New to Porteus - My observations

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TTW
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New to Porteus - My observations

Post#1 by TTW » 15 Jul 2015, 10:36

Hi,
So I'm new to Porteus which I came across when searching for a new OS. To give a little background:

I have been a linux user for six years but I'm still a newbie. Everytime I think I have understood it I realise that there is so much more that I cannot do. I tried a number of distros to start with and settled on Puppy. My reasons for this are that Puppy usually worked on my then older systems (now retired) but importantly it was portable, ran off a USB stick,or ultimately could sit on a hard drive but be booted from either a USB stick, a CD or a floppy drive using the legacy GRUB bootloader. There was never any worry of upsetting the preinstalled Windows OS which the rest of the family are addicted to. Note this is still a prerequisite.

For the last four years I have happily used Saluki which I was involved in from it's starting point. In fact I use it 99% of the time and it still does what I need. So why look to change? Well Saluki hasn't been supported since 2012 so the browsers are getting out of date and I don't have the skills to recompile a new one. Hence looking and finding my way here.

I am yet to test Porteus but so far it ticks many of the boxes for me.
It's designed to live on a USB stick and not touch my windows system.
It's modular so shouldn't suffer from Savefile bloat which Puppies tend to unless you start getting applications to work outside of your savefile.
It's currently supported and active.

Before I start my concerns are:
Will it work?
How easy is it to get onto a bootable USB. It appears that I have to download an iso, burn that to a CD and then create a bootable USB. To a newbie that seems like a lot of steps, but not unusual. The only issue I have is that the machine I will test on does not have an optical drive (it's a netbook). With Saluki I can download the ISO, mount it and copy the necessary files onto the already prepared USB stick which has Legacy Grub already installed. I can then just add a new entry to the menu.lst file. Not sure I will be able to do this with Porteus?

I can't find a definitive list of packages included in the ISO download on the main site or the forum. That's offputting for a newbie.

Saluki uses XCFE which is another tick for Porteus because I'm already used to it. However, with four DEs to choose from it is not clear if some support packages that others do not?

Apologies for the long first post. I wanted to set out what I hope to achieve and can then use it to track how things turn out. I will download the ISO and burn to a CD tonight and see how I get on. At which point I will post a First Impressions report.

TTW

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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#2 by Bogomips » 15 Jul 2015, 12:47

TTW wrote:How easy is it to get onto a bootable USB. It appears that I have to download an iso, burn that to a CD and then create a bootable USB. To a newbie that seems like a lot of steps, but not unusual. The only issue I have is that the machine I will test on does not have an optical drive (it's a netbook). With Saluki I can download the ISO, mount it and copy the necessary files onto the already prepared USB stick which has Legacy Grub already installed. I can then just add a new entry to the menu.lst file. Not sure I will be able to do this with Porteus?
http://www.porteus.org/tutorials/10-installing.html might provide some pointers. If using Grub Legacy, after extracting vmlinuz and initrd.xz to directory, all you need is the Kernel Parameter (cheatcode) from= in menu.lst entry. For example my normal menu.lst entry

Code: Select all

title           Porteus Live DVD	Porteus-KDE4-v3.1-i486.iso
root		(hd0,0)
kernel          /por/3.1/vmlinuz  copy2ram ramsize=30% noauto timezone=Europe/London volume=80%
initrd          /por/3.1/initrd.xz
But to run the iso, as I understand it, you will also need from=. (copy2ram, ramsize, noauto being my options here, and could be left out.) If you are not already using Porteus, please refer to this tutorial on how to extract the files.
TTW wrote:I can't find a definitive list of packages included in the ISO download on the main site or the forum. That's offputting for a newbie.
http://dl.porteus.org/
TTW wrote:Apologies for the long first post. I wanted to set out what I hope to achieve and can then use it to track how things turn out. I will download the ISO and burn to a CD tonight and see how I get on. At which point I will post a First Impressions report.
Will be nice if you could do this in the thread First Impressions here in General chat, as well.
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

TTW
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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#3 by TTW » 15 Jul 2015, 13:24

Hi Bogomips

Thanks for the help. The first article about booting from the ISO is really useful - I hadn't seen that so far and is exactly the sort of thing I wanted.

Once I have had a look at the liveCD option I will give this a go and report back how it went.

The link to the repository is useful but doesn't seem to list many applications. It would seem to the uninitiated that Porteus comes as very lightweight in terms of preinstalled apps.

I note your comment about using the "First Impressions" topic and will post there once I have done some testing.
Thanks again for the support.
TTW

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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#4 by Bogomips » 15 Jul 2015, 13:32

@TTW

Please take another look at the post, regarding iso, as you might have missed my latest edit. :)
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

TTW
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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#5 by TTW » 15 Jul 2015, 14:29

Thanks for the update. It's a long time since I wrote a menu.lst file

I already have my Saluki USB stick so I was intending to create a new Porteus directory on it and place the initrd and vmlinuz files in there.
If I understand correctly I also have to copy the whole ISO file there too.

My menu.lst file should then be:

title Porteus Live DVD Porteus-KDE4-v3.1-i486.iso (Acutally I think I can call this anything I want to as it's a label)
root (hd0,0) - (needs to point to my USB stick as per the Saluki one with a Porteus directory. I use UUID to make this easy)
kernel /por/3.1/vmlinuz from=. (or do I need to complete the path as in "from=/Porteus/linux-images/myporteus.iso")
initrd /por/3.1/initrd.xz

It's an interesting project setting it up this way

TTW

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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#6 by francois » 15 Jul 2015, 17:46

Porteus has a very supporting and friendly forum as you can see from the greetings of bogomips and donald. We try to provide a very accessible and easy to use linux os with the means of a small community.

As you have linux experience, read in diagonal the Newcomers favourite links and commands: porteus and linux:
viewtopic.php?t=3318

Additional links found with keywords slackbuild for dummies newbies:
http://slack4dummies.blogspot.ca/2012/0 ... ow-to.html
http://slack4dummies.blogspot.ca/2012/0 ... ow-to.html
Voltaire: Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#7 by Bogomips » 15 Jul 2015, 19:14

TTW wrote:kernel /por/3.1/vmlinuz from=. (or do I need to complete the path as in "from=/Porteus/linux-images/myporteus.iso")

Code: Select all

kernel    /por/3.1/vmlinuz  from=/<Top Level Dorectory>/myporteus.iso
As it happens we are both trying to do the same thing, :wink: In my case trying out a kernel version 3.18.18 iso. So here is my successful menu.lst entry:

Code: Select all

# ISO boot	2015-07-15 17:56:25

title           Porteus Live UP.Porteus-KDE4-v3.1-i486.iso
root		(hd0,0)
kernel          /por/up3.1/vmlinuz  from=/AgL/UP.Porteus-KDE4-v3.1-i486.iso copy2ram ramsize=30% noauto timezone=Europe/London volume=80%
initrd          /por/up3.1/initrd.xz
Enjoy!
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

TTW
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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#8 by TTW » 16 Jul 2015, 07:59

Got it. Thanks very much.

I take it that your installation (the ISO) is on your main hard drive (hd0,0) and not on a USB stick as per normal installation.

Seems straightforward though and I will try it out when I get a free half hour. Thanks for sharing

TTW

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Re: New to Porteus - My observations

Post#9 by Bogomips » 16 Jul 2015, 12:42

TTW wrote:I take it that your installation (the ISO) is on your main hard drive (hd0,0) and not on a USB stick as per normal installation.
The iso is not on sda1. It is on sda9 :wink: (Believe scanning goes from removable devices to fixed devices in that order of priority.)

Just checked it out. Iso does not have to be in top level directory:

Code: Select all

guest@porteus:~$ cat /proc/cmdline
quiet from=/tmp/iso/UPrmPor-KDE4-v3.1-i486.iso copy2ram ramsize=30% noauto timezone=Europe/London volume=80%
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

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