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Author Topic: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery  (Read 1680 times)

Offline egency

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Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« on: May 15, 2018, 10:03:50 PM »
So I really have no real idea what or where the problem is so I'll start by sketching out what I've done, what I have, and what I'm hoping to achieve.

After more than a month of struggling to get a USB to boot anything other than Mint or the like I finally managed to hack together a grub-efi thing on a GPT partition covering the whole USB. It's a thorough hack, but that's a topic I'll start later. I manage to get TinyCore to boot to a prompt even! :)

After hacking at things I don't really understand I managed get TC to load the extensions in the /tce dir. This is quite weird as I couldn't get them to load using "tce-load -i" previously. It's also a bit of a hack as I just set "tce=sdb1", but again, I'll deal with that later.

At this point TC decides to just start mocking me and I'm running really thin on ideas. Rather than booting to a console (or anything else), it briefly flashes something about loading extensions and then just displays a non-blinking cursor (an underscore type text cursor) in the top left corner and refuses to respond to anything short of a hard reset...

I don't know what this means nor what to do about it. Mostly what I'm hoping to achieve is just getting all the base functionality to work so I can start using it and figuring out how it works.

Incidentally I've also downloaded the broadcom (bcm43xx) firmware which I /believe/, though am by no means sure, will be required to get networking started. That's also in the /tce directory for when I get to the point where figuring out how to get that working becomes a thing.

This is really frustrating as I'm really keen on TinyCore, it very closely mirrors my own design for an ideal Linux.

Any advice about where to poke next to figure this out would be hugely appreciated!

Offline curaga

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 12:18:02 AM »
Most likely X hung, Xvesa if you haven't installed Xorg or Xfbdev, or just failed to display. When it happens, try pressing ctrl-alt-backspace, the X-killing key combo. Alternatively, add the "text" bootcode to your grub config file to boot to cli to test things out.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline NewUser

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 12:42:58 AM »
If you have Windows, search Sourceforge for core2usb. USB must be formatted first and empty. It even includes tc-install GUI, if you want to install to the PC's disk.

Offline egency

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 01:09:15 AM »
@NewUser unfortunately I don't currently have access to a windows machine.

@curaga Given where in the boot it crashed I suspected similar, the ctrl-alt-backspace you suggested didn't do anything though so I'm not sure whether that indicates anything. It's a touch late now but I'll try adding the text boot option tomorrow. I was also thinking of turning the loading of some of the files off to see if I can't narrow it down that way.


Offline egency

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 12:57:14 PM »
Thanks polikuo! I'll come camp your thread once I have a bit of a better grip on my system. :)

So, definitely an X issue as it happens whenever startx is run as well. Don't know what to do about it, so I'll be searching the forums so long to see the prior art. :)

I forgot to add, it's obviously an Intel mac, I'm not sure what the exact hardware is yet as TC doesn't seem to have lspci (and I don't know of any other way to check) so I need to ferret that over. Incidentally, TCZ packages are exceedingly convenient, they're even sneakernet compatible. :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 01:03:22 PM by egency »

Online Rich

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 01:14:32 PM »
Hi egency
... TC doesn't seem to have lspci (and I don't know of any other way to check) ...
Have tried installing  pci-utils.tcz ?

Offline egency

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 02:43:07 PM »
I am planning to (thanks for the name, that helps), but I first need to remember where I lost the repository. I haven't figured out how to get networking to work yet so I'm copying the files over on USB.

The lack of networking is partly because I'm not sure how to actually get the bcm firmware into the kernel, and I'm still seeing whether I can find the networking section of the wiki as I can connect my phone via USB but need to work out how to setup routes and the like.

Online Rich

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 04:54:28 PM »
Hi egency
I am planning to (thanks for the name, that helps), but I first need to remember where I lost the repository. ...
Was it the  ibiblio  site:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/9.x/x86/tcz/
You didn't mention version or architecture but that is 32 bit version of TC9.

Offline thane

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 11:49:43 PM »
It's an ignorant stab in the dark, but I have a laptop (no CD drive or hard disk even) that wouldn't boot TC to the desktop off a USB stick until Xorg 7.7 was installed.

I booted another computer into TC from CD, then used TC Install to format the USB stick there. After that Apps gives you the option of installing extensions to the USB stick rather than the boot box. The laptop would boot to a prompt with the basic TCL install on the USB, but not to the desktop without Xorg.

Don't know if any of this relates to your issue. Good luck.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 11:55:17 PM by thane »

Offline egency

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 08:14:33 AM »
@thane, I'm sort of heading towards installing Xorg I think. Unfortunately I don't currently have another machine that works so that method is unavailable to me currently. However what you're saying about Apps giving the option of installing extensions to USB is very useful. It should greatly ease future installs. :)

@Rich It was indeed the ibilbio site. I had it bookmarked somewhere, but misplaced the bookmark...

So, with my newfound power of lspci:
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation C79 [GeForce 9400M] (rev b1)

So, would I be correct in guessing that I just need to install Xorg-7 along with the xf86-nouveau drivers? Perhaps synaptics given the touchpad. I never was any good with figuring out Xorg stuff, black magic that... :/

Also, I've noticed that even though the broadcom firmware gets loaded on boot I still can't get my wifi device to come up. I poked around some trying to modprobe it, however the firmware doesn't have any .ko files so it doesn't seem to be a kernel module thing. I'm not sure what I'm missing? The package doesn't list any dependencies either.

Offline egency

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 12:07:19 PM »
So I went ahead and got Xorg and all it's dependencies (as per Xorg-7.7.tcz.tree). I dumped the lot into /tce/optional, added them to onboot.lst and booted. When running startx however it gives and error stating something like "failed on waitforX".

Anybody have any ideas?

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 07:10:39 PM »
...
Incidentally I've also downloaded the broadcom (bcm43xx) firmware which I /believe/, though am by no means sure, will be required to get networking started. That's also in the /tce directory for when I get to the point where figuring out how to get that working becomes a thing.
Hello egency,   you might have better luck with broadcomm wifi if you download both firmware-getB43.tcz and wifi.tcz extensions and all their dependencies while connected via ethernet using "tce-ab, or tce-load -wi" at the console then add wifi.tcz to onboot.lst.  Still while connected, load and run firmware-getB43.tcz to download the correct wifi firmware.   Add the resulting firmware extension to onboot.lst before wifi.tcz.   Remember to remove all other broadcomm firmware from onboot.lst

You only need to load the main extension, all dependencies are installed from the main extensioin's dep file

You need drivers for the video card, but meanwhile try Xvesa extension
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 07:13:05 PM by coreplayer2 »

Offline Juanito

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 12:38:09 AM »
So I went ahead and got Xorg and all it's dependencies (as per Xorg-7.7.tcz.tree). I dumped the lot into /tce/optional, added them to onboot.lst and booted. When running startx however it gives and error stating something like "failed on waitforX".

If you enter the following command manually, you will see an error messages that will indicate the source of the problem:
Code: [Select]
$ Xorg -nolisten tcp

Offline polikuo

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Re: Tinycores, Macbooks, USBs and misery
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 01:08:20 AM »
You might need graphics-KERNEL (graphics-4.14.10-tinycore64) extension.  ;)