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Old 08-19-2017, 09:22 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2017
Location: King's Lynn, UK
Distribution: Puppy Linux, AntiX
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The 'Save-File' & 'Save-Folder' explained...

The 'Save-file' and 'Save-folder' explained...

This is one of Puppy's 'secret weapons'.....and the reason why Puppy is so easy to recover, in the event of major 'melt-down'. Both of these contain a full Linux file-system inside them.

The 'save-file' was the first to be developed, and was essentially in the squash file-system format. At boot-time, Puppy, having located the save-file, will decompress the contents of it into RAM, layering it into the union file-system in such a way that it appears, to the user, to be one contiguous, normal Linux file-system. The save-file then remains in the 'dev-save_tmp' folder during your session; at shut down, any incremental changes from your session are written back to the save-file, and the whole thing is re-compressed as part of the shut-down procedure, and saved back to its original location, overwriting the previous one in the process.

The only limitation of the save-file is that it is 'fixed' in size. Utilities exist within Puppy for enlarging it, when it's getting full; it can't, however, be reduced in size. This was the reason for the development of the 'save-folder'; it will expand and/or contract in size like any normal directory, up to the maximum permitted by the partition in which it is installed to.

As long as you keep regular back-up copies of your save-file/folder (literally a copy & paste procedure - no need for special back-up programs), if Pup should throw an irrecoverable 'wobbly', it's a simple matter to replace the save-file/folder from outside of Puppy (again, 'delete', followed by copy/paste), then re-boot Pup. It'll be running in the condition it was in at the time the previous save-file/folder was backed-up. A half-hour job at most.

And, so long as the recommended format of ext3 is used, it's almost foolproof, since this contains the 'lost & found' directory for use with the 'e2fsck' utility, which can be used to confirm the save-file/folder's integrity. Ext2 is supposedly the best format to be used with flash-installed Pups.....but it has a tendency to 'corrupt' rather easily. This has been discovered through years of experience by various Puppy Forum members.

It is, if you like, the Puppy version of Windows' 'System Restore'.....except it's guaranteed 100% reliable, unlike the latter's well-known tendency to 'balk' at the critical moment..!


This is an over-simplified explanation, I'll own; but it explains the basic points well enough for the layman. A more detailed explanation about the workings of the union layer file-system can be found here, from the PuppyMaster himself, Barry Kauler:-

Old 08-19-2017, 12:20 PM   #2
Mill J
Registered: Feb 2017
Location: Sweet
Distribution: Void, LFS,Tahrpup, Quirky on Rpi and many others
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Puppy is one of the easiest distros to set up. Most of the people who dont agree, are the ones who try to install it.

I really really like the save folder/save file, I've got it alongside winxp. All i have to do to get rid of puppy is delete the save file, this beats messing with partitions.
Old 08-20-2017, 10:05 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2007
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Thanks Mike_Walsh.
I took the liberty of sharing your post to the Facebook Puppy Linux Group. They love it. Maybe some group members will join this Forum
Old 08-21-2017, 07:06 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2017
Location: King's Lynn, UK
Distribution: Puppy Linux, AntiX
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Original Poster
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Originally Posted by Gordie View Post
Thanks Mike_Walsh.
I took the liberty of sharing your post to the Facebook Puppy Linux Group. They love it. Maybe some group members will join this Forum
No probs, Gordie. Thanks for the free 'plug'!

Dissemination of information regarding our very favourite little OS is one thing I'm all for. Educating the great unwashed (and even some of those who wish they knew better) can only help to keep more old hardware still active and useful.

You'd be surprised at the number of 'Puppians' who aren't too clear on this very subject..!!


Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 08-21-2017 at 07:13 PM.


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