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First play with usb Quirky

December 04, 2013 — BarryK
I will probably upload this, for anyone who might want a "first taste" of Quirky6.

The file to download is only 93MB, yet has everything that you would expect in a pup. No apps cutdown, except I am using an old SeaMonkey (1.1.18). The full set of kernel modules, nothing cut out there either (3.12.2 kernel).

I have tested it on four different computers, two laptops, two desktop PCs, got to the desktop with all of them, nothing to do. With my other old PCs, the problem is getting to boot from USB -- ah, it is stretching my memory, we used to do stuff with a floppy disk, which could then boot from USB -- there was one guy who did a lot of work with that.

Anyway, bootup time, from the kernel starting to load, to full desktop, takes from 20 to 30 seconds, depending on the computer. First boot takes a little longer. Not bad, booting from USB.

Let's see, I have implemented these goals in bold:

1. No Unionfs/Aufs (no layered filesystem).
2. Deployed as a USB-stick/SD-card image only.
3. No udev, no module loading, large kernel builtin drivers.
4. Or, my own very simple replacement for udev.
5. No mesa, no llvm.
6. Xorg has modesetting, vesa, fbdev drivers only.
7. No initrd.gz.
8. No dbus.
9. GTK 2.20.1.
10. Run cupsd only when printing.

I need to add more items to this list. There are various utilities that need to be fixed, some drastically changed to suit the different Quirky layout.
In addition, I am thinking of implementing yet more interesting features:

11. Install and uninstall SFS files.
12. Simplified version upgrade (and downgrade).
13. Auditing, allowing rollback (system recovery).

I will probably upload the current image that I am playing with, even though it has some bugs. Main difficulty right now is it is almost impossible to upload to ibiblio.

Comments

Image problem"BarryK"That 93MB file is a xz-compressed 8GB USB Flash drive image, created on a Lexar brand drive.

I used 'dd' to write the image to a different brand of Flash drive, a verbatim. Unfortunately, the drive became corrupted and the partitions were not recognised. Gparted reported a GPT-related error.

So, it looks like I cannot distribute Quirky in the form of a compressed image.

Instead, there will have to be a tarball, with an install script, that automatically creates a GPT and partitions the drive, installs syslinux, then writes the files to the drive.

Yeah, I can create a tarball that does all of that. I don't know what to do about people who are only running Windows though.

One good thing about this latter approach is that it will automatically size the second partition to fill the drive (or have a choice).

I know how to do all of this, but it will take awhile to implement.

I have then post-processed the pup into Quirky6. In some cases, I am writing scripts that replace those in Woof, for example /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit, but I decided no need to mess with Woof, just do it all afterward.

So, I have created a set of tools for creating Quirky6 that in fact any other puplet could use, to convert their pup into the same quirkiness.

Note: ibiblio is so incredibly slow. I am uploading the source packages that I used in T2, to ibiblio, but it is going at about 1.6KB/sec. I started it yesterday, hardly made any progress.

Note I decided to follow what FatDog does, have all the sources on ibiblio, as well as binary packages.
Very happy to see you working on Quirky again.
Will definitely download it. I use Plop whenever I have a PC that is old enough to have a floppy but is unable to boot from USB.

As an aside when I view your blog on an iPad it makes the page jitter continually in either Safari or Chrome browser.

I usually use my Vodafone 3G mobile broadband 'pocketWifi', but I keep an Optus 3G USB mobile broadband stick in reserve. Today I recharged it (here in Australia, it costs A$130 for 15GB, 365 day expiry).

Then I changed over to Optus to upload, as already mentioned to bkhome.org, but also to ibiblio --- and upload jumped to about 12KB/sec.

It is interesting, as on past occasions I have changed to Vodafone when I found Optus to be slow. For several months Optus was horribly slow, then suddenly came good.

line 666 has echo ' Identifier "card0" '
in current slacko-5.6.3 . Note the small "c" .

Everywhere else it is "Card[0-9]*" .


My man xorg.conf says :
Config file keywords are case-insensitive, and "_" characters are ignored. Most strings (including Option names) are also case-insensitive, and insensitive to white space and "_" characters.

14. Child-proofing. Optional, make PC hard drives invisible.

Booting Quirky off USB or SD-card, at first bootup there can be an option to make hard drives in the PC invisible.

Then give the flash-drive to the kids and they can do everything, but only on their drive.

I don't know how to actually do this, but it is a good idea, and I'll think of something.
Take a look at Puli Puppy:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=88691
In many areas, goals are similar to what you defined for Quirky6:
- Puli boots from (unpluggable) USB pendrive
- No ISO image,
- Smart version handling,
- Easy system backup and recovery,
- Multiple variants on the same USB stick,
- Merge function to auto-install multiple SFS add-ons
- Improved security features

Take a look at Puli Puppy:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=88691
In many areas, goals are similar to what you defined for Quirky6:
- Puli boots from (unpluggable) USB pendrive
- No ISO image,
- Smart version handling,
- Easy system backup and recovery,
- Multiple variants on the same USB stick,
- Merge function to auto-install multiple SFS add-ons
- Improved security features

Tags: quirky, linux