above the numeric level and below the bar. 'MM' means it's muted and '00' means it is not (see attached graphic). Use the arrow keys to move left and right between different sliders, and the up and down keys to adjust the volume.

I could instruct you to use a GUI mixer program instead, but I don't trust those. They have a bad habit of not showing all of the sliders that are involved, leaving you to think that they're turned up when they aren't. Alsamixer on the other hand does not joke around and is as close as you can get to interacting directly with alsa that doesn't involve really ugly commands.


Puppy saves the state of the audio on shutdown. If you don't shut it down properly, it doesn't get to save. You can manually save your audio settings with this command:
Code:
alsactl store
audio.png
 Description   
 Filesize   33.83 KB
 Viewed   565 Time(s)

audio.png


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Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. --Muad'Dib

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8393

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep 2009, 06:27    Post subject:  

Two questions....
1 )which puppy version are you using..?

2 )what format did you use for puppy...ext3 gives better recovery from crashes as you appear to have more problems than just X not running which is what the cleanup deals with(or pizzagoods suggestion).

3) you can add pfix=fsck to the kernel line which would run a file system check at boot...more beneficial for ext2 but may help anyway.

Puppy was originally designed to run from flash stick or cd/dvd which are more immune to power outages

mike
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caieng

Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep 2009, 07:13    Post subject: Thanks very much  

Thank you both, two excellent replies.

Wow. Great help. I have not yet gone back to the Puppy computer, to work on fixing it, because of other chores, however, I will get to it, eventually, and I am just posting this note, to thank you very much for your assistance, much appreciated.

I will get a couple of books to understand better what you both mean by typing this or that instruction, for I really am accustomed only to clicking with a mouse......

To answer Mike's question: Puppy 4.3, downloaded a week ago, running ext 4, I think, don't remember for sure.

Mike wrote:
Puppy was originally designed to run from flash stick or cd/dvd which are more immune to power outages

Ok, good. And, then, let's think about that sentence for just a minute.

What is the difference between "flash stick or cd/dvd", and keeping a pristine copy of the newly installed OS on the hard drive, available any time one has a similar power outage? It is just memory: cd's, hard drives, they are all, simply, non-volatile memory.

Pizzasgood wrote:
So it took a while before Barry realized it wasn't the best way to go.

Ok, well, maybe someday, someone will come along, and recognize that there is no difference between a cd and the hard drive, they both store non-volatile memory. Boot up ought to have a provision for booting the last known good version, and/or, the original version, i.e. same function as CD/DVD. In my opinion, Puppy ought to save BOTH, on hard drive (i.e. save the original version upon initial boot up after install, and also save a copy of the OS upon completing each graceful exit, thus overwriting the previous save, and not, of course, the original version.)

There is plenty of space available. One ought not have to type in ANYTHING, in order to restore the desktop to its condition, prior to the electrical power disruption. Of course, if Barry is living in the sun-drenched Australian outback, using solar panels to generate his electricity, then, unplanned shut down, non-graceful exit, may not appear to him to represent much of a problem.....

Very Happy

CAI ENG
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8393

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep 2009, 08:26    Post subject:  

Quote:
Puppy 4.3, downloaded a week ago, running ext 4,


Ok well just to let you know you are using a new still being debugged version of puppy and ext4 is also new to puppy as well.....there may be unknown issues with both,

regards

mike
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep 2009, 08:47    Post subject:  

Quote:
Well, everything was going well, for a couple of days, no problems, until yesterday, a big storm came along, and the power was lost, as the music was playing.


I did not realise that there was music that angered Thor that much.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor

Interestingly our newest Puppy Master
is named after a thunderbolt ('Vajra')
However Ttuuxxx is not responsible for your lightening
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=344735#344735

. . . hope the more sensible answers turn out to be useful Cool

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8393

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep 2009, 08:53    Post subject:  

Just to qualify my last post I have puppy 4.12 on a netbook full install to Ext3 with the tidy up script mentioned (not sure if 4.21 includes it) and by its very nature it has been subject to many power losses due to flat batteries and it continues to boot and run just fine

regards

mike
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Oakems

Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep 2009, 10:00    Post subject:  

It sounds to me as if a frugal install would suit you better than a full install. With a frugal install all your settings, files, programs and everything or anything else that's been changed about Puppy is stored with one file (a pup_save.file). If this one file were to become corrupt then you can boot without it, Puppy will then boot as if it were booting for the first time, a bit like booting into a pristine copy of Puppy, in fact exactly the same as booting into a pristine copy of Puppy. From there you can start again, or try to fix the old pup_save.file.

You can also have multiple pup_save.files (even on the same media, as long as they have different names), so you can have your current pup_save.file backed-up at all times. Should anything go wrong with it you can revert to the older (backed-up) pup_save.file, and carry on like nothing had happened.

Also, you could of course, have both a full install and a frugal install at the same time, on the same media and without one affecting the other. This is how I have my Puppy setup, so if anything were to go wrong with my full install, I can still access it with my frugal install and potentially (hopefully) fix it, or if the worst comes to the worst, at least retrieve the data from it.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep 2009, 00:16    Post subject:  

Hmm, I was afraid of that. I haven't actually used 4.3 yet, so I have no idea what goes on in its guts. Also, it isn't a descendant of Puppy 4.2.x, but rather of 4.1.x. So many of the changes that went into 4.2.x might not be included - including the second fix that I mentioned.
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caieng

Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep 2009, 05:57    Post subject:  

Oakems wrote:
Also, you could of course, have both a full install and a frugal install at the same time, on the same media and without one affecting the other. This is how I have my Puppy setup, so if anything were to go wrong with my full install, I can still access it with my frugal install and potentially (hopefully) fix it, or if the worst comes to the worst, at least retrieve the data from it.

Ok, so if I have understood you correctly, then you have two partitions on the same hard drive, or alternatively, two different hard drives. My suggestion was somewhat more frugal than this: My suggestion was that version 4.x of the full puppy accommodate those of us insufficiently bathed in constant sunshine, i.e. dependant upon the local electric company, by saving on the SAME partition, both a running copy, and a copy of the original installation, thus obviating need for reinstallation following an unanticipated loss of electric power.

It seems to me that your approach requires the user to complete TWO installations, whereas, my suggestion requires the software engineers developing Puppy Linux to put on their thinking caps.

Is Linux, of any flavor, to serve the user, or is the user obliged (by writing code, as suggested by Pizzasgood and Mike, to serve the software engineers?

Personally, I am disinterested in the guts of Linux, or any other software. I want to be able to use my computer effectively, and I am singularly impressed by Puppy Linux, for having jettisoned most of the useless apparatus of its UNIX progenitor. To me, as a novice, the advantage of Puppy Linux is that it does not insist upon all of that idiotic nonsense of logging into one's own computer. Most of the other distros, in my experience do require that step. Many reject my own effort to declare myself, i.e. the user, by the single letter C. These distributions inform me, cryptically, that in order to continue, I must employ a minimum of TWO characters, for a user name.

Of course, I don't want to type ANY letters, nor do I want to see a requirement for a password to access my desktop!!! But those who think of themselves as UNIX priests, are deeply offended by the thought of allowing oneself to actually operate the computer without first sprinkling holy water, and waving incense in the air, while mumbling incantations....

Pizzasgood wrote:
I haven't actually used 4.3 yet, so I have no idea what goes on in its guts.
Wow. Well expressed! We are exactly the opposite. Yin and Yang on the same forum!!!!

I would have written, had I used 4.3 for the past three months, day and night, that I nevertheless remain completely oblivious of "what goes on in its guts."

But, here's the conflict: I not only would not have investigated the innards of Puppy Linux, I have zero interest to learn about the interior shenanigans of Linux. Just the name Linux evokes nausea, because of its association with UNIX, which for me, is an acronym denoting Unbelievably Non Intuitive Xos, where X represents the Greek letter Chi, pronounced K, with the letter "a" understood as replacing the vowel "i" (chaos). I also dislike dogs, because of their rapacious lust for killing small animals and birds. I once observed a young dog, in Germany, racing about the park, killing rabbits, not to eat, but just because they were there.

So, Puppy Linux is a hard pill for me to swallow, but, in my humble opinion, it is by far the best live CD distro out there....Definitely not coaster material.

Smile

CAI ENG
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Oakems

Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep 2009, 08:57    Post subject:  

caieng wrote:
Ok, so if I have understood you correctly, then you have two partitions on the same hard drive, or alternatively, two different hard drives. My suggestion was somewhat more frugal than this: My suggestion was that version 4.x of the full puppy accommodate those of us insufficiently bathed in constant sunshine, i.e. dependant upon the local electric company, by saving on the SAME partition, both a running copy, and a copy of the original installation, thus obviating need for reinstallation following an unanticipated loss of electric power.

It seems to me that your approach requires the user to complete TWO installations, whereas, my suggestion requires the software engineers developing Puppy Linux to put on their thinking caps.


No, you have both installations on the same partition, same hard drive. All you need is an extra entry in your menu.lst for the frugal install and an extra file named initrd.gz in your /boot/ folder. You can get that file from the Puppy ISO that you used to make the live CD. Puppy makes it extremely easy to get this file, no messing around trying to learn how to mount ISO's or downloading software that extracts things from ISO's. All you do, is simply click on the ISO, that will mount it and a new window will open with the contents of the ISO inside, then all you need do is drag and drop what you need, to wherever you need it.

I know this isn't exactly what you were looking for, but your solution of having both a full running copy of Puppy, and a full copy of the original installation for Puppy, will still fall short from a proper solution. After you've had a power outage on the running copy, all you have left is the original and you'd have lost all your settings and programs. Then if you were to have another power outage, you'd lose your original pristine install and be left with nothing. But, with a frugal install this would never happen, because all you would do if something were to go wrong, would be to delete one file and you'd be left with your pristine original installation of Puppy (no worries about getting into the system because you can boot without that file). As I've said, this sounds exactly like what your after.

I understand you have no wish to learn anything Linux, but I'd suggest that may be a problem when using Linux for an Operation System. Especially when using brand new technology like Ext4, which hasn't had the same coverage as Ext3, so hasn't had as much testing in the real world, meaning it may still be buggy. I know Puppy Linux is the easiest to operate and doesn't require you to know much, but when things go wrong, they need to be fixed. Unless you plan to start again, afresh, each time something goes wrong? If this were the case, then again a Frugal install would be best as all you need to start again, is to boot without loading your pup_save.file. This way you can recover from anything!

caieng wrote:
Is Linux, of any flavor, to serve the user, or is the user obliged (by writing code, as suggested by Pizzasgood and Mike, to serve the software engineers?
I think you'll find when it comes to this question, that the relationship between developers and users is mutual and that they both rely on each other. When it comes to Puppy Linux there are a ton of users who regularly contribute to the Puppy Linux community. In fact, in a lot of Linux communities the user's input is invaluable, it's how bugs are found and fixed, it's how improvements are made, it's how the developers know what the users want, it's how the developers know what the users don't want, it's how users help each other. You couldn't have people developing software if there was no one to use it, and if there was no one to use it, why bother developing it? The fact that everything Linux is open source means there are more heads working together and that's a good thing. If someone were to find a solution to a problem, that's good, it can be sent to the developers for them to implement it into the next release, leaving more time for the developer to work on other important things.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Fri 02 Oct 2009, 16:16    Post subject:  

To make this very simple and clear:

With a frugal install, you have two important files. One file contains the original OS in a pristine state. The second file contains every change you have made.

When you boot, those two files are magically merged together into what looks like a single filesystem. Any changes are automatically placed in the file that contains your changes. (The file for the original OS will not be modified - it is treated as read-only).

These two files both reside on the same partition. They can be in a subdirectory if you want, along with the other two or three files that Puppy needs to boot (besides Grub).



To backup the changes you have made, you simply make a copy of the pup_save.2fs file, which is the one containing your changes. If you want to boot without it, you add an entry to grub that uses the pfix=ram boot option and then boot with that, and the pup_save.2fs file will not be loaded, giving you the pristine OS you originally installed.



The only big downside to this method is that the free space in the filesystem is limited by the size of the pup_save.2fs file. You can access the rest of the drive through /mnt/home/, and anything placed out there will be stored out on the partition itself, rather than inside the pup_save.2fs file. So sometimes you have to apply a little thought as to where you save things. But if you make a good sized pup_save.2fs file and keep the os-unrelated stuff (documents, pictures, music) outside the pup_save.2fs file, you should be fine. And you can symlink things from /mnt/home/ into /root/ or wherever you want, so that you don't have to go out of your way to get to them.

The size of thepup_save.2fs file can of course be increased later. It does require a reboot though.




This is the way Puppy was designed to be used. The full install is no more permanent, just more conventional (and in many ways inferior). You are free to use Puppy as a full install, just as you are free to pound a nail with the handle of a hammer. But Puppy works best as a frugal install, just as a pounding a nail generally works best with the head of a hammer. (The full install is not actually as far out of whack as the hammer analogy, but it's the best I could think of on short notice.)



Disclaimer: some of the details I mentioned, such as filenames, may be slightly different in Puppy 4.3.

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri 02 Oct 2009, 16:49    Post subject:  

caieng wrote:
the first help topic to explore, after logging into the forum


The second is: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=29754

Good Luck - We're all noobs in the beginning, and some here go back further than 4M ram & 40/80Meg hard drives ....

Perhaps a UPS would be a good idea, if you suffer a lot of outages

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply

I concur with Oakems:

Quote:
You can also have multiple pup_save.files (even on the same media, as long as they have different names), so you can have your current pup_save.file backed-up at all times. Should anything go wrong with it you can revert to the older (backed-up) pup_save.file, and carry on like nothing had happened.


When you shutdown Puppy you get a pup_save file, which won't be correct as pizzasgood explained, if the shutdown was unexpected
Reboot puppy from CD, and copy your 'extra' backup copy to the hard drive root partition, reboot and 'Hey Presto' your saved Puppy is back, less the most recent of your 'electrocuted' work
That's the simplest it gets, AFAIK, in any OS
Learning Puppy is as much about learning the terms used by people like us, ....which may appear to people like you, as a foreign language......it takes time....just be a little patient with both us, and yourself...eh?

Aitch Smile
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