| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 527, 30 September 2013
Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The free and open-source community is often regarded as a virtual commune where people share ideas and software, freely exchanging what they have created with anyone who wants it. While there is a great deal of sharing in the community, open source isn't just for the altruistic, many companies invest in open source in order to gain a return. This week we talk about some companies who are investing positively in open source in the hope of reaping the rewards. These companies include Valve, a company working on a Linux-based gaming console; NVIDIA, a popular video card manufacturer and Red Hat, a leading developer of enterprise software and sponsor of the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is especially interesting as it is an open test bed for many developers and has just reached the distinguished age of ten years old! Not to be outdone, the GNU project celebrated thirty years of free software this past week with a new release of GNU Hurd. This week Jesse Smith takes Tiny Core Linux for a spin and reports on his findings and we will talk about methods for transitioning one's operating system from one computer to another. Also in this week's edition of DistroWatch Weekly we cover new releases which have appeared over the past week and look forward to new releases to come. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (11MB) and MP3 (25MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Tiny Core Linux 5.0
Tiny Core Linux is, as the name implies, a distribution with a focus of being as small as possible. There are several Linux distributions which strive to maintain a small memory and installation footprint, but few come close to matching Tiny Core when it comes to being minuscule. Tiny Core, which can boot from a variety of media, including optical discs, thumb drives and frugal hard drive installations, is designed to provide a very small base upon which software modules can be added. We might think of Tiny Core as being a little foundation and the project's package repository as being bricks which can be used to shape the distribution to whatever task we require. The Tiny Core distribution is available in three flavours. There is a Core edition with provides us with a command line only and this ISO weighs in at 9MB in size. The standard Tiny Core edition is 15MB in size and features a minimal graphical interface. There is also a Core Plus edition which is an installation image with more firmware and multiple window managers. The installation media is 72MB in size. The latest version of Tiny Core, version 5.0, is a fairly conservative upgrade from the 4.x series. The new release features a number of small updates, including upgrades to the X graphics stack and the Linux kernel.
Tiny Core Linux 5.0 - running the Firefox module
(full image size: 129kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Booting from the distribution's live media brings up a menu which allows us to choose between running the distribution with a command line interface or with a graphical environment. Tiny Core boots in mere seconds, on my hardware the distribution takes approximately four seconds to transition from the boot menu to the graphical interface. Booting to the command line interface took just over two seconds. Once the system finishes booting I found the command line environment required approximately 20MB of memory while the graphical interface took 50MB of RAM. I tried running the distribution in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on my desktop (dual-core 2.8GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card). In both environments Tiny Core performed very well, booting quickly, responding almost instantly to commands and running with a very small memory footprint. All of my hardware worked well with networking and sound functioning out of the box. My display was set to a high (though not maximum) resolution and, during my trial, I didn't experience any instability with the operating system.
In order to maintain its extremely small size, Tiny Core Linux does not come with many applications. We are given a text editor, a virtual terminal and a mounting tool for accessing removable media. There are a few daemons, including cron, and a handful of small graphical apps for configuring the network connection, setting the system's clock and there is a package manager I'll cover in a moment. The distribution does not ship with a compiler, Java, manual pages, web browser or multimedia support. It is about as close to a bare system as we can get while still maintaining a graphical interface. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.8, powering the distribution.
Tiny Core Linux 5.0 - applications and control panel
(full image size: 39kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The graphical package manager which comes with Tiny Core Linux is called Apps. This application gives us a fairly straight forward approach to installing new software. The program's window is divided into two parts. On the left side we are shown a list of all available software in the Tiny Core repositories. Over on the right side of the window we are shown detailed information about the package currently highlighted. The available software is not organized into categories, rather all packages are simply shown in alphabetical order. If we desire we can search for packages using their names. When we have located a package we want we can download it with a click of the mouse. The package manager then downloads the requested module with any dependencies and installs them. In cases where we download a desktop application the program's icon is added to the quick-launch bar at the bottom of the screen. While the Tiny Core repositories do not have as much software as mainstream distributions, Tiny Core does provide enough modules to perform most common tasks.
Tiny Core Linux 5.0 - applications and control panel
(full image size: 51kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
I find that I do not have a whole lot to say about Tiny Core Linux as the distribution is quite focused on one goal: being very small. I must say the developers do an amazing job at packing a great deal of functionality into such a tiny space. With a mere 15MB download we have access to graphical tools, a package manager (which can provide us with a wide range of software) and a simple control panel. On modern hardware the distribution boots and shuts down almost instantly and it is amazingly responsive. The only problem with Tiny Core, at least from my point of view, is that in being so small it has limited use in most situations. We might look at Tiny Core and think that its low resource requirements would make it a good live distribution to take on trips, but the lack of applications means we will probably end up downloading software at each terminal we visit. The distribution might seem appealing at first for old hardware, but there are other, more user-friendly, distributions such as Puppy Linux or Lubuntu which will work well with older machines.
Tiny Core Linux 5.0 - applications and control panel
(full image size: 59kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
What it really came down to this week was I used Tiny Core Linux and was very impressed with the achievements of the developers. Tiny Core is about as tiny as we can get and still have a point-n-click interface. The tools all seem to work well and we have easy access to software modules. But, apart from being impressively tiny, there wasn't much to the distribution. It is a great base, an excellent foundation, I'm sure, for building other things. Tiny Core appears to be less of an appliance and more of a workbench. It seems to be a good workbench -- small, fast, flexible and stable -- but, as the project's website points out, this is not a "turnkey" distribution for general purpose use. It's a small, powerful tool and an interesting experiment in just how small a Linux-based operating system can be while maintaining a friendly interface.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Valve announces Linux-based console, NVIDIA supports Nouveau, Fedora turns ten and GNU turns thirty
The Linux kernel is virtually everywhere, from laptops to servers to mobile devices. Valve announced last week that they soon intend to bring Linux to gaming consoles. SteamOS is a new Linux-based platform from Valve which is at the centre of Valve's goal of "bringing Steam to the living room." Valve has been working to improve video performance and make their catalog of games available to users of GNU/Linux distributions. Now Valve is taking things a step further by releasing their own Linux distribution. According to Valve's announcement, SteamOS is "a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else. With SteamOS, "openness" means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they've been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want." One area where Linux users have been missing out in past years is availability of mainstream game releases. This move by Valve may pave the way to a richer gaming experience on Linux platforms.
While Valve was announcing its plans to put a Linux-based gaming platform in every living room, NVIDIA was extending a hand to Linux video driver developers. For years NVIDIA's high-performance drivers have been proprietary and this has led an independent group of kernel developers to create the Nouveau project in an effort to produce an open-source driver for NVIDIA graphic cards. Last Monday Andy Ritger posted to the Nouveau developer list and announced, "NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able." While the documentation provided mostly contains information already known to the Nouveau developers, this is a positive step and any further documentation NVIDIA is to provide will result in better performance and stability for users of NVIDIA video cards.
* * * * *
In the Linux ecosystem distributions frequently have a short life span. Small projects come and go quickly and so it's nice to see when distributions reach key milestones. The Fedora project had the distinction of turning ten years old last week. Fedora is a cutting-edge distribution that is sponsored by Red Hat and is well known for its experimental nature. Technology developed and tested in Fedora often makes its way into Red Hat's Enterprise Linux distribution and this makes Fedora an important testing ground, both for developers and system administrators. In a recent interview Fedora's Project Leader, Robyn Bergeron, took some time to talk about the project's past, current developments and where Fedora may be heading in the future. One key focus Bergeron mentions is automation: "I think we can try and abstract and automate the things we have to do a lot, so our really awesome people's brains can be applied to solving problems that aren't yet automate-able."
* * * * *
A new series of beta images were released this past week for Ubuntu and the many official Ubuntu community projects. The Ubuntu family is typically an experimental group of distributions and it's always interesting to see what changes are presented during the projects' testing cycle. With this latest beta one of the more interesting announcements was the inclusion of installation images for phones: "Together with existing builds of Ubuntu for PCs and servers, with this milestone, Ubuntu images for phones are also included in a beta for the first time. It is not recommended that casual users install Ubuntu on their phone," People interested in testing Ubuntu for phones can find a list of supported devices and installation instructions from the Ubuntu wiki.
* * * * *
The GNU project develops the software present at the heart of all GNU/Linux distributions. The GNU team also produces the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), free compiler software which is used across multiple platforms. This past week GNU turned 30, celebrating the milestone with coding and cake at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of GNU's more famous projects is Hurd, the free software kernel. While Hurd has never reached production status it remains an interesting academic exercise, allowing kernel developers to play with new concepts and clean designs in a low-pressure environment. In celebration of GNU's birthday the project released GNU Hurd 0.5. People wishing to experiment with Hurd can try the Debian port of the project which runs GNU userland software combined with the experimental Hurd kernel.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Moving operating system to new computer
Changing-spaces asks: I want to transfer my current Linux installation from one computer to another. The old computer is going to a friend so I want to leave the original hard drive in the computer for them. Can I get my operating system on the new computer without doing a completely new install?
DistroWatch answers: There are a couple of ways of making the transfer from one machine to another and the best solution will depend on the resources you have on hand. Personally, I would be inclined to perform a fresh installation on the new machine. Once the installation is complete you could install OpenSSH on either of the machines and Filezilla on the other. Using Filezilla to connect the two machines over the network you could then copy all of your personal files (the data stored in the /home directory) from the old hard drive to the new one. As for the packages you had installed on the original machine, most package managers will provide a way for you to dump a list of all installed packages. That list could then be saved and passed to the package manager on the new computer, insuring you end up with the same software installed. This approach requires very few resources, aside from the ability to connect the two computers over the local area network, and will give you a nearly identical experience on both machines. It also means the fresh install is set up to work with your hardware. This means you don't need to consider variables such as which third-party drivers are installed or how large the hard drive is.
Another way to go would be to grab a cloning utility such as Clonezilla. A tool like Clonezilla will help you create a file, a snapshot, of the first computer's hard drive. This file can be saved on one computer and then copied to the new computer. The snapshot overwrites all data on the new hard drive and (assuming everything goes well) the new computer will have all of the same files and settings as the original computer. This is a really fast way to set up the new computer to be an exact replica of the first computer. There are some issues to consider though. For example, when cloning an operating system we need to make sure the hard drive in the new computer is as large (or larger) than the drive in the original machine. If the new drive is smaller then the snapshot will not fit and it will likely result in the operating system not being able to boot on the new computer. Another issue is that we need a place to temporarily store the snapshot of the original hard drive. These snapshots tend to be large and we need a big external hard drive or a network file server to store the image so that it may be transferred to the new computer. This approach may also backfire if your new computer requires hardware drivers not available on the original machine.
Another approach which may seem crude, but efficient, is to simply swap the hard drives in the two computers. Taking the old drive and putting it into the new computer will give you all of your data, programs and settings in the new machine. The old machine can get the hard drive from the new computer. You may end up reconfiguring some hardware settings if the two machines have different parts, just as if you had used my previous suggestion and cloned the hard drive. This may be the easiest solution as it doesn't require any fancy networking or making sure the drives are of an appropriate size. You will require a screwdriver and the knowledge of how to identify and remove the hard drive, but this may end up being the fastest solution as there is no need to copy files between machines.
Do you routinely transfer your settings and files from one computer to another? Let us know your preferred method in the comments section.
|Released Last Week
GParted Live 0.16.2-1b
Curtis Gedak has announced the availability of a new stable version of GParted Live, a Debian-based live CD with specialist tools designed for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce a new stable release of GParted Live. This release includes a number of bug fixes and language translation updates. Items of note include: LVM partitions are not activated on boot to enable move or resize; based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2013-09-19. Includes GParted 0.16.2 which includes: fix crash if apply clicked before pending operations completed; fix regression which broke Linux swap resize; fix to not hide the progress of the tools used, such as ntfsresize. Special thanks go to Steven Shiau and Mike Fleetwood for their efforts to ensure the stability of this release." Here is the brief release announcement.
Parted Magic 2013_09_26
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2013_09_26, a specialist live CD that comes with a collection of utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 2013_09_26. This version of Parted Magic includes a new GUI for Secure Erase, a GUI for ddrescue, it now boots normally on Windows 8 machines with Secure Boot enabled, a completely new layout for the panel menu, and many updated programs. The new Parted Magic Secure Erase GUI has been the main focus over the past few months and it very well may be the easiest-to-use and most powerful ATA Secure Erase program on the planet. There is also a very nice GUI for ddrescue written by Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty. You no longer need to disable Secure Boot on Windows 8 machines to use Parted Magic. New programs: ddrutility and mprime. Updated programs: X.Org Server 1.14.3, Linux kernel 3.10.12, Mozilla Firefox 24.0, GParted 0.16.2...." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
Eben Christopher Upton has announced the release of Raspbian 2013-09-25, a Debian-based distribution designed for the Raspberry Pi single-board mini-computer. It can be downloaded either as a standalone product or as part of NOOBS 1.3, a beginner-friendly compilation of several popular operating systems for the "Pi". From the release announcement: "Alex has produced a new Raspbian release, which integrates a number of recent improvements. Along with kernel and firmware updates, highlights include: Sonic Pi is pre-installed so you can jump right in to learning to program while creating your own music; significant performance improvements to Scratch; a build of PyPy 2.1 is now included to allow you to try out this high performance Python JIT compiler; Python libraries required for interfacing with Pi-Face are pre-installed. Due to the addition of Java, the standalone SD card image now requires at least a 4 GB SD card, as with 2 GB there’s not enough free space left to be useful."
Raspbian 2013-09-25 - now includes Sonic Pi and PyPy compiler
(full image size: 110kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Petter Reinholdtsen has announced the release of Skolelinux 7.1, a Debian-based distribution (also known as "Debian-Edu") for schools: "The Debian Edu developer team is happy to announce Debian Edu 7.1+edu0 'Wheezy', the sixth Debian Edu / Skolelinux release, based on Debian 7, which has been updated and carefully improved compared to the previous release while keeping its unique feature set and ease of maintainability. Installation changes: new version of installer; the DVD image was dropped, instead we added a USB Flash drive / Blu-ray disc image, which behaves like the DVD image, but is too big to fit on a DVD. Software updates: Linux kernel 3.2.x; KDE Plasma 4.8.4, GNOME 3.4, Xfce 4.8.6 and LXDE 0.5.5; Iceweasel 17 ESR web browser; LibreOffice 3.5.4; LTSP 5.4.2; GOsa 2.7.4; CUPS printing system 1.5.3; GCompris 12.01 educational toolbox; Rosegarden 12.04 music creator; GIMP 2.8.2 image editor...." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional information.
Michael Prokop has announced the release of Grml 2013.09, a Debian-based live CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software and custom scripts specially designed for system administrators: "We just released Grml 2013.09 'Hefeknuddler'. This Grml release provides fresh software packages after the Debian stable release ('Wheezy') was released. As usual it also incorporates up2date hardware support and fixes known bugs from the previous Grml release. New features: new boot option encpasswd which takes a hashed password as argument, setting password of users root and grml to the specified value; grml-hwinfo supports iproute's IP tool, sg_inq from sg3-utils and lscpu, lsblk, dmsetup ls --tree; grml-lang includes French keymap support. Important changes: UTC is used as default time zone, to use a different setting you can use the tz boot option (usage example: tz=Europe/Vienna)...." See the release announcement and release notes for more detailed information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
- Fedora 20-alpha, the release announcement
- Simplicity 13.10-beta, release announcement
- Ubuntu, Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu 13.10-beta2, the release announcement
- Matriux 3-rc1, the release announcement
- FreeBSD 10.0-APHA4, the release announcement
- SolydXK 201309
- Wifislax 4.7-22092013
- Pardus Linux 2.0 "KDE"
- Vine Linux 6.2-rc1
- NetBSD 5.1.3 and 5.2.1
- OpenELEC 3.2.1
- Hanthana Linux 19.0
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- SteamOS. SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system produced by Valve to be used as a gaming platform.
- Distro Astro. Distro Astro is a project to create a Linux distribution for astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts.
- Dax OS. Dax OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution which aims to provide users with innovative software concepts and be intuitive and easy to use.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 30 September 2013. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Reader Comments - Jump to last comment
1 • SteamOS + Hardware = SteamMachine (by Derek on 2013-09-30 09:17:21 GMT from United States) |
It would be great to have a Steam Platform. Hardware that would work well with SteamOS.
2 • TC issues : is FF existing? Is arm support still existing? (by dbrion on 2013-09-30 09:34:15 GMT from France)
I saw two issues with Tinycore :
a) tinycore can support arm-based architectures (and might be useful, if it has gcc + Python+lua native). TC-4.7.7 claims they support it , according to http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=tinycore ; TC-5.0 does not; did they give up?
b) The very first screen shot in Jesse Smith review is :
"Tiny Core Linux 5.0 - running the Firefox module
(full image size: 129kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)" (the third one is a scren shot of a graphical PM; FF is one of the avalaible packages)
I searched the TC distrowatch package list http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=tinycore
and did not find any FireFox:
firefox (24.0) -- -- -- -- --
3 • Congratulations SteamOS (by Daniel Mery on 2013-09-30 10:27:59 GMT from United States)
Welcome to the GNU/Linux world.....
Can' wait to install it.
4 • Re: #2 Is arm support still existing? (by Paraquat on 2013-09-30 10:41:02 GMT from Taiwan)
Hi dbrion, I don't actually know the answer to you question. But I'm wondering on which ARM board you'd be running TC? Raspberry Pi maybe? I have an ODROID-X board which is ARM-based, but haven't seen TC for it. Most people with this board are running Ubuntu, some have Debian or Fedora working with it.
Anyway, I'm an ARM enthusiast. These boards (with exception of the Raspberry Pi, so far) are getting faster and can match many Intel-based boards now.
5 • Clonezilla (by Sondar on 2013-09-30 11:04:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why create a file for transfer of whole system? Clonezilla allows direct disc-to-disc transfer, with size adjustment if appropriate, and includes GRUB, if required. Just don't forget to temporarily swap new drive to Slave mode and back again at completion. Simplest is to use two drive of identical size. Also the best method for back-up, as all drive are ultimately destined to fail ! Use the i-386 version of Clonezilla and one can copy discs with an ancient motherboard + PSU - case and peripherals not required.
6 • TinyCore (by bb on 2013-09-30 11:29:33 GMT from Germany)
a) did you look at http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/ ?
b) did you look at http://www.tinycorelinux.net/5.x/x86/tcz/ ?
"the lack of applications means we will probably end up downloading software at each terminal we visit"
No, because you can store the downloaded applications on a drive or a usb stick -- also a usb stick on which you have TC.
Yes, only if you did not download all the applications that you want/need to use.
It seems to me that you did not mention what is really new in TC regarding other linux distributions -- the ability to run packages either from ram memory or from a drive/usb stick, as well as the ability to mount and umount them on the fly. Another interesting feature is the ability to script the way you want your packages/modules to be installed at boot. Finally, you can port packages from other linux distributions to TC rather quickly - another interesting feature if you don't have enough with the pre-compiled modules in the TC repositories.
I have used TC during two years -- it does a lot more than what you say when you say that it enables you to "perform most common tasks", and it does it not only on old hardware, but also on new ones. You can run several daemons very quickly (if not out of the box with dropbear, I can not remember exactly), which makes TC the choice number 1 for versatil servers. You can spend time in order to taylor TC to your needs, and you will get something powerful and very useful -- like the puplets derivates of Puppy linux. TC is about customization above all, and if you take it with that in mind, then you don't need to look at bigger linux distributions.
So, why did I stop using TC? Because one of its main disadvantage in my view is the need to replace your packages/modules when you get a new kernel. You have to download your applications again, sometimes you have to correct your scripts, and you have to recompile your custom packages -- this is time consuming. If they would make something in order to make the upgrade process easier, I would use it again.
7 • Gnu Hurd (by Terence on 2013-09-30 12:06:33 GMT from Paraguay)
I know I am supposed to love GNU, Stallman, Free software and the like, but I don't know. I am trying to come up with a metaphor. Basically, because he offers a liberal license that appeals to developers and they use it, that somehow he should take (partial) credit for the ecosystem that Linux has helped drive. I mean the man knows how to talk, he has countless YouTube videos attesting to this. He always seems to have answers (more like complaints) for everybody else's problems but his own. 30 years on and his kernel still has not reach development state?
I am thinking of a man who has attended college, knows theory, but not practice. This is how I kind of view Stallman. It would be like needing to list your home's address on mail as Allstate/1018 Main St because the insurance provider wants credit. Or the man who said I feel like getting exercise, so I'll create a track to run on. The only problem is, he only got as far as mowing the area he wanted to pave before giving up and going back to his loveseat. Meanwhile others came along, completed the task, painted the lanes and maintain the whole ensemble. But now the lazy guy wants the completed field named after him.
Tell me how I should be viewing him if I am wrong.
8 • TinyCore & Non-PAE Systems? (by vt on 2013-09-30 12:22:16 GMT from United States)
For the *very* old laptops I occasionally rescue, does Tinycore offer a "retro" version, like Puppy, that runs on a non-PAE chip? I couldn't immediately find any info on that.
9 • Moving operating system to new computer (by Andrew Yeomans on 2013-09-30 12:43:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
If you are using Ubuntu, the Software Centre has a neat "Sync between computers..." option available from the toolbar. This makes it easy to make as close a clone as you wish. (Operating system only - still need to copy home directory.)
It doesn't try to do any automatic syncing of packages, instead lets you select a different system, and compares the package lists on the two machines. You then get presented with a list of packages to add to current system (that are only on the compared system), and a list of packages to remove (that are not on the compared system). Just select which you want and let it run.
This way makes it easy to create similar but different systems; e.g. you might like a whole lot of applications in common, but only require software build tools on your developer system.
10 • Moving operating system to new computer (by silvertip257 on 2013-09-30 12:43:25 GMT from United States)
rsync -Pave ssh user@host:/ /mnt/newdisk/ --exclude='/tmp/' --exclude='/mnt/' --exclude='/media/' <...other exclusions here...>
** Caution: ** Use --dry-run to see the changes before (possibly) polluting a directory structure with files in the wrong place. And you'll probably want the --delete option to clean out obsolete files if you're doing a migration over a few hours or days.
If I'm moving to a larger (or healthier) hard disk and there's no reason to do a fresh install, I'll simply set up my partitions, mount them in a rescue environment, and rsync [over ssh] the data (with certain portions excluded - see  for tips). After the rsync is done then comes adjusting configs (think fstab, grub, etc). From there, change root the cloned environment and re-roll your initial ramdisk.
And rsync still fits the bill even if you're doing a fresh install! You can still quite easily move over your /home/ dir and only those files.
For non-*nix systems ... well Clonezilla or a similar cloning solution is probably the only option. Good luck migrating a Windows system to other hardware (like you can with *nix systems) though.
11 • RE: 8 (by bb on 2013-09-30 12:47:56 GMT from Germany)
TC runs on non-PAE kernel
12 • RE 6 : Tiny core packages (by dbrion on 2013-09-30 13:22:12 GMT from France)
Thank you bb for the links:
I did not look at any of your links, but now I know:
a) the TC has a **alpha** version 5.0 for RPi (the x86 version is in a state where it can be considered as a release and http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=tinycore is right). A time lag might be explained by the fact that many RPi specific utilities such as setting a pin as an input or an output -with given logical values- do not exist on a PC).
b) that TC has a firefox module (at least for PCs : this I knew from Jesse Smith review ans screen shots, and it is inconsistent with the same http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=tinycore
I remain worried with internal consistency (same site says "A" and "not A"; this is not logical)...
13 • Moving operating system to new computer. . . (by Richard on 2013-09-30 13:32:50 GMT from United States)
I use 'Redo-backup' a downloadable Iso image file program that you burn to cd, then using a large thumbdrive . . .(I use a 32-gig one) I copy the whole drive along with all partitions to it. I believe the drive being copied to has to be the same size or larger but will not work on a smaller one. It has worked well for me. I've got about 30-gig on the thumbdrive and have restored it to my system several times after having installed several other distro's for evaluation then removing them.
14 • Tiny Core (by Schultzter on 2013-09-30 13:39:10 GMT from Canada)
I used Tiny Core for quite some time, on a laptop that served solely as a web browser. TC was perfect!!! I had a small CF card in-place of the HDD and it was the most convenient thing! I never really loaded any other apps than Firefox and Chrome, and they were stored on the HDD so it worked out perfectly. Took it on vacation once to upload photos from the camera to Picasa, which still went through the browser.
Finally the keyboard went on the laptop and I ended up with a tablet - which admittedly makes a much nicer couch-surfing computer than an old (and heavy) laptop.
15 • System replication (by Thomas on 2013-09-30 13:52:11 GMT from France)
There are 2 ways I replicate systems.
1st case : I need not to backup users documentation but only environment configuration. In this case I boot the old system with a live CD, mount its partitions the way they are when booted normally and make a tar.bz2 archive to a USB key large enough. Then I move the new system, boots it with the live CD, partition the disk and format the partitions, mounts them the way they should be and untar the USB key archive. Once fstab and grub configuration are updated, I install grub and reboots.
2nd case : I want to keep a copy of the documents -- this is a much larger copy than in the 1st case. I extract the HD from the new PC and connects it to the old one using a USB adapter, then boots the old PC with a live CD. I partition the new drive, formats the partitions and mount the partitions from all drives to separate hierarchies. Then I copy all the files from the old hierarchy to the new one. Once finished, I update fstab and grub.cfg, install grub on the new HD and I ready to go to the new PC.
In both cases, drivers (mostly graphics) are not a problem : everything can be done in failsafe mode.
16 • Tiny Core- which one did you review? (by octathlon on 2013-09-30 14:29:21 GMT from United States)
After telling us TC comes as Core, Standard, or Core Plus, you go on with the review but don't say which of the three you are reviewing. Core Plus (72MB) or Standard (15MB)? Considering that Puppy has many applications included in an image about the size of Core Plus, should I assume you were reviewing Standard since it had almost no applications?
17 • Moving an O/S to a new computer (by dragonmouth on 2013-09-30 14:32:13 GMT from United States)
I just physically move the HD from one PC to another. For me Linux has been flexible enough to adapt to any of the hardware I move it to. I have moved the same HD from a VIA-based system to an Intel one and then to an AMD one without hiccups. However, after a third move I would advise to do a fresh install because the drivers start stepping on each others toes.
18 • Moving operating system to new computer (by Bill on 2013-09-30 14:38:31 GMT from United States)
When I first found Linux I was using windows vista at the time and I used an expensive backup software called TrueImage. When I switched to Ubuntu 8.04 I searched for a similar program. Clonezilla did not work for me, I tried it but then at boot up home dir was not seen. I had already tried a fairly inexpensive backup for windows called Terabyte Image. They had a similar program called Terabyte Image for Linux for about $29 so I bought it and was very pleasantly surprised. Since Ubutu 8.04 I have used this program over and over to play with different OS on many partitions and I can say it is great! I can make an image to flash drive, external HD, or DVD's. Just for fun a made an image of an OS running in Virtualbox and then installed it on a regular partition and it worked fine. I currently have Ubuntu w/Unity, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, the recently released Kweezy, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu w/Trinity, Ultimate Edition, Mint 13 w/Mate, Mint 9 Isadora, and Windows 7 on two internal HD's just to test things and experiment. Terabyte Image for Linux has never failed me. And no, I do not work for them, but the support is excellent as well. Here is the link:
19 • Moving OS to new computer (by JohnP on 2013-09-30 20:21:58 GMT from United States)
For my needs I have found CloneZilla fills the bill. Either making an image of a drive or doing a drive to drive copy. I put either the new or old drive on an SATA to USB cable and have at it.Fast and easy...
20 • TinyCore (by BruceW on 2013-09-30 21:12:48 GMT from United States)
My understanding is that at least part of the idea behind TinyCore is to be able to easily work in a fresh, non-"crufted" environment. I've read that TinyCore is not especially intended for low-resource systems or laptops, but instead was designed for reasonably current desktop workstations with (fast) wired networking, and for these the user need only reboot and reload modules to have a clean install - kind of like a live CD, but with much more flexibility over installed apps.
21 • TinyCore, pt 2 (by BruceW on 2013-09-30 21:16:47 GMT from United States)
My last comments were regarding the "standard" TinyCore (15MB) - I just looked at CorePlus and see that it includes a good bit of WiFi support built-in.
22 • Tiny core plus Raspberry? (by pete on 2013-09-30 21:25:01 GMT from New Zealand)
I would have thought that Tiny Core and the Raspberry Pi would be a match made in heaven.
Why haven't the two come together yet?
23 • (by Julian on 2013-10-01 04:08:54 GMT from United States)
Tinycore on Raspberry Pi has been done (at least, a quick search turned up a youtube video of someone running Tinycore on raspberry pi) ... however from what I could see searching google, there does not appear to be any Arm version of the Tinycore 5.x series yet.
24 • "Moving operating system to new computer" - Fsarchiver. (by Verndog on 2013-10-01 05:52:06 GMT from United States)
In the past I had issues with Fsarchiver. Not anymore. I have cloned and restored dozens of partitions using Fsarchiver.
Regarding the size difference , going from a larger partition to a smaller one. Here is a quote from the source:
"FSArchiver can extract an archive to a partition which is smaller that the original one as long as there is enough space to store the data. It can also restore the data on a different file-system, so it can use it when you want to convert your file-system: you can backup an ext3 file-system, and restore it as a reiserfs."
Another note is on using "partclone", to backup partitions - which Clonezilla uses.
It also has improved immensely. Partclone is unbelievably fast, especially in piping it to "pigz".
25 • RE 23 : one can find alpha version for TC/ARM (by dbrion on 2013-10-01 05:52:13 GMT from France)
In http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,15934.0.html they announce an alpha3 release for the RPi
26 • TinyCore (by blizar on 2013-10-01 08:57:22 GMT from France)
As in the Porteus review, I am disappointed that this distribution is tested as a standard one (installing on a HDD or in a virtual machine). My interest in TC is to install it on a usb stick, customize it to my need adding my favorite packages and then to move from a computer to another one embedding my environment.
Not many distributions deal with such a mobile and personal use
27 • TinyCore (by wolf on 2013-10-01 09:56:24 GMT from Germany)
@26 I´ll second that. I too think that this weeks review was weak at best. With a little bit of preparation time and reading one would have concluded to do exactly what TinyCore stands for: Put it on a Stick tailor it to your needs and the just try it everywhere, see how it copes with changing environments. Test it on old and new Hardware. Have your small ecosystem with you at all times and show those Apple/Windows/Ubuntu Fanboys what their Bloatware isn´t capable of. So in other words Thank you Jesse for mentioning TinyCore but give it another Try sometime soon. I will do exactly that in like 2 Months or so when I find the Time.
28 • re moving os to new drive (by Frustrated on 2013-10-01 11:01:48 GMT from Canada)
Have tried a number of solutions such as Redo and Clonezilla. They work well, but have had problems when the new (ie. "cloned") drive is on a system with different hardware. While to OS seems to work fine, some hardware is not properly recognized (typically optical drives - dvds, and network cards).
The problem seems to be with udev. I can usually fix the optical recognition by stopping udev, adjusting /etc/udev/rules.d, and then restarting udev so it now recognizes the drives.
Accessing the network card is another matter. Doesn't seem to be a problem with the loaded kernel modules, but rather udev again. Doing a web search on resolving udev problems with network cards after disk cloning, turns up comments that network cards are one thing udev should NOT control. Seems there is no need, it interferes with manual setup, and network cards aren't removable devices like usb keys.
Any suggestions (or ideally, step-by-step description) for resolving network card recognition after disk cloning?
I preferred the "old days" when one manually configured things like /etc/fstab and netconfig and things then worked. Wonder if new-fangled tools like udev, and integrating part of video into the kernel haven't actually been regressive in some respects?
Maybe with the network card thing, the answer is in front of me, and I simply need to toss it aside for a day, get some, sleep, and look at it later; but those web search results about so many similar udev complaints re network card/udev have me thinking it's not just me....
29 • Clonezilla for sure (by RobbobAK on 2013-10-01 16:20:27 GMT from United States)
I actually use Parted Magic and run Clonezilla from its menu. Clonezilla is great for when the drive is going into the computer from which you are cloning. If you place a hard drive with an OS configured to one machine, into a second with (often newer) different hardware, problems will likely occur. I would suggest taking the opportunity to do some house cleaning and start fresh and copy your files over afterward. Fresh installs can take very little time and in many cases are quicker than searching the web for a solution that really works, and saves on frustration trying to solve issues with hardware.
30 • Coincidence Moving to a new computer! (by Wolf on 2013-10-01 19:50:23 GMT from Germany)
What a coincidinc! I just have to move my installation to another (similar) computer! I am intrigued... normally I would just install the next best distro and copy my files, cause I don't believe in moving drivers and stuff but as these 2 Computers only differ in CPU and RAM I think I'll give it a try with my favourite Clonezilla that might actually work .....hope hope!
@18 Your Clonezillaproblem sounds like there was a SPACE in your Filename Clonezilla simply rejects those files though funny enough has no problem writing them to disk... I learned this once the hard way... reading in advance would have helped of course!
31 • Dax os (by Peter on 2013-10-02 19:34:51 GMT from Australia)
The live dvd is in Spanish, and pressing tab does not produce any language options. this is not mentioned on the dax home page. As it is, the thing is unusable
32 • @31 - Maybe it's unusable for you... (by eco2geek on 2013-10-03 06:06:02 GMT from United States)
> As it is, the thing is unusable.
Spanish speakers would probably take umbrage at that comment.
It's very usable -- at the least it's an interesting and colorful demonstration of what one can do with Enlightenment, and of some apps one may not have used before -- if one can find where the language configuration option is located in the Enlightenment settings menu, and switch it to English. It's not that hard to find, really; it's the one with the icon of a colorful flag. Admittedly, some of the menu options remain in Spanish even after the switch to English.
It's also quite usable from the command line in a virtual terminal if one knows how to run the "dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration" command to switch keyboard layouts.
33 • #16 (by zykoda on 2013-10-03 06:19:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Reading between the lines I would say that the Standard 15M version was tested.
34 • Daz OS and E17 (by Peter on 2013-10-03 20:32:34 GMT from Spain)
I've tested the "Life" version of Dax OS, to see if it had the simplified interface seen in the screenshots, but alas, it's not intuitive as I hoped (for use in old PC's for ungeek users or kids/grandads).
Does anyone know of a Enlightenment desktop mod/theme that is as usable/standard/typical/easy/boring as the old Gnome 2.x, XFCE or LXDE? Enlightment's speed is a great plus, but could we find a simplfied desktop implementation? Does anyone know if the future E18 will improve this situation? I want to love/enjoy Enlightment, but have always failed to find it easy enough for most people to overcome the innitial differences.
35 • @34 E17 (by greg on 2013-10-04 09:54:53 GMT from Slovenia)
Bodhi has a desktop-like theme. i am not sure what is called, but it has that windows start button look if that is what you are after.
36 • @34 (by jaws222 on 2013-10-04 12:56:54 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure how simplified you are looking for, but Enlightement has different themes. I would suggest just trying them to see what fits your needs. Also, if you want to really simplify it you can just delete the icons and panels and simply right or left click and treat it as if it were Openbox. Now that's really simple.
37 • Netrunner (by Jordan on 2013-10-05 12:55:26 GMT from United States)
Netrunner live dvd to the rescue. My Pavilion M7 suddenly became unable to see the hdd, eliciting the error message on boot up: "Boot device not found. Please install an operating system on hour hard drive. Hard disk (3f0)."
BIOS no longer has my hdd listed. I tried swapping to another hdd: same result. Both disks work in another machine, so the issue is not the hard drives but who knows what.
I tried several linux live CDs and DVDs and they all worked ok, but Netrunner acts more like an installed OS than the others. It's based on Kubuntu. Fast and robust, was even able to update via Synaptics (8GB RAM in this laptop).
Linux is amazing just from the standpoint of being able to have a workable OS with no hard drive! VERY workable in the case of Netrunner.
Meanwhile, I do need to find out what made this happen suddenly. It's talked about in forums here and there with other HP models.. HP phone support costs $59 now that this is out of warranty by one whole week, so it's off to a repair shop on Monday.
38 • TC package numbers (cor 12) and RPi TC (post 22) (by dbrion on 2013-10-05 15:50:55 GMT from France)
Well, I had a look at the way packages wer (not) numbered in TC; from http://www.tinycorelinux.net/download_howto.html (there was another site I donot remember) I noticed their change log was mainly :
compiled for i486 and
How can a data base such as DW's one (where one can find package versions : this was a part of DW success) find which version / subversion of a given package is shipped with TC? With telepathic links?
Then , if package versions cannot be found, it is not illogical they are missing.....
Now, pete in post 22 "would have thought that Tiny Core and the Raspberry Pi would be a match made in heaven. ".
I do not know what would be the result of a bug (for a computer which is often viewed as an electronic component : people who use it have to put HW together, and do not want to have extra trouble) in an application: if there are no version number, it might be difficult to understand what is wrong. Rpasbian repositories (ex : http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian/pool/main/o/ocaml/) , OTOH, have consistent package numbering for the RPi....
Number of Comments: 38