Instant on dsl linux

Forum: DSL Ideas and Suggestions
Topic: Instant on dsl linux
started by: Big_Pc_Man

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 15 2008,14:40
I wonder if is it possible to make dsl linux an "instant on" operating system along the lines of splashtop running out of a usb stick. I suppose the system would have to go through a long boot at least once to get the environment right but after that if the hardware doesn't change it would seem this should be possible.
Posted by curaga on May 15 2008,15:34
Not as fast, but you could sweep it for your HW as you said, to shave dozens of seconds off the boot.

Or, are you suggesting this chance to be in the base?

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 15 2008,17:00
It would be great to have a super fast boot as part of the base that could establish an on line presence in a few seconds.
Posted by curaga on May 15 2008,17:25
Currently this would need a remaster, since loading the backup is done quite late in the boot process.
With the tiny core I believe it could be easier.

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 15 2008,17:32
I wonder if this could be done with a new "Hibernation" script". Where after the normal boot process one could run a script that would store away the active os image on a bootable usb stick. I suppose a new boot process would be required as well.
Posted by curaga on May 15 2008,17:43
Oh, that old shmuck :D

What you described just happens to be the exact procedure of the linux suspend-to-disk which we have had for years. It suspends to a swap partition though, which is not recommended on a usb stick.

Quick edit: By we I meant linux in general, DSL's old kernel is not very reliable in this manner. DSL-N has reports of it working nicely. And the tiny core comes with 2.6.24 :)

Edity 2: I re-read your post and it also sounds very similar to a in-ram remaster.

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 15 2008,17:48
Interesting, I wonder what causes dsl not to be stable using suspend? It would be great to be able to suspend to a usb stick.

edit: How does the in RAM remaster work?

Posted by curaga on May 15 2008,17:56
The old version of the kernel has some bugs, as you would expect. Suspend usually works fine, but it might freeze on bootup.

The in-ram remaster is just that, meo has even made a guide for that too. If you have enough ram you can just do the remaster in it with speed, and just put the finished version to a physical disk.

Posted by Juanito on May 15 2008,17:57
It would be great to be able to suspend to a usb stick

- I've got dsln to suspend on a usb stick boot, it just doesn't want to wake up again  :)

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 15 2008,18:04
Ok, so let's say we have an in-ram remaster boot image on a usb stick, will it boot in a few seconds.
Posted by curaga on May 16 2008,14:29
Well, it will most certainly take over 10, so not "instant", but still fast, way faster than winblows.
The tiny core will boot slower, due to the technology change (equivalent to always-toram boot).

Posted by roberts on May 16 2008,18:29
Alot depends on boot media and size of core image. Tiny core is being made as small as possible, currently 9MB. So boots quite nicely. Loading ram based extensions will, of course, increase time to desktop. But also will be available self contained mounted extensions which will not only help low ram machines, but also have faster to desktop time. But the tradeoff is time to desktop versus application launch speed, i.e, after desktop (ram based vs disk based). My goal is to have tiny core still support older machines with low ram and to have a gtk1 (DSL like) option, if desided or needed, as well as "have it your way" with gtk2 extensions from the community.
Posted by clivesay on May 16 2008,20:13

How big is tinycore uncompressed?


Posted by roberts on May 16 2008,20:57
Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 16 2008,22:51
Will tinycore support a suspend or hibernation mode of operation?
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on May 17 2008,01:31
Quote (curaga @ May 15 2008,15:34)
Not as fast, but you could sweep it for your HW as you said, to shave dozens of seconds off the boot.

Or, are you suggesting this chance to be in the base?

I don't think I've ever tried it, but I came across a nohwsetup cheatcode when I was looking at startup scripts... iirc it would skip hw detection and execute modules listed in some file in /etc [note: probably wrong info]

Posted by curaga on May 17 2008,09:40
I think it's a leftover, since the file it also tries to start, /etc/init.d/modutils, is not DSL-ed.

Awww. No more booting with less than 32mb ram.

Posted by humpty on May 17 2008,19:00
save_regs, ram-to-file sounds easy,
but file-to-ram, restore_regs i think is the hard part.

just my 10 cents.

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 18 2008,02:05
I'm still wondering how slashtop can boot so fast. Here's some faq points from the splashtop web site:

1.  What is Splashtop?

     Splashtop is a proprietary pre-boot environment, developed by DeviceVM, which allows you to rapidly access certain applications without the need to boot your main operating system. Splashtop boots out of the BIOS on your PC motherboard, and launches a lightweight Linux stack capable of running certain applications like the Splashtop web browser, and the Skype VOIP program. The Splashtop environment allow you to open a web browser, check email, watch videos, instant message, and place VOIP calls within seconds instead of minutes.

  2. How do I use Splashtop?

     Splashtop comes pre-installed on your PC motherboard. When you press the power button on your PC, Splashtop will boot (generally in 5 seconds or less) and give you several options. You can launch Skype or the Splashtop web browser (based on Mozilla Firefox.) Alternatively you can launch your primary operating system (generally Windows or some version of Linux.) If you make no selection for 10 seconds, your operating system will launch normally. You can configure your BIOS settings to skip Splashtop and always launch your operating system immediately.

  3. Is Splashtop based on Linux?

     Splashtop has two components. One is the core engine, a real-time operating system that runs out of the system BIOS. The second is an optimized Linux stack that boots rapidly and can run most Linux-based applications.

Posted by curaga on May 18 2008,10:56
a) because it boots from a flash chip, and directly from the bios
b) because it has their own realtime kernel and not much apart the apps

Posted by Big_Pc_Man on May 19 2008,01:58
It seems the ROS kernel splashtop is running is a tiny linux 2.6.20 according to a phoronix article. The motherboard boots just like any other and then loads the os from flash after the BIOS is done. All this takes just 9 seconds. Seems to me the os could be loaded from a USB stick nearly as fast. The speed seems to come from the fact that the hardware configuration is known and limited. Could it be Robert's new tiny os will be an even better solution for this type of application. The interest in the instant on "main" os pre-boot environment is growing rapidly as vista and the large linux distributions take minutes to boot.

< >

"One detail that was also shed during yesterday's briefing was word that the current SplashTop product is based upon the Linux 2.6.20 kernel. Right now, the source-code for SplashTop isn't available for download; however, complying with the terms of the GNU GPL license, developers that email DeviceVM for the source-code can have a CD mailed to them. In the coming months the source-code will be publicly available on the Internet."

Posted by seuchato on Oct. 16 2008,08:14
Quote (curaga @ May 15 2008,17:25)
Currently this would need a remaster, since loading the backup is done quite late in the boot process.
With the tiny core I believe it could be easier.

Hi there

Instant on would be perfect for Kiosk kind of applications.

I would gladly help on doing such a remaster. do you have any hints, entry points for me to get active?

Greets chris

Posted by curaga on Oct. 19 2008,12:42
No quick way. There is tons of remastering info on the wiki and here in the forums, meo's 80-page thread about it is very helpful.

To get your hands dirty, get a virtual machine like Qemu for easy testing, and start small :)

First do a simple thing, like remove an app or edit the menu. Then you can progress to editing the scripts or adding apps, and then the bootscripts.

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