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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Easy Linux 0.5 pre-alpha, released Oct. 02, 2017
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
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Rodney Byne

Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 14:49    Post subject: Easy 0.6 on a stick  

Hi all,

Yes Easy 0.6 basically works ok on a 4Gb flashdrive
copy/paste installed with;

# gunzip --stdout easy-0.6-amd64.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sdc bs=1M
# sync

I didn't bother with Barry's new dd script method.

Chaio.
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don570


Joined: 10 Mar 2010
Posts: 4757
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:03    Post subject:  

I also installed on USB stick

I tried something a bit different...
I extracted the image with uextract then
typed in terminal

Code:
dd  if=easy-0.6-amd64.img   of=/dev/sdc bs=1M
sync


and this worked.

I tested Samba with Simple Samba Management and got it to work.

I noticed that Easy linux uses an old version of mtpaint . The newest is 3.49.12

I noticed two spelling mistakes in new version of easy linux 0.6
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 8312
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:47    Post subject:  

Yeah, 0.6 is out. Announcement:

http://bkhome.org/news/201710/easy-os-06-pre-alpha-released.html

Still needs to be a complete new install, but from this version onward, should support upgrading.

That is, just download the latest *.img.gz file, click on it, click again, then drag the files vmlinuz, initrd.q and q.sfs to replace those in your boot-partition.

As explained here:

http://bkhome.org/easy/how-easy-works-part-2.html

...you can try that when 0.7 is released.

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Last edited by BarryK on Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:49; edited 1 time in total
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Elena


Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:49    Post subject:  

Trying 0.6 out: Installation goes very nice(!) with that one-liner, and general appearance is also pleasant. That feature of running completely in RAM is intriguing.

Yet I currently have some freezes when building packages from the Puppy package manager. And also Seamonkey feels somehow weirdly unresponsive (e.g. actions take quite long).

Can anyone confirm this? Might be really just me/ my old usb stick...
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 8312
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 19:54    Post subject:  

Elena wrote:
Trying 0.6 out: Installation goes very nice(!) with that one-liner, and general appearance is also pleasant. That feature of running completely in RAM is intriguing.

Yet I currently have some freezes when building packages from the Puppy package manager. And also Seamonkey feels somehow weirdly unresponsive (e.g. actions take quite long).

Can anyone confirm this? Might be really just me/ my old usb stick...


Did you use 'easydd' to write to the flash stick?, as explained here:

http://bkhome.org/easy/how-to-write-easyos-to-a-flash-drive.html

easydd gives a write-speed report, and informs you that under 7MB/s is very poor and likely to give an unsatisfactory user experience.

easydd is also in 0.6, at /usr/sbin

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Elena


Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 20:00    Post subject:  

Thanks for the super-quick reply, Mr. Kauler.

No, so far I have just used the terminal command
#gunzip --stdout easy-0.6-amd64.img.gz ...

Thank you for the hint! I will make a re-install using easydd.
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don570


Joined: 10 Mar 2010
Posts: 4757
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct 2017, 20:08    Post subject:  

News item:
Samsung is developing a version of linux for its phones

https://liliputing.com/2017/10/samsungs-latest-android-phones-can-also-linux-desktops.html
http://www.samsungmobilepress.com/stories/samsung-dex's-expanding-ecosystem-pushes-the-possibilities-of-the-smartphone
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lp-dolittle

Joined: 25 Apr 2016
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 04:55    Post subject: Easy OS 0.6
Subject description: persisting issues
 

Hi Barry,

thank you for Easy OS 0.6! I installed it on the same pen drive (32GB) as previously Easy 0.5, using the improved EasyDD-method on the Dell Latitude E6500 laptop (Intel graphics controller) ..... and. alas, encountered the same keyboard layout setting problems as I previously did with Easy 0.5, except that now in the Quick Setup the sg layout is termed Swiss German. A usable setting can be fine-tuned via the xkbconfiguration manager, but still is reset after every restart of X.

Furthermore, the ongoing intermittent flickering of the pen drive occurs also under Easy 0.6, despite q.sfs should be loaded into RAM

Another confusing experience: Even if the roll back option is chosen at startup, the Easy OS 0.6 pen drive - created on the Dell Latitude E6500 laptop - does not work flawlessly on computers with other graphics controllers. The Quick Setup-screen appears for a short moment (partially displaced), then the screen gets black, and the 'running' system only can be shot down via a power button reset.
I, so far, have not tested whether the same issue occurs vice versa, i.e. if a pen drive, configured on a computer with non Intel graphics controller, is used to boot the Dell Latitude E6500 laptop.

sorry, for having no better news! kind regards
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belham2

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1305

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 05:49    Post subject:  

Hi Barry,

Spent several hours last night, and a few again this morning, but no matter what I did in following the instructions, Easy0.6 would not boot fully in RAM. I'm just going to give up on that idea....it is so simple for me to do it in all other pups by just remastering, having all the remastered items saved & soon to be booted, and watching it succeed every time. Easy0.6 just doesn't work for me like I think it should, no matter how much I fuss with boot_specs and such, and with a remastering process that ignores anything that had been setup inside the previously-constructed containers.

Worse part is, when I would spend time setting up the Easy0.6 the way I wanted it, and run the remaster to save these changes, then copying over the new q.sfs, Easy0.6 would boot up the next time and NONE, not one single item that I had painstakeningly setup with regards to any containers for Seamonkey, were saved. Qbak snapshots are not linked to remastering for running fully in RAM purposes, and they should be! Every time, aftera remaster, Easy just started itself as a clean slate.....which is not what remastering is all about. A person, who's completely configured the 'containered' browser with bookmarks, add-ons, and such, should not be forced to do it all over again AFTER a remastering! That's just wrong. To face a "clean" container load AFTER they've remastered everything in a previous boot of Easy? Ugh..... Crying or Very sad It is defeating, tried it like 7-8 times, Easy---despite remastering---never brings over to the remastered q.sfs all the settings for the containered broswer, the containered terminal, the containered------the list goes on and on. Guess I am too stupid to understand the philosophy here with Easy and why this is not allowed and/or made so hard to understand.

I just want the simplicity, like in any other pup and/or ddog, of being able to:

1) install easy0.6 to a 8 or 16GB usb stick
2) remaster that setup and set up stuff how I like it
3) have everything--every single thing--- that was remastered saved and ready for next boot
4) setup this next boot, using supposedly simply set boot_specs, this next boot so it comes fully up in RAM and the USB can be unplugged. If I've got to re-configure the browser in the Container again, bookmarks and add-ons, and...well, what's the point of remastering??


Frustrating, very frustrating. As mentioned this is 2nd nature to me to do all this in pups and ddogs, but finding it impossible in EasyLinux. Easy0.6 just cannot do the above 4 things, like all puppies and ddogs can. If it can, then I say it again---I must be too stupid to figure it out----nearly 7-8 hours at trying it I tend to think otherwise, especially since I do it so easily across all other pups and ddogs.


Wish you all the luck, Barry, and hope things keep moving forward. Easy runs ok when it is installed fully to a USB and thus that USB has to be (no choice) left plugged in, Also, serious consideration needs to be given to dumping Seamonkey---it has become an absolutely horrible & unusable browser (it's is slow, responses sometimes don't happen, etc., etc) on the greater wide web for many sites. Just my opinion...


Good luck all!!


P.S. JP-Dolittle, please, I cannot explain any clearer what I am after----debating the merits of having no physical storage device attached, ever, to an OS means that you've either not thought it through and/or have never done it before. Try it truly once, with another easily remastered pup, and watch what happens when you pull the OS-loaded storage device out and yet you still have full functional OS because you are running in RAM---that unarguable complete safety of RAM that can be turned off whenever you please and all vanishes. No matter what anyone wants to tell you, having any device plugged in can never approach the security & safety posture of having no device plugged in. Stuff like "Saveonly on Exit" and such is just window candy, dressing, for that plugged in device is still vulnerable. But it is impossible for it to be 'vulnerable' when it is NOT plugged in, and wil never again see that session being used & ran you are currently running (the session will vanish when the machine is turned off). Arguing and/or debating about anything else (like epprom and bios and etc) just misses the point entirely. And Containers, since it seems to never allow you to do this with constantly requiring you to have a storage device always attached, just doesn't cut it in the realm of a "safety posture" on the Internet. Take care Wink
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CHLee

Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 11:44    Post subject: Easy boot in ram  

Hi Barry,
I frugal install Easy 0.6 to a USB disk and boot Easy 0.6 successful. Thank you very much.
After that I tried Easy boot in RAM, it failed to boot. Below was the boot message:
Code:
Finding drives
   Creating compressed zram, using 6081510k of RAM
 sda sda sdb
  Boot-partition: sdb4 Working-partition: zram0
dc: stack underflow
mount: mounting /dev/zram0 on /mnt/zram0 failed: Invalid argument
ERROR: Unable to mount working-partition zram0
Have now dropped into a shell in the initramfs.
Notel: Type "exit", the init script will attempt to continue, however,
       only an expert who is debugging the bootup should do this.
Note2: On some PCs the keyboard does not work at this stage of bootup.
PLEASE HOLD DOWN THE POWER BUTTON To SHUTDOWN
/bin/sh: can¡¯t access tty: Job control turned off
/ #

Below was the BOOT_SPECS inside the initrd.q:
Code:
BOOT_DISKID='0x40c45000'
BOOT_PARTNUM=4
BOOT_FS='vfat'
BOOT_DIR='easy/'
WKG_DISKID='0x40c45000'
WKG_PARTNUM=0
WKG_FS='ext2'
WKG_DIR='easy/'
Q_DISTRO_VERSION=0.6

My USB disk partition 4 was a boot partition(FAT16, with "Syslinux" boot loader)
The partition 1 was a FAT32 partition, store my data.
The partition 2 was a ext2 partition, it is the xerus-8.3 rootfs. There was a folder name "easy" that use for Easy working directory.
The only difference between "boot normal Easy" and "boot Easy in RAM" was the WKG_PARTNUM=2 and WKG_PARTNUM=0

Hope there are enough information to let you know why Easy could not boot in RAM. Please let my know If I have somethings wrong. Thanks again.
ChiHang Lee
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lp-dolittle

Joined: 25 Apr 2016
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 12:24    Post subject: running an OS in RAM
Subject description: security
 

Hi belham2

mutual(?) misunderstanding?

believe it or not, I'm familiar with running puppy/quirky Linux totally in RAM, and - as mentioned before - I clearly understand the advantages of doing so! However, if one is required to send or receive complex data that should be kept for later use, one cannot do without an additional storage option. So, just the fact that the OS which totally ran in RAM vanishes during shutdown and is clean after next booting cannot provide what you call 'unarguable complete safety'!!

It would be interesting to know the opinion of a real safety expert about the vulnerability of an OS (totally is running in RAM) to malware which might alter the 'current' functionality ... and possibly interfere with the user's supposedly save activities.

kind regards
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Rodney Byne

Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 14:48    Post subject: T.E.N.S  

Hi to lp-dolittle,

"It would be interesting to know the opinion of a real safety expert about the vulnerability of an OS (totally is running in RAM) to malware which might alter the 'current' functionality ... and possibly interfere with the user's supposedly save activities."

Google for a full guidance read of the web site Trusted End Node Security (TENS) formerly Lightweight Portable Security (LPS), written by
the American Department of Defence (DoD)

https://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm

They seem to know what they're talking about, regarding eg malware security
when running a flashdrive in ram.

You will have to bypass the unsecure notice prior to getting
access to the site. Don't be put off by this minor inconvenience.
Just click links on the notice until you get in.

Otherwise the site is safe and most informative in detail.

Regards.
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lp-dolittle

Joined: 25 Apr 2016
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 15:03    Post subject: running Easy OS in RAM
Subject description: security
 

@ Rodney Byne

thank you Rodney Byne for this useful information

kind regards
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scsijon

Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 1251
Location: the australian mallee

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 23:34    Post subject:  

Interesting little problem, but i'll start with a warning.

I had to do an firmware (bios equivalance) update for an acer laptop last night for the only graphics program I use in windows nowadays. I would prefer to use gimp, but I need to use what the rest of the circle use and so....

To start with, the update reset secure boot on, I sort of expected that, so I went in and changed it back to off.

With it off, a boot brought up the config (f2) screen and windows81 as the bootable option. Almost as if there is no drive , memory stick, etc. attached, nor was any of my other bootable partitions showing . With secure boot on it found an external cdrom, hard, and ssd drive but no memory stick anymore to boot from.

I also found a new setting under the Security Tab that allows you to be set( if secure boot is on), to be custom and then it asks you for paths to any *.efi files. I could setup my old win8.0 EFI, but it wouldn't accept any of the easy EFI files.

I backed it out, reset F2 secure boot and all was ok again.

I wonder if this is part of the protection against virus/trojan/"and the like" they were talking about online a few months ago when they were talking about adding the bios/firmware writers co-respondants in any future actions.

I've sent a 'terse' note to both acer and the firmware packages maintainers about this! I shall be very interested in any answer I receive.

However, and back on topic.

i've had an error message with 0.6 and it seems that it wouldn't do a fsck when first booted until you had actually run easy once. Once you'd run it the first time, even if you did nothing except shutdown, it was ok to do so. Due to the number of sticks of various sizes and ages (back to a sony 64meg from ~1999) I have, I usually do some sort of test after installing or copying to make sure their still good and it copied/installed correctly.

I'm wondering if others have come across this, and if so what sort of bios setting their installed-from system is running against the running-on system.

With the number i'm getting to fail, i'm beginning to wonder if it's some sort of missmatch between msdos and gpt system formats that i'm finding a number of cards won't boot but will still work as storage media.

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Rodney Byne

Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct 2017, 12:05    Post subject: Observation on container Seamonkey  

Hi,

I'm only a layman user but have been playing around
with Easy and noted the following which no doubt
will be familiar to those more adept than me.

If running, close the out-of- container browser probably
having had changes made such as added bookmarks etc.

Click on File, click once on the green arrow, click on containers,
click on seamonkey, click on container.
There should be an empty box having on the top blue bar:
/mnt/sdb2/containers/seamonkey/container

Leave this empty box in view, move position for convenience.

Mouse to Menu.
Mouse to Internet, position mouse to padlocked icon
Seamonkey web browser, in container.

A left click will return the modified browser.
Now close the modified browser.

Then right click once and after a short pause a new default
browser should appear showing the Easy jumping off stage page.

After a short pause, the empty box will suddenly fill up with 16 directory icons. This is obviously a volatile operational change
to place the new default state browser into "in-container" mode.

I made changes to this new default browser - added a few bookmarks then closed it down.

The filled up box became empty again.

I again right-click-launched the padlocked icon and was pleased
to see I had created a protected browser environment.

The above will only happen as long as the out-of-container
browser is not left running in the background.
In that state the in-container browser adopts the same
web page display as the former.

A bit confusing, but interesting switchable IN/OUT
Protected/Non protected states.
The trick is realising which state you are actually in - - or out!

Best regards.
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