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Thread: Splashtop on USB stick

  1. #11
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    Well it does not do much, there are no modules, everything static it seems. And it only uses vesa for the X server, basically similar to DSL with static kernel and and a custom menu - so you can skip all the detection part. The intersting thing is the kernel image itself, I don't know how to create such a thing with built-in menu. If it is a kernel mod then the source has to be made opensource I guess. At least I never saw this technique before - you would expect it in an initrd. The apps itself are loaded later from usb, therefore you see the delay when you select what you want.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by drosky View Post
    Yes it is true, it has drawbacks, but it's nice because it boots *very* fast and gives you at least some web browsing.

    So, I'm wondering, what makes it boot so fast, and could we build a similar fully OSS distro that boots into X in 10 seconds and supports just internet access? Could it be some of the following:

    1. Disable UDEV auto detection - do autodetection during install and then assume the same fixed set of hardware after that.

    2. Compile all of the common modules into the kernel.

    3. Of course, run only very minimal amount of daemons necessary to support internet access - no CUPS, no HPLIP, no GDM, etc.

    4. Use a minimal X environment and WM, possibly tinyx and blackbox similar to splashtop.

    5 ?????????

    It must be possible since splashtop does it, and we could have a fully OSS version that supports more hardware
    You mean like machboot? http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?is...070917#feature

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    The intersting thing is the kernel image itself, I don't know how to create such a thing with built-in menu. If it is a kernel mod then the source has to be made opensource I guess. At least I never saw this technique before - you would expect it in an initrd.
    A few days ago I downloaded the sources they made available at splashtop.com, and there was a directory with what appeared to be kernel patches. I don't have it in front of me (I'm not on my home machine), but I believe there was a patch that was related to a boot splash. There could be some useful information in there. I'll post back later if I find it.

    Considering most everything is GPL, it seems like splashtop and Asus are not releasing enough source code *grin*.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    That looks really cool. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for the link, I googled around a bit for fast booting linux but didn't find it

    EDIT: Actually, the components look even more out-of-date than splashtop (kernel 2.6.16 and Firefox 1.5), but it's a move in the right direction if he updates it.
    Last edited by drosky; 07-26-2008 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by drosky View Post
    I'll post back later if I find it.
    There is a bootsplash patch that appears to be based on www.bootsplash.org code. I'm not a kernel hacker and didn't look it over much, but maybe they've added menu functionality to the normal bootsplash code.

  6. #16
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    The difference is just that here serveral drivers like the ones for via-rhine and other nics are left by purpose. I don't think that would affect speed when a few more are added. Also I think the r8169 driver is a bit worse than the implementation of a current kernel. Usally this card supports automatic detection of the used cable - that means you don't need a cross cable for direct connections - which is standard for all gbit nics. It even seems to get an ip via dns, but internet is not working. Booting into a newer Linux distro internet works fine. Ok, that's a special case, but you see that there have been some improvements in newer drivers...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    I downloaded this and took a look. It is based on Debian and it does boot very fast for a CD (~15 sec), but it still needs a lot of work. The Kernel is 2.6.16, which is too old to support the Intel iwl driver (Intel only support back to 2.6.18).

    Firefox is version 1.5, although since it's an open platform, you could probably add a newer version.

    The worst problem is hardware support. The disk would not boot on my P5Q nor on my son's P5K due to lack of new enough IDE drivers. It did boot on a 3-year old Dell laptop, but no network support for the ipw3945 or for the Broadcomm LAN.

    It's a good experiment, but it needs even more updating than Splashtop. Probably would be better to start from scratch with a current Debian snapshot.

  8. #18
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    1. How fast does this thing boot ?

    2. Is this also installable to a CD-R(W) and if yes, will I get similar speeds ?


    3. Does this use Firefox 3 or Firefox 2 or something like Skipstone or epiphany ? (for more speed)

    4. Will it run on old hardware sufficiently well ? (see my siggy)

  9. #19
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    Well there are 2 ways to install, this way - which basically emulates the SSD or you use the Win installer. As the Win installer alone does not let you boot what you are installing just cp the ce_bz file to your Linux partition and boot it with your already installed grub. Another way would be using grub4dos or grub2. You could also reuse the Wubi installer - when you change the grub2.conf.

  10. #20
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    Did somebody try the script b? Or the possible changes in the config file? If needed I have got even a current grub2 version to be embedded into XP's boot.ini - can be used with EasyBCD and V too.

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