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Author Topic: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive  (Read 12264 times)

Offline Mike7

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Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« on: February 08, 2014, 12:00:45 AM »
Hi, All.

I'm starting a new thread because I had to break off from the previous one. I finally have a breather from non-computer issues and hope to make some headway with my TCL installation, with a little help from the kind and generous people in this forum.

My current situation is this:
- I used my Puppy Linux pendrive to dd the CorePlus-5.1 iso to a FAT32-formatted 1g pendrive.
- I was told here in the forum to re-install to another pendrive using the CorePlus Installer app, so first I formatted an empty 8g pendrive with two ext2 partitions, one primary bootable 3g partition and the other a non-booting primary 5g partition.
- After booting the 1g pendrive with the CorePlus iso on it, I ran the Installer app and installed to the 3g partition on the 8g pendrive. I had some problems with this (see below).
- I am able to boot the 8g pendrive, and the wi-fi app on wbar connects okay to a nearby wi-fi (unprotected).
- Because there was no file manager in the installation (contrary to what it says in the online installation guide), I ran the Apps app and downloaded and installed fluff.tcz. I don't know if I did this correctly because I don't understand the choices in the Apps app, but fluff works and even put an icon on wbar.
- Using fluff, I spent a couple of days roaming around and now have a general idea of the TCL file system and where certain things are kept, although I must admit that I find the file system rather confusing (I'm sure it all has a purpose).

That's as far as I got. I don't want to go any further because I'm not sure I installed Core properly. So that's the first thing I need help with. I've read "Core Concepts" and the installation guides several times, and they just aren't much help. Sorry, but it's the truth. The info in them is written for someone who already knows how Core works. Anyone else can't understand it. At least I couldn't. And since it's about installation it makes even less sense, because if you haven't installed Core yet then you obviously don't know how it works. Ditto for the images and video of the Installer procedure.

I don't say these unpleasant things from any enjoyment of being downbeat, please believe me. Far from it. But maybe the truth will bring some positive change. People like me who are new to TCL need real help, not confusing info that only people who already use TCL can understand. Again, I apologize for having to say this.

On to my specific installation problems, which in great part have to do with the Installer.

After typing in the path to core.gz, the Installer gave me three options: Frugal, USB-HDD, and USB-ZIP. None of these is an obvious choice for installing to a pendrive: I don't really know what the Frugal installation of Core is like, and I'm not installing to either a usb hard drive or a usb zip drive. (If USB-ZIP means a Zip drive that connects to a usb socket, then USB-HDD means a hard drive that connects to a usb socket. If, on the other hand, USB-HDD is intended to mean a usb pendrive or a hard drive, then it should say USB,HDD or USB/HDD, not USB-HDD, which is confusing.)

However, in my case it turned out that I had no choice. I was forced to choose Frugal because the only other reasonable choice, USB-HDD, doesn't permit selecting a partition, and I was installing to a partition, not the "Whole Disk". (Can anyone tell me why the Installer won't permit installing to a partition on a pendrive or a hard drive if you choose USB-HDD?)

Onward. After ticking "Frugal" and "Existing Partition" and selecting sdc1, I went to the next page, the formatting page. I chose "No Formatting, Use Existing" since I had already formatted my pendrive partitions ext2. Was I right to do this? Maybe.

The next page of the Installer, the Boot Options page, is particularly frustrating for someone like me who has never used Core and is installing it for the first time. Options like tce=, restore=, home=, opt=, local=, mydata=, and safebackup are meaningless to such a person. And if they can all be added or removed later, as I suspect is the case, why doesn't it just say so on this page of the Installer so we can skip it and get on with the installation process, without having to double-guess a list of confusing boot options? Again, I am not making criticisms because I like to be critical but because these are real problems with using the Installer for the first time.

In any case, I slugged in a few of the boot codes (like tce=sdb1, home=sdb1, and restore=sdb1) without knowing what I was doing, just for the heck of it.

On the next page of the Installer I checked "Wireless Support" and "Firmware" because I knew I would need these. I also checked "Non-US keyboard support" because sometimes I write in Spanish or French.

Finally, I clicked to proceed and got some kind of installation.

What next? Should I do it over again, if some kind person here in the forum will explain to me what I did wrong in the Installer and how to do it right? OTOH, should I keep the installation and try to modify it and use it, as I've already started to do by installing fluff? Or should I abandon CorePlus, as some have told me to do, and try to install Core and just the wi-fi extension and its dependencies?

If you think my installation is okay, what do I need to do to get it to work right? For example, I don't understand the difference between On-demand and Optional. Or how to use the Backup choices at shutdown. Or how to use the various choices when downloading extensions (even though I already downloaded one and it seems to work). I'd also like to know the purpose of the // folder (apparently a level below /root). And if there's any reason why I can't put my own files in the /tce/ folder, which is automatically saved, rather than go through a backup procedure when I shut down or set up some other kind of persistence. I know all these questions have been answered many times, but I can't make sense of what I've found to read about them.

In order to provide more information on my installation to someone willing to help me, I've taken a look in the pendrive where I installed Core, using Puppy. The Puppy desktop shows drive partitions sdc1 and sdc2, formatted ext2, with sdc1 as the boot partition (all OK there).
The sdc1 partition has four items in it:
- lost+found folder.
- tce folder.
- 3527-byte mydatabk.tgz file.
- 3527-byte mydata.tgz file.
The tce folder contains:
- "boot" folder containing extlinux, core.gz, and vmlinuz.
- empty "ondemand" folder.
- "optional" folder containing 174 files (tcz's, dep's, and checksums).
- empty file named "firstrun".
- file named "onboot.list" containing 79 lines (tcz's and checksums).
- empty file named "xwbar.lst".
- 3075-byte mydatabk.tgz file.
- 3524-byte mydata.tgz file.
- broken symlink to /tmp/tce.

Does this all look right? (Duplication of the mydatabk.tgz and mydata.tgz files on different levels and of different sizes? All the apps in the "optional" folder and an empty "ondemand" folder? "xwbar.lst" empty? etc.)

I am hoping, of course, that this installation is okay and that I can work with it. But I will re-install if you knowledgable people here in the forum tell me to do so.

Cheers, and thanks in advance for your help.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 08:09:24 AM by Mike7 »
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.

Offline curaga

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 01:24:06 AM »
Your install is fine. I would recommend you remove the extra bootcodes you added (tce=sdb1 etc) from extlinux.conf, as the installer added a tce= bootcode with the proper UUID.

The timing is good though, as just now we released the core book:
http://tinycorelinux.net/book.html

Please see if it explains the concepts any better.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline Mike7

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 08:43:58 AM »
Hi, curaga.

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to read my post (I know it was unusually long) and for replying.

Quote
Your install is fine.

You made my day.  :)

Quote
I would recommend you remove the extra bootcodes you added (tce=sdb1 etc) from extlinux.conf, as the installer added a tce= bootcode with the proper UUID.

Okay, but should I remove all the codes I put in via the Installer (home=sdb1, restore=sdb1, opt=sdb1, etc.), or one copy of all duplicated codes?

Quote
The timing is good though, as just now we released the core book. . . Please see if it explains the concepts any better.

Will do. The timing could not have been better. ;)

After reading the book, I'll post any unanswered questions.

Cheers!

Mike
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.

Offline Rich

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 10:22:19 AM »
Hi Mike7
Quote
Okay, but should I remove all the codes I put in via the Installer (home=sdb1, restore=sdb1, opt=sdb1, etc.), or one copy of all duplicated codes?
Post the results of the command   showbootcodes   and someone will advise you on recommended changes.

Offline Mike7

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 03:03:32 PM »
Hi, Rich, curaga, and all-

Here's the output from the showbootcodes command:

Code: [Select]
tc@box:~$ showbootcodes
initrd=/tce/boot/core.gz quiet tce=sdc1 restore=sdc1 home=sdc1opt=sdc1
safebackup noswap waitusb=5:UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed"
tce=UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed" BOOT_IMAGE=/tce/boot/vmlinuz

Help in removing unnecessary bootcodes (as well as adding ones that should be there and aren't) will be much appreciated.

Here are a just a very few more things I'd like to resolve ASAP, if someone can give me a quick fix:

- What should I do about the (apparently) duplicated mydata.tgz and mydatabk.tgz files? (see my first post, above).

- One of the messages I see when I boot the TCL pendrive is "Incorrect device indicated for /home/. . .ignoring persistent home request" (or something like that). How do I fix this?

- The TCL editor won't let me save a file to my hard drive. It returns the message "Read-only file system". Is there any way to change this (aside from creating an ext2 partition on the hard drive) so I can save files to it?

Anyway,  If I can get the boot codes straightened out, that will be a big help.

Cheers!

Mike
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 08:00:29 PM »
Until someone pipes in with a better strategy, I'd fix the boot codes with

KERNEL /tce/boot/vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=/tce/boot/core.gz loglevel=3 waitusb=5:UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed" tce=UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed"  home=UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed"


though if it were me, I'd start over with the same installer. create a new partition using the whole USB available disk space and with ext2 formatting.  Use the same boot codes as above until you feel the need to add more, like opt with same format as above.  be sure the UUID matches the correct USB  then you should be good  (note: the APPEND is all one line)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 08:03:08 PM by coreplayer2 »

Offline gerald_clark

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 08:53:15 PM »
Don't use home= until you understand what changes you have to make to the system for it to work properly.

Offline Mike7

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 09:16:20 PM »
Hi, coreplayer2, gerald_clark, curaga, and all.

Now I am even more confused. <grin>

Is APPEND a replace command? I'm not used to the terminal, but if this command appends instead of replacing, the boot codes will be even more messed up, won't they? Wouldn't it be safer and simpler to use curaga's method, editing extlinux.conf?

However, starting over with a fresh installation sounds like a good strategy to me, since I have hardly added anything yet to the installation. However, in order to do this I need to know exactly how to use the Installer app, which, as I said in my original post, is not obvious. (All the questions in that post still apply, not just the ones about which if any boot codes should be put onto that page of the Installer.)

If I do a re-install, why do I need to re-partition the pendrive into a single partition? I thought my decision to create a 3g boot partition and a 5g personal-data/backup partition was a good idea. Is it better to have a single 8g partition? Why?

If I re-install onto a single-partitoned pendrive using the Installer app, I'll have to choose between Frugal and USB-HDD (I will no longer need Frugal's option to install to a partition). Which should I choose? What's the difference? (I should go and read the book, right? But after a year of frustration I'm losing patience.)

BTW, can someone tell me if the installation from Windows using core2usb.exe is different in any way from the Installer app installation? If core2usb makes a good installation, without the pitfalls of the Installer app, I could go back to Windows and do that. But before doing so, I want to know how the installation core2usb.exe makes is different.

Now, gee, guys, I know I'm being a bore with all this newbie stuff, but after all I have been paying some dues. I mean, how many newbies are willing to pin down the problems with the Installer app so it can be improved? Or figure out that the first thing to do is download and install Fluff after a CorePlus installation? I think I'm doing pretty good.

So be nice and answer my questions, okay?  :)

Cheers.

Mike
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.

Offline gerald_clark

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Offline Mike7

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 09:29:39 PM »
The book is great, Gerald, but it doesn't answer these questions and it won't get me out of my current difficulties. Sorry about that.

I think my questions are good ones and worth answering. I wouldn't bother people with frivolous questions.

Mike
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.

Online Juanito

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 09:38:55 PM »
Is APPEND a replace command? I'm not used to the terminal, but if this command appends instead of replacing, the boot codes will be even more messed up, won't they? Wouldn't it be safer and simpler to use curaga's method, editing extlinux.conf?

Curaga and coreplayer2 are saying the same thing - edit extlinux.conf to look exactly like the text coreplayer2 proposed:
Code: [Select]
KERNEL /tce/boot/vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=/tce/boot/core.gz loglevel=3 waitusb=10:UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed" tce=UUID="6065ad4c-d216-48bb-a7c1-c538c02a42ed"
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 10:23:47 PM by Juanito »

Offline Mike7

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 10:17:43 PM »
Thanks, Juanito. I thought they were terminal commands <oops!>.

Do you agree with Gerald, that I should remove the home= code from coreplayer2's append line?

And since you are being so helpful, Juanito, could you answer some of my other questions?  I really don't think that just changing the boot codes is going to fix the installation. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but it seems to me that some files and directories got misplaced due to the boot code mistakes, and these files and directories are being re-created when I re-boot. The best solution is probably to start over again.

I'm hoping that coreplayer2 will be willing to work with me on using the Installer app, or answering my question about the core2usb.exe installation. Got my fingers crossed.

If not, I will probably just give up for now and read The Book carefully.

Cheers.

Mike
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.

Online Juanito

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 10:22:55 PM »
I hadn't spotted the "home" boot code was still there - yes, remove it (edited out below) and it is probably a good idea to set the "waitusb" boot code to 10 to make absolutely sure and delete the mydata.tgz and mydatabk.tgz files.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 10:29:06 PM by Juanito »

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 11:13:26 PM »
maybe watching this official install video will help, play the video a couple of times until all the steps are clear.  Then reproduce the steps exactly as directed.

http://tinycorelinux.net/videos/installer.html


You'll note that only the waitusb boot code is used (and is likely the only boot code which is necessary)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 11:44:00 PM by coreplayer2 »

Offline Mike7

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Re: Difficulties with CorePlus installation to a pendrive
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2014, 11:35:14 PM »
Juanito-

Which mydata.tgz and mydatabk.tgz files should I delete? There are now two of each. :(

M.
Asus eeePC 1000HA, Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CorePlus-5.1 on 8GB flash drive.