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Can Linux clone boot-DVD contents onto boot-USB stick?


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#1 RolandJS

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 08:03 AM

NickAu:

Can Linux clone boot-DVD contents onto boot-USB stick?

If yes, would most Puppy Linux ISOs contain the necessary utilities?

And, is there a way I can make a mini-partition with such Linux on it?  I could carve out a few GBs out of my present C-partition if that is a good idea for Linux OS and utilities installs.  As long as I can still clone my entire HD from HD0 onto HD1 -- I don't mind making a Linux partition.


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#2 Al1000

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 09:14 AM

Hi Roland,

Having read your discussion with Nick:
 

Can Linux clone boot-DVD contents onto boot-USB stick?
If yes, would most Puppy Linux ISOs contain the necessary utilities?


Yes, but I don't recommend it because the command (dd) has the potential to delete your Windows partition. It's easier and simpler to use something like Unetbootin to create a bootable USB with the Puppy ISO. I'm sure Nick would agree. :)

If you already have the Puppy ISO burned to DVD (or CD), you could of course use that for the installation rather than make a bootable USB.
 

And, is there a way I can make a mini-partition with such Linux on it?


Yes, Puppy comes with GParted. You don't need much space for a Puppy installation. I have a frugal* installation of Puppy on a 3GiB partition on my laptop.

*Frugal installation is the recommended method for installing Puppy on all but very old computers. Frugal installation means that Puppy is installed to a folder on a partition, rather than to an entire partition. Advantages include that if you want to remove Puppy for any reason, for example to replace it with another Puppy, you just delete the folder, and don't have to format the partition. It also utilises a save-file or save-folder.

As with a Puppy ISO on CD/DVD/USB etc, a frugal installation of Puppy boots from a read-only file, and then uses the save-file/save-folder, which is where all your settings and any applications you've installed etc are located. So you can "back-up" your installation of Puppy by simply making a copy of the save-folder/save-file, and "restore" your Puppy installation to your backed-up copy at any time by simply deleting your current save-folder/save-file, and replacing it with the back-up.

By simply editing a file, and selecting an option within Puppy, you can also "fool" a frugal installation of Puppy into thinking it's on a flash drive, which means that it doesn't automatically save sessions, and instead gives you the option of doing so. The idea being that if you have made any changes to your Puppy installation that you want to keep, you save the session; otherwise don't save the session and nothing will be saved to your Puppy files.

Have you thought about the bootloader? Puppy come with Grub4Dos bootloader, which is old and no longer supported, but does the job. It would overwrite the Windows bootloader on your MBR, and thereafter you would have a Grub4Dos boot menu with options to boot into Puppy or Windows when you switch on your computer. Selecting Windows would direct your computer to the partition with Windows on it, where it would then boot into Windows using the Windows bootloader. You will also find that when Windows updates its bootloader, it will overwrite Grub4Dos on your MBR and leave you unable to boot into Puppy. When that happens, just boot up with a live Puppy on CD or USB, and install Grub4Dos again (which only takes a few seconds). As far as I know that's the easiest way to dual-boot Puppy and Windows, and that's what I used to do.

Edited by Al1000, 21 December 2015 - 09:16 AM.


#3 RolandJS

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:11 AM

Ai1000. I like your idea of Puppy Linux in folders!  If I want about 4-5 Puppy Linux OSs & utilities, 4-5 folders, how big should my Linux partition be?  Can it be formatted NTFS?  Or, does it have to be formatted RAW?


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

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Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#4 Al1000

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:47 AM

I currently have three frugal installations of Puppy on a 19.53 GiB partition on my desktop pc, and altogether they are only taking up 3.93 GiB of space, although I hardly ever use them and have very little installed to them; but I would think 20 GiB or so would be more than enough for your purposes too.

I gather that it's possible to install Puppy to an NTFS partition (including your existing Windows partition), although AFAIK you would only be able to use a save-file and not a save-folder. Save-folders are newer and better because the size of the folder depends on its contents, as you would expect; whereas with a save-file, you decide in advance how big you want it to be, say 1GiB, and it will take up that amount of space regardless of how much is in it. With a save-file, you also have to watch out that you don't run out of space.

However, it's recommended to use a Linux rather than Windows file system, and I would format the partition with the ext4 file system, which you can also do in GParted. Windows would just see it as an unrecognised file system, but you would of course be able to read and write to your NTFS file systems using Puppy. Ext4 is probably the most widely used Linux file system nowadays.

How much RAM does the computer in question have? Depending on how much RAM it has and what you intend on using Puppy for, you may also want to consider creating a small swap partition (which you can also do in GParted). Swap is the equivalent of Windows paging file/virtual memory.

Edited by Al1000, 21 December 2015 - 10:49 AM.


#5 RolandJS

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:28 AM

Lemmie ponder this all awhile.  It may be that I wait til after my next backup before experimenting.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#6 Al1000

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:42 AM

No problem.

Instead of installing several Puppies, I would also consider installing a fully featured Linux distro, and Puppy, on two separate partitions. (Puppy is a stripped-down, miniature Linux distro, and lacks many features that other Linux distros have).

20 GiB is still enough space for all of this, and a small swap partition. Advantages include that you could then use the modern, supported, Grub2 bootloader.

Edited by Al1000, 21 December 2015 - 11:42 AM.


#7 pcpunk

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 01:30 PM

Excellent advise Al!

 

@RolandJS, Do you know that you can run puppy from the optical drive also, it will load to RAM and run from there...and be very fast because the whole OS is all loaded and running from RAM if the pc in question has enough RAM, which could be as low as 256MB, if I remember right.  You can also Save Info back to the CD for later use if desired, like added software etc.  But, it will boot slower each time this is done, and at some point you will run out of space.  This is a great place to start though.


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#8 NickAu

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:18 PM

Hi RolandJS

 

There are many ways to enjoy Linux including Puppy,

Yes, but I don't recommend it because the command (dd) has the potential to delete your Windows partition. It's easier and simpler to use something like Unetbootin to create a bootable USB with the Puppy ISO. I'm sure Nick would agree

You are correct Al.  DD can be quite useful in experienced hands and can also be a disaster if not used correctly, But then so can things like Clonezilla.

 

Both Al and PC punk gave good advice on several ways to run puppy.

 

You can also run puppy from a live DVD with a save file on the DVD, Yes its like a installed system but on DVD.

You can also install puppy to USB stick using the Puppy installer.

 

 

 

Since one cannot clone DVD onto a usb stick [at least I have not found a utility that can],

 

Making an exact copy of a hard drive (or any drive for that matter – CD, DVD, USB, etc.) is very easy and quick with Linux. One of the most popular commands on Linux to do this is dd, and is its now default on every Linux distribution.

I said it can be done not that its easy and showed you a tool that can do it. You know what I mean.

 

We got you interested because of 1 terminal command, Try out Linux learn about it and you will quickly find that the only reason we can't do something on Linux is because we don't know the terminal commands......................... yet.


Edited by NickAu, 21 December 2015 - 11:19 PM.

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