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Author Topic: The Full Core and The Lite Core  (Read 10131 times)

Offline SvOlli

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The Full Core and The Lite Core
« on: August 27, 2010, 09:22:23 AM »
The Full Core is a remaster of Tiny Core Linux with the focus on two things:

- providing an alternative base image containing NTFS support, so Tiny Core Linux or Micro Core Linux can be installed in a Windows system without repartitioning

- using GRUB4DOS instead of syslinux/isolinux and GRUB for booting so installation will become a bit less complicated and does not need internet access (keyboard mappings are also included to ease up installation).

The remaster is done automatically using a script that can be also downloaded and modified to fit other configurations. The Lite Core is one example configuration, removing support for Micro Core Linux and gPXE.

Available at http://svolli.org/software/tinycore/

Please feel free to use this thread for discussion on "The Full Core" / "The Lite Core" related topics.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 08:17:20 AM by SvOlli »

Offline SvOlli

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The Full Core
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 09:18:04 AM »
"The Full Core" was intended to be a more "turn key"-solution. That's why the NTFS-3G drivers are included: to break the chicken-egg problem. NTFS-3G was the only thing that I was really missing, so that's what got me going. Some friends of mine asked for a German keyboard layout, so that got included as well. I also wanted to set the proxy on startup, and GRUB4DOS for an installation that's easier than GRUB or SYS/ISOLINUX.

How about adding firmware, wireless, and what's also occasionally needed for bootstrapping Tiny Core Linux to "The Full Core"? You give me the list of packages, the core team tells me what sources to mirror to get those, and I update the build scripts.

Offline curaga

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The Full Core
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 09:26:48 AM »
Firmware has no source, and you're already mirroring the kernel. So I suppose it would just be wpa_supplicant and whatever else is added.
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Offline vinnie

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The Full Core
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 01:47:10 PM »
How about adding firmware, wireless, and what's also occasionally needed for bootstrapping Tiny Core Linux to "The Full Core"? You give me the list of packages, the core team tells me what sources to mirror to get those, and I update the build scripts.

Package for cpu scaling? syslinux?

Offline SvOlli

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Re: The Full Core
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 08:43:08 AM »
Package for cpu scaling?
Please provide me with concrete package names. I'm a bit short on time, due to other projects to do research.

syslinux?

As far as I can tell, GRUB4DOS is superior to SYSLINUX (and grub-0.97-splash) in almost every way. The only problem I could figure out was the non-existent ext4 support in the initial loader for GRUB4DOS, which will be overcome with the next release of the grub4dos.tcz.

So what I suggest we should go for two things here:
1) Support anything that's network, which is key, because everything else could be downloaded after startup.
2) A bit more extended harddisk support like cfdisk or lvm2, which are small, but add only a few kbytes (but not gparted which is would add ~10MB, and could still be downloaded online, see 1)

Offline vinnie

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 12:52:49 PM »
I think you're right, I suggested that syslinux because is fundamental for the creation of new pens with automatic tool, not as a substitute of grubfordos, but in view of "only being able to connect", syslinux is not essential.

For the cpu scaling, I do not use it, but I think it's similar to syslinux.

In this regard, then perhaps it would be correct to include packages for serial modems (example pppd)?

Offline gerald_clark

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 04:20:02 PM »
Why do you want to cling to fat?
There are Windows drivers for ext2.

Online bmarkus

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 11:03:21 PM »
Why do you want to cling to fat?
There are Windows drivers for ext2.


But not by default. You have to find it, you have to install (expecting you have  aright to do that which is not true for corporate notbooks, etc.) technically right, but impractical for newbies. Wether you like or not FAT, it is the most common and user safe startup solution.
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Offline vinnie

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 02:42:31 AM »
furthermore happen sooner or later need to access an NTFS partition and< I seem to remember that svolli has made ​​to allow the installation of tinycore on these filesystems

Offline SvOlli

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 03:51:51 AM »
Some rework has been made: instead of providing two initrds, one original and one with ntfs-3g patched in, the ntfs-3g support is in an additional initrd, so there's no redundant data anymore, shaving off about ~45% in size for the isos.

Next step will be adding tczs for partitioning (gparted), a file manager, wlan, and network-firmware support. I'm open to suggestions on what tczs to include.

Offline beerstein

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2011, 02:36:02 AM »
Hi:
I like your idea. I would love to see a window manager (such as rox) included in TC 3.8. Full Core
How much work is it?
Can I do it by myself?

Since the Fullcore iso will be burned to a CD, where does TC put its extensions?

t(w)o be(ers) or not t(w)o be(ers) that is the question

Offline SvOlli

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2011, 10:27:10 AM »
Hello beerstein!

I like your idea. I would love to see a window manager (such as rox) included in TC 3.8. Full Core
How much work is it?
Can I do it by myself?
Piece of cake. Take a look at http://svolli.org/software/tinycore/#howto . To add any other tcz, just add them to the variables called "TCZLOOP" or "TCZRAM" of the template.

Since the Fullcore iso will be burned to a CD, where does TC put its extensions?
It puts the extensions into tce/optional on the CD. These are loaded via loopback (when using "TCZLOOP") or copied to ram (when using "TCZRAM"). For 3.7 you'll need to boot the version with cdromfix. For 3.8 I will remove the cdromfix package, since the behaviour of tce-setup has changed so it's not needed anymore.

You don't need to burn it onto a CD, you can also create a zip file, that can be put on an usb-stick, or alike, run
Code: [Select]
tce/extra/bootlace.com --time-out 0 /dev/sdx to make it bootable and run it from there.

Hope this helps for now. If not, let me know, and I'll provide additional infos.

Greetings,
SvOlli

Offline grandma

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Re: The Full Core and The Lite Core
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 07:41:31 PM »
My humble opinion of what Svolli has created here, starting with my apology, since all the Admins know me as the "Poster who talks way too much" - sorry.

1. I used to test software in college, and spent 30 years writing application software for Fortune 500 clients, so I really like (demand) systems that work reliably.

Both TC and the "Svolli version" satisfy that criteria and both run like greased lightning compared to my old Windows 2000 box (never switched to XP etc.).

The big difference for me was that I came to TC before some of the NTFS utilities became part of the standard TC, and I couldn't boot from USB, so Svolli's version was ideal, as it allowed me to install TC right on the NTFS partition and begin learning to use TC.

2. I tried regular TC and the Micro-Core methods, and had a lot of trouble with getting XVESA and XORG to work. As Juanito (wonderful support) said "Most of your trouble is not understanding the new system you're working on" - quite true - and the other half of my problem was being a SHELL SCRIPT newbie. It took me 3 months to get a background to "stick": something you folks can laugh at, but there were 101 issues that took me forever to make work, whether I booted to standard TC or Svolli's version.

What was ideal about Svolli's version was I could do all this learning on my Windows 2000 box and easily boot back and forth. I run a business, so I'd spend hours learning shell scripting or configuring Tiny Core, and when I had to "go do work", I'd bail out of Linux, reboot (GRUB) to Windows, go bang out a job for a few hours, then switch back. Since my SKYPE and FLASH all worked well in Windows, it was just what I had to do to keep the fire burning under the business until I could get that stuff working right in Linux. Again, you "Techs" might laugh, but it was a screaming nightmare for me at times - mostly swearing at the Windows Box - waiting for it to boot - hating to have to use it because it is a slow pig compared to Tiny Core - but it worked.

3. As I became more familiar with SYSLINUX and GRUB, at one point I set up 20+ partitions on a hot shot laptop that could boot Puppy, TC, Ubuntu, Xbuntu, Backtrack, Arch and tried about two dozen Linux systems to see "what worked". NONE of them installed easily except Tiny Core - sorry. Several of them literally crashed drives and even when I tried the BEST "recovery tools", in the end, I'd go back to Tiny Core - Svolli Version - and recover drives with fdisk etc. and could easily switch back and forth between the Windows Box (which had working internet and my downloads) and the hot shot laptop, which could not get online for months.

4. The reason I am WIFI CHALLENGED - I have to shoot signal 1/4 mile and back and frankly, WIFI RADAR doesn't cut it - it chokes. Manually configuring Wifi is a nightmare: I need easy and automatic. I also have a very congested cross-traffic/channel sharing problem, so I wrote and modified a wifi utility that keeps me online and cuts through the interference. Wifi Radar - if it gets me online - barely keeps me attached for a minute. The utility I wrote keeps me online for hours without fail.

So - if I had stuck with TC I couldn't have done this. Svolli's Litecore rocks and allowed me to get two very different laptops functioning.

5. Then I saw RobertS take the plunge and start adding some Windows/NTFS features to standard TC, so I tried them. I know I'm slow. Sorry, but 3.6 just wasn't good enough to compete with what Svolli already had as far as easy, instant NTFS access goes (unless I wanted to learn more stuff - didn't have time). I do understand 3.8 can do some really great things more easily and eventually want to try that, but for right now, I've upgraded to the latest versions of Litecore and its become my "default" TC version.

6. Along the way, I used Litecore to develop a new desktop that loads all that "eye candy" RobertS warns us about - yes it certainly slowed down the TC boot process loading Flash, Alsa, Skype, Firefox, VLC Player, Gnumeric, Abiword and a half dozen other utilities to form something nearly as powerful as the Windows box I had before. Yes, I could use either the ONBOOT or ON DEMAND options in TC, but felt that I really wanted to know how to TWEAK Tiny Core at the core level and now have a system I absolutely love. It runs on ANY multi-tasking Linux distribution - Puppy, Ubuntu - whatever - and that means once I configure everything, I don't have to go learn "how to adjust" some other distribution; I just bring the entire desktop over and could run some slow, fat hog Linux if I wanted.

I don't and am sticking with Svolli for now - perhaps for quite a while - and once I am done with version 1 of this desktop - really beat it up - then I'll be testing it with whatever version RobertS is up to - his straight, standard, current TC release - and make sure it works there also.

I already have more than a dozen people ready to begin installing TC under this desktop nationwide to corporations and met with a firm today that may be partnering up to form a co-lo company based entirely on TC. I need to start testing the Apache as that is my default web server. I've also learned to work the NC command and that solved a lot of my problems I had with Firefox (another story).

I already have more than a dozen friends who want it as well: those who tried TC with the busy box methods of doing things wouldn't do it twice. YES, its fast. YES, its tight, but for the average "NON TECH" the lack of "eye candy" scared them away - sorry - and the fat, slow somewhat unstable performance of every other Linux system absolutely scared them. As much as I wish Ubuntu ran fast, the reality is NOTHING is ever going to compete with TC in the "FAST AND ROBUST" category as long as you folks keep doing what you are doing. When I was testing software, I saw a lot of packages go through what you are going through now and you're all doing a fantastic job - thank you.

Naturally, I should close on that, but I talk too much....heh heh.

There are some problems - at least there were - and while these belong elsewhere (I will edit if you wish), the original desktop (FLTK/FLWM - whatever it was) had a gray screen/doesn't close problem. Switching to JWM solved that. It was horror until I made that switch and I knew none of my pals would tolerate it. Firefox STILL has a "gray screen" problem, but its not Tiny Core - its listed all over the Mozilla site with a bunch of "fixes" that didn't work for me. I finally did cure it with a little Javascript related to the window loads (if you need help let me know). TC's wifi utility (or at least Wifi Radar) is about as good as the one written for Puppy - neither cuts it for my tough location. If one of you wishes to "create something new and .y" (mine is just a SH file that runs background - but it works really well) - make sure you allow for adjusting Packet Fragments - shrink them.

My line to "fix this" is

sudo iwconfig $mywlan essid "$myisp" rts 250 frag 400 txpower 100mW

and while it slows down transmission a little, its critical for tough congested locations. I saw wifi radar had something like this, but couldn't get it to work. I added a few other "features" to my wifialive system and it does the trick for me.

Regarding SYSLINUX vs GRUB (and GRUB4DOS), because I started on a W2K machine with a /tce folder on the C: drive, I got to know Grub pretty well - it was easy to configure boot.ini and menu.lst and I had about 10 different options there, including booting to other "FAT" partitions. Most Linux heads will wag fingers and remind us that EXTx is more reliable or faster, but I have to agree that for a "works anywhere" stick or hard drive, FAT has its advantages for newbies to Linux like me. The 20+ partition hot shot laptop has both FAT and EXTx partitions, but at this time I have stripped all other Linux distros off it and use that 300 gig laptop drive as a 100% as a big fat DATA drive, boot with Svolli's Lite on a USB stick using SYSLINUX and that's the ticket for me. Its a shame I have to "PREPARE" that USB disk with utilities on my Windows 2000 box, as I haven't figured out how to do that in Linux yet (laugh more you techs), but that day is coming soon enough.  Lee is walking me through a GRUB4DOS installation and the big problem I have with that is I haven't figured out how to WRITE A SCRIPT FOR LINUX that will do every single step and burn a USB stick, make it bootable and copy all required files with one click. I do have a script for Windows that does that easily and since my target market is "people fed up with Windows who want to try something that runs like greased lightning", those new users aren't going to tolerate trying to boot TC or Svolli and getting tangled up with FDISK...ain't gonna fly.

Tried NETBOOTIN - the "old method" RobertS used to recommend (not sure if he still does), and frankly SYSLINUX for a single USB stick seems to work, though sometimes it hangs on the hot shot laptop - for a minute or more - and I have always found Grub to be much more responsive/faster, but haven't figured out how to script the "MAKE BOOT RECORD" process for grub in either Linux or Windows. If anyone has a script - a simple open source BAT file for Linux would be lovely, that makes a Svolli Litecore USB stick, I'd be forever grateful. For now, I use the W2K box and a bat file I made and it does the job in seconds using a FORMAT /Q command - poof - done, followed by a Syslinux and a few other steps and its fully baked and ready for use in under 30 seconds with either syslinux or grub - no problem. Netbootin - eat your heart out.

It is my hope that Svolli continues doing what he did and RobertS continues doing what he does and others make "spin offs" or "versions" sort of based on the "Core Current Release" of Micro Core and Tiny Core. I think that as each of you contributes "new ideas and versions" you will - we will - become more attractive to other users. When I first got into Linux and was poking around, there was quite a bit of "bad press" about DSL and some on TC, the former due to some weaknesses in both the package and the organization, and about TC it was the problems getting things configured, which other Linux distros "SAID" they made easier than TC. I didn't find that to be true and that's one reason I stuck with TC - it seemed to be easier to configure than the others, was more reliable booting "crashed" systems and working systems, and allowed me to develop a system I have come to love and trust.

Once a week - sometimes twice - I take Svolli's Litecore and my desktop system and go to a friend or corporate setting - and chuckle at some poor, slow hog Windows user waiting minutes for a boot and forever for IE or Firefox and whisper "wanna see something freaky?" - and plug into a W2K box, XP, Vista, Windows 7 - doesn't matter  ka-pooof - blows their mind - a good thing indeed - and they want it - bad - real bad - until we get to the old "TC PLAIN" screens, and that sorta turns em off, so they start begging for me to leave a copy of my desktop (wwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too much eye candy, splash and flash for you guys and gals) - and I say "as soon as its done - absolutely."

I haven't booted my Windows 2000 box for over a month now - maybe two - I've lost count - and if I did, I'd cringe while I waited for it to load up and go do something. TC rocks and both RobertS and Svolli should be proud of what they've done and the tutors here - from Juanito who tolerates my long winded questions, to Lee who has been a real pal, and the rest of you who have answered posts rather quickly with answers that work, after about six months here, you've all been simply great.

Thank you.



« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 08:12:37 PM by grandma »
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