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Testing frugal installation of EasyOS

November 29, 2018 — BarryK

I wrote a tutorial how to install Easy frugally, over a year ago, here:

This mode of installation works really well. Great for older computers that will not boot from USB. The tutorial mentions the boot manager Grub4dos -- you need to have some kind of boot manager already installed. Grub4dos is for PCs with traditional BIOS (not UEFI), and perchance you don't have any boot manager installed, install some other Linux first, which will also install a boot manager.

For example, most releases of Puppy Linux have Grub4dos, and if you boot up one of those, you can run Grub4dos from the menu. Once you have Grub* installed, the door is opened for easy frugal install of as many pups and derivatives, including EasyOS, as you want.

To verify that frugal install still works for Easy 0.9.9, I went through the exercise, using my workhorse Acer laptop (i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, 650GB HDD, traditional BIOS).

You can open up the image file, as described in the tutorial, but in my case I was already booted from a USB stick, so had the files in the first partition of the stick. Just copied them to a suitable folder on the laptop hard drive:

image1 difference from the tutorial, 'q.sfs' is now 'easy.sfs'.

The rest of it is as per the tutorial. Click on 'initrd.q' to open it, and edit 'BOOT_SPECS', then click again on 'initrd.gz' to close it up. Then add an entry to the Grub* boot file 'menu.lst', and you are good to go.

I posted recently to the forum, that I discovered two buglets with this process. Not really bugs. After opening up 'initrd.q', you have to manually edit 'BOOT_SPECS', in my case:


...where I obtained the 'BOOT_DISKID' and 'WKG_DISKID' by running "fdisk -l /dev/sda" (/dev/sda being the laptop hard drive).

The first buglet is that the script that opens up 'initrd.q' is capable of automatically fixing 'BOOT_SPECS', so you don't have to manually edit it. That auto-fixing doesn't kick-in, and doesn't work properly anyway, so I need to fix so it does.

The second buglet. At first bootup of the frugal installation, it asks for a password. This only works for ext4, furthermore, the ext4 filesystem has to be created with encryption capability enabled.

As my laptop has a pre-existing sda3 with ext4, it does not have encryption enabled. I did previously have some code in the 'init' script in 'initrd.q' to test if the partition has encryption capability, and offer to enable it -- it can be done to an existing ext4 filesystem by running "tune2fs -O encrypt /dev/sda3" -- however, that code is commented-out. Don't recall why, will look at that again.

Finally, that 'initrd.q', another leftover from Quirky. Plan is to change that to just 'initrd' and use a new icon.  

Tags: easy