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[gNewSense-users] Thoughts on Persistence/Persistent

From: concon
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Thoughts on Persistence/Persistent
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:47:43 -0000
User-agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.22

I am new here and would like to take a moment to toss out some thoughts on
some issues.
I am not new to linux, but with that said I am surely no hack, not even
close. I plod along using the infinite monkey theorem ;)

The Machine is a Dell Inspiron Duo, 2 usb ports no other external drives,
internal HD was broke, so removed.

First I know this is not a Free Hardware system in any way,  I wish it
was, however, it seems to Me that many such broken devices lay about not
used and I wanted to see if I could use it. Not to mention that in today’s
day and age, there are so many devices like this so why not run gnewsense
on them?

First issue:  (should be a non-issue on next release but I left this in My
draft in case anyone needs it)
It was a lengthy process to get the wireless to work, but that will be
solved as I understand in the next release.
What I needed to do to get the wireless working (no wired connection as is
fairly common among these devices)
I have my note below in case anyone needs it before the next release.
----------------------From My notes--------------------------------- edit
auto lo
auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlano
iface lo inet loopback
iface wlan0 inet dhcp


iwcconfig wlan0 key xxxxxxxxxx mode managed essid MYNETWORKID channel auto


ifconfig wlan0 up

OK so Great! worked for My system however, without persistence, I would
have to do this each time I boot from usb.

Note: Since the above will be fixed in the next release, I would not have
to do all of the above but simply choose My wireless and enter My key,
however this is only one example of the need for some level of persistence
on a live usb boot.

Some would argue that booting from a live cd/live usb doesn’t need to have
all the features as that is not what it is intended for...

First I think live usb is valid and valuable given the current amount of
devices that could use this method of enjoying gnewsense.I also think that
booting from usb "Live persistent" is not documented well enough.

Booting live is easy and the methods for getting gnewsense to a usb are
well documented and easy.
So I think it could be better documented as how to choose persistent (or
persistence whichever applies)
Also which type or "persistence" one might need or have available as there
are actually pretty many.

The word itself has many misconceptions, some think it is == to a usb true
install, some see it as a user space partition that only saves certain
things, others look to be able to save every setting there, so maybe we
should define what gnewsense will call it and what it will allow and
incorporate it into the releases in a way similar to Ubuntu, but in our
own way that we decide, or offer not one but several ways to create a usb
that will offer some persistent method of saving data.

I followed samgee's suggestions from:
to make My own image, and it worked to an extent

this is from My notes:
----------------------from My notes-------------------
sudo lb config
sudo lb config -b usb-hdd
sudo lb config --bootappend-live persistent
sudo lb build
sudo dd if=binary.img of=/dev/sdb

press "p" and find last cylinder of first partition
Then press ‘n’ to create a new partition, select a primary partition and
enter the first free cylinder as the starting cylinder. Now you have to
enter the size of the new partition.
press "w" to write
Now all you have to do is create a filesystem in your new partition, use
the label ‘live-rw’:
sudo mkfs.ext3 -L live-rw /dev/sdb2

On boot hit escape then type:
live persistent

I said above "it worked to an extent", it did save my user space settings,
documents and such, but it did not save things I had done as root, or
system wide via sudo. I believe that is because the above example was only
designed for user space changes to be saved but I am unsure and not fully
yet understanding the lb config --bootapend (parameters) and what goes
where in /live-rw   , still learning...

I would suggest we can build future releases with that feature in the
build so you would have an extra option at the boot, but then also at
least from the above, "sudo fdisk /dev/sdb" downwards in my notes we would
have to add to the documentation. With that said, the instructions for the
user would have to be fit to the method of persistence that would be
chosen (or methods).
I envision being able to download gnewsense, write it to a usb, chose a
method of persistence and being capable of having your own free software
distribution with you wherever you go, with the state of the system intact
from wherever(whenever) you last shutdown from. I do realize it can be a
can of worms to try and make one live distro work for everyone everywhere,
so... yeah :)
That leads to another thought, Does gnewsense even want to go there? Maybe
other distro's that specialize in live-cd, live-usb's already carry that
torch, but if so are they "Free"?

Just some ideas I thought I would pass for review and comment.

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