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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Trying to install Puppy with 128 MB of RAM
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2844
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep 2012, 22:03    Post subject:  Trying to install Puppy with 128 MB of RAM
Subject description: How do I make a swap partition?
 

I think this is where this should go... tho I have to admit I'm not sure. I don't /think/ I've quite graduated to a "User" yet!

Ok, so I got a /slightly/ different CPi now. Fellow on my other forum was kind enough to give me his; it's the same model, the difference is that his had a bad keyboard, its original HDD, and both RAM slots work.

Fixed the keyboard since I now had a parts machine -- I just swapped in mine. Whatever.

I'm now running a CF drive in there, actual solid state tech, none of this microdrive crunk like I was doing before. I really don't trust a hard drive from 1999 to be still in perfect shape -- particularly since it seems to be randomly making a rattling noise. I've got it plugged in to see what was on it besides a botched Vector Linux install that the previous owner told me about.

I've managed to install Puplite5 to the drive. However, I've got three questions...

One, I cannot for the life of me get a full install to work on this POS. It absolutely /refuses/ to boot in anything other than read-only mode, even with the boot flag set. WTH?! I suspect it may have something to do with my insisting that it live on ext3 -- it seems to misdetect it as ext2fs. Hmm Confused

Two, is it safe to run swap on this card? It's a Sandisk ExtremeIII 4gb whosamadoober that can apparently do everything except deliver pizza. I'd like to have some swap-space simply because this system only has 128mb RAM and after booting there's about 16mb of it left for everything else Shocked No, I can't upgrade, this tin can takes EDO RAM, which hasn't been made in this century AFAIK, and eBay thinks the stuff is made of something rarer and more valuable than gold -- and they price accordingly. I'm glad it came with the RAM it has!

Three, why the dickens is it impossible to format a hard drive to have a swap partition using anything older than a /recent/ series-5 Puppy? Gparted errors out every single blasted time, and I wind up with an "unrecognized filesystem" on the relevant partition. This is not isolated to Puplite5 at all! I've seen it several times before... IIRC Wary 511 had the same problem. Back then I knew where my Gparted LiveCD was, of course...

Help me folks!

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11034
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep 2012, 23:13    Post subject:  

You say you "installed" Puppy on the hard disk drive but then you say that a full install won't work. How did you install Puppy? If you want better help, you need to do a better job of explaining the problem. We charge extra for reading minds. Laughing

A small (~256 MB) swap partition on that CF card would be a good thing, if Puppy can do it. By the way, swap memory has no filesystem as such. Swap is basically unformatted memory that is available for Puppy to use as virtual RAM if it needs to. And you do need some. Smile

I have no idea why you can't make a swap partition on the hard disk. Possibly it's because Puppy needs more RAM.
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starhawk

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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep 2012, 23:47    Post subject:  

Frugal install on ext3, w/o swap. Sorry about that, I always forget something Embarassed

What happens when I try to create a swap partition on ANY system running Puplite -- or really anything earlier than Racy/Slacko IIRC -- is that Gparted errors out. Then when it rescans the drive, it finds a partition (where the swap partition *should* be) that is "unrecognized" with a yellow exclamation triangle next to it. This is independent of system hardware configuration, making me suspect software. I don't know enough to say more, though.

My concern about the CF card + swap is that it might wear out the CF card... which of course has flash ROM inside.

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Flash
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep 2012, 23:55    Post subject:  

Don't worry about wearing out the CF card. That issue that has been debated to death in this forum and no doubt many other forums. The memory controller in the CF card spreads out the usage so that every memory location gets about the same amount of use. Flash memory locations are said to last 100K to 1M read/write cycles. A 256 MB swap partition won't have much effect on the life of a 4 GB flash memory. You'll be old and gray before it wears out.
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starhawk

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 00:44    Post subject:  

OK, I'll add yet another reinstall to my list of things to do tomorrow Razz

Good thing it's a short list!

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sfeeley

Joined: 14 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 09:57    Post subject:  

Quote:
I have no idea why you can't make a swap partition on the hard disk. Possibly it's because Puppy needs more RAM.


I agree-- I've had gparted repeated fail on truly low ram machines. My only solution was to pull the harddrive (or in your case the sdcard), swap it into a faster box, and reformat it there. Then move it back to the target machine.

Its kind of a catch22-- the more ram you need, the more you need swap, but you are less likely to be able to do it . . .
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saintless


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 11:08    Post subject:  

Instead of Swap partition you can use Swap file:
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/SwapFile
With Swap file in use maybe Gparted will be happy to create Swap partition later Smile

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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 11:34    Post subject:  

I'll make a 384mb partition. My concern was wearing out the drive, and since that concern is patently unwarranted, I'll just do it the regular way.

BTW, why 384mb? 128*3 = 384. 384+128 = 128*4 = 512.

I have 128mb RAM in this heap, and 512mb is the recommended minimum for puppy, so that calls for 384mb swap. Simple math.

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rjbrewer


Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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Location: merriam, kansas

PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 11:48    Post subject:  

starhawk wrote:
I'll make a 384mb partition. My concern was wearing out the drive, and since that concern is patently unwarranted, I'll just do it the regular way.

BTW, why 384mb? 128*3 = 384. 384+128 = 128*4 = 512.

I have 128mb RAM in this heap, and 512mb is the recommended minimum for puppy, so that calls for 384mb swap. Simple math.


What is that CF card plugged in to?

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starhawk

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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 12:26    Post subject:  

A CF->44pin IDE drive adapter, very cheap on eBay. It's very flexible in terms of what it can support. There are the mode jumpers (master / slave / cable select) but it also has a voltage select, so that it's compatible with 3.3v and 5v cards. I leave it parked at 3.3v because that's what the microdrives use and I don't want to accidentally fry one.

Here's two pictures (clickable thumbnails) of the drive in its "caddy" (which makes the HDD easily removable). There is a connector adapter at the back that Dell insists on because it makes extremely gullible people think that they can only buy drive kits from Dell.



The label on the CF card is holographic, BTW. You can sorta tell, but I wanted to make sure.

You'll notice that the adapter card is "just wires" -- the only circuitry is power-related. CompactFlash uses a slight variation on IDE as its protocol -- IIRC, the only difference is that the signal lines are switched around a bit, so that it's not an exact pinout match. (CF is also 50pins IIRC vs 40 for IDE -- the extra 4 on a laptop drive are for power.) So all this adapter does is put the right wires in the right places. No "real circuitry" needed.

BTW... IDE = [P/Parallel]ATA if you don't already know. SATA (=Serial ATA) is just really fast IDE that's serial instead of parallel. Dunno how they work that since if you clock them at the same rate, parallel is still faster -- one bit on each of x number of wires, rather than x number of bits on one wire. Think about it Wink

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rjbrewer


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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep 2012, 16:07    Post subject:  

Hmm; almost interesting. Smile

I have an old EDO board, 32mb ram.
Put a full install of puppy 412? on an old hard drive with
a few hundred mb swap, using a faster pc.
Plugged it in to the EDO board and it booted.
Didn't have enough speed to run a browser though.

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Jasper


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep 2012, 10:29    Post subject:  

In another thread starhawk wrote
Quote:
I've used Dillo a very few times, enough to know that I hate it.


The screenshot shows 51MB (less than 9% of my available RAM of 597 MB) is used of which Dillo uses 0.9% (a tad more than 5MB) and no Swap space.

Dillo (even v 2.2) is lightning fast and a lean, mean user of CPU and RAM . I made an sfs of the excellent special Puppy pet kindly made by Tman.

Tman has also made a pet of a later version, however my sfs of his 2.2 pet is below and it might be worth a quick test (especially perhaps for any with limited RAM).

PS My sfs was not added - I'll try again below.
PPS That 712 KB file failed with the message:
Sorry, but the maximum filesize for all Attachments is reached. Please contact the Board Administrator if you have questions.
Dillo-2.2.jpg
 Description   To try, delete the ".gz".
 Filesize   89.42 KB
 Viewed   442 Time(s)

Dillo-2.2.jpg

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starhawk

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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep 2012, 12:17    Post subject:  

Jasper, I hate to point this out, but last I heard, the Dillo devs were contemplating Javascript support. That's a bit behind the curve for me!

Also, I'm fairly certain (although not 100%) that the reason the thread you mention was locked, was because of us nearly getting into a flame war... I'm going to ask you -- as politely as I can -- to try not to incite similar happenings. If you have something that you feel the need to bicker with someone about (not necessarily just me) then it is probably best left to PM.

In the interests both of keeping this thread on topic and of preventing further arguments from occurring...

I do not intend to use Dillo any time soon. (I'd consider giving it a second chance if the devs added support for flash and other, similarly modern things.) I will look at other browsers that are fairly full-featured but lightweight (QtWeb comes to mind), but Dillo is one browser that I will not use at this time.

-----

Can anyone tell me what could be going wrong with the full install, so that it will only mount read-only, even when I've told it not to (by eliminating "ro" from the boot options in menu.lst)? I should probably mention that the hard drive tends to show up as a floppy disk, of all things, in Puppy. This laptop sure has its quirks!

EDIT: one other thing. I'll be trying Akita on this, and seeing if it will work a little better. I hope it will! (I don't mind the longer bootup time, for this.)

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Jasper


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep 2012, 12:39    Post subject:  

For any who may be interested, Here is a link to a later v of Dillo by Tman:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=76500

Some who have low RAM, or even some who have plenty, may find the link relevant and wish to try Dillo.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep 2012, 12:58    Post subject:  

Looks like you hit the post button a bit too quickly. Sorry 'bout that.

EDIT: looks like your post showed up after all. Sorry if I confused anyone with mine.

On-topic...

Akita beta11 works pretty well. A full install seems to work fine -- none of the read-only error mess that stopped Puplite from doing same. It's also the first puplet I've tried where the NeoMagic graphics driver actually worked! (These laptops apparently precede the overwhelming domination of the graphics market by ATi and nVIDIA.)

...unfortunately, sound is one thing that does NOT work. It detects an ISA module but can't seem to load the right driver, coughing up quite a lung in the process. Hmmm... might post in the Akita thread for this, but I'm not sure it's worth the bother.

On the browser front, can anyone recommend a lightweight browser that is NOT Dillo and has most of the features of, eg, Chrome? I don't fancy running actual Chrome/ium on this craptop! Flash and the ability to display modern webpages in modern ways is a requirement. "Looks good" is a nice bonus. Lack of memory leaks (Hi, Firefox!) is a nicer bonus.

EDIT2: Went ahead and put a post in the Akita thread about the sound issue.

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