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Old 11-24-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2009
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Damn Small Linux Help on Windows Vista

I Tried to run a version on linux that can be booted from your pen drive

It says to start it, run dsl-base.bat , Which I did, it starts to run a little bit and then stops working and vista closes it.

What can I do?

Read Me Says:
# DSL Qemu Embedded and Native Instructions
# DSL & QEMU This is to be considered a preview Version.

I hope you like Damn Small Linux!

John Andrews
Robert Shingledecker

DSL Qemu Embedded is designed to be run from a pendrive and boot either
nativaly or from within Windows. You do not need to install ANYTHING
on Windows!

You can also have shared access to your backup and MyDSL extensions!



Booting directly into DSL via BIOS Instructions:
Make sure your machine is capable of booting from USB
Also some machines also require that USB-KEYBOARD be also enabled in BIOS.

Note many others use various methdos to boot from USB.
Booting from USB pendrives vary widely based on BIOS and pendrives.

Check that you have a backup device specified, by using DSLpanel
Backup/Restore button. Use appropriate partition depending on install
type, e.g., sda1

For MyDSL extensions, make a level 1 directory named mydsl/
and place your extensions there. Can be any partition.
Additionally you may make further directories under the mydsl/:

mydsl/modules - will insmod additional user modules
mydsl/optional - will not load the extensions but instead make a menu


To use the Virtual Machine provided by Qemu...

When Running from Windows:
Double click on 'dsl-base.bat'

NOTE: The default dsl-base.bat has no other devices specified.

You will probably want to share your backup and MyDSL extensions
between native and Qemu virtual.

There are two ways to save your backup and/or extensions:

1. Create a Qemu Virtual Hard Disk and use the dsl-vhd.bat file.

- or -

2. Setup your DSL pendrive via native USB bios boot saving your
backup and extensions. Then to have Qemu load your backup and
extensions, click on the pendrive.bat


1. To create a Qemu Virtual Hard Drive use the qemu-img.exe program.

Open a dos command window and CD to your pendrive. Next CD inside
the qemu folder. There you should see the program qemu-img.exe

Create a Qemu virtual hard drive. The size is up to you and your
pendrive's free space.

For example, a 64MB pendrive:

qemu-img.exe create harddisk 60M

For a 256MB pendrive:

qemu-img.exe create harddisk 128M

exit from dos command window.

Note: the name harddisk must be used at this name is setup inside DSL.
Note: This virtual device is mapped to drive hdb, see dsl-vhd.bat

Note: Upon first boot you must format this device, there is a special
1st-boot.bat that will boot to a root prompt. There you
must perform the following format and setup:

Note: Upon first booting you will see modprobe errors, because the
virtual disk is not formatted yet!

# mke2fs /dev/hdb

Warning: /dev/hdb is entire device, not just one partition!
Proceed anyway? (y/n)

Enter y

Wait for device to be formatted and the system prompt returns

# mount /mnt/hdb
# mkdir /mnt/hdb/mydsl
# mkdir /mnt/hdb/mydsl/modules
# cp /KNOPPIX/lib/modules/2.4.26/kernel/drivers/block/cloop.o /mnt/hdb/mydsl/modules/.

# shutdown -h now

This will shutdown DSL and exit the virtual machine.

Now you can boot from the dsl-vhd.bat and begin to use your
DSL/Qemu with Virtual Hard Drive system.

Note: Upon first normal boot you will be presented with the X-Setup
screens. You may tab to Cancel and press Enter to accept the defaults.

Backup should use hdb
Saving mydsl extensions should use /mnt/hdb/mydsl.

Note: You will likely need to first mount /mnt/hdb and then
download extensions to /mnt/hdb/mydsl

Note: The mount tool is not aware of virtual drives.

Note: To see mounted devices: sudo mount
Note: To mount the virtual drive: sudo mount /mnt/hdb

Using Qemu Virtual Harddrive from natively booted DSL...
When booting the pendrive natively use the following to share
virtual drive.

boot: dsl qemu frugal restore=harddisk mydsl=harddisk/mydsl

In fact, if the virtual hard drive is your preferred method then
you should edit the the file syslinux.cfg and add to the APPEND section:

qemu frugal restore=harddisk mydsl=harddisk/mydsl


2. Starting with this version of Qemu you can directly access
the native files on the pendrive.

How to do this depends on how Windows see your pendrive, i.e.,
as drive D: or E: or perhaps G:

Double click on 'pendrive.bat'

If you have your pendrive setup as per the DSL installations then
you will have your extensions loaded and backup restored from either
native or Qemu booted.

Note: Qemu v0.8.2 only allows READ access for the extensions and backup.
The easiest way to have WRITE access:

1. In Windows "share" your pendrive
2. In Windows note your machine's IP number
Open a cmd/command window and type ipconfig
3. Start DSL using the pendrive.bat
Add files, change settings in your home directory.
Download extensions into /cdrom/mydsl
** Before you shutdown do the following ***
4. Click DSLpanel, click Backup/Restore, click Backup
5. Use the menu Apps->Net->SMBclient
Enter your specifics to connect
6. smb:\> lcd /cdrom
smb:\> put backup.tar.gz
smb:\> lcd mydsl
smb:\> cd mydsl
smb:\> put just_downloaded_extension
(repeat for all newly downloaded extensions)
smb:\> quit
7. Now shutdown DSL.

If you have trouble booting native from USB then read on:

To boot from the standard DSL boot usb floppy at the first boot prompt type:

boot: dsl fromusb frugal


To boot from the standard DSL cdrom at the first boot prompt type:

boot: dsl fromhd=/dev/sda1 frugal

Note: here need an additional boot time option to tell the standard cdrom
version to not boot from the cd, but to boot from the pendrive.


If your Qemu booted screen is unreadable and colors are all messed up,
then use Windows and right click on the qemu.exe and select Win98
compatible mode. Sometimes it is called Run in 256 Colors.

For Qemu Windows questions and more advanced configuration options go to:

For DSL support go to
and follow the link to the fourms.

If you are looking for DSL within Linux please go to the general Qemu site:

Last edited by X13; 11-24-2009 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Read Me
Old 11-24-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Greece
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 106

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any chance to share a log-file or something?

anyways why you wanna run DSL through windows?!?, install it on the pen-drive and boot from it is the way I would go...
Old 11-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 2

Original Poster
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Originally Posted by MysticalGroovy View Post
any chance to share a log-file or something?

anyways why you wanna run DSL through windows?!?, install it on the pen-drive and boot from it is the way I would go...
So I don't have to restart my computer.
Old 11-24-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: Slack14.2/Many
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Welcome to LQ X13!

Now, err...first-pendrivelinux download is DSL 4.4.9
the most current is 4.4.10
and the "current.iso" is the newest of 4.4.10

Check and see if you have libsdl or sdl or whatever it may be called in windows
it may also be a permissions issue
do you have admin rights on the PC?

also, I played with embedded for awhile
I even re-invented it as it pissed me off that they made a virtual
DSL, but only for windows?
I dont have windows at all dude

anyway, so with the help of Repo (a wise member here); I set about to make a version that
would also work within Linux, and got it good

Mine plays on Linux or windows; off cd,usb, or a folder on your desktop too
you wanna try it??

heres some info
Portable Qemu (qemu folder)
Either 300MB mydsl or 500MB dsl2vhd Virtual drives (Not in "Kit")
Windows and Linux scripts to invoke/install/run mydsl/dsl2vhd
Windows and Linux scripts to make your own vhd of various size
Instructions on usage and creation (this text)

I wanted a fully portable Operating system that fit these criteria:

1) Capable of running from any partition type (FAT32, EXT3, etc)

2) Capable of running from any USB, no matter it's partition type
or bootability

3) Runs and plays without having to reboot the computer

4) Is fully cross-platform and works on both Windows and Linux

5) Fully self-contained and installed within the Virtual Hard Drive

6) Runs just as a real installed OS; settings/sessions etc are
saved back to the VHD, apps installed are persistent-everything
is as your own real Linux system!

7) Expendable-meaning that it is mostly to be used by Linux newbies
for learning Linux without actually risking their own systems/PC,
other uses include practicing compiling, programming, etc

Known working distro's that boot via this version of portable-qemu are
DSL, Feather, DSL-N, Slackware 12.2, Tinycore_2.0rc2.1 TTYLinux-8.0.1,
and Fedora-10!
There are others, some do not work yet-Debian/Ubuntu.

I am currently re-compiling qemu, trying to make it avail for other

Pro's of this setup include above and that the vhd's are compressable
and will compress down alot!
Example- 300MB mydsl vhd compresses down to 63MB

The vhd's can be copied, so that you can have a Master original.
Example- Make a copy of the dsl2vhd vhd and use that, keeping the original
safe somewhere-that way you can modify/test and if you screw up,
throw it away and make another copy.
couple pics too
Old 11-25-2009, 04:50 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,772

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Actually that folder ought to be in a folder that the user has full access to. Put in on the desktop would be ok.

Of course you have to unip that file to a folder, don't try to run it compressed.

Basically it is a simple way to run an emulator. Qemu is a virtual machine. It boots, in this case, DSL but can run a variety of OS's.

Better choices might be to use VMplayer 3 or Virtualbox or even Virtual PC as they are much faster and more full featured.

Qemu doesn't need admin to run though. I like that!

Last edited by jefro; 11-25-2009 at 05:12 PM.


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