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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge
Alternative to pupxxx file question
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Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sat 11 Feb 2006, 22:19    Post subject:  Alternative to pupxxx file question  

I have been experimenting with USB devices (miniature hard disks, flash drives). I have been trying to use Puppy with the devices configured with the ext2 file system (native Linux). I have not been successful. I did find
several things out. It is better to run Puppy as intended in a ram disk. The boot times when using the USB device only was about 4 minutes. A CDROM and hard disk was about 3 minutes. The USB devices (if they would boot) booted up when a MSDOS FAT16 (type 6) partition was used. The best boot loader seem to be GRUB/Syslinux. The ability to edit the Grub menu.lst and then reboot was an easy way to see changes. Using LILO was a bit harder.

The idea I would like to test is using a USB device with two partitions. The first would be MSDOS FAT16 about 64 megabytes in size to hold vmlinuz, image.gz, Usr_cram.fs, and the boot loader files. The second partition would be the rest of the storage device in ext2 file system. The use of the ext2 file system for the user files would allow the most of the device to be used for the Puppy user. It would avoid the problem of running out space (AKA I like to rip cd tracks into mpg files) in the pup001 or pup100 file and having to re-size it. The direct use of ext2 file system would be more efficient than the combined MSDOS file with ext2 internals.

This should be somewhat easy. One can specify PHOME to be the second partition and have usr_cram.fs in it. However, when trying that on startup, the usr_cram.fs file can not be found or one gets an error message about a wrong file system for usr_cram.fs. I think the solution is keep PHOME pointing to MSDOS partition with usr_cram.fs file in it.

This would mean one would have to change the root after usr_cram.fs is loaded into the ram disk. I am not sure, but, I think one could use chroot command to do it. The problem for me is where? Should it be in rc.sysinit?

The configuration for Syslinux loader would be (I think):
default vmlinuz root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=16384 initrd=image.gz
append PSLEEP=25 PHOME=sda1 PFILE=none PKEYS=us

I posting this in the Cutting Edge forum because most of the more knowledgeable people use it. If it is not correct forum, the moderator can please move it. Thank you in advance for any help, thoughts or comments.

Enjoy life, Just Greg
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Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 158
Location: Jacksonville Fl

PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2006, 00:08    Post subject:  

hey greg
I use fat32 on my usb's ( i prepare then using the HPUSB formatting tool then just run syslinux.exe on them)
my boot time for a puppy based on 1.07 is around 70secs including the DHCP connection and firewall setup.
It loads a 64MB pup file and an 89MB cram with wine/firefox and thunderbird and a 107MB more for open office.
I also have a 128MB ext2 file system that i mount which is called data so i can either save files onto the ext2 fs if it is private or to the fat32 if i may need to load it onto a MS machine for some reason.
That way I get the best of both worlds and frankly I like it that way rather than make the usb totally linux
I created the ext2 data filesystem by simply using one of the blank pups that are around on the forum and renaming it - basically why reinvent the wheel.
when i want the data fs I simply mount it to mnt/data when i want to bak it up i simply mount my backup system and copy the file over to it

I am sure there are better ways to do it but hey the beauty of puppy is that is is tremendously easy to customize to individual needs


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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 9181
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2006, 08:37    Post subject:  

you're going to like the new installer for puppy2
...it'll be out in a couple of days, and you can be the official install-to-usb-in-unusual-ways tester.

The new installer is designed to handle usb flash drives with FAT, ext2/3 partitions, even without any partitions (superfloppy).
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Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2006, 10:58    Post subject:  

Thank you, Barry and George for the replys. George, I have used your tip. Use of an extra Pupxxx file does work well. As you said, the nice thing about Puppy is the ability to change it.

Barry, I will wait patiently for the next version. Hopefully, the release will not take place in the next two weeks. My employer has decide to run me around the US. Oh well, it keeps a roof over my head and my stomach full. I will start backing up MBR for the Sandisk and Kanguru USB devices, my favorities for expermenting. It is easily to foul up the MBR and the devices becomes non-bootable. The device is still useable for data storage.

Thank you, again,

Enjoy life, Just Greg

Enjoy life, Just Greg
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
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