Tiny Core Linux

General TC => Tiny Core Netbooks => Topic started by: PDP-8 on December 05, 2019, 04:05:15 AM

Title: TC Pure 64 on Wintel W8 Pro
Post by: PDP-8 on December 05, 2019, 04:05:15 AM
Success!  Got hold of a new rounded hockey-puck pc, the Wintel W8 Pro and am running it from usb stick with corepure64 10.1

Pretty common these pucks.  Mine is a late model with a bios date from only 3 months ago.  You know the deal - Windows 10 on the eMMC, 2gb ram, Atom Z8350 quad at 1.4g yadda yadda.

Sure enough - doesn't like to boot iso's.  So I just followed Juanitos instructions here, although I didn't make mine dual-boot:


I'll fess up to burning it all from a Debian Buster live setup - the RPD, or Raspberry-Pi-Desktop version. (NOT raspbian, but amd64 image).  Gathered up all the necessary distribution files, and had at it.

Works fine - Xvesa looks great once I installed the Tinycore minimal desktop, and is quite snappy actually, although not as good as a full-blown xorg.  I'm happy with it.

WARNING - lots of people bricking them apparently.   There is really nothing to change in Bios - do NOT, repeat do NOT change the bootable image from Windows 8 to "Android" in order to run Linux.  Unnecessary.

If you do, you'll find the box lacks a bios-reset hole.  Which means powering down,
 dismantling box (easy) removing battery, powering back up, changing everything, reattaching battery ....  Ask how I know.  All you need to do is tap ESC repeatedly upon firing up to get into the bios and changing your boot order if you like.  So don't change it to android.

Micro-SDcard - yes, it will boot from micro sd-card, although I haven't tried that with TC yet.  However there are 4 horizontal vent-slots near the top.  Which is also INconveniently near the card slot.  So if you don't pay attention, yep - you could push a micro sd-card through the vent hole into the machine. :)

I'm mostly using it as a fun Busybox shell machine, and not too worried about the usual desktop stuff like wifi, audio, 4K video and all that.  The Debian RPD desktop seems to pick it all up, so I know it will work if I wanted it to with Tinycore.

Port enumeration:  It seems that when you first fire up, it will look at what is on all the ports and quickly shut down again.  THEN, you can go ahead and power it up normally with the button. .  (Ie, don't be in too much of a hurry and think something is wrong).  If you move your usb stuff around to different ports like a bunch hanging off a hub, I've found that in *some* cases, it seems it can lose track of changes if you don't pull the 5v plug (power off normally first right!) and plug it back in, and it does it's dance looking at the ports.  Not always, but something I've noticed when hurredly swapping bootable sticks in and out.

Anyway, just wanted to point out the possibility of bricking it (temporarily) by using the Android option, and also not to put any micro sd-cards through the nearby vent hole. 

And Jaunito's instructions on burning a stick was fast and easy really.

Title: Re: TC Pure 64 on Wintel W8 Pro
Post by: PDP-8 on December 05, 2019, 04:06:40 PM
Um, so yeah you might have to work a bit harder on sound.  Wouldn't pick up with either the built in speaker/headphone jack, nor my trusty usb<>audio dongle.

Still, makes a great functional TinyCore coaster for what I use it for.  Building your own stick with Juanito's guide is fun and neat to see it come to life every time.
Title: Re: TC Pure 64 on Wintel W8 Pro
Post by: PDP-8 on December 10, 2019, 01:59:50 PM
Framebuffer xfbdev looks great and is very fast.  I keep mentioning xvesa and that's obviously wrong on this 64-bit box.  Just set your desired resolution in grub.cfg and you are all set.

Built-in console fonts are also ok - some boxes that default font is terrible, but this box seems, usable.  Of course I prefer to use the "setfont" tcz and load my own like Terminus console fonts snatched from another distro...

Sound, wifi, etc I'll get to later as those are kind of back-burner for me with TC.

I haven't tried the OTG port yet - waiting for an adapter to arrive ...

Title: Re: TC Pure 64 on Wintel W8 Pro
Post by: chinatefl on December 29, 2020, 11:14:58 PM
Success!  Got hold of a new rounded hockey-puck pc, the Wintel W8 Pro and am running it from usb stick with corepure64 10.1

----- Snip -----
Can you give me a detailed step? I try to create a U disk boot disk. But Grub2 multi cannot be downloaded. Arm platform does not have this software, and x86 virtual machine does not have a system disk. How did you do it?
Title: Re: TC Pure 64 on Wintel W8 Pro
Post by: PDP-8 on October 24, 2021, 05:14:07 PM
On this machine, things are a bit easier now.  Even if one is found in the trash and locked down by somebody mean with secure-boot enabled and locked out passwords.

I pulled mine out of the closet, and here is the way *I* did it.  Minute details lacking, but I don't think you need them.

Make a Ventoy disk.  Copy the TinyCorePure64.iso to it.

I took advantage of the micro-sd card slot and put Ventoy and TC on this as the drive to boot from.  Other than that, we're not going to write to it, and use a regular usb-drive to store our data.  Since it only comes with two usb ports, you may have to invest in a passive usb hub to hold extra stuff like the data drive.  And a 3rd party wifi dongle.  Or 3rd party audio dongle.  But for basic computing, this should suffice.

Ventoy may balk at trying to write to a micro-sd, so I fooled it by using a usb<>micro-usb dongle for the Ventoy install.  Then with power off, I placed the bootable micro-sd into the slot.  NOT the cooling slot just above it! :)

From inside the tinycorepure64 iso, locate the cde directory.  Copy that cde directory and all of it's contents to the root directory of your new usb stick to act as the data drive.  RENAME that directory that you just copied from cde to tce

TIP: It is best to do this with the power DISconnected at first.

Power on the box.  At the bios splash, hit DEL to make sure that you change the boot sequence to what now appears as a "UEFI HDD".  That's what a micro-sd card that is bootable (at least with Ventoy) is recognized as.  Save and exit the bios.

When Ventoy passes to TC's own grub boot menu, you'll most likely want to use "tcw" which indicates an internal waitusb function.

Note that here, you can also add your own specialized kernel boot parameters by using grub's "e" to edit the kernel paramater boot line.  A little prior TC-fu goes a long way here.  Example: although TC *should* automatically detect the tce directory placed in the root of your usb drive, you may want to make absolutely sure by changing the "cde" to "tce=sda".

This is about the only major drawback to using Ventoy with an iso in this manner.  There is no way to *permanantly* edit your kernel parameter boot line, so if you are doing something special, you'll have to do it every time you boot.  OR, for more advanced users, change and remaster the iso itself.

Anyway, if you just do nothing and hit tcw, it should come right up.

That's the gist of it anyway.  Ventoy's ability to handle not only very modern uefi weirdness, and even Secure-Boot if that has been locked in, is pretty cool.  I'm not absolutely sure, but I think they use Fedora's keys if you need to enroll them.

Most of these machines are probably left with the default of secure-boot already disabled anyway, but it's good to know that it can be overcome with Ventoy should that need arise.

Let your TC journey begin!