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PortableApps in Puppy Linux 1 January, 2009

Posted by aronzak in Linux, portableapps, Puppy Linux.
Tags: , , , , ,

Puppy Linux can be installed on your USB stick. So can PortableApps, a collection of cross platform open source software that can run on Windows. Interestingly, nearly all of the apps also run perfectly in wine, except for a few issues. So, I got an idea. Why not try and integrate the two.

I created a simple script that can run at startup to check weather the Portableapps.com suite is installed, and then if wine is installed, offer to start it, and if not, offer to download and install wine. Pretty cool, huh?

Here’s some screenshots of it in use:

First, the obligatory desktop shot.


After copying my script to the ‘Startup’ folder and restarting X, a dialog pops up.


In a new version, the network connection setup comes up so that you can actually set up a connection before you try and download a file (whoops).

3The file will download and then you are prompted to install the package.


All done, wine is now installed.


Just keeping the user clued in.

6And now the desktop with the PortableApps Menu


Ok, and finally, two versions of abiword are running, the PortableApps one on top, and the native one on the bottom.


NB. Take a look at that compatibility page. Abiword doesn’t work that well.

Finally, here’s a new version of the script that I wrote:

# Author: Aronzak
# Download and install wine

if [ -f /mnt/home/PortableApps/PortableAppsMenu/PortableAppsMenu.exe ]; then
 if [ -f /usr/bin/wine ]; then
  Xdialog --title "Run PortableApps" --yesno "Wine is installed. \nWould you like to run PortableApps?" 0 0
  [ ! $? -eq 0 ] && exit 0
  wine /mnt/home/PortableApps/PortableAppsMenu/PortableAppsMenu.exe
  Xdialog --title "Run PortableApps" --yesno "You have PortableApps installed on your usb stick.\n Congratulations. Would you like to download and\n install wine so that you can run PortableApps in Puppy?\n (Download is around 8MB)" 0 0
  [ ! $? -eq 0 ] && exit 0
  Xdialog --title "Run PortableApps" --no-cancel --msgbox "Please use the networking wizard to set up a network connection." 0 0
  Xdialog --title "Run PortableApps" --yesno "Would you like to download wine now? \n (Download is around 8MB)" 0 0
  [ ! $? -eq 0 ] && exit 0
  echo "wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/wine/wine-1.1.10-i486-1kjz.tgz?modtime=1228522686&big_mirror=1" > /tmp/runme
  echo "wait" >> /tmp/runme
  echo "tgz2pet wine-1.1.10-i486-1kjz.tgz 2> /dev/null" >> /tmp/runme
  echo "wait" >> /tmp/runme
  echo "exit" >> /tmp/runme
  chmod +x /tmp/runme
  rxvt -bg "orange" -title "Puppy Universal Installer" -geometry 80x10 -e /tmp/runme
  Xdialog --title "Run PortableApps" --no-cancel --msgbox "Wine downloaded. Will now install." 0 0
  pupget /root/wine-1.1.10-i486-1kjz.pet
  Xdialog --title "Run PortableApps" --no-cancel --msgbox "Wine should now be installed. Will now run PortableApps." 0 0
  wine /mnt/home/PortableApps/PortableAppsMenu/PortableAppsMenu.exe

I’d appreciate feedback to improve the script. Does this work for you?


USB Linux Howto: Adding Another Distribution 7 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Backtrack, Linux, Live Disk, Live Linux, Live Usb, Puppy Linux.
Tags: , ,

You should already have a bootable USB stick with a Linux distribution. The non destructive method uses a tool called “Syslinux” to boot up. You can modify the settings to boot multiple Linux distributions, and use other tools.

There should be file called “syslinux.cfg” on your USB stick. It will be on the root of the drive or in boot/syslinux. It should have something like this in it:

default vmlinuz initrd=initrd.gz ...

Change this to match this format:

LABEL default
KERNEL vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=initrd.gz ...

Next, copy everything from a Live cd or an extracted .iso file (using winrar or another program that can extract an .iso file) your USB stick. Copy everything inside the file isolinux.cfg and paste it at the bottom of syslinux.cfg. Now, in order to allow you to choose what to boot, add to the top of syslinux.cfg

DEFAULT default

This will give you a choice of what to boot when you boot off your USB stick, and will boot the default after a time of 15 seconds.You’ll need to type the label of each Linux distribution at the prompt. Make sure you set the distributions with obvious labels. It may be helpful to set the labels to numbers. Additionally, you can display information when you boot up off your USB stick. To do so, create a file called Menu.txt saying something like this:

Booting off USB
Choose one of the following:
1 - Puppy Linux (default)
2 - Backtrack
Press Enter to boot the default.

Then edit the top of syslinux.cfg, adding this:

DISPLAY Menu.txt

If you want to move any files, change the information in syslinux.cfg to reflect this.

Back to USB Linux Howto

USB Linux Howto: Puppy Universal Installer 7 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Live Disk, Live Linux, Live Usb, Puppy Linux.
Tags: , , ,

This will guide you through installing Puppy Linux on a USB stick using its graphical installer wizard. You’ll need a version of Puppy on a CD or USB stick. If you already have one, skip down. If you don’t follow this:

1. Download the latest version of Puppy Linux. Download a CD disk image (.iso file).

Then, either use a CD or use virtualisation software.

Using a live CD:

2. Burn the .iso to a blank CD
(Note: You need to burn the contents of the .iso to a disk, don’t just put the iso on the disk as a file. You’ll need to play around with your cd burning software to get this to work. Try not to waste a disk.) Software like nero or alcohol120% or even a Windows CD burning wizard (part of the file manager in XP) should be able to do this properly.)

3. Reboot. Either alter your bios settings (usually press delete at boot) to set booting off the CD above booting off your hard disk, or use a boot menu (usually press F12 at boot. Then, select CD from a list) You should see a menu with colours, and after five seconds Puppy should boot up.

Using QEMU:

2. Install QEMU for your computer. Packages for Windows are available here.

3. Run QEMU with the option -cdrom puppy-whatever.iso and the location of your USB stick. More here.

qemu -k en-gb -m 512 -localtime -boot d -cdrom puppy-3.01-seamonkey.iso /dev/sdb1

Now follow this guide to use Puppy Universal Installer

1. Choose your keyboard settings, and then ‘xorg’ and the correct screen resolution.
Puppy should boot up, and you should see the following screen:

Puppy's Desktop

Puppy Linux's default Desktop

If you have no luck, you may need to change settings or add boot parameters (such as ‘noacpi’) next time you boot up, that sometimes can make it work properly.

2. Left click on the bottom left menu icon to bring up the menu. Select “puppy universal installer”.

Setup > Puppy universal installer

Setup > Puppy universal installer

3. Choose to install to a usb stick (the first option).

4. Choose your device.

5. Choose the first option. The others are strange and experimental, and sometimes work with old hardware, but it is not recommended.

6. Choose from CD if you are using a live disc.

7. Choose “mbr.bin from the syslinux package.” It seems to work the best, and is what I’ll use in the rest of this guide.

8. You may need to set the usb stick’s partition to have a ‘boot’ flag set using a great tool called gparted. Gparted is quite easy to use, just read what comes up on the purple popup.

9. An orange box should pop up. Press enter to continue.

10. Congratulations; the stick should now boot Puppy. You can use BIOS boot order or a boot menu to boot off USB.

More on USB Linux Howto.

USB Linux Howto: Puppy 4.1 7 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Live Linux, Live Usb, Puppy Linux.
Tags: , , ,

Puppy Linux version 4.1, or ‘410’ is now the latest version of Puppy Linux that has many improvements ‘under the hood’, while there are few immediately apparent changes. This is what’s new:

– Bugs fixed
– Newer kernel, newer software. Also, a new kernel compression system.
– Now there is no zdrv.sfs, meaning that there is one less file to deal with.
– New applications, including:
– F-prot virus scanning for Windows drives
– Blog software, which can be used as a personal diary, or exported.
– Voice over IP client using SIP

Here’s how to put Puppy 410 onto a bootable stick, using Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. If you don’t already have a bootable USB stick, follow this. If you already have a CD or USB stick version, you can use the ‘Puppy universal installer’ method here.

1. Download a cd disk image (.iso) from here. It should be about 95 megabytes.

2. Open the .iso with file-roller (called “Archive manager”)

3. Extract the iso to your usb stick. Here, it is called “CORSAIR”, a Corsair Flash Voyager.

4. Open isolinux.cfg

6. Select text in the middle of the file and copy it to the clipboard.

5. Open syslinux.cfg. This might be in a folder called ‘boot’ and ‘syslinux’

7.  Paste the information at the bottom of syslinux.cfg

8. Change the entry to your needs, and change pmedia=cd to pmedia=usbflash. If you have the file syslinux.cfg in boot/syslinux, you’ll need to add a slash to vmlinuz and initrd.gz

9. Save the file. Safely eject the stick with the eject icon, and then have fun.