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Old 05-21-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 255

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Getting TinyCore to work.

After waiting about a week compiling updates for this gentoo box (684 to be exact) only to have the whole distro crap out over conflicting glibc, portage, python, and gcc versions and bugs I decided to give up on gentoo.

However I saw an even more interesting linux distro called "tinycore" on the net.

So I burned an iso and properly burned it to a CD. The CD is fine because it loads perfectly on another machine.

The distro will load to a command line just fine but when trying to start the gui it freezes with a small X in the middle of the screen. After waiting minutes for something to happen I restarted the laptop.

Its got an Intel 852/855GME onboard video that seems to be causing the problem while it works with every other linux distro just fine. Err... Well the vesa driver works just fine on every other distro.

The i915 driver takes some major work to get it working but it can be done.

I think tinycore uses Xvesa while other linux distros use Xorg... Could this be a problem?

I couldn't find anybody else (via google) having problems with no video in tinycore so I thought I might ask for help here.

Last edited by David2010; 05-21-2011 at 11:39 PM.
Old 05-22-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2008
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Quite a change from gentoo to tinycore!

First off that is a wrong assumption. Just because it runs on another system does not mean the cd is good.

What Bootcodes does Tiny Core Support?


At the boot prompt press [F2] and [F3] [F4].

F2 boot time options:

Tiny Core accepts the following persistence options:

tinycore tce={hda1|sda1} Specify Restore TCE apps directory
tinycore restore={hda1|sda1|floppy} Specify saved configuration location
tinycore waitusb=X Wait X seconds for slow USB devices
tinycore swapfile{=hda1} Scan or Specify swapfile
tinycore home={hda1|sda1} Specify persistent home directory
tinycore opt={hda1|sda1} Specify persistent opt directory
tinycore local={hda1|sda1} Specify PPI directory or loopback file
tinycore lst=yyy.lst Load alternate static yyy.lst on boot
tinycore base Skip TCE load only the base system
tinycore norestore Turn off the automatic restore
tinycore safebackup Saves a backup copy (mydatabk.tgz)
tinycore showapps Display application names when booting

F3 boot time options:

Tiny Core accepts the following additional boot time options:

Color 640x480 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
256 8 bit 769 771 773 775
32000 15 bit 784 787 790 793
65000 16 bit 785 788 791 794
16.7M 24 bit 786 789 792 795

tinycore vga=7xx 7xx from table above
tinycore xsetup Prompt user for Xvesa setup
tinycore lang=en C only unless getlocale.tcz is installed
tinycore kmap=us US only unless kmaps.tcz is installed
tinycore text Textmode
tinycore superuser Textmode as user root
tinycore noicons Do not use icons
tinycore noswap Do not use swap partition
tinycore nodhcp Skip the dhcp request at boot
tinycore noutc BIOS is using localtime
tinycore pause Pause at completion of boot messages

F4 boot time options:

Tiny Core accepts the following additional boot time options:

tinycore {cron|syslog} Start various daemons at boot
tinycore host=xxxx Set hostname to xxxx
tinycore secure Set password
tinycore protect Password Encrypted Backup
tinycore noautologin Skip automatic login
tinycore tz=GMT+8 Timezone tz=PST+8PDT,M3.2.0/2,M11.1.0/2
tinycore settime Set UTC time at boot, internet required
tinycore user=abc Specify alternate user
tinycore desktop=yyy Specify alternate window manager
tinycore laptop Force load laptop related modules
tinycore embed Stay on initramfs
tinycore nozswap Skip compressed swap in ram
tinycore xvesa=800x600x32 Set Xvesa default screen resolution
tinycore bkg=image.{jpg|png|gif} Set background from /opt/backgrounds
tinycore blacklist=ssb Blacklist a single module
tinycore multivt Allows for multiple virtual terminals

In addition there are many generic kernel boot parameters [text version].

Help X does not start. Why does my system boot up to a login prompt?

Tiny Core defaults to vga=791 or 1024x768 but your machine may not be able to support that resolution.

At the first boot prompt type:

tinycore xsetup

This boot code creates a selectable table from the Xvesa -listmodes so it is easier to use.

If you get a blinking cursor after the "Xauthority" lines, try hitting ctrl-C to get back to text prompt, then type and try another screen resolution option.

From text prompt, type: startx

Note: Xvesa -listmodes displays what your video card is capable of, but not necessarily what your monitor is. If your system does not support Xvesa then perhaps the framebuffer extension (see F2 boot screen and below for instructons).

The last resort is to use the Xorg extension.

How to use framebuffer X server?

In order to use framebuffer (Xfbdev) you will need to have a persistent store, e.g., a PPR.
Boot Tiny Core as follows, using an appropriate vga code from the f2 boot help screen and an appropriate disk partition.

boot: tinycore tce=hda1 text vga=788

At the system prompt:

$ tce-load Xfbdev.tce wget install # This is for TC 2.2 and below
$ tce-load -w -i Xfbdev.tcz # This is for TC 2.3 and above

$ startx

From the X desktop, shutdown with backup. Your Xfbdev X settings will be saved and used on the next boot.
Do not use the text boot code and your framebuffer X server should start successfully."

Old 08-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2011
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This works, the first time:

boot: tinycore tce=hda9 text vga=788

At the system prompt:

$ tce-load Xfbdev.tce wget install # This is for TC 2.2 and below
$ tce-load -w -i Xfbdev.tcz # This is for TC 2.3 and above

$ startx

When I then simple reboot the computer,
the framebuffer X server not start, and I only get to a prompt.
Why ?

At hda9 the folder tce have files mydata.tgz, onboot.lst, xwbar.lst.
In folder tce/optional are the files Xfbdev.tcz, Xfbdev.tcz.md5.txt.


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