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Old 08-19-2011, 12:41 PM
Richard Owlett
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.

I have an unusual batch of constraints:
1. It must reside *completely* on a USB stick and be able to
read/write an existing NTFS hard drive.
2. It must be able to connect thru a USB modem, USROBOTICS USR5637.
a. It will be used on a desktop ( *NO* high speed internet
ever _available_ ) and on a laptop (WIFI equipped) which
will often need dial-up.

I've experimented with "live editions" to determine hardware
functionality. As a permanent solution - DOA!


Using YUMI-0.0.2.5 I've tried:
debian-live-6.0.1-i386-lxde-desktop.iso
ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso
lupu-525.iso
multicore_3.7.1.iso
Using Unetbootin I tried:
linuxmint-11-gnome-cd-nocodecs-32bit.iso

All but Multicore had lsusb available and recognized the USB modem.
Only Puppy had a dialer - it could connect but repeatedly dropped
carrier for unknown cause.
Mint and Multicore recognized the laptop had WIFI capability - a
protected WIFI system is nearby.


I've roamed the web for a couple of months (no longer sure Google is
really a friend I was originally referred to Ubuntu but I've come
to think is fundamentally I need Debian style repository , much else
is negotiable.





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Old 08-19-2011, 12:48 PM
Rob Owens
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 07:41:57AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
> I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.
>
> I have an unusual batch of constraints:
> 1. It must reside *completely* on a USB stick and be able to
> read/write an existing NTFS hard drive.
> 2. It must be able to connect thru a USB modem, USROBOTICS USR5637.
> a. It will be used on a desktop ( *NO* high speed internet
> ever _available_ ) and on a laptop (WIFI equipped) which
> will often need dial-up.
>
> I've experimented with "live editions" to determine hardware
> functionality. As a permanent solution - DOA!
>
> Using YUMI-0.0.2.5 I've tried:
> debian-live-6.0.1-i386-lxde-desktop.iso
> ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso
> lupu-525.iso
> multicore_3.7.1.iso
> Using Unetbootin I tried:
> linuxmint-11-gnome-cd-nocodecs-32bit.iso
>
> All but Multicore had lsusb available and recognized the USB modem.
> Only Puppy had a dialer - it could connect but repeatedly dropped
> carrier for unknown cause.
> Mint and Multicore recognized the laptop had WIFI capability - a
> protected WIFI system is nearby.
>
> I've roamed the web for a couple of months (no longer sure Google is
> really a friend I was originally referred to Ubuntu but I've come
> to think is fundamentally I need Debian style repository , much else
> is negotiable.
>
Did you know that most live USB systems can use a mode called
"persistence" that allows you to install new software?

With Debian Live, you should be able to install a dialer (kppp is one
that comes to mind). Depending on your wifi card, you may need to
install special packages and/or enable the non-free repos. ntfs-3g is
the package that enables read/write to NTFS.

-Rob


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Old 08-19-2011, 01:18 PM
Scott Ferguson
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

On 19/08/11 22:41, Richard Owlett wrote:
> I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.
>
> I have an unusual batch of constraints: 1. It must reside
> *completely* on a USB stick and be able to read/write an existing
> NTFS hard drive. 2. It must be able to connect thru a USB modem,
> USROBOTICS USR5637. a. It will be used on a desktop ( *NO* high speed
> internet ever _available_ ) and on a laptop (WIFI equipped) which
> will often need dial-up.
>
> I've experimented with "live editions" to determine hardware
> functionality. As a permanent solution - DOA!
>
> Using YUMI-0.0.2.5 I've tried:
> debian-live-6.0.1-i386-lxde-desktop.iso
> ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso lupu-525.iso multicore_3.7.1.iso Using
> Unetbootin I tried: linuxmint-11-gnome-cd-nocodecs-32bit.iso
>
> All but Multicore had lsusb available and recognized the USB modem.
> Only Puppy had a dialer - it could connect but repeatedly dropped
> carrier for unknown cause.

Exit codes would be useful (in future)

> Mint and Multicore recognized the laptop
> had WIFI capability - a protected WIFI system is nearby.

Of the distributions you've mentioned, with the exception of Multicore
which I've never heard of, all should support the US Robotics modem,
have dialers, can support NTFS, and will support some sorts of WiFi.

>
> I've roamed the web for a couple of months (no longer sure Google is
> really a friend I was originally referred to Ubuntu but I've come
> to think is fundamentally I need Debian style repository

?
Debian and Ubuntu both use Debian style repositories.

> , much else is negotiable.
>
>

It "sounds" like you want to install a Debian desktop to a USB key, use
it to access an NTFS partition on the laptop, and, use (the laptop's)
wifi connection, as well as access internet via the US Robotics modem
(and the WiFi?)... is that correct??

Debian can do all of those things. (conditionally). Ideally you'd kick
Windoof to an external device instead of handicapping Debian, your
choice... what you want might require some compromises, your answers to
the following will help us make suggestions.

What Desktop Environment were you after?
What tasks do you want to do on this Desktop?
How big is your USB stick?
What chipset is the WiFi?
What make and model is your laptop?
How much RAM does your laptop have installed?

Cheers

--
"I love the Pope, I love seeing him in his Pope-Mobile, his three feet
of bullet proof plexi-glass. That's faith in action folks! You know he's
got God on his side."
~ Bill Hicks


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Old 08-19-2011, 03:31 PM
Richard Owlett
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

Rob Owens wrote:

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 07:41:57AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:

I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.

I have an unusual batch of constraints:
1. It must reside *completely* on a USB stick and be able to
read/write an existing NTFS hard drive.
2. It must be able to connect thru a USB modem, USROBOTICS USR5637.
a. It will be used on a desktop ( *NO* high speed internet
ever _available_ ) and on a laptop (WIFI equipped) which
will often need dial-up.

I've experimented with "live editions" to determine hardware
functionality. As a permanent solution - DOA!

Using YUMI-0.0.2.5 I've tried:
debian-live-6.0.1-i386-lxde-desktop.iso
ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso
lupu-525.iso
multicore_3.7.1.iso
Using Unetbootin I tried:
linuxmint-11-gnome-cd-nocodecs-32bit.iso

All but Multicore had lsusb available and recognized the USB modem.
Only Puppy had a dialer - it could connect but repeatedly dropped
carrier for unknown cause.
Mint and Multicore recognized the laptop had WIFI capability - a
protected WIFI system is nearby.

I've roamed the web for a couple of months (no longer sure Google is
really a friend I was originally referred to Ubuntu but I've come
to think is fundamentally I need Debian style repository , much else
is negotiable.





Did you know that most live USB systems can use a mode called
"persistence" that allows you to install new software?


I heard _of_ "persistence" when I first attempted to use Ubuntu.
I'm not sure if that is quite what I'm aiming at. I encountered it
when I discovered that changes to display preferences did not hold
across sessions. I *THINK* I followed instructions to use
"persistence". It was unsuccessful ;(


My goal is to sit down at keyboard and not be able to tell whether
Linux resided on a USB stick or on the hard drive (cf the old AI
goal of having computer indistinguishable from human.)




With Debian Live, you should be able to install a dialer (kppp is one
that comes to mind).


Chuckle - it's the "chicken and egg" problem.
My starting point is I have to take my Windows laptop to local
library for high speed access. The nearest known LUG is >200 miles
away (am in rural SW Missouri). Then I need either to identify an
iso with active dialer OR have a way to download the dialer and
dependencies using Windows.



Depending on your wifi card, you may need to
install special packages and/or enable the non-free repos.


Assumed. My tests have established that there is at least one driver
minimally compatible with my hardware. If I can get either working,
the other can be bootstrapped.



ntfs-3g is
the package that enables read/write to NTFS.

-Rob






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Old 08-19-2011, 04:18 PM
Richard Owlett
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

Scott Ferguson wrote:

On 19/08/11 22:41, Richard Owlett wrote:

I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.

I have an unusual batch of constraints: 1. It must reside
*completely* on a USB stick and be able to read/write an existing
NTFS hard drive. 2. It must be able to connect thru a USB modem,
USROBOTICS USR5637. a. It will be used on a desktop ( *NO* high speed
internet ever _available_ ) and on a laptop (WIFI equipped) which
will often need dial-up.

I've experimented with "live editions" to determine hardware
functionality. As a permanent solution - DOA!

Using YUMI-0.0.2.5 I've tried:
debian-live-6.0.1-i386-lxde-desktop.iso
ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso lupu-525.iso multicore_3.7.1.iso Using
Unetbootin I tried: linuxmint-11-gnome-cd-nocodecs-32bit.iso

All but Multicore had lsusb available and recognized the USB modem.
Only Puppy had a dialer - it could connect but repeatedly dropped
carrier for unknown cause.


Exit codes would be useful (in future)


Agreed. All I was trying to communicate was Puppy could communicate
with the modem. It used some default settings and I've not checked
to see if compatible with my ISP.






Mint and Multicore recognized the laptop
had WIFI capability - a protected WIFI system is nearby.


Of the distributions you've mentioned, with the exception of Multicore
which I've never heard of, all should support the US Robotics modem,
have dialers, can support NTFS, and will support some sorts of WiFi.



But the primary problem is bootstrapping the system.



I've roamed the web for a couple of months (no longer sure Google is
really a friend I was originally referred to Ubuntu but I've come
to think is fundamentally I need Debian style repository


?
Debian and Ubuntu both use Debian style repositories.


That's why I posted here. I think I was pointed to Ubuntu because my
friend liked the "user experience". I didn't find it that great and
sometime next year support for at least one dialer will be dropped.





, much else is negotiable.




It "sounds" like you want to install a Debian desktop to a USB key, use
it to access an NTFS partition on the laptop, and, use (the laptop's)
wifi connection, as well as access internet via the US Robotics modem
(and the WiFi?)... is that correct??


Essentially.
The desktop will connect only thru the US Robotics modem.
The laptop will connect typically through WiFi (use the US Robotics
modem when laptop is being used as a backup).





Debian can do all of those things. (conditionally). Ideally you'd kick
Windoof to an external device instead of handicapping Debian, your
choice... what you want might require some compromises, your answers to
the following will help us make suggestions.


Eventually Windows will take its place in my personal museum, right
next to my Kaypro 10 (a CPM-80 machine .


What Desktop Environment were you after?


Any GUI. I'm from era of 026's, KSR-33's, and "glass teletypes".


What tasks do you want to do on this Desktop?


Vast majority will be text based. The remainder will be using Tc/Tl
or gnu plot. Even my use of internet will be strongly text oriented.
The one proprietary program I will want is known to run fine under WINE.



How big is your USB stick?


Most of mine are 16 GB.


What chipset is the WiFi?


I couldn't identify it.


What make and model is your laptop?


IBM Thinkpad (Lenovo T43)


How much RAM does your laptop have installed?


1 GB


Cheers





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Old 08-19-2011, 04:22 PM
Darac Marjal
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:31:16AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
> Rob Owens wrote:
> >On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 07:41:57AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
> >>I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.
> >>
[cut]
>
> My goal is to sit down at keyboard and not be able to tell whether
> Linux resided on a USB stick or on the hard drive (cf the old AI
> goal of having computer indistinguishable from human.)

For the record, it is possible to install a full-fledged Linux
distribution onto a USB stick. That way, it truly is indistinguishable
(I'm assuming we're ignoring things like the USB stick flashing at you
- what matters is the user experience).

However, it's not really recommended. USB keys are slow and unreliable
compared to hard drives.


--
Darac Marjal
 
Old 08-19-2011, 04:42 PM
Brian
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

On Fri 19 Aug 2011 at 10:31:16 -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:

> Rob Owens wrote:
>>
>> With Debian Live, you should be able to install a dialer (kppp is one
>> that comes to mind).
>
> Chuckle - it's the "chicken and egg" problem.
> My starting point is I have to take my Windows laptop to local library
> for high speed access. The nearest known LUG is >200 miles away (am in
> rural SW Missouri). Then I need either to identify an iso with active
> dialer OR have a way to download the dialer and dependencies using
> Windows.

Apart from being bandwidth challenged at home your situation is no
different from anyone else's who installs Debian to a USB stick.

Choose an iso image. You already know how to put it on a USB device and
boot successfully from it. In Debian download the packages you know from
your research are needed to get the modem going. kppp has been
suggested. I'd add wvdial amd pppconfig to the list.

>> Depending on your wifi card, you may need to
>> install special packages and/or enable the non-free repos.
>
> Assumed. My tests have established that there is at least one driver
> minimally compatible with my hardware. If I can get either working, the
> other can be bootstrapped.

lspci or lsusb (in Debian) will tell you how to proceed with wifi.


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Old 08-19-2011, 06:23 PM
Rob Owens
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:31:16AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
> Rob Owens wrote:
> >Did you know that most live USB systems can use a mode called
> >"persistence" that allows you to install new software?
>
> I heard _of_ "persistence" when I first attempted to use Ubuntu.
> I'm not sure if that is quite what I'm aiming at. I encountered it
> when I discovered that changes to display preferences did not hold
> across sessions. I *THINK* I followed instructions to use
> "persistence". It was unsuccessful ;(
>
> My goal is to sit down at keyboard and not be able to tell whether
> Linux resided on a USB stick or on the hard drive (cf the old AI
> goal of having computer indistinguishable from human.)
>
Persistence will give you this (except that performance is slightly
slower from USB than from a hard drive). For Debian Live, set it up
something like this:

1) download or build an image
2) dd if=image.iso of=/dev/sdX (your usb stick)
3) fdisk /dev/sdX
3a) create a new partition in the empty space on your usb stick
4) mkfs.ext4 -L live-rw /dev/sdX2
5) boot your usb stick with the parameter "persistent"
5a) optionally change the /syslinux/live.cfg to permanently include
"persistent" as a boot paramenter

Note: in step 4, it is critical to label the partition "live-rw" --
that's what makes it work.

> >
> >With Debian Live, you should be able to install a dialer (kppp is one
> >that comes to mind).
>
> Chuckle - it's the "chicken and egg" problem.
> My starting point is I have to take my Windows laptop to local
> library for high speed access. The nearest known LUG is >200 miles
> away (am in rural SW Missouri). Then I need either to identify an
> iso with active dialer OR have a way to download the dialer and
> dependencies using Windows.
>
If you've got a broadcom wifi card, you'll need firmware-b43-installer,
which depends on b43-fwcutter. You can download them from
packages.debian.org. I think b43-fwcutter might download firmware files
when it is run, so you'll need to try to fetch those ahead of time, too.

-Rob


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Old 08-19-2011, 07:17 PM
Richard Owlett
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

Darac Marjal wrote:

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:31:16AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:

Rob Owens wrote:

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 07:41:57AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:

I'm currently a Windows user who's trying to escape.


[cut]


My goal is to sit down at keyboard and not be able to tell whether
Linux resided on a USB stick or on the hard drive (cf the old AI
goal of having computer indistinguishable from human.)


For the record, it is possible to install a full-fledged Linux
distribution onto a USB stick. That way, it truly is indistinguishable
(I'm assuming we're ignoring things like the USB stick flashing at you
- what matters is the user experience).

However, it's not really recommended. USB keys are slow and unreliable
compared to hard drives.



Sounds like a Microsoft exec - we know better




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Old 08-20-2011, 02:40 AM
Scott Ferguson
 
Default Need dial-up friendly install on USB stick

On 20/08/11 02:18, Richard Owlett wrote:
> Scott Ferguson wrote:
>> On 19/08/11 22:41, Richard Owlett wrote:
<snipped>

>> Of the distributions you've mentioned, with the exception of Multicore
>> which I've never heard of, all should support the US Robotics modem,
>> have dialers, can support NTFS, and will support some sorts of WiFi.
>>
>
> But the primary problem is bootstrapping the system.

A few distros don't default boot with Thinkpads/Leveno laptops.

>
>>>
>>> I've roamed the web for a couple of months

Then you'll be aware of the advantages of installing Debian to a hard
drive, the various arguments about USB stick wear, and the problems
associated with using Linux to manage Windoof filesystems.

>>>(no longer sure Google is
>>> really a friend I was originally referred to Ubuntu but I've come
>>> to think is fundamentally I need Debian style repository
>>
>> ?
>> Debian and Ubuntu both use Debian style repositories.
>
> That's why I posted here. I think I was pointed to Ubuntu because my
> friend liked the "user experience". I didn't find it that great and
> sometime next year support for at least one dialer will be dropped.

Debian has different "user experiences", and, more choices. As long as
ppp continues, then dialers will be available. TTBOMK wvdial isn't about
to vanish

>
>>
>>> , much else is negotiable.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> It "sounds" like you want to install a Debian desktop to a USB key, use
>> it to access an NTFS partition on the laptop, and, use (the laptop's)
>> wifi connection, as well as access internet via the US Robotics modem
>> (and the WiFi?)... is that correct??
>
> Essentially.
> The desktop will connect only thru the US Robotics modem.
> The laptop will connect typically through WiFi (use the US Robotics
> modem when laptop is being used as a backup).
>

Wasn't sure when you'd said "desktop" if you meant a machine, or an
interface.
So... you have a home machine (desktop) and a portable machine (laptop)??

And you'd like the build on the USB stick to use with both machines??

I'm assuming the laptop is the least powerful machine?
In which case build your USB stick OS for the laptop, and it should
"just work" on the Desktop machine.

<snipped>

>>
>> What Desktop Environment were you after?
>
> Any GUI. I'm from era of 026's, KSR-33's, and "glass teletypes".

The more "integrated" the DE, the less choices you'll have to make about
applications.

>
>> What tasks do you want to do on this Desktop?
>
> Vast majority will be text based. The remainder will be using Tc/Tl or
> gnu plot. Even my use of internet will be strongly text oriented. The
> one proprietary program I will want is known to run fine under WINE.

K... so nothing that manipulates large files, or requires a lot of
resources??
And nothing that can't be done with a standard set of system tools and
desktop applications??

<snipped>

>> What chipset is the WiFi?
>
> I couldn't identify it.

"WiFi".... do you mean using the laptop's Bluetooth??

>
>> What make and model is your laptop?
>
> IBM Thinkpad (Lenovo T43)

There's a few variables with that machine....
Using Windoof - what is the maximum screen resolution?
eg. 1024x768 or 1400x1050
Is that a 14.1 or 15" screen?
output from lspci will prove useful
model number?
eg. 187x, 276x, 278x


>
>> How much RAM does your laptop have installed?
>
> 1 GB
>>
>> Cheers
>>

If you allocate 5GB to system, leaving you up to 11 GB for /home.

With 5GB of space, and the minimum specs of the T43, you could, with a
little work, use Gnome or KDE as a desktop. Though I'd suggest something
lighter - Fluxbox, Blackbox, XFCE, fvwn, etc, etc (I mainly use KDE, so
I'll leave alternative suggestions to the more knowledgeable).

Having decided on a Desktop and applications, you will need to chose a
format.
There are two main approaches to permanently running from a USB stick -
live (and save settings), or standard (except don't have a swap).

My personal choice is standard - set your DE to no dancing bears (turn
off bling) - and don't create a swap partition. USB sticks are cheap -
backup from one stick to another regularly and you should be fine. I've
had linux installed native to a USB stick for several years without
problems so far - but others have strong beliefs on the subject of wear
levelling.

Refs:-
http://live.debian.net
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_environment
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:T43
http://www.linux-laptop.net/ibm.html
http://www.foosel.org/linux/t43
http://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Thinkpad

Gather the required system info (and model number), choose a DE, pick
some applications, determine what style of installation you want.

I'm guessing you're going to want to do the actual install at the library?

Cheers

--
"You ever look at their faces? "We're pro-life." Don't they look it?
Don't they just exude joie de vivre?"
~ Bill Hicks


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