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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Loading SFS to RAM Without Requiring 2X RAM (Solved)
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8906
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 13:06    Post subject:  

Maybe free memory is calculated differently in the Northern Hemisphere. Wink But I just did a frugal install of Lupu 520 on a machine with 2 GB of RAM and got the same "nocopy" behaviour.

Is no one else seeing this?
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emil

Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 614
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 13:59    Post subject:  

I just tested 5.2 with my mentioned debug lines in the 5.2 initrd.gz
I have 1 GB RAM

without bootparameter:
COPYCONTENDER=""
COPY2RAM=""
sfs is not copied to RAM
checked with command free, after startup there are < 200 MB used (don't have the exact numbers)

with bootparamter pfix=copy
COPYCONTENDER ="yes"
COPY2RAM="yes"
sfs is copied to RAM
checked with command free, after startup there are ca 480 MB RAM used.
emil

initrd.gz with debug echos
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 18:47    Post subject:  

Quote:
Maybe free memory is calculated differently in the Northern Hemisphere. Wink But I just did a frugal install of Lupu 520 on a machine with 2 GB of RAM and got the same "nocopy" behaviour.

Is no one else seeing this?


rcrsn5, I know you are not kidding, I will do some systematic testing.

First finding is that pfix=copy is default in the menu.lst entry and the frugal install does copy to ram.

Second finding is that if I remove pfix=copy then the frugal install does *not* copy to ram (even with 4GB).

rcrsn5, is that the case with the frugal install you tested? I think this is the expected behavior for a frugal install. I experimented quickly and didn't see any speed difference whether it copied to ram or did not. That would be different with the Live-CD and 512MB ram.

Code:
 title Lucid Puppy lupu-520 (on /dev/sda2)
  rootnoverify (hd0,1)
  kernel /lupu-520/vmlinuz pmedia=atahd pfix=copy psubdir=lupu-520
  initrd /lupu-520/initrd.gz

Last edited by playdayz on Wed 16 Feb 2011, 19:00; edited 1 time in total
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 2044
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 18:59    Post subject:  

emil, rcrsn51, apparently, this is the expected behaviour. As this part of the code says:
Code:
 if [ "$PNOCOPY" != "yes" ];then
  [ "`echo -n "$ATADRIVES" | grep "$pdPATTERN"`" = "" ] && COPYCONTENDER='yes' #test if not fast internal drive.
  [ $PUPMODE -eq 5 ] && COPYCONTENDER='yes'
  [ "$DEV1FS" = "iso9660" ] && COPYCONTENDER='yes'
 fi
 [ "$PCOPY" = "yes" ] && COPYCONTENDER='yes'
if you don't specify pfix=nocopy which actively prohibits from loading to RAM, by default loading to RAM will only happen if:
a) you run off slow media (ie not internal harddisk - e.g. CD)
b) you run with pfix=ram

Thus, when you do frugal install, the behaviour is *not* to load into RAM unless you request it explicitly by adding pfix=copy.

What puzzles me for l0wtech case is that he is running from CD (thus candidate for loading to RAM), he has also explicitly asked for loading to RAM (he uses pfix=copy), he's running in PUPMODE=5 (pfix=ram), his SFS size is 170M and he's got 512MB RAM ... he ticks off everything that would force loading to RAM so he should get the behaviour. But apparently it doesn't.

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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 19:06    Post subject:  

l0wt3ch

I forget if you told me, Does standard Lucid 5.2 Live-CD copy to ram on boot in that machine with 512MB ram? It should.

More info for people, I do remember that you said Studio does copy to ram on a machine with 1GB. Is that still the case?
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 2044
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 19:30    Post subject:  

Did some test a a virtual machine with dedicated graphics memory. On real machine with shared graphics (ie = most Intel graphics), one has to discount the available memory with the amount taken by graphics card.

For Puppy Studio 3.3 - SFS size is 360MB.
Theoritical minimum RAM required for loading to RAM = 2 x (360+1) = 722MB. In my VM, it will boot when supplied with 732MB, nothing less. The extra 10MB is probably required for kernel, drivers, etc.

For Lupu 5.2 - SFS size is 123MB
Theoritical minimum RAM required for loading to RAM = 2 x (123+1) = 248MB. In my VM, it will boot when supplied with 254MB, nothing less. It only requires 6MB extra (which is odd, because I thought both use the same kernel and drivers?).

EDIT: this is when booting from the virtual CD, no extra parameters are passed on the command line.

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emil

Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 614
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 19:54    Post subject:  

Quote:
emil, rcrsn51, apparently, this is the expected behaviour.


I was not saying something is wrong on my machine, everything worked as it should be Very Happy . But maybe we can get also the values of those variables when it fails, like in the original post:

Quote:
I booted the resulting iso (174 M) with "puppy pfix=ram,copy" and it didn't load the sfs into RAM, but instead ran off of the CD, same as before. So it wasn't because of anything I did that was causing this problem, it was definitely something to do with Puppy itself.


just to get more specific why it fails ... Question
l0wt3ch?
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 2044
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 20:15    Post subject:  

Yes emil, I agree. It's good if l0wtech can use the initrd you have supplied and see the values of these parameters. We can move further from there.
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 20:49    Post subject:  

I do have a 512MB machine. After removing one stick.

The standard Lucid 5.2 Live-CD (127MB) copied to ram as it booted.

I then installed Google Earth and Firefox and remastered--that gave a lupu-520 sfs of 181MB. That 181MB Live-CD copied to ram when it booted.

So, In a 512MB machine both the standard Lucid-52 LiveCD copied to ram and so did the remastered 181Mb Live-CD.

Given these results I think it might be possible that there is something unique about the 170MB test disk that l0wt3ch made. It looks like Barry changed some things in that routine--but from my tests it looks like Lucid 5.2 is behaving as expected.

Puppy Studio is a great deal so I hope we can find a solution. In the case of 256MB ram, lupu-520 takes 127 and leaves 129. So in the case of 512MB ram, it seems to me that it could handle an sfs of 383 MB, leaving 129 free. But I am thinking that it would need revision to initrd.gz.

I did notice that the Remaster program could use some better error-trapping if anyone would like to take that on. Specifically, I accidentally inserted a disk that had already been written to and the Remaster program did not catch it--it wrote for a second or two and then said it succeeded.

Last edited by playdayz on Wed 16 Feb 2011, 21:37; edited 2 times in total
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8906
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 20:53    Post subject:  

jamesbond wrote:
Thus, when you do frugal install, the behaviour is *not* to load into RAM unless you request it explicitly by adding pfix=copy.

Thanks. All my tests were done with manual frugal installs - not by using the Universal Installer. So I was not using the "pfix=copy" argument in my menu.lst entries.

This is a change in the default behaviour of Puppy that I believe appeared around Quirky 1.3 and has since migrated into Lupu.

In the past, we always said that Puppy automatically loaded into RAM if there was enough space. Now it loads into RAM if there is enough space AND you ask it to.
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 21:01    Post subject:  

Quote:
In the past, we always said that Puppy automatically loaded into RAM if there was enough space. Now it loads into RAM if there is enough space AND you ask it to.


I *think* the way Barry sees it is that Puppy copies into ram on first boot (if it can).

The welcome1stboot.htm popup, which we removed from Lucid 5.2, says

Quote:
As this is the first time that you have started Puppy, he is running totally in RAM!
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l0wt3ch
Guest


PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 22:05    Post subject:  

Thanks for the responses.

The strangest thing for me was that it didn't matter how many extra files I added - whether that was five 47 MB files (235 MB), eleven files (517 MB), or nineteen (893 MB), the resulting sfs was always 170 MB. And upon examination on boot, the files were still there!

Either this is the result of the alien technology given to Barry, or something is seriously wrong. Laughing

I've uploaded the dummy file I used, as well as the resulting isos (test1 is 520, test2 is 511).

I wonder if using the initrd from 511 would solve this? Or using the specific file from 511's initrd in 520's initrd. Are they compatible?
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Jim1911

Joined: 19 May 2008
Posts: 2445
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed 16 Feb 2011, 22:45    Post subject:  

Is it possible that the compression algorithm recognizes that your 47MB file is duplicated X times and ignores or links the duplications?
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l0wt3ch
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb 2011, 03:18    Post subject:  

I don't know. Can squashfs "see through" tar.bz2 archives?

Either way, the resulting 170 MB sfs file won't load into RAM with "puppy pfix=ram, copy" with 512 MB of RAM.
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emil

Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 614
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb 2011, 03:24    Post subject:  

l0wt3ch,

can you do a testrun with the 170 MB sfs and the initrd.gz I supplied ? - make a backup of the original somewhere.
I mean rename initrd.gz --> initrd.gz.old and copy the new initrd.gz in the puppy 520 folder, so that it is picked up by menu.lst.

The new initrd.gzt is original 5.2, but includes debug output of the main parameters just before the conditional if to load the sfs or not. The values appear on the screen during the boot process. Be sure you put pfix=copy into you menu.lst.

of course you could also test with the 511 initrd.gz to see if this works.
In case that works it would be interesting to have a comparison of the code.
Try to unpack the initrd.gz (described in the first link I gave). Look up the section around Line 1280 described by jamesbond.

Look if the size of Memory RAMSIZE and MINRAM2CPY are correctly detected. If yes there is the variable COPYCONTENDER. It should be "yes", but maybe there is some subtle bug somewhere in the detection of available drives, which may be specific to your test machine (although this is just a wild guess and I can be completly wrong).
If necessary we have to add more lines for debugging output eventually.

just my suggestion on a strategy how to nail this down
best emil
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