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Author Topic: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!  (Read 797 times)

Offline PDP-8

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System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« on: November 30, 2021, 07:25:37 PM »
Here is yet another utility that can be used on uefi-only machines with nothing more than copy-n-paste to a fat32 usb drive.

This one has a small twist ...

So I nabbed the release (version 8.06 latest) from their project page:

https://system-rescue.org/

But instead of using dd methods to modern machines that may balk at bootable iso9660 iso's, I decided to do it manually.

Lowest common denominator install:

Downloaded amd64 iso.

Reformatted fresh usb stick so I could rename the volume "RESCUExxx" , where "xxx" = version number you are currently using.  So my volume label was RESCUE806

Double-clicked the release iso to mount it and see the file folder/directories.

In one swoop, simply copied all the folder directories from the mounted iso to the newly formatted usb stick.

SUCCESS!!  It boots on both my "big box store" recent Acer Aspire laptop, to a cheap "offshore" little hockey-puck mini pc - both of which are uefi-only.

The twist:  project documentation says you need to be sure that your new stick has both the lba AND BOOT flags.

Yeah, I don't think so!  The boot flag was totally unnecessary, so nothing more than copy-n-paste (and making sure your volume name reflects the RESCUExxx format.) is all that was needed.  Verified using system-rescue's own version of gparted on board that my newly created stick does NOT have the boot flag.  Just one big-ass fat32 partition with lba.  Like Porteus.  And Gparted Live.

Nerd-tantrum in effect!
Not actually needing the boot flag on the partition, but seeing it as being a requirement in the docs just proves to me how well-intentioned, but possibly not accurate information about uefi, can be spread.  Maybe *some* machines need it, but not mine.



That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Online gadget42

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2021, 09:52:24 PM »
the layout of their website is nice and simple. probably a little overwhelming for the totally-uninitiated though.

here is a direct link to their webpage describing this procedure:
https://system-rescue.org/Installing-SystemRescue-on-a-USB-memory-stick/

thanks for sharing all your discoveries!

Offline PDP-8

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2021, 11:18:08 PM »
No problem.  Unfortunately, ALL those different methods have too much baggage.

Ok, so using glorified DD'ers or other 3rd party formatters and installers work.  Look how much detail they have to go into and all this crap that they make a user think she has to obtain first.

Even the last method, which I used (mount the iso and copy the files), goes into great detail about using gparted (from another setup I assume) to check and create lba and boot flags.

Because my mind has been permanently warped by TinyCore, I asked myself "Is all this really necessary?"  NO.

All one needs is the ability to mount an iso and copy files.  Not even my beloved way of using dd with <> redirection instead of IF/OF pairs is needed!

This simplicity of just copying files is my mantra now.  It means that the choice of operating system to initially create a bootable stick is irrelevant as long as it has the ability to open an archive and copy file(s).  And that means nothing special, no 3rd party utils, not even dd for us og's that live and breathe that. :)

It also passes the "support by phone" test.  That is, if I had to talk someone through making a stick over the phone using either Windows, or Ubuntu, or whatever - nothing special is needed.  Not even talking them through dd.  "So is it capital dd, do I put a space after it, don't you need an extra F after of=/dev/sda" ?   :)

In the end, I think that iso's delivered in the iso9660 format are antiquated, would rather see compressed images to be unarchived, rather than iso's to be mounted to accomplish the file-copying task.  But I can deal either way.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 11:22:11 PM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline vinceASPECT

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2021, 08:58:28 AM »
Hello,

Yes, that seems applicable. Pertaining to boot.


Thx,
C

Offline PDP-8

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2021, 02:12:58 PM »
Despite all my blathering, it is really astounding that all that is truly needed is to either unarchive a compressed file, or if distributed as an iso to mount it, and then drag-n-drop the files/folders to the fat32 drive.

Afterwards, one can squeeze, slice and dice the partition any way they desire if they want that kind of flexibility on a single stick.

What's incredible about this method (Porteus explains it and keeps it simple the best), is that there is no need for any 3rd-party utilities - heck not even dd. :)
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline nick65go

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 01:59:16 AM »
Good for you that you "discovered" the hot water.
This is a Tinycore forum (in the end) so your "lessons" should apply to TC also. Which is NOT the case.

The fact that YOUR physical machines (Assus or UNC) have a relaxed FIRMWARE, which do not check for "ESP type" partition, but only for fat32, is not relevant to 90% of other users.

Also, I prefer to do not waste 17+ GB of my USB for a FAT32 partition, when an EXTREMELY small FAT (floppy size) partition can boot UEFI64. I prefer more ext2 size space on USB.

DD or COPY (both in busybox) does not matter for me, it is just a command line, it runs in few seconds.

And you are "lucky" that your ISO root has an /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI, so you can copy it into the root of a fat partition. So yeah, this System-RescueCD "system" is better to copy it on a USB. Indeed, if you just want UEFI, why use an ISO format.

[TC64 is also for BIOS/UEFI64, and booting from CDROM, your goal is narrow in this post]. Thanks for sharing.

Offline PDP-8

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2021, 02:21:36 AM »
Well, nothing says that after the installation, that one can't shrink the fat32 partition, and add more/different of their own.

And for me, these are utility, not working environment sticks, so it is a matter of convenience.

Also note that as utilities, most all of them have the tools to DIY a TC stick using nothing more than two TC distribution files to have total control and size.  Then put the utility stick back in the drawer.

But if you like this, see the pattern I discovered in the Clonezilla utility..
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 02:24:16 AM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline nick65go

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2021, 02:33:55 AM »
well, if we talk about an utility USB, nomad and suitable for other machines, then maybe you want a small kernel (less RAM, but integrated modules /net/fat/ntfs etc) and small utilities (in addition to busybox). How about this "rescue system", even linked to uclib or musl?
http://www.giannone.ch/rescue/current/

Online gadget42

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2021, 08:45:15 AM »

Offline PDP-8

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2021, 01:37:37 PM »
Very interesting.  I note that it will auto-expand the partition upon first boot.  It is also hanging back with kernel 5.8 solely because of the loss of the scrollback mechanism with later kernels.  Probably not an issue for many super super modern gear, but there is that roadblock if it stays this way down the road.

I think it wise though to remember that Tiny Core is simply that - a small "core" that only stays that way if you do not do ANYthing else to it, which 99% of the demographics is going to do - make it bigger with additions.

Tiny is good, but if size is the only thing we are concerned about, it is a matter of subjective degree.

Ie, if I wanted to go crazy, I'd be petitioning Juanito to immediately recompile busybox and remove all those shell and fileutils that could easily be handled by sed/awk/grep combinations.

head , tail, even vi since one can get by using nothing more than cat-ing herefiles.

Heh, so how hard-core do we want to get? :)

That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline nick65go

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2021, 02:02:30 AM »
hm, hard-core do we want to get?
RAM could be the main bottleneck. If we want 486 compatibility, then we talk about small RAM, like 32-64 MB.

It is no point to trim few KB from utilities, which anyway run sequential, not in parallel. And the RAM came (in the past) in blocks of 32 MB (pair sticks); so we talk about categories of 32 / 64 / 96 /128 /256 MB. Over these categories, like 512 MB or 1 GB, there is no need for any tiny/small anything. We are limited only by bloated applications (vlc instead of mplayer-nodep, or LibreOffice instead of gnumeric, etc).

Storage is not a problem anymore. As long as we have just one USB port, then using a USB hub (cost 4 euros?) we can plug over 10 USB. so no need for internal 1 Terra bytes HDD/SDD.

Today most of us can not buy a new laptop without UEFI64. And the minimum is 2 - 4 GB RAM, I think.
So, for UEFI64 the goals of 486 compatibility and tiny/small size is near useless. It remains for didactic purposes. And for optimized qemu machines!

BTW: Who can afford a "modern" UEFI64 machine? Ex: my laptop from 2015 (7 year old) cost was 400 GBP. It has UEFI64, 8 GB RAM, 999 GB HDD, etc. Today work is 10-50 euro/hour (nobody will do something for me for less than few beers). So we talk about few days work / year! to own a new UEFI64 machine, which you use for (near) a decade? And then you spend weeks/moths/years to "customize" a tool (linux kernel) or a USB utility stick to do what? To use bloated (easy available) applications. Ole torro! How about Pareto principle: 20% work for 80% performance.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 02:24:57 AM by nick65go »

Offline PDP-8

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2021, 04:25:58 PM »
Hi Nick!  - we may see TC from a different angle, but I believe for the most part we are on the same page!

But we can't stop progress.  If you were to put your laptop up for sale today, I may not feel it's worth more than only $40. :)

But don't feel bad - back in the day, corporations paid millions of dollars for a large timesharing system, and within 4 years it was totally obsolete.  Minicomputers and all that.  Which also had a real-term lifespan of only a few years at most unless you handed them off to uni's to run basic with.

So these days, with near disposable super/mini personal computers at our disposal, with crazy high clock speeds, ram and storage ...

What used to be tight, efficient, and elegant code partly mandated by limited resources, could today be seen not from a technical viewpoint, but a transition from science to art!

That is, with unlimited disposable computer resources, one can simply make it a large unmaintainable mess, OR still create tight, efficient, and elegant code simply as a personal choice!  Almost an artistic choice, be it the code itself, or the group of like-minded people creating it.

It's a luxury.  Which leads to possibly making decisions not based solely on hardware limitations, but "What's the most *elegant* way to handle an issue?" be it code or group involvement.  Perhaps some things could be made a *tad* larger if it doesn't impose a hardship or be harder to digest - but always keeping an eye for creeping-featurism. 

We've got that luxury now as users or developers to find that "balance" between minimalism and bloat.  Extremes on either side are inelegant.

That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline PDP-8

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2021, 04:44:45 PM »
Getting way OT again, but you might find this interesting ...

I've had the great pleasure of communicating with some REAL OG's of unix.  Some of our forefathers so to speak.

Quite a few these days have resigned themselves to just running the terminal inside their Apple Macs.  Some may be doing likewise in an Ubuntu or sometimes a *BSD box.  Lamenting about how there are too many "distributions" are out there, or simply giving up with a big-box computer.

If forced to reveal what I like, I tell them what gets my juices flowing:  TinyCore.

Whether they take advantage of that is unknown and I don't press it like a fan-boy.
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline nick65go

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2021, 07:39:13 AM »
If you were to put your laptop up for sale today, I may not feel it's worth more than only $40. :) .
You love OT (out of topics) inserted allover the places, so here is mine to your pleasure.

Out of curiosity, did you check the cost today for a laptop with display 17 inch, 8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD SATA, etc? I think you did not, because only a battery cost is 30+ euros (transport included). None of the laptop display is less than 50-70 euros.

When I replace something (laptop) the goal is minimal OPPORTUNITY cost (= buy less sell) to keep the same (perceived) performance that I need (not to upgrade, not to keep with the crowd). And is not about the purchase price, is about TCO (total cost of ownership, plus maintenance).

PS: Lucky me that I do not outsource my finances management, or else you would bankrupt me with your experience in sales. Please, do not salivate to my old laptop, you will not get the 40$ gift from me :)

Very few people find the (relative and moving) point of enough in live, if ever. (Buddhist monks are excluded). Basically if you want something really hard, then it means that you feel the missing that thing -- and when things are missing from someone life, then that person is not so happy, right?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 07:56:00 AM by nick65go »

Offline vinceASPECT

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Re: System-RescueCD and UEFI surprise!
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2021, 09:41:21 AM »
Hello Forum,

Great.

Keeping a Learning opportunity.

New technology will be abound for learning.  Meta? ......verse      and World Wide Web Learning.

thanks .......t C L  ....festive  wishes  ,

C