VectorLinux

The nuts and bolts => Portable VL => Topic started by: rumey on May 07, 2007, 11:52:20 pm

Title: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: rumey on May 07, 2007, 11:52:20 pm
Hello,

I'm about to build a digital picture frame out of an old laptop. In order to get rid of the noice of the HD from that laptop I want to install VL on a USB stick. I already managed to install Knoppix on the USB stick and it boots, but it's just using an image that it extracts on booting. I want the full linux on the stick so that I can install extra software (needed for no-nonsense slideshow), so I though VL might be the choice (having installed VL in the past onto the same laptop).
But I don't think that the USB stick is an option to install VL on, right,
Has anyone done this before?

Thanks,
Jerm
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: metvas on May 08, 2007, 07:24:47 am
Hi:
We are in the process of offering VL on USB stick. We have the code done for extraction. This will be an option for purchase on our CD store next few weeks or so. An aanouncement is expected shortly for this option.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: rumey on May 22, 2007, 04:33:31 am
Hi,

so installing a full VL on a usb stick (without extraction etc, the usb stick is 2gb big) is not possible right?
I just want to be able to insert VL CD in laptop and at install be able to choose the usb stick as target for the install.

Or might it be easier (since VL is already installed on the HD of that laptop), to just create the partitions on the usb stick and then copy the whole HD install to the usb stick? I already have a boot disk that enables linux boot from the usb stick.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: metvas on May 22, 2007, 10:26:02 am
Hello:
Once completed the USB stick would autoboot and files will be extracted exactly the same way a current CD would do. Tus would be a purchaed item at our CD store. Keep looking back another few weeks would be my best guess.
Thanks
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: davidkline on July 07, 2007, 02:19:40 pm
This is certainly possible.

I have done this with VL 5.1 STD. It's a stripped down version since I needed to get VL to work on a flashdisk <2GB in size, but there is no reason why a 4GB USB stick can't be used. I did upgrade the kernel to 2.6.19.1 (2.6.12 came with the distribution). This is really kool stuff.

/david
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: exeterdad on July 09, 2007, 05:04:11 pm
Just out of curiosity.  How would the read/write of the USB install compare to a traditional hard drive?  The possibility of a VERY quite computer is appealing.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: thegeekster on July 12, 2007, 04:03:23 pm
Just out of curiosity.  How would the read/write of the USB install compare to a traditional hard drive?  The possibility of a VERY quite computer is appealing.
It's not advisable to constantly write to a pendrive, due to limited writes before wearing out the media (around a thousand, IIRC)..........Therefore, the trick is to be able to limit the writes until the end, when powering down.....

Pendrives are better suited for "live" versions of distros where you can control the writes through some sort of filesystem overlay, such as unionfs.......

HTH :)
---thegeekster
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 12, 2007, 07:32:18 pm
It's not advisable to constantly write to a pendrive, due to limited writes before wearing out the media (around a thousand, IIRC)

I have seen write estimates ranging from 10,000 to 10,000,000. If it were only 1,000, loads of the drives would have to be replaced before the warranty ran out.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: caitlyn on August 01, 2007, 08:09:26 pm
Take a good look at Wolvix at http://www.wolvix.org.  1.1 is similar to VL 5.8 (Xfce 4.4 based) and can be installed in frugal mode (like a live CD) and then run with the copytoram option if you have 512MB RAM or more.  That way the system loads off the USB pen drive into RAM and then only accesses to USB drive when writing data (i.e.: saving a file), not for running the OS.  This approach is very quiet and doesn't do excessive I/O to/from the pen drive. 

I'd love to see similar options for VL Live, but they're not there yet.  6.0, maybe?
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: uelsk8s on August 01, 2007, 08:25:22 pm
Caitlyn,
They are there, just not well documented.
when you run most any livecd from a pendrive it should never try to write. livecd's for the most part were made to be run from non writable media.

Uelsk8s
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: caitlyn on August 01, 2007, 08:29:10 pm
OK, let me ask you to clarify that last post:  Is there is an option in VL 5.8 Live to copy as a compressed iso to a pen drive and execute from there?  Is there an option to run entirely from RAM if a system has adequate memory?  If so then, yes, VL 5.8 is appropriate for a pen drive.  I just want to make sure I am understanding you and that VL can indeed be run like Wolvix or Slax.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: aixuser01 on August 15, 2007, 07:52:25 am
I too am interested in installing the live cd on a usb stick. does anyone have the procedure for doing this?
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: uelsk8s on August 15, 2007, 08:38:48 am
OK, let me ask you to clarify that last post:  Is there is an option in VL 5.8 Live to copy as a compressed iso to a pen drive and execute from there?  Is there an option to run entirely from RAM if a system has adequate memory?  If so then, yes, VL 5.8 is appropriate for a pen drive.  I just want to make sure I am understanding you and that VL can indeed be run like Wolvix or Slax.

the VL live cd's are built with the linux-live scripts made by the author of slax. they are the same scripts that wolvix uses, and can use most of the same "cheatcodes" like:
boot: vector copy2ram
boot: vector toram

copy all files (all required and optional modules) to RAM. You'll need at least 384MB of RAM to do this and boot vector properly. This will slow down the boot phase but it will speed up vector!

and:

boot: vector changes=/dev/device

all changes you made in vector are kept in memory until you reboot. But with this boot parameter, you tell VL to use different device then memory for storing changes. You can, for example, format your disk partition /dev/hda1 with some Linux filesystem (eg. ext2) and then use changes=/dev/hda1 to store all changes to that disk. This way you won't loose your changes after reboot.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: caitlyn on August 16, 2007, 07:53:44 am
Excellent!  BTW, Slax now needs more than 512MB to cache to RAM.  On my 512MB laptop it runs out of memory no matter what I set RAMSIZE to.  AliXe, at least through 0.10rc1 will still work with <512MB as will Wolvix-Cub.  I'm actually downloading 0.11rc1 right now.

Will VL-Live really work in 384MB?  I would have put it in the same class as Wolvix-Hunter in terms of size and would have thought it would require RAM >1GB.  Am I wrong about that?  If so I'm terribly impressed.

One more live CD to download...  ;D
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: uelsk8s on August 16, 2007, 08:35:36 am
Will VL-Live really work in 384MB?  I would have put it in the same class as Wolvix-Hunter in terms of size and would have thought it would require RAM >1GB.  Am I wrong about that?  If so I'm terribly impressed.

I hope I didnt suggest VL-Live would copy2ram with only 384mb. My best guess is that you would need greater than 3GB ram with VL+copy2ram, although i have used it with less than 128 in regular live mode.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: caitlyn on August 16, 2007, 08:43:10 am
OK, I guess I was right that it would need a ton of RAM. 

Hmmm.... That does leave the idea of remastering on the table, though.  Start with VL-Standard-Live and strip it down.  Create a VL-Live mini which, like Slax or GoblinX Mini, would fit on an 8cm mini-CDR and run in 512MB of RAM.  It might be fun to try and build that.

I still think an OS that fits entirely into a reasonable amount of ram (512MB for example) is the best choice for a USB stick.  A system loaded entirely into RAM absolutely flies.  Right now I can do it with Wolvix-Cub and AliXe.  It would be neat to have a version of VL that could do it too.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: uelsk8s on August 16, 2007, 08:47:02 am
if you start with a live version of VL you will have all the remastering script in the system already
they are in /root/.linux-live-x.x
just remove the dev packages and duplicate apps and run /root/.linux-live*/runme.sh and it will create your livecd
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: rumey on April 02, 2008, 06:01:55 am
wow, this thread has seen some live after I last checked it out :-)

now to come back to my initial question:

can I install VL on a USB stick. My concern is that I can install extra software once the VL (on the USB) is running. Cause with Knoppix my problem was that I couldn't add new software to it.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: uelsk8s on April 02, 2008, 10:57:54 am
wow, this thread has seen some live after I last checked it out :-)

now to come back to my initial question:

can I install VL on a USB stick. My concern is that I can install extra software once the VL (on the USB) is running. Cause with Knoppix my problem was that I couldn't add new software to it.
you can add as much extra software as the size of your usb stick will allow.
Title: Re: Installing full vectorlinux on a usb stick
Post by: overthere on April 10, 2008, 05:30:03 pm
You mentioned turning an old laptop into a picture frame...not sure what you desire but I put dsl in the cd drive and clicked install to usb and added gqview amoung others...on a 512 stick and run folders of pics full screen..the pointer hides automatically...imagemagick can resize and do the basic manips..this while awaiting the vl-usb...I desire to see this also..but dsl is smaller if you just want to run some slide shows on an old unit. and want the os on a thumb
cheers