-   DamnSmallLinux (
-   -   Portable-MyDSL + MyDSL USB How-To! (

linus72 05-14-2009 10:08 AM

Portable-MyDSL + MyDSL USB How-To!
************************* MyDSL/Portable-MyDSL How to**************
05/14/09 Author Bryan Starr (

Similar to Portable-Slackware-12.2, MyDSL/Portable-MyDSL is really two seperate systems-
One is the real DSL which can boot off USB via syslinux.

The other is the Portable-MyDSL which is a "symbiant" self-contained OS that uses the Host system; either Linux or Windows, and runs via Portable-Qemu.
Portable-MyDSL is partition-type independent (FAT32/EXT2/etc), runs from a folder on your Desktop or from USB.
Does not require a reboot to run; simply insert USB and invoke or mydsl.bat; Qemu should pop-up and play DSL.

Both run off the compressed DSL/KNOPPIX image via the DSL kernel/initrd.

These instructions are for Portable-MyDSL, refer to "README1st.txt" or below-part2, for using gparted to partition the usb for real MyDSL.


1) ( )

2) Portable-Qemu with scripts and this howto ( )

3) (This applies only to the Real DSL to save/run MyDSL apps,etc from the 2nd partition on USB) A 1GB or larger USB with 2 partitions; First partition is FAT32, at least 350MB in size, with boot flag set *, and with syslinux installed to first partition.
Second partition is also FAT32 and is of variable size for the real DSL's MyDSL apps and backup.tar.gz.

This is for a MyDSL install; not a DSL HD install, so upgrading to gnu-utils, apt, etc is untested!
Make sure you have "show hidden files" enabled in file browser!

1) Download; extract it to your Desktop.
Go into the DSL-embedded folder and delete everything except the KNOPPIX folder and the kernel(linux24) and initrd(minirt24.gz).
Rename the KNOPPIX folder DSL.

2) Download and extract to Desktop.
Go into MyDSL-Kit folder and move/cut everything into the dsl-embedded folder.

3) Check over the scripts and make sure all are executable; right-click and select make executable. Also in the Qemu folder.

4) Go into the Qemu folder and open either mke_vhd.bat(Windows) or with a text editor.

5) Edit the vhd output size to what you want- default is 32MB which is too small. I suggest at least 128MB. as this is where Portable-MyDSL will save it's MyDSL apps, backup.tar.gz to.
Edit the script to your size liking and save. Delete backup file( if applicable.
After making the "harddisk", rename it to "hdb" and place it in the qemu folder if not already there-it may place it in your "home" folder in Linux.

6) Review the 1stboot.png, etc while doing this part...
Go Back in the dsl-embedded folder; double-click or invoke, in Linux terminal, "cd" into dsl-embedded folder and "./"
Windows, you should just be able to double-click.
DSL should start via Qemu.*

7) It will boot to runlevel 2; at prompt type "mke2fs /dev/hdb"
Enter "y".
After it's done; "shutdown -h now", when it says "DSL halted", click the "X" and kill qemu.

8) Start as above; note that now DSL will plant a MyDSL folder in /dev/hdb as per the append line in the script "mydsl=hdb".
At prompt type in the instructions as in 2ndboot.png.
"cd /mnt/hdb"
"mkdir mydsl/modules"
"mkdir mydsl/optional
"cp /KNOPPIX/lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/block/cloop.o mydsl/modules"
Note, you are copying the cloop.o to mydsl/modules.
"shutdown -h now"
DSL will shutdown and automatically create a "backup.tar.gz" in hdb.

9) Start as above; note DSL will seek out any apps, etc as in mydsl.png.
Enter in your video settings, etc and boot into Desktop.

10) Click anywhere and choose "MyDSL browser" from the menu.
Update MyDSL browser.
Install rox.dsl(graphical file browser) and jwm.themes to start.
Goto menu/setup/themes and change the theme.

11) Open firefox and browse to any website with wallpapers.
Right-click on wallpaper of choice and select "save image as".
Name it whatever and it will save to home/dsl(the top icon on the desktop).

12) Open up "home" by double-clicking the home icon.
Open up "apps", then "backgrounds".
drag-n-drop the wallpaper(s) you downloaded from "home" to "backgrounds".
Close all the windows.

13) Choose "panel" from the bottom toolbar or from the menu/system/control panel.
Choose "Backgrounds" and set your wallpaper.

14) Now, right-click to get the menu and choose "Exit/Exit Options/shutdown" and make sure the "backup" box is checked!

15) After shutdown; again invoke and your apps, etc should be there. Continue installing apps, etc as you please!

16) Move/cut everything from dsl-embedded folder to the 1st partition on your USB. That's it! Run Portable-MyDSL from Windows or Linux!

Part2- The real MyDSL running off USB.

1) After doing as above; Identifying USB, partitioning USB, setting boot flag, and installing Portable-MyDSL to USB.

2) Unmount USB, open a terminal, become root and "syslinux -s /dev/sdxx" where "xx" is your USB, usually sdf1/sde1/sdb1, etc.
In windows use syslinux.exe, found in the syslinux folder, see here ( )

3) Reboot and at boot prompt type "dsl mydsl=sda2". DSL sees the first USB partition as "sda1" and will mount it on either "/cdrom" or "auto/mnt/cdrom".
It will see the 2nd partition as "sda2" and will mount it rw on "/mnt/sda2" or similar. DSL cannot restore apps, etc from sda1, until you change /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab, and even then has issues; thus why the USB needs a 2nd parttion to restore from. "dsl mydsl=sda2" will put a mydsl folder in sda2 as with Portable-MyDSL

4) Boot to the desktop, open the menu and select mydsl browser, update mydsl browser, and as with Portable-MyDSL; install a couple apps and wallpapers,etc. As with Portable-MyDSL, add the folders; modules and optional to the mydsl folder on sda2, and also copy the cloop.o to /mnt/sda2/mydsl/modules.

5) Open a "root shell" from the main menu. cd into the usb syslinux folder and edit syslinux.cfg with nano.
"cd /cdrom/syslinux"
"nano syslinux.cfg"
Edit each "append" line, after "initrd=/minirt24.gz" enter "mydsl=sda2 restore=sda2 modules=sda2"
control-o to save
control-x to exit nano.

6) Again, choose Exit/Exit options/this time reboot with "backup" box checked!

7) At boot prompt, hit enter and DSL should find it's backups,etc and all is good!

"cd /cdrom"
Poratble-MyDSL should pop-up and start playing! SEE SCREENSHOTS in "dsl-on-dsl" folder.

PART2-usb partitioning

USB partition how-to with gparted.
Only necessary if you want to have the real MyDSL booting from a USB, does not apply to Portable-MyDSL.
Use a Ubuntu-8.04/8.10 LiveCD, your Linux installed OS or similar to do this-

1) Insert USB into Linux Box, or while running a Linux LiveCD/USB.
Open a terminal and find out the usb device name.
"fdisk -l" should work.

2) Open gparted on usb, becoming root first.
"gparted /dev/sdx" where x is your usb. sdf/sdb/sde Or open thru the menu.

3) Choose unmount if mounted; right-click on line displaying USB and choose "unmount".
Again, right click on line, choose "delete", this will delete the partition-don't have any data here you want to keep! Click apply when ready.

4) Right-click on line again after "applying" step 3. Choose "new", Move/drag the "slider" bar from right to left to make a 350MB partition-under "new size", , and then "primary" partition, filesystem= fat32, click "add", then "apply". This makes "sda1" for DSL

5) Use the remaining unallocated space to make sdx2 which DSL will see as "sda2". Again, as above with fat32 filesystem. Click apply.

6) Set the boot flag by right-clicking line, choose "manage flags" and check the boot box. Click apply and exit.

7) When done, read the README2nd.txt.

linus72 05-14-2009 11:08 AM

Please edit the "" to say "./qemu-img etc etc" instead of "qemu-img etc etc".

For some reason the logo.16 boot image doesn't work if a syslinux.cfg is in the syslinux folder-? The syslinux folder contains syslinux and syslinux.exe
Install syslinux to usb from syslinux folder if you don't have syslinux installed to your system. mount USB and cd into syslinux folder "cd /usb/syslinux" where usb is mount point of usb, like /mnt/sdf1, /media/disk, etc To find out use "mount" after mounting USB.
"syslinux -s /dev/sdx1" where x is your USB.
For Windows-refer to ( )

Also, move/cut the syslinux.cfg from the syslinux folder and move it up to the root directory of USB, so 1 folder up. No syslinux.cfg in syslinux folder.

linus72 05-14-2009 11:39 AM

ok-I fixed it now, so the download is good.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:32 AM.