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EasyPup multisession-DVD in lockdown mode

December 01, 2020 — BarryK

Puppy multisession-DVD goes way back, circa 2008. The session is saved to the DVD, cumulatively, each session as a track on the DVD, and the tracks are loaded into RAM at bootup. The PC hard drives are not used at all. It had a burst of popularity back then, but got mostly forgotten, though there is still feedback from people continuing to use it.

I have now rejuvenated multisession-DVD. Good to read the original document to see what it is all about:

And here are three "goodies" added to rejuvenated multisession-DVD:

...but that zram compression in RAM is now being applied to all PUPMODEs, not just multisession-DVD.

Here is a snapshot, booted on my Mele mini-PC, with external USB DVD drive, running in multisession-DVD mode, with "lockdown" enabled:


...the Mele has an old 800x600 monitor, good for taking a more compact snapshot.

The important point about lockdown mode, is only the optical drive is accessible, though USB drives can be plugged in and used. It is just the internal drives that are disabled.

Optical media is going the same way as the 5.25 inch floppy drive, and will seem just as quaint to young people, if they see us "old fogies" using it. Anyway, multisession-DVD is quite nice, and with lockdown extremely secure, though you do have to put up with the clunky slowness of optical media.

It took approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds for 'puppy.sfs' to load from DVD into RAM (about 500MB), so you have to be extremely patient during bootup. On top of that, multisession has to load the session tracks, and that can grow to just as long again.

Just for comparison, on a reasonably fast USB stick, such as the SanDisk Ultra, loading 'puppy.sfs' takes about 9 seconds. There are even much faster USB Flash sticks available, such as the SanDisk Extreme.

I personally don't think it is a big deal waiting a few minutes for bootup. You need to decide whether what multisession-DVD brings to the table is worth the wait!

I noticed yesterday, did a quick look on eBay, USB optical drives are very cheap, under AU$20 (about US$15) including delivery. For example:

EDIT 2020-12-03:
Oops, I posted a link to a USB optical drive, only AU$19, but it burns to CD-R only, not DVD. Need to read the specs carefully! Had another search on eBay, and can only find USB3 drives that will burn to DVD -- that is interesting, because I own a Samsung brand, that is USB2 and does burn to DVD (-R and +R) -- mine also powers completely from the USB cable -- the drives that specify USB3 should probably only be plugged into USB3 sockets to ensure sufficient current capacity.

Anyway, here is one quite cheap,  AU$21.99, USB3: 

Um, maybe you can power these "USB3" drives from USB1 or USB2. Here is another, where explicitly states can power off a USB 1.1 socket (AU$24.99): 

After a bit of reading it looks like DVD+R is superior. Also, some early optical drives, the slim laptop-style, are unable to burn multisession tracks.

EasyOS already has lockdown!

I am appending this, as if you have read the above and are thinking, oh wow, that looks good! -- then be aware that running totally in RAM, and lockdown, including disabling of internal drives, has already been implemented in EasyOS.

If you are asking whether you should choose EasyPup or EasyOS, and don't have any compelling reason to go for EasyPup, then please do choose EasyOS.

Here is a post about lockdown in EasyOS:

Right now, I have probably finished the burst of activity working on EasyPup, and going back onto EasyOS -- the latter is where the action is, ongoing.  

Tags: easy