Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tiny Core looking very good

A number of major advances brought Tiny Core Linux a very long way forward on my EeePC 901 today.
1. Getting the Frugal Install to boot only required doing what I had already done on many of the OSes I installed on the EeePC 901. That is saving the kernel and initrd files to the /boot directory of Xandros (in a subdirectory named "tinycore") and setting the initial root to point to the Xandros partition.
Here's what I'm currently using and this boots perfectly:

title TinyCore 1.0 Frugal Install
root (0x80,0)
kernel /boot/tinycore/bzImage root=/dev/hdd7 tce=hdd7 restore=hdd7 vga=789
initrd /boot/tinycore/tinycore.gz

2. One thing I didn't know about the frugal install is that everything gets wiped unless you purposely save it somewhere on shutting down. So this is the reason for the two additional bootcodes "tce=hdd7" and "restore=hdd7". he first tells TC where to store stuff and the second tells it to restore this stuff on boot. Works well with just one little problem that I need to investigate.
3. This is that I still have to go through a sizable rigmarole to get my wireless internet connection working after every boot.
The backup facility remembers that I have rt2860sta.ko.gz, wireless_tools and wpa-supplicant available in /home/tc/. But the driver disappears from /lib/modules/2.6.26-tinycore/kernel/drivers/net/ on reboot.
I have written a bash script to get the wireless operating. This is
cd /home/tc
cp rt2860sta.ko.gz /lib/modules/2.6.26-tinycore/kernel/drivers/net/
depmod -a
modprobe rt2860sta
ifconfig ra0 up
iwconfig ra0 key open
iwconfig ra0 key abcdefghijklmonopqrstuvwxyz
iwconfig ra0 essid "eircom6XY3 7WX4"
ifconfig ra0 netmask
route add default gw

This works perfectly as long as I load both wpa-supplicant and wireless_tools beforehand and change the terminal from $ to #. Incidentally, putting "sudo su" into the script prevented it from running.
4. Finally, I still had the major problem that a part of the page was significantly off the screen such that I could neither see the wbar dock nor panel.
But, this was very easy to fix just by using a further bootcode on the kernel line "vga=789". Even though 789 refers to a 800x600 (24 bit) screen resolution, it seems to actually be 1024x600 as everything fits perfectly on the screen. And I'm not complaining.

After all of these breakthroughs, Tiny Core Linux actually looks very, very good. I'll certainly investigate this more.

No comments:

Post a Comment