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Home » Stella » Report a problem or request a feature » Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes (Fixes for some booting issues for the NONPAE live)
Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #594] Fri, 02 November 2012 18:13 Go to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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Not sure if this relates to the regular live but it was an issue on the NONPAE live.

I could not boot on 2 different laptops.

When I removed the VGA=791 from the boot string it booted fine.

I also had to go into the bios of one of them and disable TPM entirely.

Hopefully this helps someone out.

Finally, kudos to Nux and whomever else helped you with this. This is the best out of the box setup for an RHEL clone I've ever come across.

I am the guy behind remastersys for debian and ubuntu which is a tool to create a live backup to iso from your installed system. I'm going to see if I can do something similar for Stella now.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #595 is a reply to message #594] Fri, 02 November 2012 18:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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Also forgot to mention that wireless worked flawlessly on this as well as setting up my pptp vpn connection and rdesktop to my pc.

This is an awesome default setup and comes pretty close to being absolutely perfect for me.

Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #596 is a reply to message #594] Fri, 02 November 2012 18:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Hello fragadelic,

Thanks for your kind words.

As for the technical issue, seems like there's a new thing every day. Smile
Btw, just making sure you know, the NONPAE image is for old systems, if your PC can do PAE then I'd advise you use the regular iso.

Let me know if you succeed with the remastersys on Stella. Smile

Thanks!
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #597 is a reply to message #596] Fri, 02 November 2012 18:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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I pulled down the NONPAE as I have some Pentium M laptops and their crappy CPU's don't have PAE.

I plan on getting the PAE ones as well but wanted to give this a spin.

Hats off to you on this setup. I am really excited about it.

I know that the normal live setup consists of an ext2 setup squashed and I know how to make a squashed filesystem from a working install based on my time with debian and ubuntu.

Hopefully I can come up with something that still uses the rhel live boot method and installer which would be ideal.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #598 is a reply to message #594] Fri, 02 November 2012 22:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Hi,

For the Stella Live media I'm actually using ext4. If it helps however, I could try to build a few images with ext2.

Let me know if you need any help.

Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #599 is a reply to message #598] Fri, 02 November 2012 22:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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This is where I think it is strange to use this method. Any journaling filesystem will be larger than it needs to be for a live system. In ubuntu and debian, they just squash the files and folders themselves.

I would think that using ext2 would be smaller and result in faster boot time.

Come to think of it, it might be ext3 - I looked into the boot process in depth quite a while ago and have to look into it again.

At first I want to create a simple live backup and then I'll work on the other functions like being able to install it.

Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #600 is a reply to message #594] Sat, 03 November 2012 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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AFAIK the Centos project uses ext3 for the live media. I don't know where ext2 might still be in use; possibly nowhere.

Good luck. Smile
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #601 is a reply to message #600] Sat, 03 November 2012 14:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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That is why I find it funny. ext3 and ext4 will use more space for the journals but these aren't needed on a live system so they are just wasting space on journal files that are unusable.

I'll look into it more and do some testing.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #602 is a reply to message #594] Sat, 03 November 2012 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Yes, you are correct. Next time I generate live media I'll try ext2, see if there's any catch.

Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #603 is a reply to message #602] Sat, 03 November 2012 19:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
symbianflo is currently offline  symbianflo
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Chill grasshoppers , calm down , I'm not a expert of journaling filesystem but a.f.a.i.k ext2 is really a joke ...
Journaling has a dedicated area in the file system, where all the changes are tracked. When the system crashes,
the possibility of file system corruption is less because of journaling.
It might be advantageous on flash drives ( not SSHD) , but I'll not risk to install something on ext2.
And don't forget multiblock allocation, delayed allocation, journal checksum. fast fsck, etc
so ext2 I'll avoid it ...your benefits are only few MB of space on hdd...nothing else , oh yeah a lot of risky
business to Laughing
So Nux let's drop this argument , on Stella machine ext4
is more than REQUIRED
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #604 is a reply to message #603] Sat, 03 November 2012 20:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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symbianflo - I don't think you understand this fully. The live squashed filesystem doesn't need journaling and in fact the journal is unusable. When either unionfs or aufs is used for changes, those are stored in ram.

This has nothing to do with what the system is installed to. Just the squashed filesystem that is mounted during live run. Any changes cannot be written back to it anyway as squashfs is read only.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #605 is a reply to message #604] Sat, 03 November 2012 20:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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And ext2 is not a joke. Both ext3 and ext4 are based on ext2 and just add journals and other features.

Ext2 is the recommended filesystem to use on a flash hard drive like you would find on a netbook.

Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #610 is a reply to message #605] Mon, 05 November 2012 13:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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Nux - where can I get the kickstart files you used?
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #616 is a reply to message #594] Mon, 05 November 2012 21:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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http://fpaste.org/iJg0/
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #624 is a reply to message #616] Tue, 06 November 2012 13:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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nux - thanks for the kickstart file. I built it last night to see how the process works. I can't believe how long it took. It took over 2 hours on my core 2 duo and I have a 40Mbit internet connection.

Just to compare, the same size or even bigger iso built for debian or ubuntu by my remastersys app takes only 15 minutes total time to give you your final iso from the time you start the process.

Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #628 is a reply to message #594] Tue, 06 November 2012 18:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Hi,

Yes, this is not for the faint of heart (or resources). Luckily I have access to really powerful servers and nearby gigabit mirrors..
It will probably help you a lot if you had a local mirror.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #629 is a reply to message #628] Tue, 06 November 2012 19:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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My goal is to create a new frontend for imgcreate like livecd-creator but replace the download of all the packages with a simple copy of the system over to the /var/tmp folder for the live system and then create it from there.

This will create a live backup of your system that you can install anywhere else.

Unfortunately I can't see any way around copying everything over to a temp area at this time since they create and ext3fs.img and then squash that img to create the squashfs.img.

In this respect, Ubuntu and debian do a much better job by quite simply squashing the files themselves so it can be done from a running system without taking up twice the space.

I still have to look at the initrd for the live to see the actual init for live.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #632 is a reply to message #594] Tue, 06 November 2012 20:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Unfortunately I'm not very intimate with this process as to advise you, however I do find it quite interesting. I'd be willing to look around for some way of doing it.
Where could I see the process in detail for Debian? As to better understand what's going on that is..
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #633 is a reply to message #632] Tue, 06 November 2012 21:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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Debian - live-boot package
Ubuntu - casper package

This is just the live boot scripts though. They too have a tool like livecd-tools to create an iso from a chroot environment.

The squashfs image is a very simple compressed image with all the files from the system on it. If you loop mount the debian or ubuntu filesystem.squashfs squashed file you will see the entire contents of the system. This is similar to the ext3fs.img from the Centos live.

The Centos squashed file squashfs.img contains a single file - ext3fs.img which is the ext3 filesystem that was temporarily created when making the live. This extra step of mounting another image(ext3fs.img) from within the squash image(squashfs.img) is what I find strange. In debian and ubuntu, they simply mount the squashfs file(filesystem.squashfs) and use aufs or unionfs to access the files which allows changes to be made and stored in ram but to the system it just appears like a real system with rw access. This behaviour is the same across most live system in linux.

The Slax method or most others for Slackware and other systems work similarly to the ubuntu/debian method in that each of the squashed files is mounted under / for use as the root filesystem.

The Slax method was neat in that you simply called the images byt the folder name it would be mounted under /. For example, you could have /usr in its own compressed image called usr.img and that gets mounted on /usr of the live system.

I've been doing live stuff for a very long time. I originally ported the Slax live stuff for Vector Linux back in 2003 or 2004 if I remember correctly and also ported the redhat kudzu tool to Slackware at the time so it could automatically setup the hardware during live boot.

I've been doing the Ubuntu version of remastersys from late 2006/early 2007. I started the debian version with debian lenny version.

Now I'm trying to add an option to livecd-tools to backup your installed system.

Of course if you setup you installed system very pristinely and cleanly, you will be able to use the resulting iso just like the original live built with livecd-tools now. Otherwise, it will just be a nice way to backup your system in case of failure.

I have used my ubuntu and debian backups in real world scenarios. My main pc hard drive died one night and fortunately I had just done a backup to live 2 days before and was able to restore pretty much everything when I got the new hd. The beauty was that I had my system working live from dvd even with the dead hd until I got the new one. I also used my debian version backup of my server to build a new one when the server laptop died. Just simply ran the live backup on the new system and installed it.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #634 is a reply to message #594] Tue, 06 November 2012 22:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Right, then with this little crash course I wonder, what would happen if we used not ext3 for the image but something else, say squashfs? Do you think it's something that could help.

Also, I wonder how Fedora do the Live images.. though I don't think their method has changed either.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #635 is a reply to message #634] Tue, 06 November 2012 23:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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Fedora does it exactly like Centos. Starting with version 6.0, the fedora livecd-tools were being used to create the live image.

Prior to that it was a more modified version of it. Much of the porting before was done by Patrice Guay.

I have to also look at the live installer as that is almost always tied to how the image is booted and used as well.

The easiest start is just for me to create a modified livecd-creator python frontend. I am planning on calling it livecd-backup and it will need the livecd-tools.

Modifying the live mount may also require modifying the installer and I prefer to stay away from that. With remastersys for ubuntu, you still use the normal ubuntu live installer called ubiquity. For debian I had to create my own installer since the debian one was tied into the building of the initrd in a special manner which I chose not to duplicate. My installer for debian is both a gui installer as well as a cli mode so it can be used on a pure cli server live setup. The ubuntu ubiquity one can only work in gui mode and lots of folks have asked me to port my debian installer to ubuntu but they change so many things from version to version that it doesn't make sense for me as I don't have that kind of time.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #636 is a reply to message #635] Tue, 06 November 2012 23:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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When I finish with the livecd-backup script, it will be usable in fedora as well as the RHEL clones.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #638 is a reply to message #594] Tue, 06 November 2012 23:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Well, good luck with that. I can help with testing if not with anything else. Let me know how it goes or if you feel I can be of further help (not that I've really been so far lol).
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #639 is a reply to message #638] Wed, 07 November 2012 01:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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Providing your kickstart file was great. I watched the process as it worked which helped immensely.

The only thing I need to work on is a copy function of the installed system to the temp area. It should be doable. I will work on it this week and since I have a good install of stella to test with, it makes it a lot easier.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #640 is a reply to message #594] Wed, 07 November 2012 09:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
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That's great! Having this would be quite handy, particularly for backups.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #643 is a reply to message #640] Wed, 07 November 2012 14:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fragadelic is currently offline  fragadelic
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I'll let you know when I have something. I need to work on the copy function and then do some testing.
Re: Some issues with booting on a laptop and fixes [message #644 is a reply to message #594] Wed, 07 November 2012 15:19 Go to previous message
nux is currently offline  nux
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Sure, good luck.

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