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Phoenix CE - Feature Request - Shortcut to Windows Documents
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 13:11    Post_subject:  Phoenix CE - Feature Request - Shortcut to Windows Documents
Sub_title: Folder icon on desktop when running on windows machines
 

Hi, Ive recently installed puppy (ecopup) for a friend in a frugal install that boots linux when the cd is in, windows when the cd is out (with the network card disabled!). Shes been using this system for about a week.

Although she is aware of the advantages in terms of security, speed and stability, today and yesterday she had a bad experience. Her camera unfortunetly is a windows only (a IMHO misnamed kodak easyshare). Today and yesterday she was wanting to upload her pictures from her camera (stored in her windows "shared" folder) to facebook, but was unable to find them in the linux menu structure.

One of the first things that people want to do when they first boot puppy on a windows system is to try and open their windows files and see if they can still use them (Ive seen this so many times). I think, if puppy detects it is running on a windows computer, it should put a prominent link on the desktop to their "my windows documents" files and perhaps from their /root" directory.

Anyway, I told her a little about how open source works, and said that she could get back to the people that develop puppy, and perhaps they will listen. Ive let her use my account to make this comment, quoted below!

Quote:
it's becky and i have to tell you that i have found my first few days as a puppy user very frustrating as there is no easy way to find files,it may as well be written in japanese for all the sense it made to me!!!! and my new camera will not work with it so am generally wanting to use windows and now miss Bill Gates being in control of my pc instead of robert!!!! Linux is not user friendly as yet you need to tweak it!!!


From the puppy mission statement

Quote:
Puppy should be friendly to linux newbs


Are we doing enough to help them?

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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 16:06    Post_subject:  

That's a fantastic idea!
I guess the first thing to test for would be ntfs/Vfat partitions, then look inside them for a 'my documents' folder? I'd have thought it would be possible to do this during the initial search for pup_save.2fs etc, so it shouldn't add too much to the boot up time.
I'd take a look (This machine has windows on it), but I can't seem to find the init script in my frugal install. Perhaps I have a copy elsewhere...
Still, brillient concept, really hope we can get it working!
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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 4441
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 16:37    Post_subject:  

Everitt wrote:
I guess the first thing to test for would be ntfs/Vfat partitions, then look inside them for a 'my documents' folder? I'd have thought it would be possible to do this during the initial search for pup_save.2fs etc, so it shouldn't add too much to the boot up time.

The biggest problem will be that Window$ creates a My Documents folder for each user under their username, which can be anything! Searching the ntfs partitiion for that could prove extremely time consuming. It might be better to ask the user on first boot to navigate to their My Documents folder so a shortcut can be created from that location, but then they would have to know how to find their folder on the ntfs partition, and that's not simple for the average user either.

It's a great idea. I hope someone can come up with a solution. It is something I would certainly recommend for machines with Puppy in coexist mode.

Cheers

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cb88


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 1169
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 16:52    Post_subject:  

does windows write the location of the mydocs folder to the registry? and can linux read the registry? if so then the my docs folder should be possible without searching (maybe not easy though)

I always point the mydocuments folder to a partition that way if i loose windows my docs are still there....(loose windows a lot LOL)

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cb88


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 1169
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 17:23    Post_subject:  

also does her camera have a memory stick if so get her an adaptor in my experience puppy is better with plain'ole memory sticks than any MS product.... XP just locks up when accesing my SD card....
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 17:45    Post_subject:  

I'd personally detest such a feature, as I tend to not like the OS to go snooping around and mounting things without me telling it to. But, that's just me and I could easily disable it, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Anyways, I don't know about 98 and Vista, but on my XP install, all the "My Documents" folders are located like this:
/mnt/sda1/Documents and Settings/<usr_name>/My Documents

The issue I see is that there are multiple users on many systems, and even a single user might have himself, an administrator, and a guest account.

Maybe it would be better to just have a link to the Windows drive, or maybe just to the Shared Documents:
/mnt/sda1/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents


As for the init script, the part that does the scanning for the pup_xxx.sfs and pup_save.2fs files is in the initrd.gz file. In Puppy 3.xx, it's /init. In 2.xx it's at /sbin/init, but symlinked to /init.

After that script finishes, it passes control to /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit inside the pup_xxx.sfs file, which in turn calls several files in /etc/rc.d/.

EDIT: Since Puppy 3.00 changed to the cpio archive, editing initrd.gz changed. This is how you do it now:

gunzip initrd.gz; mkdir initrd-tree;cd initrd-tree;cat ../initrd | cpio -i -d
< now do your editing and what not >
find . | cpio -o -H newc | gzip -9 > ../initrd.gz
^-that gets run from inside the initrd-tree directory

Also, there are no longer restrictions about keeping the initrd outside the pup_save.2fs file, and as you can see, the issue of size never comes up. So I'm definitely sold on the cpio archive.

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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct 2007, 19:38    Post_subject:  

a development of pfind?

google desktop for Linux?
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8313017510.html

Wine + freeware explorer clone?

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richard.a


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 510
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue 16 Oct 2007, 08:40    Post_subject:  

Lobster wrote:
a development of pfind?

google desktop for Linux?
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8313017510.html

Wine + freeware explorer clone?

Add a line to the Find menu... under windows there are usually a general Search/Find filename/file/directory and another line which is find on the web.

The syntax for the extra line on the puppy menu is something like exec firefox http://www.google.com

Has never failed me.

The menu changes I did on developing 2.10 for earlier computers to look like 2.15ce/2.16ez include this.


While about it, a Favourites menu line is also relatively easy to create and point towards the Linux browser's bookmarks. Can even break it down (I did on one I customised). BTW the icon used for Favourites in windows is a gold 5-pointed star which is in most of the KDE and Gnome icon sets.

The overall ideas I had can be found here

Pizzasgood wrote:
Anyways, I don't know about 98 and Vista, but on my XP install, all the "My Documents" folders are located like this:
/mnt/sda1/Documents and Settings/<usr_name>/My Documents

That looks correct to me, except it's more likely to be hda1.

Pizzasgood wrote:
The issue I see is that there are multiple users on many systems, and even a single user might have himself, an administrator, and a guest account.

Well, yes, 98 shouldn't have users although the provision is there (and that includes Me of course). NT's which includes from NT3.1 (the original release) through to 5.0 (2000) and 5.1 (XP) do it the way you said, although there can be extras but they should all be in that tree. There should also always be an Administrator account, which 9 times out of 10 will have the same password as the main user unless it is specifically installed as an unusual non-standard option.

If (and it's a big if) they are using the provided "My Documents" directory, then it will by definition have to be in their own user section of the tree. Often a shortcut from there will be made to a separate partition for safekeeping of data away from the OS but only installers who know about such things would bother. And that's few and far between in my experience.

I believe that this would be extremely difficult to achieve for a non-technical ab-initio user - because they are unlikely to wish to discover where the file tree is located. I'm pretty convinced that lack of desire is usually the key to users difficulties. Not being critical, just observant Smile

Richard

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cb88


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 1169
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 16 Oct 2007, 11:12    Post_subject:  

yeah there are a lot fo really smart people out there that just don't want to know (unlike me...I' smart and want to know LOL)

I think it would be a much better option to offer to create a my documents partition for the user and copy all the file from the windows one or if there are too many make a link in the puppy docs folder to the windows docs folder ...more like a script that mounts the winslozzz partiton if it needs to then opens the folder in rox or whatever (is there a way to make it work for the "default file manager"?).

as far as the google desktop I was not impressed and could care less about google searching through my files.... therefore I use pfind it is awesome...

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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Tue 16 Oct 2007, 12:28    Post_subject:  

Pizzasgood wrote:
Maybe it would be better to just have a link to the Windows drive, or maybe just to the Shared Documents:
/mnt/sda1/Documents and Settings/All Users/Documents

Sorry, that's what I was intending too. I was just using 'My Documents' as a folder that exists on every windows install, helping us identify them. It would be nice to link directly to the 'my documents' folder, but not really feasible unless we could get to the windows registry to find the local. I wouldn't like to do that at bootup, but I guess there could be a script on the desktop to let users decide.

I was intending a search at bootup that lists likely windows partitions, and a script (linked to in the desktop) that mounts (if unmounted) and opens rox on the mount point, thus avoiding the confusion generally found when new users play with the linux file tree. I wouldn't suggest mounting it without permission. Seeing as we already scan it for puppy files I don't see the harm in looking to see if it's windows.

Another, perhaps nicer option would be to have the user find the directories for us, or search for them with a script (run by the user), and have them save in a config file in pup_save. A startup script could then mount them and create desktop links on bootup. That way we do nothing without the users consent, but make it easy.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Wed 17 Oct 2007, 21:03    Post_subject:  

Yes, the /mnt/sda1 would change depending on which partition Windows is on. Generally it would be easy to find. It would be the non-linux partition with a windows directory, although that could also be a Wine partition.

A "link my Windows!" wizard would be fine by me. Also, I suggest that any auto-mounting be done with /etc/fstab, unless there is fear of corrupting it.

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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct 2007, 08:41    Post_subject:  

Pizzasgood wrote:
Yes, the /mnt/sda1 would change depending on which partition Windows is on. Generally it would be easy to find. It would be the non-linux partition with a windows directory, although that could also be a Wine partition.

A "link my Windows!" wizard would be fine by me. Also, I suggest that any auto-mounting be done with /etc/fstab, unless there is fear of corrupting it.


I never like to rely on a single tell-tale. Too easily spoofed by mistake.

Of course! I totally forgot about fstab! Thanks. I'll have a go at writting a script over the next few days. I doubt it'll be any use, but it might give someone else some ideas as to how to do it.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct 2007, 13:28    Post_subject: Everitt  

Hi Everitt, thanks for offering to tackle this one. Perhaps the script could check to see if any of the partitions on the computer were of the fat32/ntfs file type, and if so, edit the rox desktop script (cant remember what it is or where it is installed) to put a desktop icon. Pizzasgood has a point and perhaps if the script had a check in it to see that, if puppy was running in live mode (pupmode?) asked the user if it was ok to mount the windows drive and have a look around. Otherwise if the partition was already mounted (because the pup_save was on it) I think it would be safe to assume that its ok to browse (that way the dialog wouldnt become an annoying nag).

Im looking forward to seeing your work, and have even got a new laptop with a guinea pig version of xp on it to test it on (my first windows installation in nearly three years lol!!!).

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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct 2007, 20:34    Post_subject:  

Quote:
if so, edit the rox desktop script (cant remember what it is or where it is installed)

/root/Choices/ROX-Filer/PuppyPin

One way to see what partitions exist:
cat /proc/partitions

To see what's already mounted (and how and where):
cat /proc/mounts

I don't know how to check the filesystem on a partition though, but then again, I haven't bothered to look it up. I only know the two things I mentioned by accident (I got bored and was exploring inside /proc)

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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Fri 19 Oct 2007, 07:47    Post_subject:  

Sorry, progress is a little slow. I didn't get anything done last night. I ended up getting far to drunk instead. Embarassed Still, I wouldn't be a student if I didn't drink too much occasionally!
Probepart lists all partions, and the filesystem on them. It's a simple bit of grep work to list vfat/ntfs partitions.
My plan is to have a script that offers to scan, or allow the user to locate the files manually if run without arguments. It will accept an argument, the device name of the partion. If the partition is not mounted it will mount it and open rox. If it is mounted then it'll simply open rox. When the scan is run all it'll need to do is add an icon to the desktop containing the path to itself, and the partition name.
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