Frugal: saving session to entire partition

When Puppy is installed to hard drive in what we call "frugal" mode, we have the choice of saving the session to either a file or to the entire partition. The same thing holds for Puppy installed on a USB stick.

However, to save to the entire partition, it must be a Linux filesystem. It can't be done on a fat or ntfs partition.

Of course, saving session to a file has it's advantages, such as you can have lots of them and they are easy to backup. But, they do have a size limitation, I think of about 4GB although I have never tested that.

Saving to the entire partition is a kind of quasi-full-Linux-installation. You are using the entire partition to save your session, so you have available all the free space of that partition.

I have been testing this. Previously there was a problem with mounting SFS files when the session is saved to the entire partition, but recent puppies have a special patched Aufs that allows this. My test installation has various SFS files, including OpenOffice and it is working nicely.

See my earlier blog post on this patched Aufs:

However, I have had to fix a couple of scripts. You cannot save the session to entire partition if Puppy is installed in a subdirectory. So, I have modified the Puppy Universal Installer to warn of this -- if it sees that you are installing to a Linux partition it warns not to install into a subdirectory if you intend or think you might want to save the session to the entire partition.

Also, when Puppy is booted for the first time and then shutdown, the rc.shutdown script checks to see if Puppy is installed in a subdirectory. If so, will not offer to save session to the entire partition (but does put up an explanation why not), only to a file.

Posted on 19 Jul 2010, 17:39


Posted on 19 Jul 2010, 20:31 by jim1911
Multiple pups
Does this format allow multiple pups to be installed? Usually, I will have a number of frugal installations in their own directory on a partition.

Posted on 19 Jul 2010, 21:30 by BarryK
Re multiple pups
You can have multiple pups in the same directory, each in own folder, that hasn't changed.

However, an installation that wants to save to entire partition cannot be installed in a folder. Only one installation can save session to entire partition, of course.
Such an installation does not prevent there being other pup installations in folders.

Posted on 20 Jul 2010, 9:34 by SirDuncan
Max Save Size
If the save file is on an ext2/3 drive, the maximum size it can be (as far as the filesystem is concerned) depends on the block size chosen when the filesystem was made. A block size of 1KB gives you a max file size of ~16GB.

There may be limitations imposed by AUFS (or something else) that I don't know about, though. If I remember correctly, FAT16/32 had a max file size of 2GB, so we can't have larger save files on most flash drives.