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Old 10-29-2014, 02:34 PM   #16
notKlaatu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
Hey you're in Virginia too
Since you're using USB just replace vesamenu.c32 with a newer version from like a slackware install or another livecd like Porteus
Since Slax is kind of dead have you tried Porteus?
http://www.porteus.org/

newest is here
http://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3977
I had not heard of Porteus before. Nice find, I'll have to check it out!
 
Old 10-29-2014, 04:00 PM   #17
fixer1234
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Ihatewindows522 - I misunderstood your post. I thought you were referring to Slackware being an OS that is still actively supported rather than Slackware being supported on YUMI.

notklaatu - The Slax version is 7.0.8. I tried both the 64 and 32 bit downloads. I did come across a couple of posts on that "old" Slax forum, one from a year ago and one within the past month, that looks like it sheds light on the issue. They talk about a version mismatch. This post: http://old.slax.org/forum.php?action...parentID=86499 says that the sbin/extlinux is version 5.01 while in the boot folder all the files are for extlinux v4.06. His solution was to edit bootinst.sh and comment out the line that refers to the files in the boot directory. The other post: http://old.slax.org/forum.php?action...parentID=87300 includes a link to the first post, but suggests getting three files from another Linux system and replacing the old ones. One of them was the vesamenu.c32 file linus72 suggested replacing. I couldn't find a newer version of that, and the other two files I couldn't find in any other Linux distro.

One thing that concerns me is that Slax is designed for the purpose of loading it on a thumb drive. That is the way it is intended to be used. However, including mismatched versions means that no bootable Slax thumb drive can be created (at least not without some kind of workaround), and the problem has been known for a long time. That's a pretty fundamental error -- the distro is unusable as released. The fix appears simple enough if you have the source files, but the developer has chosen not to do it. It doesn't promote a warm fuzzy feeling about relying on a distro with quality control problems.

I took linus72's suggestion and gave Porteus another look. Their web site talks about blazing speed, which wasn't happening on a LiveCD, so I installed it on an SD card. Again, installing on USB media is one of the fundamentals. The installation went fine. But since virtually all flash drives are VFAT, you need to create a save file--fundamental to the distro. Creating it isn't a problem. Oh, wait. You want to actually use that save file? Well you have to manually edit some system files, and I'm sure I can find the instructions if I hunt for them. Slackware strikes again. Even the most fundamental things on a distro intended to be user-friendly requires a level of manual intervention and knowledge that the average Linux newbie does not possess, and there is a learning curve for every little detail. Someday, maybe I'll appreciate Slackware. Right now, I think I'll put it aside. I just don't have the patience for it and there are too many easier alternatives.
 
Old 10-30-2014, 03:22 AM   #18
notKlaatu
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I cannot reproduce your problem. I feel like it must be, perhaps, the hardware you happen to be using or the fact that you are using a FAT formatted hard drive.

I just burned a Slax CD, rebooted, created a bootable thumbdrive (ext formatted), rebooted again from the thumbdrive, and everything functions as expected. Same old Slax, just as good as a year ago.

The vesa menu being "old" or the Slax distribution itself being "old" really should not (and, I suspect, does not) have an affect on how well it boots as an OS. It is a self-contained system. Just as an old Windows XP disc would boot your computer and probably still work, so will a two year old version of Slax.

Try using an EXT formatted thumb drive, maybe?

Also, maybe show the output of these two commands:

Code:
$ lspci
$ uname -m
on the target computer (while booted to the CD, obviously)
 
Old 10-30-2014, 11:36 AM   #19
fixer1234
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I didn't reformat the SD card as the instructions didn't mention that it was necessary, and I wanted Windows to be able to read/write without needing to install additional drivers on each machine.

The issue wasn't vesamenu or Slax being old, but that it was not internally consistent (v5.01 extlinux vs. v4.06 files in the boot directory). The two posters addressed this issue in different ways, but their successful workarounds seems to indicate that this is the problem.

I don't know enough to understand what those code lines in bootinst.sh were doing, but I got the impression that it might relate to the format of the media (although, unless I misread it, the poster seemed to be describing failure with ext3, which you had success with, and my failure was with vfat).

I tried the process three ways. I tried several times on an old computer that originally had Win XP but the hard disk was wiped, reformatted to ext-something, and is now running Mint. I also tried it on a current model computer while running Debian and while running Win 7. So I don't think the issue is related to the computer. If you had no problem, you might be right about the vfat format of the media (if that is the issue, it seems like the instructions ought to deal with it since that is almost universal on flash drives). If different boot files are needed depending on media format, that would explain why the code path in bootinst.sh would make a difference, using mismatched files only in certain cases.

I might go back and try it again after reformatting the SD card. I feel a little like Charlie Brown and the football (Peanuts cartoon reference). I keep trying Slackware and it keeps biting me in the butt.
 
Old 10-30-2014, 06:14 PM   #20
notKlaatu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixer1234 View Post
I might go back and try it again after reformatting the SD card. I feel a little like Charlie Brown and the football (Peanuts cartoon reference). I keep trying Slackware and it keeps biting me in the butt.
I don't mean to be pedantic, but actually none of the things in this thread are Slackware. Slackware does not have a live disc or environment. Unless you have gone to slackware.com and downloaded the 4.7gb ISO and installed it to your harddrive, you have not literally tried Slackware at all.

Slax, and I guess Porteus, have used Slackware as a basis for what they do, but neither are at all Slackware.

But as for Slax; I'm going to blame it on FAT vs EXT. I have seen SLAX on FAT but I did not create that myself and have never wanted to, since FAT has that ugly file size limitation. I see that the docs do not mention a disk format, so I will try to contact the maintainer and suggest more detail in the official docs.

You should check out unetbootin. It's a tool that you can use to make most popular Linux distributions bootable from a thumbdrive. I think people generally have a lot of luck with it.

Cheers.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 02:26 PM   #21
fixer1234
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Just to close the loop, I tried again. Another several hours I will never get back. I reformatted the SD card as ext4 and tried again with Slax. Slax simply would not deal with ext4. When the SD card was vfat, the bootinst ran but the results didn't boot. With ext4, bootinst would not run, either the .sh version in Linux or the .bat version in Windows. Not to be deterred, I tried various third party boot installers--Unetbootin, YUMI, and Universal USB Installer. They all work only with fat. So I gave up on Slax.

Now I had an SD card formatted ext4, which dealt with the problem Proteus had with a save file. So what did I have to lose trying Proteus again? It turns out the answer is time. Proteus installed fine, but it behaved like a LiveCD session, where key things that require persistence are disabled. It saved a few settings, but there is no means to access, add or maintain modules, for example. Customization features in Firefox, like the ability to turn on the menus, are disabled. It is usable with the bundled software, as is, and that is pretty much all (unless I become much more knowledgeable about Linux and try to do everything from terminal commands). So as distributed, Proteus is a barely functional demo, rather than a working system.

As for Slackware vs. Slackware-based spins, I don't know enough to be a Slackware user. The closest I can currently come to getting the benefits of Slackware is to use a Slackware-based spin. And it looks like that just isn't working out for me.

I give up. Life is too short.
 
Old 11-05-2014, 07:36 PM   #22
taipan
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I had a similar problem trying to create live USB sticks using UNetbootin.

I found out that most repositories only have version 603 of UNetbootin. Version 608 is the lastest, having been released in August 2014. It can be downloaded from unetbootin.sourceforge.net

I used this and I was able to successfully create the live USB sticks that I wanted.

I'm a newbie so I haven't found a way to install version 608 via the CLI because version 603 is in the repositories I use. My work around solution is to change the UNetbootin file to be executable by either the chmod command or right clicking on the file icon in Nautilus.

Once that has been done I double click on the icon, as is done in Windows, and UNetbootin starts up. After that, everything works.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 12:17 PM   #23
notKlaatu
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To be clear: one should not use UnetBootin for Slax, since Slax has its own script that handles making a bootable drive. Unetbootin was a suggestion I was making for other distributions, since OP appears dissatisfied with Porteus and unsuccessful with Slax.
 
  


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