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Do YOU 'sym-link'..?


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#1 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:45 AM

Morning, all.

 

I'm curious as to the extent of 'sym-linking' in most of the commonly-used Linux distros. I know it's used as a matter of course by many apps/programs when they install themselves, so as to allow them to access certain, commonly-needed resources.....but I was wondering if anybody else intentionally uses it as a matter of course.

 

As you all know, I run Puppy pretty much exclusively. I run 9 on the 'big' Compaq, and a further 3 on the old Dell laptop. (Was 5 on the Dell, but I've rationalised things a wee bit!)

 

I'm a huge fan of the Chromium-based browsers; for me, FireFox (no disrespect to other users) is only ever a 'back-up' browser, in case owt goes wrong with my Google a/c.

 

I run Chrome, Chromium and SlimJet in all my Pups (mostly 32-bitters.) 

 

1) Chrome version 48, which was the last 32-bit release before Google dropped support for it (still runs NetFlix, though!)

 

2) Chromium version 51. This also runs NetFlix, through 'borrowing' the Widevine modules from Chrome. (AlienBob from the Slackware crew has been making a tar.gz of the Widevine modules available for some little while now, expressly for this very purpose.)

 

3) And always the current version of SlimJet, which I package myself for the community from the zip download from FlashPeak's website.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

One of our Australian compatriots on the Puppy Forum published a 'How-to' a while back about making use of Puppy's in-built 'sym-link' feature. I know this is available in most modern Linux distros, but in Puppy it's extremely powerful, and super easy to implement. (Al will know what I mean about this, and perhaps Nick & Cat, too.)

 

David has installed the majority of his commonly-used apps onto a separate 'data' partition, and painstakingly sym-linked each and every one of them to the appropriate locations throughout his 'kennels' (he runs even more Pups than I do.....I think about 19 at the last count.) As he says, it's daft to keep re-installing the same thing over & over again.....so why not make use of the sym-link feature, and cut down on overall disk-space (and in Puppy's case, it helps to keep the 'save-file' nice'n'lean, too.)

 

So I've had a go at this myself. I've set up a dedicated directory within one of my large data partitions specifically for browsers; created all the appropriate directories within it, 'installed' each of the three browsers to their correct locations, then, one by one, un-installed and sym-linked back each browser to every one of my Pups. And so help me, it works.....really, really well.  :)

 

With each 'installed ' browser using something like around 300 MB, I've saved, in total, something like 8-9 GB of disk space. I'm not short on space by any means, but that's a worth-while chunk to clear, wouldn't you say?

 

I've also taken things a step further, too.....by sym-linking the PepperFlash directory in each of the three browsers to a single, common one on the same data partition. This way, I only need to update PepperFlash once for all browsers, throughout the 'kennels'.  :thumbup2:

 

I've also performed this same operation for the 2 or 3 64-bit Pups I run, and it performs flawlessly there, too.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I daresay this probably sounds like an awful lot of hard work to some of you (although it's simple once you've got the 'installs' set-up on the data partition itself.) I'm just curious as to what anybody else thinks about doing things this way?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 20 September 2016 - 05:47 AM.

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#2 NickAu

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:49 AM

No I do not sym link.


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#3 Al1000

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:01 AM

So I've had a go at this myself. I've set up a dedicated directory within one of my large data partitions specifically for browsers; created all the appropriate directories within it, 'installed' each of the three browsers to their correct locations, then, one by one, un-installed and sym-linked back each browser to every one of my Pups. And so help me, it works.....really, really well.  :)


That sounds interesting. Can you provide more details on what you did?

I do use symbolic links, but not for the purpose you are describing. For example this is a symbolic link to my .conkyrc file:
~/.conkyrc
...and this is a hard link to the same file:
/home/al/.conkyrc

Edited by Al1000, 20 September 2016 - 06:02 AM.


#4 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:14 AM

Morning, Al.

 

It's probably easiest if I give you a link to David's article, and let you have a read of it. It's quite enlightening!

 

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=99388

 

It all depends on your hardware, of course. It's a good way of maximising resources for anything much over about 7-8 yrs old, I would estimate.

 

See what you think. Running Puppy yourself, I would think you're aware of the 'Action' box you get when you 'drag' from one ROX-filer window to another, yes? The 4 options:-

 

Copy

Move

Link (relative)

Link (absolute)

 

That's the 'sym-linking' I'm referring to; options 3 and 4.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 20 September 2016 - 06:20 AM.

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#5 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:16 AM

No I do not sym link.

 

Sounds almost obscene when you put it like that, doesn't it?  :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#6 Al1000

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:27 AM

Thanks for the link Mike, I'll have a read, and yes I am familiar with the "drag and drop" options menu.

#7 NickAu

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:56 AM

 

See what you think. Running Puppy yourself, I would think you're aware of the 'Action' box you get when you 'drag' from one ROX-filer window to another, yes? The 4 options:-

 

Copy

Move

Link (relative)

Link (absolute)

 

That's the 'sym-linking' I'm referring to; options 3 and 4.

The only time I drag n drop anything is to transfer it from my HDD to say a USB stick so I can transfer the file to another machine and then I use " copy ".


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#8 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:33 AM

Hi, Nick.

 

Mmm. Yeah, that's fair comment. Many people who use Puppy, in particular, don't have a clue what the sym-link function is for. They see the 'Link (relative)' and 'Link (absolute)' functions in ROX's 'action' box when dragging from one window to another, but they seem more concerned that 'Move' appears under the cursor straight away, rather than 'Copy'. We get no end of queries (and complaints!) about that one.

 

I know it doesn't look much, but it's surprising just how powerful ROX really is, when you get the hang of its peculiarities. The tricks you can perform with it are quite astonishing.....

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 20 September 2016 - 06:06 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#9 rufwoof

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 11:59 AM

I sym link directly into the save area, so even though I boot read only (frugal boot) with changes stored in memory, I have sym link access (folders) that any changes made within are persistent across reboots without having to 'save'.

 

My setup is initrd/vmlinuz and the main filesystem squashfs, along with grub4dos (menu.lst etc) all share the same partition, and I have Debian frugal persistent partition set to also be that partition (partition label of persistence and persistence.conf file within that / folder). My /home/user folder for instance has a Documents folder that any changes within would need a save to be run in order to make those changes persistent. However I also have a sym link ln -s /lib/live/mount/sda1/home/user/Documents-persistent Documents-Persistent .... which is directly into the save space, so any docs/changes made in that folder are automatically saved.

 

I have in the past also moved .mozilla folder out to HDD and sym linked to that so that all browser activity persists across reboots, but in the last 6 months+ have dropped that as I more prefer a clean browser session each and every reboot.

 

In pcmanfm BTW sym linking is under EDIT option, highlight a file/folder and EDIT, Create Link (which is alongside move, copy ....etc). A nice thing about Thunar and pcmanfm over rox-filer is that rox doesn't handle mounting/unmounting whereas both thunar and/or pcmanfm do. So puppy needs drive icons to be shown on the desktop (separate program) to mount/unmount, whereas in thunar/pcmanfm drives are seen in the side panel and can be mounted/unmounted from there.


Edited by rufwoof, 20 September 2016 - 12:06 PM.

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#10 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 01:06 PM

Hi, rufwoof.

 

Agree with you about the mounting option in Thunar.....but creating sym-links is a PITA! You create the link, and it's called 'link-to-whatever', then once you've put the link where you want it, you've got to rename it back to what it should be. That's one area where ROX scores over the others.....the correctly-named 'link' is instantaneous.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#11 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 01:19 PM

@Mike_Walsh

I was wondering if anybody else intentionally uses it as a matter of course.
-REF:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/627318/do-you-sym-link/#entry4087454

Nope. On occassion something I've been working on has required a symbolic link, but that's it. Actually a project I was working on yesterday required me to create a couple symbolic links.

it's daft to keep re-installing the same thing over & over again.....so why not make use of the sym-link feature, and cut down on overall disk-space
-REF:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/627318/do-you-sym-link/#entry4087454

At first I thought you meant this as a means of backup when re-installing an OS, but I realize now you mean sharing the same programs between multiple puppies, rather than having the same program installed on each, as a way of saving space.

With each 'installed ' browser using something like around 300 MB, I've saved, in total, something like 8-9 GB of disk space.
-REF:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/627318/do-you-sym-link/#entry4087454

For distros like Puppy that can run from RAM, I would think this should also save ramdrive space, because the program is running from the disk instead.

I daresay this probably sounds like an awful lot of hard work to some of you
-REF:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/627318/do-you-sym-link/#entry4087454

One could prolly script the process to save time in the future.

curious as to what anybody else thinks about doing things this way?
-REF:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/627318/do-you-sym-link/#entry4087454

Every way of doing things has pros and cons, and they will vary from distro to distro. I certainly find it interesting. I mostly run Lubuntu and Ubuntu so I'd run into package manager issues, and dependency issues if I tried this, unless I never installed anything ever after I got it setup.

 

Interesting stuff though.
 



#12 rufwoof

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:34 PM


Agree with you about the mounting option in Thunar.....but creating sym-links is a PITA! You create the link, and it's called 'link-to-whatever', then once you've put the link where you want it, you've got to rename it back to what it should be. That's one area where ROX scores over the others.....the correctly-named 'link' is instantaneous.
 
In pcmanfm you highlight a file, edit, create link and navigate to the folder where you want the sym-link, and OK that. If its in the same folder then it prompts with duplicate file name, replace or enter another name. Thunar I thought was similar.

Edited by rufwoof, 20 September 2016 - 05:35 PM.

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#13 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:57 PM

At first I thought you meant this as a means of backup when re-installing an OS, but I realize now you mean sharing the same programs between multiple puppies, rather than having the same program installed on each, as a way of saving space.

 

 

Exactly!

 

As I said, I'm not short on space by any means. But doing it this way means that instead of installing, say, the same three browsers in each of 9 Pups (a total of 27 in all, and approx 7.5 GB in total, allowing around 275 MB per browser.....Chromium-based browsers are quite hungry where space is concerned!), I simply 'install' each browser once.....and then sym-link it into its appropriate locations in each Pup. The initial setting-up does take a while to do, but once all the links are established, it's a simple matter of swapping the contents of the browser directory only, whenever it's time for an upgrade.....along with a quick edit of the launcher 'wrapper-script'. Extract from the .deb or .zip package from the official download, copy the contents of the browser folder only, and modify the 'wrapper-script' that launches it, and.....

 

.....every Pup then has the new version; a total of maybe 5 minutes work all told. OK, so it has to be done manually, rather than letting the package manager take care of it.....but I'm so used to doing manual package assembly & creation these days, with building packages for the community, that I might just as well put those skills to use for my own benefit, wouldn't you agree?

 

The benefit, of course, is that I then have that much more space for my own data.....without needing to keep buying bigger and bigger drives!  :) Unfortunately, money is not in limitless supply in our household, so I need to maximise my purchasing power...

 

There is 'method in the madness.....'   :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 20 September 2016 - 06:14 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#14 DodoIso

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 06:14 AM

I didn't read every detailed use above, but my use seems similar.  Rare, but I use it.  Some applications insist on having the USER data in some far-away-hidden directory without the option to put the USER data at a location that I choose (easier to quick-backup, quick-find, etc...).  I hate it so much when that happens.  So, I completely move the relevant part of the apps' data directory structure, and just create a strategic symbolic link to it.  Those apps have absolutely no clue of what happened, and I'm happy.  It's win-win!


Edited by DodoIso, 01 October 2016 - 06:16 AM.


#15 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 04:17 PM

I didn't read every detailed use above, but my use seems similar.  Rare, but I use it.  Some applications insist on having the USER data in some far-away-hidden directory without the option to put the USER data at a location that I choose (easier to quick-backup, quick-find, etc...).  I hate it so much when that happens.  So, I completely move the relevant part of the apps' data directory structure, and just create a strategic symbolic link to it.  Those apps have absolutely no clue of what happened, and I'm happy.  It's win-win!

 

Hi, Dodolso.

 

Mm-hm. You've essentially done exactly what I've done.....just on a smaller scale. I mean, all you're doing is putting stuff where you want it, while making it seem to the OS that it's still where it thinks it put it. Make sense?

 

And in my own use-case, it's not as daft as it sounds. I might run a total of nine 'Puppies'.....but I can only run one of them at any given time. So where's the sense in having more than one copy of each browser?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 01 October 2016 - 04:18 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 





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