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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Is There Any Way To Prune "Personal Memory"?
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jimwg

Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug 2013, 00:07    Post subject:  Is There Any Way To Prune "Personal Memory"?  

Greetings:

First, my hat's off to MacPup and Puppy's creators! Keep up the great work!

I'm exploring Puppy to reproduce my great CD-less flash-installed Mint XFCE experience but to lessen wear and tear on the flash drive as many claim there is, though I've heard no reports of anyone actually having a "worn-out" flash drive, at least on the SanDisk and Kingston forums. Since I'm a Mac refugee, I decided to check out MacPup first because of its splendid GUI, so right now I'm experimenting with a 2gig flash drive..

Maybe it's lucky or fluke, but when this non-techie installed MacPup by the book I've had zero of the issues I've read while gleaning dozens of Puppy sites to get educated! It runs beautifully and promises to resurrect my old-in-the-attic Dell tower and R31 Lenovo. I especially like running MacPup entirely off the flash drive without CDs and that's my preferred default. There is only one real hitch that I've been struggling to read about and search for solutions has to do with the "personal storage" memory size issue so I just wish to peg down some conclusions: As of now, to my understanding the "personal storage" file size cannot be pruned or whittled down, only resized larger. Is this absolute or eventually curable? Does the live-CD with flash option really get-round this "personal storage" bloating?

Since I installed MacPup it's signaled me that my "personal storage" size was getting tight and both times I expanded 128 megs. I did install OpenOffice and Seamonkey after finishing ny MacPup installation, but it's still thirsty. (I read that SeaMonkey is less preferred than Opera in Puppy because it doesn't swell the "personal storage" as much. Would that truly help?). My question is does OpenOffice and SeaMonkey regularly generate so much bloat that you have to keep expanding the "personal storage", even when you go into those programs and set cache to zero or dump it and not use SeaMonkey for mail (in testing purposes)?

I spent a bit of time configuring my MacPup desktop in wallpaper and ibar and Shelf set-ups (especially creating gadget icons for them) right and I'd like to know if there's a way I can clone this configuration into a fresh (smaller) "personal storage" file. Next time I'll also have my flash partitioned with one side Linux and the other FAT to keep my personal files on as some users claim that cuts out the bloat, but I'm here to hear it from the horse's mouth!

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim in NYC
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11013
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug 2013, 01:24    Post subject:  

If your personal storage seems to be filling up without you adding anything to it, the reason is almost certainly the browser's cache. SeaMonkey makes it easy to fix that. Just go to Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Cache, click the Choose from button and navigate to /tmp. After that, SeaMonkey will put its cache in /tmp, which is not saved in the personal file. Actually it is not saved at all; it's in RAM, so it simply evaporates into the aether when the computer is turned off.
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4230
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug 2013, 03:28    Post subject:  

Hello, jimwg.

Check also the following storage locations for openoffice :
/root/.config/.openoffice/4/user/temp
/root/.config/.openoffice/4/user/store
/root/.config/.openoffice/4/user/backup

You can safely empty temp and backup, but I would suggest only pruning the older files in the store folder.

Additionnally, you can regain 16 Mg or more if you move the entire
folder at /root/.config/.openoffice to /mnt/home/.openoffice.
Then create a link back from /mnt/home/.openoffice to /root/.config/.openoffice. That way, the folder remains accessible to the main openoffice executable.

The only problem with that procedure is that anything in the personal sfs is compacted to +/- 1/3 of the actual size. For ex., a 500 Mg personal sfs can actually contain 1.5 Gb of data. When you transfer something from the personal sfs to a regular disk, the size is times 3 (+/-), so make sure you have enough space on your disk.

Best regards.

musher0

_________________
"Logical entities must not be multiplied needlessly." / "Il ne faut pas multiplier les êtres logiques inutilement." (Ockham)
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3420
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug 2013, 04:09    Post subject:  

IDEAS:

1. I have as many of my Puppies as possible set so changes that happen during a session are only saved if I choose to do so.
I can manually save....during a session, or else at shutdown/reboot.
I would do this only if I'd made some change I specifically wanted to make permanent.
Otherwise, I normally don't save anything.
Hence, the contents of the pupsave file normally remain unchanging.

a. I can tell you how to do this if you are interested.

Alternatively:
b. "Lighthouse64-6.02" [or the larger Mariner version] has a special experimental feature:
You can enter a simple command at startup, that disables auto-saving during the following session.
I find that too much of a bother to use...
But...
The next release will have the ability to easily make permanent the auto-disabling of auto-saves.

2. To make a new smaller pupsave:
Having 1st solved any problems causing abnormal growth of the pupsave contents.
a. Use the "Menu->Setup->Remaster Puppy live CD" program to make a new ISO file that includes all of the pupsave content into a new main SFS file.

b. Use the file contents of that ISO ...
Or make a CD and use the files...
To make a new bootable Puppy Flash Drive.

c. If the old pupsave is held somewhere the new Puppy would see it...
Move the old pupsave to somewhere that the new Puppy won't see it.
[Boot without the Flash Drive connected that's holding the old Puppy & pupsave?]

d. Then boot the new Flash Drive for the 1st time, and at shutdown/reboot, make a new smaller pupsave file.
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jimwg

Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2013, 16:55    Post subject:  

Thanks to you all for the assist! I am near my mid-seventies but you all make this kind of technical education a joy! Thank you!

I think once the creators of Puppy lick this inflating "personal storage" size issue (there MUST be a way!) and make it automatic for newbies, there'd be no excuse for anyone to carrying Mint on flash drives that are constantly flashing and wearing the things out! Doing it all in RAM is the way to go!

I'm still trying to grasp the concept of the "personal storage"size; is it's size set in stone and it doesn't matter how much you clear it from the inside, the "boundary size" is fixed as far as the program is concerned? Is this similiar to the fixed and flexible memory iso archive files the Mac used? If you can't shrink "personal storage" size, it seems to act like those old fixed memory-size iso archive files. What I would like to do is (even if just for a learning experience), instead of continuously rachetting up the size of my "personal storage" is to actually go inside that pupsave file itself and start weeding out the main causes! Some users say to go into the "initrd" folder where there are lots of "pup_ro5, pup_ro6," etc files and delete those that are empty or have miscellaenous files for a starter. If it's possible how much more do I need to go to effecivently recover some space?

You folks inspired me to experiment a little, so to save space I'm using OOo4kids 1.3. which is far smaller but virtually identical program (at least in Write) to OpenOffice. I was surprised! I had partitioned my flash drive into a 500meg FAT section (sdb2) and a 1400meg Ext3 one (sdb1) and created some folders in sdb2. In OOo4Kids I went into the Paths control and aligned my paths to go: Backup to /sdb2/OOo_Stuff and Documents to /sdb2/Docs. I didn't redirect the tmp path because I had had read in some forums that Puppy wips out tmp files when you reboot, but if believe this inaccurate then I'm game to go your way! I did this to Firefox as well, rdiecting its Backup to sbd2. I pruned SeaMonkey because I thought it'd be redundant with Firefox there and I don't want to deal with an ever swelling mail client, but upon more user forum reading I'm wondering whether cutting SeaMonkey was a mistake since many seem to think it controls its internal and outfile functions better than Firefox. Would I pay a space penelty putting SM back and cutting Firefox out? I don't know, that why I'm asking you mavens!

So far I am very enthused about MacPup/Puppy in general, and the only sticking points for me (a techie tyro and Mac refugee) was having a blank desktop with no drive or foider icons like Macs/PCs start off with, and I really had to get used to creating icons for OOo4Kids which had none to mount on the ibar. Yes, I know Puppy's a different and new animal, but I'm just talking as an ex market resesarcher who wants expand a great product to the masses by helping it be more user friendly. Smile . I clicked and tinkered with the "Shelf" twice and popped it into the Twilight Zone trying to to access the contents and settings, and so to not to overwrite the good previous savepup configuration by exiting I just switched off my machine and came back and started over, so a "are you sure" alert or warning for things that might pop out by accident would be a great help.

Thanks for the education!

Jim in NYC
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Karl Godt


Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 3964
Location: Kiel,Germany

PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2013, 17:40    Post subject:  

Flash drive installs should be used only for short maintenance boots - ie to install grub or run filesystem check .
The USB joints often are not really tight, making it easy to disconnect and reconnect for milliseconds .

Other than this I use USB for helping out while testing for new regular releases .

Never use the ext2 file system format for the save file - use ext3 that is stable .
ext2 might not update its space information like journailed fs do . Run fsck on the savefile and that would probably free some space .

Flash is cheap - so don't think one could live forever by reducing the wearing level and still have only benefits without disadvantages .
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11013
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2013, 22:38    Post subject:  

Karl, I think your objection to putting Puppy in flash memory is really to putting it in USB flash memory. Other manifestations of flash memory, such as SD and CF memory cards and SSD, are perfectly acceptable for Puppy. Probably you'd find the same problems if you put Puppy in a USB hard disk as you do putting it in a USB memory stick. In other words, the problem is in the USB connector, not the flash memory itself.
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elroy


Joined: 02 Feb 2012
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug 2013, 23:01    Post subject:  

jimwg,

it's also possible to mount a hard-drive partition(s) at startup, and then use symlinks to those partitions in order to do the heavy lifting. For example, if you have a folder that you use for music and/or video on the hard drive, there's no reason to re-create that on your flash. You could mount that partition upon startup, and then use a symlink in your 'home' folder that points to it; from there the symlink is saved upon your puppy flash savefile. This will save you tons of space, and will allow you to share that particular folder/and/or/partition between linux distros. The same can be done with other folders, such as personal documents, etc. You could even remaster the puppy in order to incorporate this behavior by default. Using the hard drive in this manner would certainly lessen the load of your flash drive, and in theory extend its life cycle.

I've checked out Mac-Pup once a couple years ago, and I can't honestly say that it has an easy way to do this. I use Carolina, and with that pup, this is easy to do. I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too difficult to reproduce this behavior with the Mac-pup, too. Both puppy distros are, after all, Linux/GNU.
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Karl Godt


Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 3964
Location: Kiel,Germany

PostPosted: Wed 21 Aug 2013, 05:25    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
Karl, I think your objection to putting Puppy in flash memory is really to putting it in USB flash memory. Other manifestations of flash memory, such as SD and CF memory cards and SSD, are perfectly acceptable for Puppy. Probably you'd find the same problems if you put Puppy in a USB hard disk as you do putting it in a USB memory stick. In other words, the problem is in the USB connector, not the flash memory itself.

Flash, you are perfectly right !
Though I have some doubts about the connectivity of micro/mini - SDcards inside a SD adapter card .
Everything that sits internal like SSD should be preferred .

Though I would love to be able test Puppy PUPMODE 3 on SSD ..
Still expensive for little space .
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jimwg

Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Wed 21 Aug 2013, 08:54    Post subject:  

elroy wrote:
jimwg,

I use Carolina, and with that pup, this is easy to do. I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too difficult to reproduce this behavior with the Mac-pup, too. Both puppy distros are, after all, Linux/GNU.


Thanks for the info, Elroy! Very insightful tips! I'll check into Carolina too (and it's a state that brings fond memories too!).

My initital goal was going for a complely CD-less flash OS, which is why I've Mint XFCE on a stick. (yes, I'm just experimenting with Puppy on a 2gig flash and will move higher when I'm used to Puppy -- My Mint runs on a 16gig flash). Works excellenty but you have to wonder about the circuit wear and tear of that ever blinking flash light! Right now I'm trying to find ways to recreate the look and feel of my Mint install into MacPup because I'm too old to change! Smile

But I just have to wonder, just for the heck of it, whether anyone's ever done surgery on their savepup file to trim the fat. I'd be happy to learn doing that! I know many say to install Puppy with a gig for savepup, but is that really overkill just to cover all the bases of future swelling memory? What's the true bare-bone minimum a functional savepup file can get after trimming the lard? I mean I just added OOo4Kids and deleted SeaMonkey to my initial install and it's already bloated to 400mg. By my bad math, just starting from a minimal MacPuppy install with 64megs as pupsave, adding on 72meg OOo4Kids, my first pupsave file shouldn't grow much over 130megs or so, would that be right? Now I did redirect the Backup, TMP and Documents paths in OO4Kids to a FAT partition and changed Firefox's Backup path to that as well, so if you do that from the get-go the pupsave file shouldn't swell much at all, would that be so?

I can't test it now, but does a totally clean CD install of Puppy on flash without adding any apps or anything grow much reboot after reboot? If it doesn't, then it suggests programs like Firefox and Openoffice are generating "invisible" bulk in RAM that we can't see or redirect or dump that's responsible for the pupsave swelling and thus requires our inevitable "personal storage" memory boosting thing, would that be correct? Is there anyway to shut off the swelling leaks in these apps prior or after installation? Of course I'm just guessing all this techie stuff and look forward to be lessoned by you teachers! Smile

Sorry if I'm getting windy about all this, but learning computer things from grass-roots mavens as yourselves is one exciting education!

Jim in NYC
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