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Krydos


Joined: 11 Jun 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 18:28    Post subject:  Tmp Full
Subject description: PPM won't function with a full tmp
 

Playing around with an old laptop that still runs Windows XP well. I prefer Linux though so I started looking for some lightweight distros to try out.

AMD Duron 800mhz processor
128 MB ram
10 GB harddrive (roughly 5 GB is Windows XP, and the other 5 GB is Linux)
1024x768 resolution
ethernet connection

Puppy Linux 5.7.1 Precise Retro
Full install on the Linux ext4 partition
Grub is installed and properly loads windows xp or puppy linux from the hard drive
I installed puppy by booting from the live cd, and then doing a full install with the built in installer

One of my issues is newer kernels don't seem to be compatible with my graphics card maybe. I've tried Lubuntu 16.10, and Lubuntu 14.04 and they both "crash" during install back to an unresponsive cursor in the top left that I can't even ctrl-alt-delete out of. Lubuntu 12.04 which ships with kernel 3.2 works, but it's not lightweight enough. Slackware 14.2 ships with kernel 4.4.14 and definitely didn't run. I tried Puppy Linux Tahr 6.0.5 and the text parts worked, but as soon as I tried to test x it would crash with a segmentation fault, or lock up entirely. I tried Tahr 6.0.5 noPAE and similar results. Slacko 6.3.0 worked a little better. It seemed to detect my hardware better, but it still crashed and I couldn't even get the live cd to boot up. At that point I started thinking maybe the kernel version is the issue.

So I switched to Puppy Linux 5.7.1 Precise Retro since it ships with such an old kernel and it worked great! I got the thing installed and it's running well and it's lightweight enough for this old laptop. The first thing I tried to do was install vim because vi is great, but colours, etc are better. PPM searched and found vim, but then it wanted to update first. It found a lot of stuff it wanted to update, but it all just starts throwing errors about there not being enough space. Sure enough the df command shows tmpfs of 28.6 MB is 100% full.

Can I reconfigure puppy to use some of the slower mostly empty 5 GB of hard drive space as tmp instead of faster, but much more limited memory?

Thanks! Let me know if you need more info or want some command outputs.
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version2013

Joined: 08 Sep 2013
Posts: 308
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 19:38    Post subject:  

You mentioned trying to ctrl-alt-delete out of an unresponsive crash.

In all versions of Puppy Linux that I have tried, ctrl+alt+backspace is used to kill the X server (graphical desktop) back to a console prompt.
This has worked successfully for about 90% of the time that I have tried it.
The other 10% is when the crash sufficiently locked-up my system as to make ctrl+alt+backspace unresponsive.

Regarding tmpfs filling up, I have had that issue before with one particular application.
tmpfs max size was set, by default, to use less space than what RAM I had.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Tmpfs
https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/filesystems/tmpfs.txt
What if tmpfs space is full? Written to swap space?

When I need more space in /tmp, I temporarily increase it:
Code:

mount -o remount,size=3G,noatime /tmp

The '3G' in my example is 3 gigabytes.
Change that number to what you need.

Last edited by version2013 on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 23:28; edited 3 times in total
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Sailor Enceladus

Joined: 22 Feb 2016
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 19:55    Post subject:  

I would create a 1-2GB "linux-swap" partition with GParted. You can take it from your Linux 5GB partition. The should solve your 128MB RAM and tmp issue, at least if you are using a newer puppy.

There is a Slackware 14.2 with kernel 3.16, but you can just exchange it with an older kernel by typing change_kernels into the terminal or replacing it manually: http://distro.ibiblio.org/puppylinux/huge_kernels/

I can try to compile kernel 3.2.89 in a bit, 3.12+ works better on my older laptop though.
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 20:19    Post subject: Add a small linux swap partition
Subject description: Would a temporary external .tmp folder work?
 

G'day Krydos,

With just 128MB of RAM, you could try adding a small linux swap partition to help avoid crashes due to running out of volatile memory - add say 256 or 512MB?

Alternatively, add more RAM, if you can identify the type used and if the laptop motherboard can take it. Old used RAM, if you can find some suitable, may be cheap.

You could also consider using ext2 for formatting your Linux partition (rather than ext4) which may be all you need on the old system. I've had no problem with ext2 on my old desktops.

Does the laptop have a USB port? What about using a spare thumb drive (say, 4GB, or whatever the laptop can handle) for temporary temporary storage during troublesome installs? Plug in a thumb drive, mount it, and then sym-link your .tmp directory out to the mounted thumb drive so it fills up during the installs not your hard-drive. It would be slower but may avoid your problem at present.
If all goes well with the install, remove the temporary sym-link before unmounting and pulling out the USB drive. Check any installed packages don't want to use the temporary temporary folder afterwards and happily use the normal 'tmp' locations after installation.

Good luck with it,

David S.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 9651
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 21:08    Post subject:  

You need a Linux swap partition on the hard drive.
With that amount of ram, swap is going to get used.

Puppies minimum ram needed is 512MB, but that is so it has free space to do stuff.
As you see it can run in less memory, but a Linux swap is needed to help.
512MB to 1GB swap.

Precise 5.7.1 retro is a very good Puppy for hardware like you have.
You are correct on the Linux kernel support for the hardware.
Linux kernel 3 series is what you want.
Kernel 4 series are more coded for the newest or newer hardware.

Puppy 4.3.1 is another good one to try.

None of the newest Linux versions are coded to support that hardware.

Linux formats ext 2 or 3 are fully supported in older versions of Puppy.
Ext 4 format was still being developed and needed support was constantly needing updated.
So, use ext 2 or 3.
I suggest ext 3 for it's better file handling.

Gparted in Puppy can partition and format.
However, you will need to run it from a Puppy not booted from the hard drive. Puppy on a CD or USB flash drive.
The hard drive cannot be in use or mounted.

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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version2013

Joined: 08 Sep 2013
Posts: 308
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jun 2017, 21:13    Post subject:  

My hard drive is formatted as ext3 and Puppy 4.31 boots fine.

I once reformatted my hard drive as ext4, thinking of utilizing the new features of that format.
Puppy 4.31 would fail to boot up.

I had to format it again as ext3, and Puppy 4.31 booted fine again.
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Krydos


Joined: 11 Jun 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun 2017, 00:43    Post subject:  

version2013 wrote:

You mentioned trying to ctrl-alt-delete out of an unresponsive crash.

In all versions of Puppy Linux that I have tried, ctrl+alt+backspace is used to kill the X server (graphical desktop) back to a console prompt.
This has worked successfully for about 90% of the time that I have tried it.
The other 10% is when the crash sufficiently locked-up my system as to make ctrl+alt+backspace unresponsive.

Yeah, I tried ctrl-alt-backspace before ctrl-alt-delete actually. The only thing that did anything during those crashes was holding down the power button.
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Krydos


Joined: 11 Jun 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun 2017, 00:45    Post subject:  

version2013 wrote:

When I need more space in /tmp, I temporarily increase it:
Code:

mount -o remount,size=3G,noatime /tmp

The '3G' in my example is 3 gigabytes.
Change that number to what you need.

According to df that worked. Thanks. I'm going to try running ppm now.
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Krydos


Joined: 11 Jun 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun 2017, 00:49    Post subject:  

Sailor Enceladus wrote:

I would create a 1-2GB "linux-swap" partition with GParted. You can take it from your Linux 5GB partition. The should solve your 128MB RAM and tmp issue, at least if you are using a newer puppy.

I forgot to mention it, but I did already have a swap partition in addition to the 5 GB linux partition. According to the free command 0 bytes were being used though while df showed /tmp at 100%.

davids45 wrote:

Alternatively, add more RAM, if you can identify the type used and if the laptop motherboard can take it. Old used RAM, if you can find some suitable, may be cheap.

Yeah, I'm not wasting money on this dinosaur. I use it as basically just a screen/keyboard/mouse for my headless systems. If I'm going to spend any money I'll just buy a newer laptop.

davids45 wrote:

You could also consider using ext2 for formatting your Linux partition (rather than ext4) which may be all you need on the old system. I've had no problem with ext2 on my old desktops.

This laptop doesn't have batteries anymore since rechargeable batteries don't last forever, and I'm not going to buy new ones for it. I just recycled them when they got to the point where they only provided maybe 10 minutes of charge. I didn't want them corroding or leaking or something. Anyways, with no backup battery if the cord gets yanked it's lights out to the power. I really don't like dealing with constant fscking from using a non-journaled filesystem like ext2. I do agree that ext4 was overkill though with such old hardware and old kernel etc, so I reformatted it to ext3.

Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm amazed! You guys are awesome!
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