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Puppy Linux Lets You Run From, Save To The Same CD 277

Posted by timothy
from the dog-ate-my-homework-jokes dept.
qewl writes "Now there's a live CD that can actually save data back onto its own disk! How does it work? The PC boots with a multi-session CD inserted in the CD-burner drive -- thus, Puppy Linux automatically knows which drive is the CD-burner, in case you have more than one CD/DVD drive. Then you use Puppy in the normal way. At shutdown, all the changed files in your home directory are saved back to CD. That's it. Next time you boot, all the personal files are restored!"
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Puppy Linux Lets You Run From, Save To The Same CD

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  • by 7Ghent (115876) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:55PM (#11883669) Homepage
    Well, my girlfriend DID say she wanted a puppy.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:55PM (#11883672) Homepage Journal
    Early adopters of Puppy Linux have reported that they frequently need to take it out of the drive bay so it doesn't make a mess. Also, if they leave it alone for any legnth of time, it starts making whining noises and chewing up files.
  • by kcb93x (562075) <kcbnac&bnac,biz> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:55PM (#11883676) Homepage
    This is cool. I'll have to take a peek at it, but what would be really cool (mainly due to the size of modern distributions) would be a DVD +/- RW version of this, if Knoppix can compress ~2GB of software into a 650MB CD, think what we can do with 4.7GB of space...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:56PM (#11883681)
    It's a real dog.
  • by ErikTheRed (162431) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:56PM (#11883684) Homepage
    And if the recordable disk goes bad, you get the exact same feeling as when your new puppy craps on the carpet!
  • yeah, but (Score:5, Funny)

    by carambola5 (456983) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:57PM (#11883699) Homepage
    yeah, but does it run lin...

    oh, nevermind
  • DVD? RW? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Apreche (239272) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:57PM (#11883700) Homepage Journal
    Will this thing work with a CD-RW? How about a DVD? DVD-RW? If it only works with a CD-R that's sort of useless because the CD will eventually fill up, and its basically a one-time use deal.

    What would be extra cool is if you could combine this with something like the gentoo catalyst livecd making software. So not only could I save files on the RW disc but could also customize which software is on the disc to begin with. So if I wanted to get rid of X and save more space for files I could do so.
    • by splante (187185) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:12PM (#11883857)
      Read the FAQ [goosee.com]

      Why should I use a CD-R, why not a CD-RW or DVD disk?

      I do not recommend a CD-RW simply because it isn't necessary. A CD-R is "write-once", but in multi-session mode, tracks can be written one after the other, up to 99 tracks or the CD becomes full. You could use a DVD-R, however I would discourage you. Puppy has a mechanism for keeping track of deleted files, and this may become unwieldy if a very large number of deleted files have to be kept track of. This mechanism works on a per-CD or per-DVD basis, and is going to be more manageable with the smaller number of files on the CD. Also, it could take years before you fill-up a DVD, and in the meantime, unless you leave it permanently in the drive, there is the increased risk of it being scratched. Note however, this is tentative advice -- it may turn out in practice that a DVD-R is a good way to go.

    • Re:DVD? RW? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:12PM (#11884315)
      I wonder if you can pop in a fresh CDR at shutdown and have it burn a copy of Puppy + the current state of all your files? The media cost of CDR itself is hardly a concern.
      • Re:DVD? RW? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BlastM (663010) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @12:47AM (#11885306) Homepage Journal
        Of course, the CD is going to fill up eventually, so what then? No problem, at shutdown Puppy will automatically ask you to insert a new blank CD and will place a fully working bootable Puppy on it, create a first data track, and off you go again.


        So yes, it burns a new one, once you need it.
    • The idea appears to be that you want to fill up CDs with past sessions. The author suggests that you would write the current date on a disc when starting it the first time, and then a closing date when it is full (you are automatically prompted), and put in a new disc. The reasoning being that you can have a whack of CDs that let you go back in time to particular configurations you were working with at the time, and a complete audit trail of all activity on the system over a period of time, however many dis
  • Its been done (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:57PM (#11883710)
    Linspire "Thriller" (membership req) LiveCDs have been able to do this for some time.
  • Puppy huh (Score:3, Funny)

    by LittleGuernica (736577) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:57PM (#11883715) Homepage
    Finally I can send a K-9 unit to the rescue. This is a whole new "pedigree" of software indeed.
  • nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ErichTheWebGuy (745925) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:58PM (#11883717) Homepage
    I was just discussing [slashdot.org] this earlier about whether Knoppix could do just that. I suspect it will only be a matter of weeks or even days before we see a Knoppix version that can also do this.
    • Re:nice! (Score:3, Funny)

      by qewl (671495)
      Funny- it was I, the parent of your post, who submitted this article ;-)
    • Morphix [morphix.org] has had this feature for over a year called cd-pesistent [xs4all.nl].

      Full code is in the CVS, nice GUI, you can either /home, /home and configs or everything back to the LiveCD. Save Incremental changes or full changes. CD-Persistent allows the use of a CD-r or even a better CD-RW. For further details see the HowTo [sourceforge.net] with screenshots. (Disclaimer - I am the main developer for this module)

      I was just discussing this earlier about whether Knoppix could do just that..

      Morphix a modular based which basically tak

  • At last! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c0l0 (826165) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:00PM (#11883738) Homepage
    Finally an application for rewriteable optical media that truly makes sense. Another nice feature is this distribution is cached into system memory completely at runtime, so you're able to unmount and use your CD-RW-drive for other tasks while running this system as well.

    This project deserves to be watched closely in the future, I'm eager to see what it's gonna offer in the future.
    • Finally an application for rewriteable optical media that truly makes sense.

      Actually, it's designed for CDR, not RW. The distro itself is 50 MB, and you have the rest, 600 or so MB, which is used to make up to 99 images of your personal files.

  • Forensics? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chrontius (654879) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:00PM (#11883750)
    I predict this becoming big with the tinfoil-hat crowd -- they'll burn one session with music and keep it in their discman until they need it; then they've got their bootable Linux, and a way to get data out of a secure...

    This is reading like the plot of Alias, isn't it?

    Who cares. This is cool enough that I'm going to keep a copy in my backpack.
    • Re:Forensics? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by m50d (797211)
      I've already done that. I've got a CD with knoppix-std and a bunch of MP3s. Everything but the MP3s is hidden under rockridge and joliet, so unless you look at it in DOS you won't see anything else on there. And it plays fine in my mp3 walkman. But boot from it and you have practically every cracking tool under the sun. Or at least every one that was released when it was made, it's getting pretty old now. Anyone know when knoppix-std 0.2 will be out?
  • by un1xl0ser (575642) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:00PM (#11883757)
    This is a great idea.. but it says "The files are saved on the CD as normal files, not encrypted or compressed."

    That's great for Windows compatability, but I'd prefer my files to be encrypted, even on a livecd.
    • I am sure you could add this feature, but....

      Where would you keep the key. Hopefully not on the CD. This also means that you can't readily encrypt many files, such as those required to boot.

      Another option would be to have a small bootable Linux kernel/initrd on a USB drive along with a key, and an encrypted CDROM.
  • Uhh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) * on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:02PM (#11883779) Homepage Journal
    I'm pretty sure that burning a puppy is illegal in most states. And I'm pretty sure that's doubly true for re-buring. Remember, Dead Puppies Aren't Much Fun.
  • Puppy is an odd distro isn't it? It looks and feels more like Win than any other lightweight liveCD but unlike most of them Puppy notes that the way it handles or expects to handle your hard drive there is no easy way to install it there. Apparently you have to copy it to one FAT partition, run it and install it into another FAT partition, according to the notes. I note this because running and distro straight off the liveCD is very very slow. They should have taken the time to write a better method to inst
  • USB Key? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xtal (49134) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:04PM (#11883796) Homepage
    Wouldn't using a flash USB key make a lot more sense? Or am I missing something here?

    • Re:USB Key? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not all flash devices are bootable and lots of computers don't support boot from usb. However, nearly all computers with a cdrw would be able boot the disc so it seems to allow a larger audience.

      • Re:USB Key? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kidlinux (2550)
        One could carry a bootable CD with the distribution on it, and a USB key with their homedir/configs.
    • Re:USB Key? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chrontius (654879)
      Not everything will boot from USB.
    • Re:USB Key? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Grey_14 (570901)
      Also, 650MB of CD-R space is WAY cheaper than 650MB of USB Flash space.
    • Re:USB Key? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pjr.cc (760528)
      Personally, i use RUNT, which (as far as i can tell) is the only truely useable usb bootable distro... and yes, im with you, i think having a bootable usb linux is much more usefull than a cd distro, if only cause of size.. The best part of runt is the fact it boots off the key using umsdos rather than various knoppix distro's that boot off the key and load into ram... the advantage of this is the filesystem on the key is "live"... i.e. anything you do on it, stays on it.. (its based on slackware 10 fyi)
    • Re:USB Key? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trejkaz (615352)

      Yeah. It would be good if a USB key or another kind of removable storage could overlay the entire filesystem so that you could do things like editing configuration files in-place.

      Imagine that for net cafes, though. As an ordinary user, you could get root access and install whatever apps you want, as long as your key is big enough to fit the overlay. As soon as you leave, the computer is automatically back in the pristine state, and when you return, no matter which computer you use, you see the same setu

    • Re:USB Key? (Score:2, Informative)

      by docflan (816137)
      Wouldn't using a flash USB key make a lot more sense? Or am I missing something here?
      Yes.
      In spite of all the posters saying nothing will boot from USB, it is in fact quite common on even low cost motherboards these days.
    • Mandrake did it!
      They give you a 20/30/40 GB USB 2 hard drive, a mini CD, and Mandrake 10.0 pre-installed on the usb drive. Pop in the mini-cd and there goes Mandrake. A friend of mine has it, and he loves it. He can access all his winXP files and use every game he wants without having to bother with hard drive partitioning.
      The only downside is the price, it costs about $250/300 because of the pocket drive.
      It's way too slow on a USB 1 plug though.
  • by imsabbel (611519) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:05PM (#11883803)
    ...but isnt there a session overhead of about 20-25MB for every burn?
    Wouldnt that make even an empty cd fail be filled after a months, nevertheless rather full distro cd?

    Whats wrong with using an USB stick for such things?
  • will it have enough room left on the CD to store big movies, or just little jpg's?
  • by Arthropod (773668) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:13PM (#11883872)
    Anytime you need to get info off a messed-up pc that can't transmit to a useful network location, and doesn't have USB-ms drivers on it, but that has a cd-rw, this sucker would be a godsend. I've booted up on a knoppix cd more than once with the idea of writing files to a cd using knoppix. Though I suppose it would work just as well to boot into something that can load itself completely into memory, and free up the drive.


    Anyhow, even if some of that is available, it might just plain be convenient. I like the idea, anyway

    • I've booted up on a knoppix cd more than once with the idea of writing files to a cd using knoppix. Though I suppose it would work just as well to boot into something that can load itself completely into memory, and free up the drive.

      I use knoppix-std (security tools distro) from time to time. there is a "tomem" cheat code available at bootup for loading the image into memory - provided you have enough. As you would expect, things run faster.
      I can't say for sure but I presume the cdrom is free after
    • Puppy linux does load completely into RAM, freeing up your burner, btw.

      It only asks for the CD that it booted from during shutdown to burn the changes.

      I've been running it for kicks for the last couple of hours, and I'm very impressed! It's of course minimalist, but very functional (with Gxine and Firefox installed, I'm even streaming music).

      If you're going to give it a try, keep in mind that, for me, it ran significantly better after the first reboot (and burn of session). Not sure why that would be .
  • dogs & cats (Score:5, Funny)

    by brer_rabbit (195413) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:17PM (#11883903) Journal
    since you can only have 99 tracks the CD, wouldn't "Eleven Cats" would be a more fitting name? Or "99 bottles of Linux"?
  • by usurper_ii (306966) <eyes0nly@quest4 . o rg> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:18PM (#11883918) Homepage
    Pretty funny for all the "everything will be connected, even your toaster," crowd out there ... it now seem that because of the ever increasing spyware/malware/viruses, etc., pretty soon we will have to boot up a live Linux CD to use the Internet.

    I would use Ubunto, which is the first live Linux I have gotten my hands on, but it wouldn't pick up my modem correctly (probably a win modem thing). Other than that, and the fact that it wouldn't play MP3s without a plugin, I loved Ubunto. Linux is way close to "getting there."

    But after I wasted three days getting some powerful trojan crap off my computer not too long ago (yes, on an XP system), running from a CD and having a read only hard drive while connected to the Net seems like a pretty good idea, to me!

    Usurper_ii
    • I love my Ubuntu.. works on my laptop just fine (havne't tested modem compatability).

      If you add the restricted repository to apt-get, i believe there are drivers in there for winmodems. Furthermore, you can just install XMMS for mp3-playing, or gstreamer for use with rhythmbox
  • Wonderful (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cdcarter (822001)
    I have been using Puppy Linux for a while now, and it is a wonderful distro. It's small, but it has tons of stuff. It has a nice working X server, abiword, a few web browsers, tons of other utility's and NTFS support. It is really fast if you have enough ram for /usr to be a ramdisk. I highly reccomed it for anyone looking for a non-knoppix derivative.
  • Packet Writer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why they not use packet writing instead of multisession cd-r?

    It's a patch for the linux kernel that make it treat CD-RWs as another local filesystem, you can write and remove files as you can do that in your harddrive, no need to blank all the cdrw.

    I tried it on the nitro kernel patchset, and it was fast on 4x media :D

    (I think Nero InCD does the same thing)
  • Internet Cafes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:29PM (#11883992)
    Wouldn't using a live CD as your OS as an internet cafe owner save you megabucks on the hard drives you didn't have to buy? Not to mention no spyware dangers, or no users mucking up the configuration of the machines? And as a customer, simply rebooting when your done would clear all sensitive information.
    • Re:Internet Cafes (Score:4, Informative)

      by saitoh (589746) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:20PM (#11884377) Homepage
      While not entirely unrecomendable, there is the problem that people who go into inet cafes generally only know about Windows and how to use Windows and part of your business model is having a place where people can come and "easily" use the systems, even to the point of it being painfully easy and intuitive. This can be argued endlessly, but if your ever doing something like this, its something to consider.

      As for the solution for windows users to prevent the altering of a configuration:
      www.symantec.com/goback/

      My university uses it to lock down the general student labs. In 3 years, I've seen it work well.
    • Wouldn't using a live CD as your OS as an internet cafe owner save you megabucks on the hard drives you didn't have to buy? Not to mention no spyware dangers, or no users mucking up the configuration of the machines? And as a customer, simply rebooting when your done would clear all sensitive information.

      I can see the Slashdot headline now... "Puppy Linux costs hard drive, spyware, encryption makers millions of dollars in lost sales."

      But maybe it brings new business to data recovery companies... that is,
    • Wouldn't using a live CD as your OS as an internet cafe owner save you megabucks on the hard drives you didn't have to buy?

      Using a small, dirt-cheap hard drive, and leaving out the CD-ROM, would save you just as much. And a hard drive is sure to be much faster than a CD.

      no spyware dangers, or no users mucking up the configuration of the machines? And as a customer, simply rebooting when your done would clear all sensitive information.

      All this can be just as easily accomplised with a hard drive, and is

  • by saboola (655522) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:04PM (#11884256)
    Yeah, but does it run Windows?
  • by luckytroll (68214) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:18PM (#11884356) Homepage
    I have archtected Puppy Linux in a laptop on an expedition to Mt. Everest - the Flash/CDROM combination will enable the laptops to work above 18000ft, where a lot of hard disks "pop" out.

  • http://www.goosee.com/puppy/multi-puppy.htm
    Can someone confirm that only the latest ALPHA version is multisession, and .9.9 is still a plain live CD?

    Also I wish they had a torrent available, I feel almost bad with Puppy being caught with its pants down, torrentless.
  • Torrent (Score:4, Informative)

    by gamepro (859021) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:42PM (#11884531)
    I know I know, TF is infamous for the curropt LG3D file. Sorry about that, it was an accident. Heres a torrent for the puppy-1.0.0alpha-firefox-multisession.iso it's tested and works, pretty cool too. You have to be a member to DL the .torrent file, but we don't care who acesses the tracker. If someone wants to mirror the .torrent they are more the welcome to. heres the link for members http://www.titaniumforums.com/torrent/software/ind ex.php [titaniumforums.com]
  • Where I work [flexwareinnovation.com], we try to lock down the operator machines that we install our client to as much as possible. I see Puppy as being a very quick and easy way to generate a locked down live disc for those client stations. It gives us a base OS install to start from. We follow that by installing our client software, then lock down the account to only run our app. Burn a copy, throw it in the client machine, and call it a day. If they ever replace the PC or if the disc breaks, it would be a very simple matter

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