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Author Topic: (solved not using DSL) customize a webserver and use Webcamera  (Read 3810 times)
karl123
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« on: July 31, 2013, 10:16:52 PM »

looking for a solution: installalling DSL persistently on simple computer

Solution = http://damnsmalllinux.org/forums/index.php?topic=450.msg1028#msg1028

---------------------------------------------
Original question
---------------------------------------------

Hello,

issue/need: persistent install of DSL to a PC

PC: Thin Client Futro S200 (Teco TR5670 board) , system: 800 MHz, 128MB Ram, 131 MB CF (Compact Flash)
-> I think no HD install possible.

So I want a USB install (against recommendations?) because later you can help me avoiding much writing to CF card.

I have USB: 2GB, 8GB - both work well for everything I tested (boot via PLOP (beware using it on the front resp. rear side), accepted by DSL)

What I did so far:
  • PC is not bootable with USB -> using PLOP bootmanager, works like a charm
  • dsl vga=normal lang=de
  • installed some stuff like dsl-dpkg.dsl, gcc1-with-libs.dsl
  • realized /ramdisk is getting full (ramdisk uses ca. 80MB of my 128MB available RAM)
  • want to move /ramdisk (change its location) to a USB Pen drive --> so this usb contains my user data . I need them to be persistent

By the way: My actual target is to use my webcam and this computer as a server,
lsusb explained me
-> 045e:00f5 Microsoft Corp.
Very happy DSL identifies my camera.

Wrote a small shell script
Code:
mydsl-load dsl-dpkg.dsl
mydsl-load gcc1-with-libs.dsl

cd spca5xx-v4l1goodbye/
make

sudo make install

# the following fails
sudo apt-get install cheese

lsusb

the ramdisk is full then

--

I need a persistent and reliable solution for my issue.

If you have any alternatives to my idea, please explain me. I feel being a beginner to DSL and I am very surprised by its speed on my simple computer - thank you for the developpment.

Regards
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 07:19:50 PM by karl123 » Logged
CNK
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 12:06:26 AM »

I don't know all that much about installing to USB drives. If you can install to it in a similar way to a HDD Install, then that would be lightest on RAM and give you persistence. "USB-HDD Pendrive Install" in "Apps>Tools" in the DSL menu might do this, I don't know.

You say no HDD install possible, and one generally requires about 300MB, but you could buy a bigger CF card to replace the small one inside your machine, then do a HDD install to that. 1GB and 2GB ones are commonly available for relatively little money in stores and on Ebay.

Otherwise if you want to stay with your current set up, you could make a Linux swap partition on either your USB stick or your CF card (if there's enough free space) to act as extra (slower) RAM when you start to run out. There are plenty of guides on the net that describe that process.

As for keeping your files and settings, there are instructions on the wiki. (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/persistence.html)

the command "apt-get" no longer works in DSL as the respository it uses no longer has files compatible with the version of Debian Linux that DSL is based on (Debian 3, "Woody"). Packages for Debian "Woody" are at the Debian Package Archive (http://archive.debian.net). You might be able to set apt-get to use that, but I don't know how. Those packages are no longer updated anyway, to use newer versions of software (which isn't in the My-DSL respository), you need to compile it yourself.
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karl123
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 03:53:40 PM »

Unfortunately, this doesn't refer to my question at all.
I am not trying to increase the Ram size but to install DSL to a USB Flash Drive permanently & persistently.
It is not for portable usage but for the same computer all the time.
The reason for me to install it to a USB Flash drive:
 - more flexible than CF card
 - easier to maintain
 - will save data to it and needs to be examined on another computer

Tried gqcam (gqcam092.dsl (http://www2.cddc.vt.edu/linux/distributions/damnsmall/mydsl/multimedia/)) without success.

always using root (sudo)

Code:
mydsl-load gqcam092.dsl

Code:
gqcam
returns:
/dev/video: No such device

gqcam looks very cool because there is also an application called "motion" for motion detection.

I wonder why it doesn't work in view of the "lsusb" response
045e:00f5 Microsoft Corp.
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CNK
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 01:41:09 AM »

Much of your first post indicated that the issue you have is with RAM running out due to the size of "/ramdisk". The anwser you are looking for (where the files from /ramdisk are stored on permanent storage media (eg. your USB stick) like on a traditional OS installation) is what is called in DSL a "HDD Install" onto a USB Memory Stick (look at the Wiki for more details).

As I said before, I haven't done this before, but "USB-HDD Pendrive Install" in the DSL menu may do what you want (if not, I am almost certain there is a way, however I don't have any experience in the matter).

If you cannot get a HDD Install to work on USB, remaining options are using a swap partition on the USB stick so that you won't run out of RAM, and setting up the DSL backup and restore systems for persistence. Otherwise you could do a HDD Install to the CF card that would almost certainly work if you used one large enough (and is still able to be used in other machines if you take it out of the case).

Now as for your web cam, that lsusb listing by no degree indicates that the device should be working. What you see is simply an identifier which the camera uses to tell your computer what it is and what driver to load for it. Having just checked, no driver for the device is included in DSL.

A quick Google of that identifier leads one to the first result (http://www.linux-hardware-guide.com/2013-05-18-microsoft-lifecam-vx-3000-webcam-usb-2-0) which indicates that the driver package for your web cam is "gspca". This is not in the my-dsl respository so you will need to either grab the modules listed on that page (the real file names will have ".o" on the end, eg. "gspca_sonixj.o") from the net (try to get ones made for the 2.4 kernel, they probably wont have been compiled for exactly the same kernel version as DSL, so they will complain when you will need to force them to load and they may not work). If you can't find them or get them to work, you will need to compile them yourself. I've posted notes on that process before in different circumstances (look at my past posts), but I've never compiled a USB driver in DSL before (at least, not that I can remember) so I don't know the details of enabling it in the "hotplug" USB management system that DSL uses. Source code compatible with DSL (not the latest version befause that isn't compatible) is at this link (http://mxhaard.free.fr/spca50x/Download/oldrelease/gspcav1-20071220.tar.gz)

With the driver loaded, and assuming the it is compatible with "gqcam", video will be available to the program at "/dev/video" and things will work (hopefully).
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karl123
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 05:27:43 PM »

The anwser you are looking for (where the files from /ramdisk are stored on permanent storage media (eg. your USB stick) like on a traditional OS installation) is what is called in DSL a "HDD Install" onto a USB Memory Stick

Exactly this is what I'm trying to accomplish.


As I said before, I haven't done this before, but "USB-HDD Pendrive Install" in the DSL menu may do what you want
No, it is Installing to the Hard Disk - DSL Wiki (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/installing_to_the_hard_disk.html) and the command is dsl-hdinstall.

I tried it without succes.
I followed the manual step by step and when I was ready with my partitioning, I started "dsl-hdinstall" with ext2 (saying 'no' to ext3) and without multiboot... (see the screenshots)

I was confused with the bootloader because that is new to me, and I chose LILO.

!! However, it is just a 'j' appearing at the top left corner on the screen followed by a blinking cursor , ignoring user input completely.

If you cannot get a HDD Install to work on USB, remaining options are using a swap partition on the USB stick so that you won't run out of RAM, and setting up the DSL backup and restore systems for persistence.
I am afraid this is too slow - every single DSL boot is very long, I think because it detects all the hardware - that would be skipped when installed properly on HDD ,USBĀ“.

Otherwise you could do a HDD Install to the CF card that would almost certainly work if you used one large enough (and is still able to be used in other machines if you take it out of the case).
Yes, I got a CF card reader but I think USB is still more comfortable and I know it has to be possible.

Now as for your web cam, [...]
I found this shall be the matching one: spca5xx-v4l1goodbye.tar.gz
on http://mxhaard.free.fr/download.html
because it says 'for kernel below 2.6.11'

_________________________________________

By the way, I came across this
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Installing_Arch_Linux_on_a_USB_key
what is exactly my interest:
Quote
Installing Arch Linux on a USB key
In contrast to having a LiveUSB [...], the result will be a persistent installation identical to normal installation to HDD, but on a USB flash drive.
_________________________________________

Attachments:
  • cfdisk settings on my usb stick, of course I selected 'write' at the end and waited for partition table to be wrote.

    .
    .
  • dsl-hdinstall, page 1/2

    .
    .
  • dsl-hdinstall, page 2/2
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 05:39:09 PM by karl123 » Logged
CNK
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 10:06:05 AM »

"j" will probably be a LILO error code, you'll have to look at the LILO documentation to work out what error it is. You could always try GRUB, it is more commonly used with DSL. You should be able to do this from the command line as well as by re-running the script.

In fact the script I originally referred to is at the link in the DSL menu under "Apps>Tools" with the name "USB-HDD Pendrive Install", this may do a HDD-Install to the USB stick. Again I can't help you much further than this bacause I haven't done a USB install myself.
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karl123
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 02:06:02 PM »

couldnt find an error code representating 'j' in ASCII code  ( = 0x6A )

However, can someone explain me why I need a bootloader on a USB flash drive??
Did exactly the same but with GRUB:

On installtion process in DSL, it says:
" [my usb flash drive] does not have any corresponding bios drive "

On boot with this newly created USB flash drive it appears:
Code:
_
(blinking cursor)
or
Code:
GRUB _
(blinking cursor)
or
GRUB Read error_ (blinking cursor)

I also tried pressing SHIFT on boot until the message appeared.

I haven't expected this to be so sophisticated!

____

P. S. : Hardware = Fujitsu Siemens Futro S200, 128 MB RAM
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CNK
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 07:05:49 AM »

You need a bootloader for the launching of every Operating system, including DOS, Windows and Linux. It is what bridges the gap between the BIOS and the Operating System on startup. It doesn't matter what type of drive your OS is on, you always need a bootloader on a PC.

As for the error, GRUB itself has a boot process and it seems to be failing before it's fully loaded. If the contents of the directory "/boot/grub" on the partition is readable, then there might be a hardware compatibility issue. It might be the computer hardware itself, but you could also try another memory stick.

You could also install GRUB on the CF card (you will need a Linux formatted partition with the "/boot" folder on it) using the command line, then modify the file "/boot/grub/menu.lst" on the CF card to tell GRUB to boot Linux from the USB (hoping that the problem that stopped GRUB loading doesn't also stop DSL). I'll admit it is getting a bit complicated at that point, but definitely doable.
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karl123
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 09:47:04 PM »

Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate this.

I have redisposed and came to the solution, that a live system is the better choice. I am now trying to use some distros.
Because I then dont want to reboot the PC often but let it doing its job a long time. Notice: A live OS needs more time to boot because it checks the hardware every time it's starting up, however then it is faster because it uses the RAM for files too (the ramdisk containing usr, bin, etc, ...).

However, how can I change the live system permanently (dsl-4.4.10.iso) ?
Everything is hidden in the file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX (50570245 b)...

In a hex editor (uedit) the only human readable lines are the first ones
Quote
#!/bin/sh
#V2.0 Format
modprobe cloop file=$0 && mount -r -t iso9660 /dev/cloop $1
exit $?

Also tried with other distros which are using squashfs and is either saying
Quote
Filesystem uses unknown compression, this is unsupported by this version
Decompressors available:
        gzip

or
Quote
    Filesystem on filesystem.squashfs is (4:0), which is a later filesystem version
    than I support!

depending on the "Squashfstools" / unsquashfs.exe (I am using Windows)
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CNK
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 01:18:22 AM »

So you want the files and settings you save to remain after you shut down?

If so, then this page should be helpful (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/persistence.html).
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karl123
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 03:15:54 PM »

Actually I want to preconfigure the Live system.

I don't want to allow any further changes then within the live system.
Therefore I want to modify the KNOPPIX file which contains the ramdisk.


Using persistence mode sounds like an alternative, I am going to try this out as well.
However, therefore I need to know how to bypass the questions on DSL bootup:
- xvesa ?
- usb mouse ?
- scroll wheel ?
- screen resolution ?
- language ?

This needs to be done without user interaction.
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karl123
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 07:16:03 PM »

Sorry I had to change the distro.

This works very well for me:

http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?p=508893#p508893

and
"debian-live-7.0.0-i386-standard.iso"
has gspca drivers built-in
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