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Author Topic: New to TinyCore Linux  (Read 6051 times)

Offline FruityComputers

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New to TinyCore Linux
« on: June 02, 2016, 07:33:38 AM »
Hi there. I'm new to TinyCore Linux, but not new to Linux in general. I recently installed TinyCore Linux on an old ToughBook CF-28 mk1 which has 256MB ram 40 GB Hard Drive 600MHz processor. I did try other lightweight versions of Linux on the my CF-28 but they seemed to freeze on a blank screen even Puppy Linux did the same, I think its to do with the fact that the video chip doesn't support anything. Tiny Core was the only one that worked.

Since installing Tiny Core to the hard drive of my old CF-28 laptop I'm interested in learning more about the Tiny Core OS. I'm using the CorePlus version which is about 100 MB.

The things I'd like to be able to do is to install Open Office and VCL Player and FireFox web browser and see how it runs. I don't know if its possible to do so. I'd also like to do some customizing by getting rid of the dock and just having the icons on the desktop instead. Also I'd like to know how to access my USB ports in Tiny core

Thanks   

Offline Lee

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 10:39:13 AM »
I have run Tiny Core on lower spec machines than that... although I -do- feel obligate to mention that I have since scrapped them.    ;)

You'll want some swap space to make the heavier applications more comfortable.  I've never been inclined to turn off wbar ("the dock"), but if you just don't load wbar.tcz it will not start.  If you are just trying to avoid the sometimes-annoying icon zooming on mouseover, that can be adjusted out via the tcWbarConf button on the control panel.  I seem to recall discussion of desktop icons in the forums and I'm sure that's do-able.  No doubt someone will chime in with more info on that subject.

Also, "The Core Book", the wiki and the forum search function will likely provide answers to many of your questions.

http://tinycorelinux.net/book.html
http://wiki.tinycorelinux.net/
32 bit core4.7.7, Xprogs, Xorg-7.6, wbar, jwm  |  - Testing -
PPR, data persistence through filetool.sh          |  32 bit core 8.0 alpha 1
USB Flash drive, one partition, ext2, grub4dos  | Otherwise similar

Offline Misalf

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 10:58:32 AM »
There is also the  noicons  boot code.
Download a copy and keep it handy: Core book ;)

Offline nitram

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 12:44:49 PM »
Hi FruityComputers. On low spec hardware, only slightly more limited than mine, you will definitely need swap partition or file, as mentioned. If your driive already has a Linux swap partition it should be detected by Tiny Core at boot, run  free -m  to confirm swap or  cat /etc/fstab  and swap should also be listed. If not, then you don't need to add another partition, just open the TC Control Panel, select Swapfile Tool and create a swap file instead. If your system needs to use swap, however, it's generally quite slow.

I've recently spent time playing with two old systems, similar 800 MHz processor but one has 256 MB RAM and the other 512 MB. With Firefox there is a noticeable performance improvement with the additional RAM, so if you find extra free RAM somewhere (eg. kijiji free) that's a good thing.

The software you mentioned are all heavyweights in their categories - browser, media player, office tools. Due to hardware limitations you may find running this software frustratingly slow. Recommend leaner alternatives, such as QTWeb instead of Firefox, SMPlayer instead of VLC, Abiword instead of OO, etc. Also running Firefox and modern web on old hardware is crippling without a good javascript blocker like NoScript.

Have fun!

Offline Misalf

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 02:03:40 PM »
Just booted into Tiny Core half an hour ago, running Firefox 46.0.1 with currently only  forum.tinycorelinux.net  opened, nothing else since booted, RAM claimed by Firefox is at 316 MB.
Download a copy and keep it handy: Core book ;)

Offline nitram

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2016, 02:20:41 PM »
Crazy hey! On my 512 MB system Firefox is fairly smooth as long as i keep tabs to a minimum <3-4, clear cache occasionally, use NoScript and don't install Flash. When using the 256 MB system, constant disk/swap thrashing, hard to accomplish any productive browsing. My favourite is still Dillo, though most users complain of it's limitations. It can actually be used to log into these forums quite well. Have started playing with Links2, don't like it as much as Dillo but it allows me to log into gmail! Take care nice to see you again Misalf.

Offline FruityComputers

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 10:55:08 AM »
On my specs I shouldn't expect that my Toughbook would have any problems running heavier apps. The issue is more what the hardware will run rather then the specs on the machine. These were more made for Windows with specialized drivers to support the video and sound etc. I ran windows XP on this thing but the problem was the drivers proved very hard to find and the ones on the Panasonic website never worked or were incomplete. I also tried Windows 98 and Windows 2000 with the same video and sound issues. I ran a linux live CD called GOS linux and I got an error message saying that GOS Linux could not start due to graphics problems. I then tried the following Linux OS's 
DSL froze on a blank screen
Slax froze on a blank screen... I really like that OS its only 216 MB in size so I thought that was perfect but maybe not.
Browser Linux froze on a blank screen
XPUD  0.9.2 failed to even run
Antix linux also froze on a blank screen
Vecter 7.1 also froze on a blank screen
Core Plus worked?

There is definitely something going on the the graphics chip which seems a  bit of a shame. In terns of light weight Linux Distros a laptop like mine should not have any problems running the ones I mentioned. I wonder why Core plus works? Its possible that something else might work that uses the same things that Core Plus is made from.

I've been thinking about taking out the hard drive, sticking it in another computer and installing Slax or maybe Lubuntu to the hard drive then sticking it back into the toughbook. I managed to run Lubuntu "current version" on a CF-27 Pentium 2 that has much lower specs than my CF-28. Maybe My CF-28 is toast     
 

Offline FruityComputers

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 11:33:40 AM »
I have a feeling that the BIOS might be corrupted also. 

I don't think the graphics chip is toast otherwise Core Plus wouldn't have worked right?

Maybe if I could update the BIOS somehow that it might fix the problems I've been having. I am very interested when odd problems like this occur even though it can be really frustrating I can also learn about whats going on with the machine, I'm like a dog with a bone always getting to the button of the problem in these situations.     

   

Offline coreplayer2

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New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 12:00:50 PM »
Unfortunately things don't really work that way..

I think you're asking too much of a system that has barely enough memory to boot let alone enough to run a graphical user interface

You would be better off starting with Core and building up the system from there and learning Linux from the command line along the way.

Alternatively use TinyCore but none of these apps you're expecting to run will perform or even start with such little memory.







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Offline gerald_clark

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 12:23:11 PM »
With small memory machines, you need to put home and opt on the hard drive.
See the wiki.

Offline nitram

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 04:04:49 PM »
@FruityComputers. My old hardware shows the apps you mentioned run, just very slowly and with difficulty. You will find it a frustrating system to use, unless you use leaner alternatives. Like brew a coffee while Firefox loads a heavy webpage slow.

In regards to getting graphics going, if CorePlus is working what's the problem? Keep using it, don't bother with BIOS flashing, hardware tinkering or jumping to umteenth distro. One of the primary reasons users distro hop is because they can't figure out how to get their hardware running. The kernel and drivers in the CorePlus you trialed appear to be a good combination for your hardware. So keep using it and learn the Tiny Core system, it will be time better spent. You won't find a leaner system, distros like Lubuntu are heavyweights compared to *Core.

Dedicated /home and /opt, you definitely have drive space but challenge yourself to run a lean Tiny Core install on old hardware. It's not hard to keep the  mydata.tgz  backup file to <4 MB uncompressed / <1 MB compressed, not going to eat much RAM.

Offline gerald_clark

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 07:51:17 PM »
It is not the size of the mydata.tgz that kills you.  It is the browser cache and graphics in your /home.
Download a few pictures and your machine dies. Keep your /home on disk.

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2016, 09:23:33 PM »
The CF-28 accepts up to 384MB Ram modules, so an upgrade is possible.


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Offline curaga

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 01:46:59 AM »
It appears to have a limited SiliconMotion chip. You can probably get any distro with Xorg running if you install in text mode and manually configure the correct driver, but that won't help you to run Firefox or an office suite, the RAM is just not enough.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline nitram

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Re: New to TinyCore Linux
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 03:44:39 PM »
.. Keep your /home on disk.

Respectfully disagree, based on experience with low spec hardware and *Core the following alternative works well:

* *Core works great on old hardware. Running X.org and Fluxbox uses ~50 MB RAM at boot and ~67 MB running emelfm, Dillo and xterm. dCore link but same idea: http://wiki.tinycorelinux.net/dcore:faq#what_are_the_recommended_system_requirements. Set up appropriately a 256 MB RAM system runs Xorg no problem with resources to spare for light applications.

* Rather than dedicated /home and /opt, set up a seperate ext2 data partition for downloads, personal files, etc. Tiny Core doesn't need more than 1-5 GB for the OS, the rest of the drive can be for personal data. Only use /home for configs and keep it small using /opt/.xfiletool.lst. Periodically copy  mydata.tgz  to networked system or cloud (contains nothing personal). Extract the back up as needed to restore system or set up new system. Takes only couple minutes to set up preferred configs for WM, browser, file manager, etc on a new install on another computer. As the seperate data partition is not automounted at boot, unlike /home, an extra layer of security for personal data.

* On low end hardware there is a noticeable performance difference using a heavier Window Manager, such as Fluxbox, versus FLWM or even JWM.

* If an application running standalone is close to maximizing RAM (ie. FF, OO), use leaner software (easy) or upgrade hardware (more effort, possible expense).

* A 256 MB low RAM system can run a leaner browser 24/7 without any issues or cache problems.

* If Firefox is a must and it's only a hobby system (no sensitive data) than at own risk use the  getFirefox  extension and specify an older Firefox version, see the info file. Recommend a pre-Austrailis less bloated version (< v29). Should work well on most sites and render pages better than restrictive browsers. Disable javascript and avoid Flash.

If you're still around FruityComputers, hope this helps.