fpsclassico live mini system

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adminless
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fpsclassico live mini system

Post by adminless »

ok, as I was backing up some client stuff these days I finally put together a small live Linux based system image you can just roll out on a 8 GB pen drive and plug it anywhere else to get a full functional system going as you can see on the attached screens and I thought that probably it would be a good idea to share it here in case somebody else can be interested/find it useful as well. first of all to begin with, this is not a release meant for everybody or just the general public, this is a release mostly intended for other experienced Linux/Darwin users and similar seasoned computing/system techs not for the everyday casual pc user. I post it here because from what I see I believe that around a third of the people on the site more or less meets this it specialist alike criteria so if you don't, please skip this as you're probably gonna get nowhere here at best. that said for those still reading here is how to roll out this from a working Linux system:

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curl -4s ftp://ftp.fpsclasico.de/livesys64.img.xz|xz -dc|dd of=/dev/mmcblk0 ibs=8192 count=970240 obs=1048576 status=progress
as usual you can use -4 or -6 as well as .de or .eu domains for the curl command as it works better for you to chose the download route. I guess that probably you can just directly pipe the xz output anywhere else so the dd command is probably optional but I believe it overall makes the process more robust and it generally speed the things up a bit. needless to say make absolutely sure to double, triple check as many times as necessary at all time where you're actually sending that as that will totally destroy any data on the destination for good. on the code posted I wrote /dev/mmcblk0 which typically correspond with the card reader, as said, you can probably send that image anywhere else (ex. /dev/sdX for a attached pen drive) or even to a local file (ex. ~/livesys64.img) to later run it on a emulator for example. whatever the case is, as said, just make completely sure you're sending it to the right place and not to your actual system disk for example. additionally don't forget that to directly write to block devices you typically need to either setup especial privileges or just to run as root. in any case, as said, I repeat once again be very careful with the deployment and be patience as it can probably take around 45+ minutes on old crappy usb pen drives for example.

well and pretty much that should be it, once you got that on a device basically it should be just plug it anywhere else and it should just boot and get the whole system going in a matter of minutes from it. the hardware requirements are just a uefi x86_64 machine with at least a bootable external port and a external storage device with at least 8 GB of space. being a minimalist kind of installment the base desktop runs at around 512 MiB of memory use and with the programs running at around 1 GiB (i.e. as I write this, check mails, browse web, edit files etc). provided you're gonna need some cache and some safe margins I'd said that this should typically run on any 2 GHz dual core with 2 GB of memory or better machine. as noted, this is a pure uefi only image, that's one of the requirements, you need a uefi firmware capable of booting external uefi images (in practice any 2010-2015+ computer/laptop should meet that and it should even even boot with secure mode enabled), it won't boot on legacy bios boot methods. additionally as hinted, I rolled out this physically on real machines but you can probably test it on a (uefi capable) emulator (ex. qemu) if you want, that's just a (xz compressed) raw block image. overall I believe this is the perfect backup/rescue system to mess around with some old laptops sitting around and a very interesting option to explore for mac users for example.

just as some final steps after plug this and enter the boot options on your computer this should just boot right away (provided it meets the requirements of course) if you seem to be having trouble booting or prefer to deal with that manually as well instead of leaving the firmware to automatically deal with that you can as well enter the command bellow after have rolled out the image on your device in order to manually create the appropriated uefi entry for the system you've just rolled out (again remember to change /dev/mmcblk0 by your actual device and double, triple check it and that obviously also requires privileges).

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efibootmgr -c -d /dev/mmcblk0 -g -p 1 -l "\EFI\fedora\shimx64.efi" -L "Fedora-LXQt-Live 36"
and you should be all done, as usual, once the system booted for the first time, don't forget to setup the proper locales/timezone for you as showed on the screen and to reboot or log-out/log-back-in afterwards for the changes to set in. the image obviously come with the fpsclassico Quake III Arena client pre-installed although you still need to put your pak0.pk3 file there somehow either by copying it from your hard drive or just from the net as shown on the attached screen for example. for the storage it has around 6 GiB of free space 2 for programs and 4 for user files and the changes should be persistent although probably for other than configuration and a few occasional installs here and there and a few extra small software there's no need to tell that the system is mostly intended just as-is (a live backup/rescue minimalist portable system) and not as a full size production workstation.

ok, that's all, now I just wonder if there will be somebody around that will try this and how the experience will be.
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fernandinho1337
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Re: fpsclassico live mini system

Post by fernandinho1337 »

out of curiosity: has anyone tested that except adminless? some people run quake on raspberry pis and such too. i think those ideas are pretty cool if you get decent performance

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Re: fpsclassico live mini system

Post by adminless »

I don't think so hehe but anyways that system image won't run on a rasperry though. those boards (raspberries) are broadcoms ARMv8 based which is a totally different architecture from standard x86_64 (regular x86 64 bit compatibles pcs). may be on the future (mid-term) I can try to build another small system image like that but for that architecture although in such case I'd probably look forward more into chromebooks than rasperries (which are in essence the same thing but more mainstream and interesting overall). in the short term I'm more interested in a legacy 32 bits version of the system (or similar, i.e. for legacy 10+ years old regular bios pcs) which hopefully I'll build as well at some point. as said so far the provided system image is only intended for standard x86_64 UEFI pc with "adequate" resources (i.e. about any regular Windows/Linux/Mac intel/amd 10 years old or newer based pc, in essence, the Windows 8 certified and compatible/better generation of pc hardware) mostly as a backup/standalone installment when permanently installing such system is not a option (examples: privileges, warranties, licenses, space, effort etc) as well as a portable system to carry with you to literally just plug and play anywhere in a matter of minutes.
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Re: fpsclassico live mini system

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ok, I'm finally done with the legacy x86 version of the system as you can see on the attached screens. it took me a bit more time than expected, at least testing/putting everything together, but now this should complete full system support for all the pc compatible (x86) architectures along with the previous image. the target audience for this and overall idea with this image remains the same as on the initial post (i.e. a recovery/backup live system oriented toward skilled/seasoned techs) so basically refer there for more info and without further redo for those interested this is how to roll out this from a working Linux machine.

Code: Select all

curl -4s ftp://ftp.fpsclasico.de/livesys86.img.xz|xz -dc|dd of=/dev/mmcblk0 ibs=8192 count=483840 obs=1048576 status=progress
essentially just the same as before only with a different (download) filename. for the rest this time the image is a 4 GB combo legacy bios 16/32 bits system including as well a solid community memory testing tool which was incompatible with UEFI (secure boot) to ensure your (legacy) hardware is still functional.

the 16 bit system is just a good old fashioned dos compatible system (FreeDOS 1.3) which should basically just run on anything since the 8086 provided you have some way to feed the 4 GB image to it. in reality I believe that should just run on pretty much anything. that system can be very handy (required) for legacy pc low level maintenance task like bios/firmware updates/flashes or disks recoveries (norton tools etc) and additionally I also included with it (and tested) the original shareware episodes of doom, heretic and (the original) quake as well as a entire freebie doom clone (boom). being a dos system means that it only require 1 MiB of memory to run (although it can be expanded/extended beyond the 1 MiB limit) and it has 256+ MiB of free space in dos just in case you need to work with some files (bioses/firmwares etc) there.

the 32 bit system is as well a good old fashioned legacy CentOS 7.9.2009 full size KDE 4 desktop Linux live system. I could probably have deployed another more recent fedora build or a custom one but finally I thought that this was probably the most solid option considering that there's already a 64 bit installment and the hardware where this would really run. anyways the setup is the same as on the 64 image and basically just as you can see on the attached screens. the only difference is that this time the desktop is not really (pre)configured as it was a bit messy to deliver it that way. notice that to show up the (classic) desktop you need to enable the "folder view" by entering the desktop configuration (Atl+D, Alt+S) and that due storage constrains you better run your browser in private mode (or get rid of any local internet files storing). the rest of the desktop customizations are probably more of a personal choice (i.e. theme, fonts, shortcuts etc) so just with that you should be good to go. the bare desktop runs bellow 256 MiB of memory use and even while writing this on a full stack browser (firefox) under 512 MiB of memory use. essentially I believe this should run (to some extend) on any 1+ GHz Pemtium/Athlon with at least 1 GiB of memory or compatible/better hardware although obviously finally the in-game performance in such a lowend configuration unless coupled with a solid gpu it might not always be enough for the standard high quality hd provided settings. for the rest needless to say the system comes with the good old fashioned UnFreeZe client pre-installed (besides the pak0.pk3 that you need to put yourself there "somehow") that still requires to setup oss sound before (although this time I included a basic script for that). finally once all setup the one-time free storage space for your work in the system is of around 1 GiB which for a dual live 4 GB system image it was about the maximum attainable.

and that should be it as usual I think that it's not worth to write a "book" about it if somebody do finally try it and have some question/feedback or anything just drop it here. overall I think it turned out pretty good and a very handy addition to have around in case of need. I mean, I've been using this for about the last week in one way or another and it literally turned a 15+ years old hd broken laptop that was just a monitor stand into a fully 2020+ functional system. of course as noted the hd game struggled to even hit 60 fps most of the time, let alone try to "play"/run any multimedia file/project. however for basic recovery/maintenance tasks the system was totally comparable to the rest of the 2015+ stuff I have around so I believe that this is probably one of the last chances for such similar legacy system to be functional and productive by 2020+ standards.

overall I'd say that probably unless you have more than 4 GiB of memory this system is a better option over the 64 bits one so I'd say that basically this should be the recommended (32 bit) image for the Windows XP-7 generation of pc/hardware (i.e. 20-10 years old computers). machines older than XP (i.e. +20 years) would probably do better staying with the provided 16 bit system (FreeDOS) and the shareware games/communities there (which are huge, to be honest, I really got hooked trying those) and machines newer than 7 (i.e. -10 years) are clearly much better suited for the 64 bit image. matter of facts, as noted, trying to run this on such UEFI machines would probably require some tuning (ex. disabling secure boot and enabling legacy support, typically the UEFI compatibility support module, I mean, if that's a option and if that doesn't break anything else. basically not recommended at all) and even so the 32 bit kernel included is not even PAE capable meaning that even on such instances you would be limited to the classic 4 GiB 32 bits memory limit. in few words, I tested it in one such instance and the +4 GiB 64 bit system did really make a difference so this image is probably more intended for such systems bellow that limit.

as a last note remark again that this only cover x86 pc compatible hardware (so far 16, 32 and 64 bit between both images), these images won't run on other kind of computer architectures like arm or ppc for example. hopefully I'll setup at least a arm version which seems to be a lot more mainstream and trendy nowadays (i.e. Chromebooks and similar devices) but that will obviously take quite a few more time. other than that as a hint for Windows user in case somebody wanna try this as well there, it seems you can probably easily get this going there by manually downloading the images link on the commands (ex. livesys64.img.xz or livesys86.img.xz) and then simply uncompress them with 7-zip and writing the resulting raw images (4/8 GB) into a usb with the Win32 Disk Imager tool for example and then booting your computer from there.
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