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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Understanding mounts/memory/RAM & filesystems/_save file
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Tue 10 Mar 2009, 23:53    Post subject:  


_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN


Last edited by canbyte on Wed 11 Mar 2009, 14:27; edited 1 time in total
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rjbrewer


Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 4422
Location: merriam, kansas

PostPosted: Wed 11 Mar 2009, 01:38    Post subject:  

Canbyte;

About the size of puppy: Using live cd its' compressed image is
under 100mb and can run in 128mb ram.
With a full install the image decompresses on the hard drive to
about 220 or so mb.
Hard drives are very slow compared to ram; swap files or par-
titions help a little, but not much. Doesn't hurt to have some.

A swap partition the same size as ram is also used for hibernation
or suspend to ram by some Linux distros for laptops.

One swap partition will be used by all the O.S. installed on the
system; swap files need to be on each partition AFAIK.

Puppy 4.2 boots a little slower; has a lot of "widget" action
going on. It really is beautiful though.

I'm putting together a little piece for the "how to" section on
my newly discovered install method. Haven't seen anything
exactly like it before.

Bill Gates is buying 500,000 shares a day of a waste manage-
ment company.

edit
When you copy a link to the post, highlight it before you
push the URL button.
I still haven't mastered the "short-link" version.

rjb





rjb

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Msi Wind U100, N270 1.6>2.0Ghz, 1.5Gb ram.
Eeepc 8g 701, 900Mhz, 1Gb ram.
Full installs

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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11131
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Fri 13 Mar 2009, 23:53    Post subject:  

Puppy's core files

vmlinux
initrd.gz
pup_xxx.sfs
zdrv_xxx.sfs ( not used after 4.00 )
boot files

overview of the core frugal files

vmlinux

is the Linux kernel, which is expanded and loaded into memory. it is read from the boot media, which could be a variety of media types such as cdrom disc, usb stick, hard drive and etc.

once the kernel has been read, it is no longer needed during that session.


initrd.gz

it has the script and files necessary to determine your session type, additional parameters and give you the working operating system. could be conceptualized as the 'glue' to put the necessary parts together. once used, it is not needed or used again during that session

pup_xxx.sfs

where xxx corresponds to your version number. the vast majority of Puppy's files are contained in pup_xxx.sfs. unlike vmlinux and initrd.gz; pup_xxx.sfs is in continual use during your session and can not be removed. the session depends on this file being mounted and available


it is mounted as a squash file system

the mount point is typically /initrd/pup_ro2

it is mounted read-only

it is not decompressed and is used as a compressed file system

when files are needed from it, they are copied out of it (and decompressed) into memory, after the program and files have been closed by the user, they might remain in memory cache. if they are and Linux needs the memory, it will drop various caches to make room for the next program you want to run

if you have sufficient RAM, Puppy allows pup_xxx.sfs to be copied in its entirety to RAM, thereby freeing the dependency on the original pup_xxx.sfs file. if the original was on a CD Disc, by copying it to RAM the CD Disc can be freed as no files, (vmlinuz, initrd.gz and pup_xxx.sfs) are needed any longer, everything necessary to run Puppy is in RAM. The CD disc can be removed

boot files

there can be different kinds of boot files, the only thing I wish to say is Linux is not self-booting and depends on an external boot process to get anything up and running. Depending on the install type, the user has a lot of say regarding what system he uses to boot Linux

=====================

Looking back at vmlinuz, initrd.gz and pup_xxx.sfs, please note that none of these files are written to or writable in normal operations. they are all read only.

If we want to write any information at all it will not be to these files. This is where the convience of the pup_save file comes into play.

pup_save.2fs

it doesn't come with Puppy and is not essential to its operation. it is a user option for the purpose of being able to 'write' and 'keep' changes.

the pup_save is simply a file which has been formatted as an ext2 Linux format (the default format anyway)

it is not compressed

it is mounted as a read/write filesystem at /initrd/pup_rw

it is not copied to RAM or moved

in the boot process initrd.gz locates it and 'glues' it in as part of the total operating system

when using a pup_save file the user sees a layered hodgepodge of pup_xxx.sfs, (other user mounted devices) and the pup_save file, although it may be a literal hodgepodge, it appears as a nicely organized directory tree and files

unbreakable rules

a session doesn't write to our three core files ( a user could )

we cannot have duplicate files or directories

we cannot for example; have two files, one file and one directory, or two directories of the same name under the same parent directory

but we do have many duplicates and we can't. we can't have two /root directories for example but we do

layered filesystems

considering we break unbreakable rules, the way it is done is by layering the various filesystems, directory trees and files.

naming conflicts of which there are many are resolved in favor of the contents of the pup_save file.

example: pup_xxx.sfs has /usr/bin/leafpad and that is the file we are using, (the file inside pup_xxx.sfs), which is the source of the file we use. if we install a newer version of /usr/bin/leafpad . . .

. . . we introduce a naming conflict . . .

. . . we do not make an overwrite, the first /usr/bin/leafpad is in a readonly filesystem. we can't write to it. we can't delete it

we can add another /usr/bin/leafpad to the pup_save file, but that breaks the rule. you cannot have two files of the same name in the same place, which in this case is /usr/bin/leafpad

when using prioritized layered filesystems, giving top priority to pup_save we can break the rule. the /usr/bin/leafpad in the pup_xxx.sfs is made invisible and inaccessible and unknown, pup_save wins the naming conflict and the leafpad we are using is the one we put inside the pup_save file

====================

some conclusions

while you can't modify the core files in normal operation, except pup_save, it's still an erector set of sorts, one, you can take apart, and put back together as you wish.

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potchan


Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 102
Location: Pilots' Height צוות_פותחן_לינוקס

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jun 2009, 08:34    Post subject: Potchan's view and search for enlightnment on mem' stuff
Subject description: link revival
 

Hi Dennis, Bruce B and Team,

Take a look at this:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=37660

Any help for you ? Rolling Eyes

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P' developed on various LimpWare: DELL INSPIRON 2600 -> .. -> HP Pavilion dv6-2130ej
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11131
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jun 2009, 10:57    Post subject: Re: Potchan's view and search for enlightnment on mem' stuff
Subject description: link revival
 

potchan wrote:
Hi Dennis, Bruce B and Team,

Take a look at this:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=37660

Any help for you ? :roll:


Only I noticed amigo referenced the swapon -s switch and
it doesn't exist in Puppy's swapon. I've attached the full
featured swapon if you want it.
Code:

Usage:
 swapon -a [-e] [-v] [-f]             enable all swaps from /etc/fstab
 swapon [-p priority] [-v] [-f] <special>  enable given swap
 swapon -s                            display swap usage summary
 swapon -h                            display help
 swapon -V                            display version

The <special> parameter:
 {-L label | LABEL=label}             LABEL of device to be used
 {-U uuid  | UUID=uuid}               UUID of device to be used
 <device>                             name of device to be used
 <file>                               name of file to be used



~
swapon.gz
Description 
gz

 Download 
Filename  swapon.gz 
Filesize  19.52 KB 
Downloaded  1146 Time(s) 

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Brown Mouse


Joined: 09 Jun 2009
Posts: 450
Location: Tenerife Canary Islands

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun 2009, 18:55    Post subject:  

Could somebody explain what happens when the pup save file is full.Can another one be added and how?
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11131
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Mon 29 Jun 2009, 22:37    Post subject:  

Brown Mouse wrote:
Could somebody explain what happens when the pup save file is full.Can another one be added and how?


Apologies for a late reply if you will.

Don't fill it.

About 80 to 90 percent full, decide what to do.

Maybe some house cleaning is all you need to do.

If house cleaning (deleting and moving files) is not
sufficient, then use the Puppy utilities to enlarge the
pup_save file.

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SilverPuppy


Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct 2009, 09:25    Post subject: Re: Potchan's view and search for enlightnment on mem' stuff
Subject description: link revival
 

Bruce B wrote:
potchan wrote:
Hi Dennis, Bruce B and Team,

Take a look at this:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=37660

Any help for you ? Rolling Eyes


Only I noticed amigo referenced the swapon -s switch and
it doesn't exist in Puppy's swapon. I've attached the full
featured swapon if you want it.
Code:

Usage:
 swapon -a [-e] [-v] [-f]             enable all swaps from /etc/fstab
 swapon [-p priority] [-v] [-f] <special>  enable given swap
 swapon -s                            display swap usage summary
 swapon -h                            display help
 swapon -V                            display version

The <special> parameter:
 {-L label | LABEL=label}             LABEL of device to be used
 {-U uuid  | UUID=uuid}               UUID of device to be used
 <device>                             name of device to be used
 <file>                               name of file to be used



~


Groovy, man! I thought that swapon was a kernel module that had been stripped down and couldn't be easily restored to full functionality. I now have fully-functional swapon and hence have double the swap speed with 2 physical swap devices of equal priority! Before it was impossible. Bravo!
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danna

Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 17 Nov 2009, 08:12    Post subject:  

Quote:
To me memory means RAM

To Puppy memory means in most cases 'physical storage space' and some times might mean RAM.


Basically, this. Thanks for the info btw. I understand it now.


Regards,
Danna
Ordinateur portable pas cher
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gonkbag

Joined: 07 Jan 2010
Posts: 22
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun 28 Feb 2010, 09:22    Post subject:  

Hello
I've jusy read and (mostly) digested this entire thread, as it sort of answers some questions I have (paricularly post by DMcCunney).
Noteably my pupsave file never gets any smaller no matter how many files are deleted, I particularly noticed this yesterday when I thought I'd try vlc and mplayer to see if they where any better than xine, now if I install them both on my fedora 12 laptop and then uninstalled, my hard drive free space would return to it's original size.

I decided to keep mplayer and plugin and delete vlc using the add/remove software facility that I used to install, only when I looked in /usr/bin vlc is still there, so deleted manually, any ideas why that is so ?
Also I had 18Mb free vlc is 7.8Mb, after installing and playing a dvd my free space dropped alarmingly to 1Mb, I decided to do a hard shutdown (no pupsave) after restarting I had my 18Mb back and tried vlc again, again the same drop to 1Mb.
I had to increase the pupsave by 16Mb had a restart and installed mplayer, decided to keep mplayer and got rid of vlc, once again removing vlc and a couple of other unused downloads the pupsave has exactly the same amount free.
Reading this thread I'm thinking my 1Gb memeroid stick must have some "slack space" anyone know of a linux equivalent to CHKDSK or am I going to have to use a windoze machine to try and restore ?
My pupsave file is now 192Mb (firefox 3.6+a few addons and mplayer+plugin only additional software installed) which is sort of going away from the point of puppy for me, i.e small and fast
Any help is appreciated
btw I'm usng 4.3.1 on an old hp compaq laptop with 2Gb ram and my son's 1001ha eeepc 1Gb ram
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DMcCunney

Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar 2010, 20:28    Post subject:  

gonkbag wrote:
Hello
I've jusy read and (mostly) digested this entire thread, as it sort of answers some questions I have (paricularly post by DMcCunney).

I'm glad it helped you.

Quote:
Noteably my pupsave file never gets any smaller no matter how many files are deleted, I particularly noticed this yesterday when I thought I'd try vlc and mplayer to see if they where any better than xine, now if I install them both on my fedora 12 laptop and then uninstalled, my hard drive free space would return to it's original size.

I'm not an expert on pup_save files, but I think you misunderstand how they work.

On your Fedora system, you have a full install to disk. The total space is the size of the partition on which you did the install As you add files or remove files, the amount of available space on the disk shrinks or grows, but the total size remains the same.

Think of your pup_save file as a disk. It has a fixed size, determined when you create it. It is treated as a file system and mounted by Puppy. If you add applications, the free space in the pup_save will decrease by the amount the applications took. If you remove the applications the amount of free space in the pup_save file will will increase, but the overall size of the pup_save file will be the same.

There are utilities in Puppy to resize a pupsave file, such as making it larger if you decide you need more space in it, but it does not grow and shrink dynamically. It's whatever size you specified when you made it.

Quote:
Reading this thread I'm thinking my 1Gb memeroid stick must have some "slack space" anyone know of a linux equivalent to CHKDSK or am I going to have to use a windoze machine to try and restore ?

The Linux equivalent of CHKDSK is fsck, but "slack space" isn't your problem, and fsck isn't the cure.

Slack space is an artifact of the FAT16 file system used by MS-DOS and Windows 3.X. (Windows 9.X introduced FAT32, which is a different matter.)

The smallest unit of disk space on a FAT16 system readable/writable in one operation was the cluster. Each cluster had to have a unique address. FAT16 used a 16 bit integer to hold the address, so there were a maximum of 65,536 clusters available on a FAT16 volume. (2^16=65,536) How big a cluster was was determined by the size of the volume. 2GB was the maximum possible volume size under FAT16, and on a 2GB volume, a cluster was 32KB.

Only one file could be on a cluster, so if you saved a 1K text file, it used 32K of disk space. The unused space in the cluster was the "slack space" referred to.

On Linux systems, the standard disk block size is 1K, so slack space isn't really an issue.

You need to discover what the applications you want to run need in terms of space, and resize your pupsave file accordingly. You need more than just the actual space taken by the program. Many programs need to create temporary files as part of what they do, and those will be in the pupsave. (It sounds like that was wht vlc was doing.) Some programs will remove temp files they create when they exit. Others may not, and it will be on you to clean up if needed after they are run. (And it will depends on where they are created. If they get written to /tmp, for example, that is normally cleared on shutdown and reboot.)

Quote:
My pupsave file is now 192Mb (firefox 3.6+a few addons and mplayer+plugin only additional software installed) which is sort of going away from the point of puppy for me, i.e small and fast
Any help is appreciated
btw I'm usng 4.3.1 on an old hp compaq laptop with 2Gb ram and my son's 1001ha eeepc 1Gb ram

RAM isn't the issue. You have more than enough for Puppy on either machine. I don't play media files on my Puppy box, so mplayer isn't an issue, but I do use Firefox 3.6 and addons. It's a fairly large program. For that matter, I also use Open Office 3.2 (which is something like 160MB for the programs themselves) and other large things like IBM's Eclipse programmer's IDE, which is another 170MB or so.

Puppy itself and the bundled applications that come with it are relatively small and fast. Other things I run are big and slow. I knew that going in.

I run Puppy in a Full install to an 8GB partition, so space isn't a worry. If I ran a Frugal install I'd look at using a different strategy. I might get the big apps like Firefox as SFS files, and only mount them when I planned to use them, instead of having them as part of my pupsave and loaded every time.
______
Dennis
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gonkbag

Joined: 07 Jan 2010
Posts: 22
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar 2010, 13:49    Post subject:  

Hello
thanks for the reply, although no linux virgin I must confess to not quite understanding how the pupsave file works, and am still not quite understanding why my available free space never gets any smaller.
Having 18Mb free and deleting an 8 Mb file I'm still left with 18Mb free, it's as if the pupsave file cannot be overwritten or space on it freed up, or there's another trash file somewhere (other than ~/.trash) full of junk, if so could anyone direct me to it ?
I may just delete my pupsave file and create a new one with just firefox and mplayer, I prefer youtube etc without flash
thanks again
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zbys

Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar 2010, 09:18    Post subject: pupsave files  

Deleting a pupsave file works well for me - I first create a new pupsave and then copy over various stuff such as the Mail directory in /root/.mozilla/default/"randomfilename"/ this keeps my old emails. There are other files in this "randomfilename"/ directory that hold bookmarks and addresses too. I also copy the my-* directories in root where I have placed things like the skype bins and libs (though skype also needs /var/lib/dbus copied to work and the sounds from usr /share/skype/sounds. Its easy enough to do by copying complete directories though you can get more than you really need. All my documents, pictures, sounds (which is the vast majority of the files) I keep on a separate partition.

I don't do this anymore- reason I used to copy the pupsave file like this was that every now and then it would crash and be corrupted - this is true for usb sticks and a usb harddisk and for at least 3 versions of puppy (4.1.2 , 4.2 and 4.3.1). I have since found that by rebooting with another pupsave and running e2fsck -y on on the unmounted original pupsave file the corruption goes away . I intend to add this to the rc.shutdown script but first want to see if there is a way to stop the corruption happening in the first place.

There is a lot of very useful information in this forum but it does seem to indicate a pattern that though puppy/linux is the best way to run a old/small pc (that's why so many use it), it does have many quirks especially with the filesytem and booting.

Zbys
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2673
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar 2010, 09:45    Post subject:  

gonkbag wrote:
Hello
thanks for the reply, although no linux virgin I must confess to not quite understanding how the pupsave file works, and am still not quite understanding why my available free space never gets any smaller.
Having 18Mb free and deleting an 8 Mb file I'm still left with 18Mb free, it's as if the pupsave file cannot be overwritten or space on it freed up, or there's another trash file somewhere (other than ~/.trash) full of junk, if so could anyone direct me to it ?
I may just delete my pupsave file and create a new one with just firefox and mplayer, I prefer youtube etc without flash
thanks again


I find that deleting files within the pupsave doesn't immediately clear the space (perhaps a result of the union filesystem). However, typically upon reboot, it shows the space cleared. And that may also be an artifact of running the pupsave on a flash drive, versus HDD (as Puppy avoids thrashing your flash, by storing in memory)...

Other things that help with internal pupsave space is moving large files/folder outside of the pupsave, and symbolic linking them back in. For example, I moved my entire .thunderbird folder out onto /mnt/home/, then dragged the folder back to produce the symbolic link to it (my Email folder is larger than my pupsave). I have also pushed the 2 big firefox index files (.sqlite?) out to /mnt/home/, as they annoy me. And my ClamAV virus defs now sit outside as well. These latter 2 examples, the files themselves are symbolically linked in.

These last two changes pushed my available free space to about 200 MB (and my pupsave is still less than 512MB -- I could probably go back to my original 256MB size, with the changes above).
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2673
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar 2010, 09:59    Post subject: Re: pupsave files  

zbys wrote:
Deleting a pupsave file works well for me - I first create a new pupsave and then copy over various stuff such as the Mail directory in /root/.mozilla/default/"randomfilename"/ this keeps my old emails. There are other files in this "randomfilename"/ directory that hold bookmarks and addresses too. I also copy the my-* directories in root where I have placed things like the skype bins and libs (though skype also needs /var/lib/dbus copied to work and the sounds from usr /share/skype/sounds. Its easy enough to do by copying complete directories though you can get more than you really need. All my documents, pictures, sounds (which is the vast majority of the files) I keep on a separate partition.

I don't do this anymore- reason I used to copy the pupsave file like this was that every now and then it would crash and be corrupted - this is true for usb sticks and a usb harddisk and for at least 3 versions of puppy (4.1.2 , 4.2 and 4.3.1). I have since found that by rebooting with another pupsave and running e2fsck -y on on the unmounted original pupsave file the corruption goes away . I intend to add this to the rc.shutdown script but first want to see if there is a way to stop the corruption happening in the first place.

There is a lot of very useful information in this forum but it does seem to indicate a pattern that though puppy/linux is the best way to run a old/small pc (that's why so many use it), it does have many quirks especially with the filesytem and booting.

Zbys


For some reason, the pupsaves don't cleanly umount. I also think that this occurs more often on the HDD, than on the flash drive (my suspicion is that Puppy _thinks_ that it has synced the HDD, and so it spends less time making sure it syncs and umounts correctly -- my flash drive version takes MUCH longer to umount and shutdown).

On my frugal install, I added pfix=fsck to the kernel line. I have also remastered the Puppy 4.3.1 CD and added pfix=fsck to the boot sequence (so those machines I boot from CD have that feature). I haven't had a trashed pupsave since.

To do this, I created a fresh, new pupsave (or pfix=ram), so you don't add any of your personalized, goofy crap into the CD. Then use the remaster command (under Menu, Setup, Remaster). Select all defaults, and edit the isolinux.cfg, and follow Pizza's answer:

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=53337&start=60

adding pfix=fsck on the "append" line, save it as an ISO and/or burn it off.

This is now the version that I'm giving to people (I want it to check their pupsave on every boot, so they don't have issues).

I'm hoping that Barry will make this the default, in the next official release (I don't want newbies to need to learn too much, too fast -- make it easy for them to "join the club" Wink )
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