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Puppy "4.3.2" running on Gecko

February 09, 2010 — BarryK
I posted earlier in my blog how I partitioned the internal SD card with a 256MB fat32 partition and a 6.7GB ext3 partition. I then installed FreeDOS to the fat partition, and GRUB4DOS.

The FreeDOS shell enables easy updating of the Flash BIOS. I have placed the 'spiflash.exe' utility into this partition.

I have built an unofficial Puppy 4.3.2, with a kernel patched to support sound in the Gecko and a wireless driver. I also included the 'rdc' Xorg driver, which is designed to work on the Xcore86mx chip used in the Gecko, however it is buggy and I recommend that you choose Xvesa.

I installed Puppy 4.3.2 onto the ext3 partition of the Gecko. A frugal install, and I chose to save the session to the entire partition -- nice, as after rebooting the free-memory applet displays 6GB+ free space. I configured GRUB4DOS with a menu to select between booting FreeDOS or Puppy Linux -- it would be nice to add a menu entry for an external USB pen drive.

What I have done is provide an image file of the SD card. This will make it really easy for anyone to install FreeDOS and Puppy as I have described above -- just run 'dd' to copy the image file to the SD card.

Here are my notes on how to setup the internal SD card for dual booting FreeDOS and Linux:

This is a image file for an 8GB SD card, setup for dual-booting FreeDOS and Linux (8.2MB):

...all that you need to do is copy this file to the SD card using the 'dd' utility in Linux (where /dev/sdc is the SD card in this example):

# gunzip -c gecko-freedos-dualboot.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sdc will then see two partitions on the card, sdc1 is 256MB fat32, sdc2 is 6.7GB ext3. The former has GRUB4DOS, FreeDOS and the 'spiflash.exe' utility on it. The latter is empty and this is where you can install Linux.

Note that there is also approx. 450MB unallocated space on the SD card, in case you want to create another small partition.

In the case of Puppy, download these three files and copy them to sdc2:

That's it, the SD card is ready for use. Put it back into the Gecko (although it is possible to do all of the above with the SD card left in the Gecko, if you have booted Puppy from an external USB pen drive.


saving to entire partition
Username: eprv
Hi Barry After saving to the entire partition can you load an additional SFS file, I tried it many times but failed also with the latest 432 Thanks

entire partition
Username: BarryK
"eprv, I don't know, I'll have to test it. I was puzzled, as I tried to load the OpenOffice SFS file in Gecko and it crashed at bootup. I put it into my to-do list.

Entire partition
Username: BarryK
"Ah yes, I remember now. I think that it worked with Unionfs, but not with Aufs. I don't know how to get around the problem, I'll have to think about it. The main pup-432.sfs works because it gets copied into RAM first. But, it is not practical to copy more SFS files to RAM, as there isn't that much RAM to play with.

entire disk
Username: eprv
"Yes, I only succeeded with Puppy 3.01 it had an option to change to Unionfs, but saving to entire disk is the most favorable type of frugal install Hope you can find a solution

Tags: puppy