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Why do I need a Save file?
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 102
Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun 2014, 02:19    Post subject:  Why do I need a Save file?  

I do not understand this business of the Save File.

I am using LxPup-Precise-Retro. I load it onto a new USB stick when starting a new writing project, and each time it asks me if I want to make a save file.

I did this yesterday on a 16gig flash drive. When it asked me if I wanted to save file, the only option it gave me was to save up to 4gig. Well, just for giggles, I chose the 512mb save option, then when it was finished and I booted from the flash drive and tried to install all of my files, it said the files were too big and it would not be able to save them all and I would have to delete some of them. I would imagine I would get the same response had I chosen the save file 4gig option (which was the biggest option it would give me) and tried to save more than 4gig of files.

Now, when I put LxPup on a little 4gig flash drive the other day, it gave me the option to save file on the entirety of what was left of the 4gig after the operating system was installed. So this means that with the 16gig flash drive the remaining 12gig is wasted, can't be used?

I am clearly not understanding something here. Or am I?

What good is a 16 gig flash drive if I can save only 4gig on it?

Do I understand this business of the save file or not?

Do I need to use the save file at all?

Yikes. Very Happy
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puppyluvr


Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 3201
Location: Chickasha Oklahoma

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun 2014, 10:18    Post subject:  

Very Happy Hello,
Is your USB stick formatted to fat32?
Fat32 is limited to file sizes 4 gigabytes or smaller.
The savefile saves any changes to configuration or anything you've added. It is "write to" able. Its use offers persistence between reboots. Without it, puppy boots from a pristine read only file every time.

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8253

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun 2014, 12:14    Post subject:  

perhaps is a male feature as its one of those things that never big enough.

Since its size is finite then ways of reducing its use make sense...using sfs files for apps, taming browser profiles...saving files outside of the puppy file system and so on.

mike
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 102
Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun 2014, 12:35    Post subject:  

Sounds good. Thanks for the comments.

And then I went to the Boot Flash program, which I overlooked before, of course, and I now see that I can use that program to format the stick in several different ways. I will play around with that for a while and see what I come up with.

Gets more and more interesting every day. I started out just sick and tired of Windows and only looking for a reliable operating system to get my work done with, and now I am on the verge of becoming a sort-of Linux hobbyist. Puppy's the best I have found-so far! Can't live without my LxPup-Precise-Retro! Still adventuring into Linuxland!

Thanks again.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 442
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jun 2014, 21:12    Post subject:  

That's the way we recrute! We get'em hooked, except there's no charge for the next dos(e)... Laughing

tallboy

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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2547
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 04:22    Post subject:  

The savefile contains "system files". You have to make it big enough to allow some extra programs to be loaded, and some configuration files and data buffers to be stored. (I recommend starting with 1 gigabyte).
The rest of the storage can be used for your 'data' files.

It is important to understand that your personal 'saved' data should be kept outside of the savefile - you should probably keep it on a different partition. For example, you might install puppy (and its savefile) on a 2GB partition and use a larger partition (like an 8GB usb stick) for saving your data to.

The savefile should generally only contain your system customizations, not your data.
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 102
Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 04:50    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
The savefile contains "system files". You have to make it big enough to allow some extra programs to be loaded, and some configuration files and data buffers to be stored. (I recommend starting with 1 gigabyte).
The rest of the storage can be used for your 'data' files.

It is important to understand that your personal 'saved' data should be kept outside of the savefile - you should probably keep it on a different partition. For example, you might install puppy (and its savefile) on a 2GB partition and use a larger partition (like an 8GB usb stick) for saving your data to.

The savefile should generally only contain your system customizations, not your data.


Aha! Now, it makes sense. Thanks!
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8253

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 05:49    Post subject:  

my save data usually amounts to 10-50MB ...is that wrong? Very Happy

mike
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 102
Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 10:54    Post subject:  

OK, for fun and games and practice, I took a 16gig USB stick and loaded Puppy on it. I made the save file 4gig. No particular reason, it was just there.

When I rebooted, I looked in the file manager and could see there are two folders. One is the save file sda1, and the other is named sda4.

The bootable partition is the save file sda1, while the other is what is the remainder of of the USB stick.

I made a file and found that I could save it to either file, if I so choose. So this means that I can use the whole 16gig!

It's not really a "male thing" as someone suggested, but more a female thing. Though I'm not a female, it still makes no sense to continue wasting money buying 16gig USB sticks if the remaining 12 gig is wasted. That'd be a waste of money. And smart shoppers don't waste money.

I think I understand this now.

I also went ahead and formatted a USB stick a few different ways, just to get he experience. While three methods of formatting could prove useful in one scenario or another, the method that formats the USB stick like a floppy isn't much good for anything other than use of space for the storage of files -- like a floppy disc, of course.

The method I preferred was the "cunning" one. I like the idea of being able to take my little Pup in my pocket with me and trying to booting up almost wherever I like. How can you beat that?
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nic007

Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 725

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 11:01    Post subject:  

mikeb wrote:
my save data usually amounts to 10-50MB ...is that wrong? Very Happy

mike

Well, no..but for some obscure reason (which I'm still trying to grasp) we are in the minority
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8253

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 12:53    Post subject:  

Perhaps there is some association with the amount of storage used and the size of a part of the male anatomy...would explain all this bloat..... its also more convenient than the expense of a huge automobile.

In the uk there were 'my mortgage is bigger than yours' tee shirts but then the subject became less funny for the holders of such debts Very Happy

mike
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Galbi


Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 432
Location: Bs.As. - Argentina.

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 14:46    Post subject:  

Just as an example I tell you how it's my 16Gb pendrive:

I've formated it in 3 partitions (with Gparted that comes in every Puppy)

- sdb1: 6.3 Gb formated as vfat so if I insert the stick in a Windows PC it's recognized (in fact is the only partition that Windows recognises). It's accesible from Win and from Linux, it's general purpouse store place.

- sdb2: 2.0 Gb vfat, it's where resides Puppy (the stick it's bootable) with a savefile of 768 Mb, note that there's enough space for Puppy itself, for the savefile, and for a backup of the savefile.

-sdb3: 6.3 Gb formated as ext3, it's a place to store Linux related stuff.

As I said, it's just an example, you can do it as you like.

Hope it helps.

Bye.

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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2547
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 15:55    Post subject:  

Blackfish - there is more than one way that puppy can be installed, and it can be difficult to understand the differences at first.

As Galbi mentioned, you can divide the 16GB into separate partitions. One of those partitions will be your 'boot' partition which holds the puppy system files. Other partitions can be used to store your data externally away from the system files (or in other words "outside the savefile").

The best way to divide the 16GB up, and the best type of partition format to use is a whole topic in itself. There are many choices depending on your needs, and depending on whether or not you need the data partitions to be movable to other operating systems. (The individual files will still be readable on other systems, but partition formats like EXT2, EXT3, EXT4 etc are not generally readable by Windows).

There is another issue though, and that is what 'method' you use to install puppy - this determines where the puppy files are stored and in what format. (It sounds to me that you may have ended up using both methods without realising it...)
1) - Puppy can be installed 'frugally' - in which case the puppy system files are 'encapsulated' in a single directory (folder) and the savefile also gets put into that folder as a 'squashed archive'. This keeps things tidy and allows for several puppies to sit side by side in different directories (folders). This is the type of installation that requires puppy to have a 'savefile' (It is important to note that the individual files are stored as a SQUASHED file archive - effectively zipped up).

2) - Puppy can be installed as a "full" installation. This allows Puppy to treat a whole partition as the resting place for it's files - and they do not get zipped up - they just lie around like the contents of a childrens toybox. With this method you can only have one puppy in that partition - you can imagine how messy it would get if two or three different puppies were trying to store near identical files in the same partition. However, if you are certain that you only want to run a single puppy then a "full" installation may be right for you. As far as I can make out there are two main advantages with full installations - firstly they can run faster and secondly they do not waste 'empty space' that sits unused inside savefiles on a 'frugal' installation.

(There are currently some moves being made to combine these speed/space benefits into a tidier install as well, but still experimental at this stage. It is called 'save to folder' instead of a 'save to partition' but I recommend you wait before trying such a method)

The decision about which method to use needs to be made at the time you first shut down puppy. At that point you can do one of 3 things:
1) - shut down without any saving at all (useful if you have no intention of changing the puppy's system files or saving any data - which might be the case if you are just using puppy to view online email or something)
2) - shut down and do a frugal install, saving the original puppy files to disk, and saving your savefile to disk also.
3) - shut down and do a full installation - saving a cluster of individual directories and files using up the whole partition on disk (which is fine if you have made the partition small enough to avoid wasting the rest of your 16GB stick/card)

In some ways this description is not totally the whole picture - but I hope it gives some idea of the choices.
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Moat

Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 16:54    Post subject:  

Please, anybody correct me if I'm mistaken... but isn't a disadvantage of doing a full install to a USB flash drive, in that the system is continually reading/writing to the drive (easy for a standard spinning-platter hard drive) and therefore possibly prematurely "wearing out" the limited-life USB's flash memory? Whereas a frugal, savefile install only writes to the drive periodically, at the selected interval (default @ 30 minutes)?

That was my impression, anyway - and why I always choose frugal/savefile installs for USB flash drives - as well as being so easy to backup and restore.

Also something I've wondered about - aside from wasting space, does an unnecessarily large frugal's savefile actually slow either the boot process, shutdown or system speed in any way? I.e. - presents a larger file to un-compress/recompress (squash) at boot/shutdown...?

Bob
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2868
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jun 2014, 16:58    Post subject:  

@ Blackfish -- I haven't read the whole thread, but here is my initial response.

(1) The savefile allows what is called "persistence" between sessions. In other words, your files, installed software, and any other changes to Puppy's default configuration are retained from one bootup to the next, and don't simply go *POOF* when you shut down.

(2a) There is a way to increase the size of the save file. It's in the Menu somewhere -- I've not used LXPup so I don't know exactly where (I could tell you for XFCE-based Pups, I'm on X-Slacko, but that's not very helpful!) -- what you're looking for is called "resize personal save-file" or something very close to that. Run the wizard, and reboot. Upon booting back up, you'll get a bigger savefile. You can get up to 512mb increases at a time...

(2b) If you're feeling adventurous, once you've run the save-file resize wizard, go to /mnt/home and find the file "pupsaveresize.txt" (I *think* that's what it's called). Open it in Geany and replace the number inside with the value, in kilobytes, of the size you really want. For example, if you want to add an additional four gigs of space, then the number in the file (which should be the only thing there, no non-numeric characters please!) should be 4194304. Save your changes, reboot. Your savefile will become 4.5gb.

(2c) If you're feeling dangerously adventurous Razz open gparted, point it to your flash drive, and WITHOUT CHANGING ANYTHING note the overall size of the drive. Close gparted, and then go change pupsaveresize to that size minus 1024mb. This accommodates your install of Puppy (up to 512mb) and a 512mb savefile. Probably your Pup is somewhat smaller than 512mb, so you get some padding in there, which is also very smart.

So...

Storage drive manufacturers use power-of-ten kB/MB/GB rather than power-of-two kB/MB/GB. (Technically, power-of-two kB/MB/GB have been renamed kibbibytes [kiB] / Mibbibytes [MiB] / Gibbibytes [GiB] to accommodate the manufacturers' bothersome maneuverings, but I refuse to bow down to them by using those terms.) Your "16gb" flash drive is actually, according to the computer, 14.9gb. That equals (rounding down slightly) 15256mb. Let's say you've formatted that drive ext3 (good practice), and, since ext3 is a little greedy, we'll assume (the following number is from my head, not actual math or experience) it takes 128mb for formatting. That leaves you 15128mb (just over 14.75gb). You've used 512mb for Puppy's savefile, and we'll assume for now (check this! there *are* a few Pups larger than 500mb) that Puppy itself is at most 512mb.

That means that you want to make your savefile 14104mb. But, pupsaveresize isn't in mb, it's in kb. So open up the file and type in 14442496. That's just over thirteen and three-quarter gigabytes... I really don't think you'll fill that up any time soon Razz

(3) OTOH, if you really don't like this savefile nonsense -- wipe your drive, make two partitions. Put Puppy on the first, make a savefile big enough for all your programs (4gb should be plenty), and use the second partition for your data. This is what I do... if my savefile becomes corrupted, I've lost only the time it takes to re-establish a savefile with all my installed DotPETs (which I also archive). Of course if I manage to fry my drive, I'm kind of screwed, but that's my fault for not backing up often enough Razz

Hope all that helps.

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