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Old 02-09-2019, 07:04 AM   #1
Lysander666
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Installing -current on a Chromebook


It looks like I will be inheriting a TOSHIBA CB30-B-104 laptop. It's a very nice-looking machine, but it's a Chromebook, which means that installing a Linux OS is going to be a bit more fiddly than another type of laptop.

I've read around a bit and there are two things that strike me:

1. The firmware needs to be updated to enable legacy mode and
2. This thing has a staggering 16GB - yes, 16GB - of storage. Apparently this is to 'encourage' [force] people to use the cloud.

Now, updating the firmware is not as tricky as it used to be. A chap called Mr Chromebox has developed a script which means that the firmware can be updated for Baytrail chips without opening the machine. So that will hopefully be straightforward. After doing so hopefully it will be a matter of just rebooting into the Slackware iso [actually, reading up on things, it looks like it may be necessary to open the machine up in order to set the correct boot options for legacy as default].

The second issue is the storage. Seeing as this machine only has 16GB storage, I am thinking I may not do a full install. I would like a DE [probably Xfce] but am not that au fait with selecting software sets. I'm thinking of A, D, F, K, L, N and X. Hopefully this will give me a slightly stripped down install. However, I am probably wrong about this. I intend to use the thing for browsing, writing and music listening mostly.

This will be an interesting project and one to go slowly with so I can get a nice -current install on it and learn more about Slackware.

Last edited by Lysander666; 02-09-2019 at 07:05 AM.
 
Old 02-09-2019, 07:34 AM   #2
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
I'm thinking of A, D, F, K, L, N and X. Hopefully this will give me a slightly stripped down install.
I would add packages from AP (applications that do not need X) and dispense with F as most of that is rather old (2016 and before, it was last updated in 14.2) and you can find all of that info (newer) on the web.

BTW: my / partition needs less then 8 GB of storage. OK, I got another 5 in /opt (which is its own partition and takes the place of /usr/local) but even then the whole of my "system" is much less then 16 GB. This will be more in -current (I'm not running that) of course, but -current will obsolete quite a few packages I now got in /opt too.
There are about 150 different ones in there, just added inxi to it.
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:02 AM   #3
linus72
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So you like Slackware?
Me too.
I wish as in the past I could help with live-kit or remastering but those days are seemingly gone.
So, you have slackware, salix, zenwalk, vector and maybe some others based on slackware.
You want a small system to fit on a 16gb drive, in the past that would be easy-btw I made a MinimalX distro from slackware 13.37 that was a frugal install to hdd that was 250mb live and about 1gb installed and remasterable.
My recommedation would be install a stripped down slackware/zenwalk/vector/salix or creat a slackware-live persistent install.
Zenwalk and Vector are both built for older and smaller systems.
There's also Porteus which may be your way to go as Slax is now Debian based.
Porteus 1st, then try zenwalk/vector.
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:17 AM   #4
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehartman View Post
I would add packages from AP (applications that do not need X) and dispense with F as most of that is rather old (2016 and before, it was last updated in 14.2) and you can find all of that info (newer) on the web.
Noted, yes. I'll try that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72
I wish as in the past I could help with live-kit or remastering but those days are seemingly gone.
So, you have slackware, salix, zenwalk, vector and maybe some others based on slackware.
You want a small system to fit on a 16gb drive, in the past that would be easy-btw I made a MinimalX distro from slackware 13.37 that was a frugal install to hdd that was 250mb live and about 1gb installed and remasterable.
My recommedation would be install a stripped down slackware/zenwalk/vector/salix or creat a slackware-live persistent install.
Zenwalk and Vector are both built for older and smaller systems.
There's also Porteus which may be your way to go as Slax is now Debian based.
Porteus 1st, then try zenwalk/vector.
Thanks, I hadn't considered forks. Porteus looks like it has a fairly active community, whereas Vector doesn't. Also the .iso for Porteus is under 300MB which is promising. However, Vector and Zenwalk have both been around for a long time. It's good to have other options to consider, though I still would presently like to use -current. 16GB is quite limiting. Google are iniquitous.

Last edited by Lysander666; 02-09-2019 at 09:21 AM.
 
Old 02-09-2019, 10:16 AM   #5
kgha
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I've installed -current (32bit) on an old eee900, also with 16 GB of storage. It works, as long as you don't need too much space for storing docs/music/images/movies - and as long as you don't try to compile stuff that needs a lot of free space. IIRC I've allocated 1 GB for /home, 1 GB for swap and the rest as / and there's about 1,5 GB free on / (that's with OpenOffice, vlc, and PaleMoon installed, which allows for writing, browsing, listening to music)

Last edited by kgha; 02-09-2019 at 10:57 AM.
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:40 PM   #6
individual
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Addressing your second issue, I usually pick A, D, K, L, N, X and XAP, but I manually go through and uncheck items I know I won't need. It is quite time consuming, but it gets me below 900 packages and less than 10 GiB (I don't have an exact number since I have many _SBo packages installed). Which brings up the next problem: you will likely need _SBo packages, which takes up more space.
EDIT: Come to think of it, if you're like me and you only need two programs from XAP, you can just leave that unchecked and install those programs later.

Last edited by individual; 02-09-2019 at 12:48 PM.
 
Old 02-09-2019, 01:00 PM   #7
linus72
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You can automate and/or slim down your slackware install using tag files.
https://www.slackwiki.com/Tagfile_Install

Does a chromebook have a usb port?
Will it boot off usb/cd/dvd?
If so that opens things up a bit.
 
Old 02-09-2019, 01:29 PM   #8
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgha View Post
I've installed -current (32bit) on an old eee900, also with 16 GB of storage. It works, as long as you don't need too much space for storing docs/music/images/movies - and as long as you don't try to compile stuff that needs a lot of free space. IIRC I've allocated 1 GB for /home, 1 GB for swap and the rest as / and there's about 1,5 GB free on / (that's with OpenOffice, vlc, and PaleMoon installed, which allows for writing, browsing, listening to music)
1GB for /home, that's going to be tricky. I will need to save a few documents. As long as I use it ONLY for documents it might be all right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by individual View Post
Which brings up the next problem: you will likely need _SBo packages, which takes up more space.
Yes, it's not looking very good, is it. For instance, my 14.2 install on this laptop has a 30GB root partition, 20GB of which is taken up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
You can automate and/or slim down your slackware install using tag files.
https://www.slackwiki.com/Tagfile_Install

Does a chromebook have a usb port?
Will it boot off usb/cd/dvd?
If so that opens things up a bit.
Yes, there are two USB ports and according to what I've read off other sites you can boot from USB.
 
Old 02-09-2019, 01:55 PM   #9
linus72
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Well you could use the hard drive as your os and have a usb inserted as your persistent device?
Slackware Live would work as it's based on -current I think.
Or run Slackware or other distro in frugal mode meaning it boots a read-only iso or whatever and would leave 14gb or so as persistent store.
Also, you could have a Slackware Live on USB to make packages and use SlackBuilds then copy those packages to your system without having to have all the make stuff.
so to explain- have a minimal system on your hdd and use a livecd/usb to make packages, etc this would save alot of space.
 
Old 02-10-2019, 03:14 AM   #10
kgha
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I take it that the chromebook won't be your only computer? In that case I guess you won't use it for building/compiling? Then there are a few large applications you probably won't need. What about Rust? Ruby? You should of course skip KDE, and maybe there are other space-consuming stuff you can leave out, e.g. Samba.
With a mini usb stick (Sandisk Ultrafit or similar) attached you can get another 32 GB of storage for less than 20 and it won't "stick out" when bringing the chromebook along.
An alternative, as Linux72 wrote, would be to put a live version, e.g. AlienBobs Liveslak, on the usb and keep the chromebook's 16 GB free for storing docs/music/movies.
 
Old 02-10-2019, 07:13 AM   #11
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgha View Post
I take it that the chromebook won't be your only computer? In that case I guess you won't use it for building/compiling? Then there are a few large applications you probably won't need. What about Rust? Ruby? You should of course skip KDE, and maybe there are other space-consuming stuff you can leave out, e.g. Samba.
With a mini usb stick (Sandisk Ultrafit or similar) attached you can get another 32 GB of storage for less than 20 and it won't "stick out" when bringing the chromebook along.
An alternative, as Linux72 wrote, would be to put a live version, e.g. AlienBobs Liveslak, on the usb and keep the chromebook's 16 GB free for storing docs/music/movies.
You bring up a couple of interesting points. And no, it won't be my main machine [or maybe it will, I'm not sure since I am moving around and having to work mobile for the foreseeable future].

That said, I notice that the Chromebook has an SD card slot, and according to this article Porteus can be run off an SD card. Presumably Eric's live build can be as well? If I wanted to save stuff to the hard drive, is this possible? Of course the SD card would have to stay in.

I am also considering Salix, which I've used briefly before, but I'm not sure what the installed size is of the OS.
 
Old 02-10-2019, 09:47 AM   #12
kgha
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As long as your BIOS allows for booting from an SD card (and I can't see why it shouldn't), you could of course install Slackware or any Slackware-based distro on it. I guess it would be possible to install with /dev/sdb1 (SD card ur USB) as your boot partition, with swap and /home partitions on the internal SSD (dev/sda). With a 64 GB SD card, there's space to install anything you want, including Plasma5.
So it's a matter of taste whether you go for a live variant or a traditional install.

It might be worth remembering that USB3 sticks have a very high reading speed, better than an SD card in the same price range. But writing speed is lower.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:05 AM   #13
ZhaoLin1457
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@Lysander666

However, I will not recommend you SD-CARD or USB flash adventures, as those devices will not resist on the OS usage.

But, how your Chromebook have an USB3 port, if it is bootable, an idea is to "build" a small USB3 hard drive with an appropriate enclosure and a mSATA SSD. E.g. you can use this USB3/mSATA enclosure:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Black...K/172863540728

The end result will be a really small USB3 SSD hard drive, and it will quite fast and robust, where you can put your operating system.

Last edited by ZhaoLin1457; 02-10-2019 at 11:22 AM.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #14
Lysander666
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I suppose the other thing to do could be to do a -current install, give the root partition 14GB, 1GB swap and 1GB home as per kgha's suggestion, and use an SD card for storage.
 
Old 02-10-2019, 12:17 PM   #15
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Another way is to put /usr in a compressed squashfs, like forum member LuckyCyborg experimented. Could be even for a Chromebook.

I do not know all details, but he claimed that he managed to do a full install of Slackware current while occupying 5GB for operating system files, using this half-live design.

However, he needed a customized initrd to mount /usr on early stages of boot.

And later, looks like he managed to make even an rw overlay filesystem for /usr with the help of Darth Vader.

Last edited by ZhaoLin1457; 02-10-2019 at 12:38 PM.
 
  


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