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Wary64 6.99 live-CD

February 16, 2015 — BarryK
In response to interest from Quirky testers, I have built a live-CD of Wary64.

Download from here:

However, I must emphasize that Quirky is intended for full installations. Live-CD and frugal installations are not as fully functional as with Puppy.

Quirky live-CD and frugal installations consist of two files, 'vmlinuz' and 'initrd.q'. The latter is a cpio archive, with all of Quirky as a file 'q.sfs' inside it.

At bootup, initrd.q and hence q.sfs are loaded entirely into RAM. Quirky runs totally in RAM, which means that you are very restricted in what you can download and install -- though of course, files can be downloaded to a mounted partition -- but any installed packages are going to occupy the RAM.

When you boot the live-CD, there are two icons on the desktop, "install" and "save". The former only offers a frugal install for now.
The latter offers to save the session back to CD/DVD, however this is not multisession, an entirely new blank CD/DVD is required, or a -RW type can be erased then saved to.

Currently this save operation, which involves rebuilding 'initrd.q', is done in RAM, meaning that heaps of RAM is needed. My laptop has 4GB, I don't know how little will work. Just booting the live-CD and never saving will need less, but still a lot, maybe 2GB.

A frugal install works the same. initrd.q gets loaded into RAM and Quirky runs totally in RAM. There is a "save" icon on the desktop, and 'initrd.q' gets rebuilt in RAM then written to the drive.
So again, heaps of RAM needed.

This is definitely not like Puppy! There is no "save file", no automatic saving, no save at shutdown.

I can reduce RAM usage in the future. Zram may not be the most efficient after all, in which case there is another way I can do it.
rebuilding 'initrd.q' could be done in a partition -- the "save" script can offer to mount and use a partition for this purpose.

The two new scripts are /usr/sbin/installquirky and /usr/sbin/savesession.

I do see some usage-scenarios where people might like this live-CD. It doesn't look at the hard drives at all -- in fact, the Childproofing app (in the Filesystem menu) can be used to completely hide HD partitions if required.
Settings can be saved to CD/DVD, then used for web browsing without saving anything, no history.

I do intend to expand the "install" script to also do full installations, to drive or partition.


Note also, saving to CD/DVD takes a long time, with just a "Please wait..." popup sitting there -- leaving you wondering what is going on.

It is mostly the 'cdrecord' or 'growisofs' that takes a lot of time.

I do intend to have another window to show progress.

Tags: linux