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Open source all the way.

There are three kinds of lies... lies, d4mned lies, and statistics.   ~Samuel Clemons AKA Mark Twain

Got it working!!!  Turns out the problem was that the presistence.dat file was in the root directory and I needed to create a /ventoy folder and move it there.  Now I have the choice of booting with o

raymac46

I'm down to (blush!) 4 distros but in my defense 3 of them are either Debian or based on Debian. Arch is just too much fun to give up, although I wouldn't want to install it for the grandkids until my geeky grandson gets a bit older.

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abarbarian

I am a tad busy at the moment so am only running two distros. Boring old Arch and boring old MX-19. Boring as in rock steady with no glitches to fix , yawn yawn yawn. 🤩

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abarbarian

This is not an article on a distro but it may be of some interest to folk distro hopping or folk wanting to try out several live os's.

 

Create A Bootable USB Drive By Simply Copying The ISO To The USB With Ventoy (Linux And Windows) 

 

 

Quote

Ventoy is a fairly new open source tool to create bootable USB drives using Linux or Microsoft Windows ISO files. You install this tool to a USB drive, then simply copy some ISO files to the USB drive and you can boot from it with no other changes (so without having to reformat the USB drive every time you want to create a bootable USB drive, and without having to extract the ISO file contents).

The application is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux. It has a graphical user interface on Windows only; on Linux you'll need to use it from the command line.

When copying multiple ISO files to the USB drive, Ventoy provides a menu on boot from where you can choose which ISO to boot. You can even create a multiboot USB drive by adding ISO files for some Linux distributions and Windows ISO files on the same USB

 

 

Quote

 

How to create a bootable USB drive with persistence using Ventoy


When you create a regular Linux live USB, you can install software, download files, make changes to the system, and so on, but all of these changes are lost after a reboot. A persistent live USB allows saving any changes you make to the live system, so they are still present the next time you boot to it.

Ventoy supports creating bootable USB drive with persistence support. Among the Linux distributions for which Ventoy supports persistence are Ubuntu, MX Linux, Linux Mint, Elementary OS and Zorin OS, although more probably work, but haven't been tested. Generally, any Linux distribution based on Ubuntu should work.

 

 

Ventoy has some pretty neat features and is a most interesting tool. 😎

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wa4chq
12 hours ago, abarbarian said:

This is not an article on a distro but it may be of some interest to folk distro hopping or folk wanting to try out several live os's.

 

Create A Bootable USB Drive By Simply Copying The ISO To The USB With Ventoy (Linux And Windows) 

 

 

 

 

 

Ventoy has some pretty neat features and is a most interesting tool. 😎

Hey abarbarian....tnx for the info about Ventoy.  Interesting tool.  I'll have to give it a try.

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securitybreach

So I am just curious, since you can do that anyway on window and (some) linux distros, what does it actually offer? When we make image sticks at work, we just delete the files and copy the new image extracted to the drives. They usually work fine that way. Sometimes, you may have to format them but usually not. 

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securitybreach
2 minutes ago, securitybreach said:

So I am just curious, since you can do that anyway on window and (some) linux distros, what does it actually offer? When we make image sticks at work, we just delete the files and copy the new image extracted to the drives. They usually work fine that way. Sometimes, you may have to format them but usually not. 

 

Ok, never mind. I didn't notice the persistent features and such

 

Quote

When you create a regular Linux live USB, you can install software, download files, make changes to the system, and so on, but all of these changes are lost after a reboot. A persistent live USB allows saving any changes you make to the live system, so they are still present the next time you boot to it.

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wa4chq

Looks like you can also have multiple distros instead of just one.  I have a few distro's on a thumb drive....it's like Christmas when I get them out and boot up....I don't remember what's gonna pop up cuz I never label 'em....lol

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securitybreach
15 minutes ago, wa4chq said:

Looks like you can also have multiple distros instead of just one.  I have a few distro's on a thumb drive....it's like Christmas when I get them out and boot up....I don't remember what's gonna pop up cuz I never label 'em....lol

 

Ah that is nice, cool :thumbsup:

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abarbarian
18 hours ago, securitybreach said:

So I am just curious, since you can do that anyway on window and (some) linux distros, what does it actually offer?


 

Quote

 

Features

100% open source

Simple to use

Fast (limited only by the speed of copying iso file)

Can be installed in USB/Local Disk/SSD/NVMe/SD Card

Directly boot from ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files, no extraction needed

No need to be continuous in disk for ISO/IMG files

MBR and GPT partition style supported (1.0.15+)

x86 Legacy BIOS, IA32 UEFI, x86_64 UEFI, ARM64 UEFI supported

UEFI Secure Boot supported (1.0.07+)

Persistence supported (1.0.11+)

Windows/Linux auto installation supported (1.0.09+)

FAT32/exFAT/NTFS/UDF/XFS/Ext2(3)(4) supported for main partition

ISO files larger than 4GB supported

Native boot menu style for Legacy & UEFI

Most type of OS supported, 600+ iso files tested

Linux vDisk boot supported

Not only boot but also complete installation process

Menu dynamically switchable between List/TreeView mode

"Ventoy Compatible" concept

Plugin Framework

Injection files to runtime enviroment

Boot configuration file dynamically replacement

Highly customizable theme and menu

USB drive write-protected support

USB normal use unaffected

Data nondestructive during version upgrade

No need to update Ventoy when a new distro is released

 

 

Ventoy home site

 

I gave it a quick try out, downloaded .iso's and copied and pasted to a Ventoy usb stick,

 

Arch

Fedora SOS

Fenix

They booted to a useable live os.

 

Porteous KDE

Pepermint OS

Did not boot at all.

 

Slacko Puppy

Booted but quit with errors.

 

It was just a quick test run. Seems like a neat tool and easy to set up and use. I already have MX on a usb as an emergency tool so it may not be much use to me but it will make trying out some os's a lot easier. 😎

 

 

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Bookmem
2 hours ago, abarbarian said:


 

 

Ventoy home site

 

I gave it a quick try out, downloaded .iso's and copied and pasted to a Ventoy usb stick,

 

Arch

Fedora SOS

Fenix

They booted to a useable live os.

 

Porteous KDE

Pepermint OS

Did not boot at all.

 

Slacko Puppy

Booted but quit with errors.

 

It was just a quick test run. Seems like a neat tool and easy to set up and use. I already have MX on a usb as an emergency tool so it may not be much use to me but it will make trying out some os's a lot easier. 😎

 

 

I must be doing something wrong.  I used my Mint 20.1 box to create a 16gb persistance.dat file and placed it and the Mint 20.1 iso files on the Ventoy 64gb USB drive.  Also made the ventoy.json file on the USB drive.  But when I boot the from the USB, instead of the persistance menu, my only option is to boot the iso file.

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abarbarian
On 1/13/2021 at 7:30 PM, Bookmem said:

I must be doing something wrong.  I used my Mint 20.1 box to create a 16gb persistance.dat file and placed it and the Mint 20.1 iso files on the Ventoy 64gb USB drive.  Also made the ventoy.json file on the USB drive.  But when I boot the from the USB, instead of the persistance menu, my only option is to boot the iso file.

 

Never tried to do that as I am busy doing a fresh Arch install. This link may help you,

 

https://ventoy.net/en/plugin_persistence.html

 

😎

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Bookmem
17 hours ago, abarbarian said:

 

Never tried to do that as I am busy doing a fresh Arch install. This link may help you,

 

https://ventoy.net/en/plugin_persistence.html

 

😎

Got it working!!!  Turns out the problem was that the presistence.dat file was in the root directory and I needed to create a /ventoy folder and move it there.  Now I have the choice of booting with or without persistence.

edit: Ooops!  It was the ventoy.json file that had to be moved, not the persistence.dat.

Edited by Bookmem
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abarbarian
7 hours ago, Bookmem said:

Got it working!!! 

 

Neat, I may give that a go myself now I know it works well. 😎

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abarbarian

GeckoLinux Does OpenSuse Better

 

 

Quote

 

GeckoLinux is a unique distribution that goes a long way towards unifying the often-confusing array of workstation choices available to business and mainstream consumers looking for an alternative to other computing platforms.

A relative newbie in the overcrowded world of Linux distributions, GeckoLinux debuted in December 2015. But it has made up for its youth by a rapid development cycle that has done a solid job of catching up to, and even exceeding, other Linux options.

This distro is fully functional and offers some of the best Linux desktop environments available. It avoids the pitfalls of distros that make using Linux bothersome.

GeckoLinux taps into the openSuse Linux infrastructure. The traditional Suse-based Linux platform is one of the hallmark Linux families that is long proven to be reliable and secure.

 

 

 

😎

 

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securitybreach

Not a very inventive name considering the logo of Suse.

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abarbarian
On 3/8/2021 at 12:10 PM, securitybreach said:

Not a very inventive name considering the logo of Suse.

 

They had to call it something. I like that they offer static and rolling release versions. 😎

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abarbarian
Posted (edited)

Knoppix: The live system veteran in a new form

 

Quote

The Linux system Knoppix, named after its developer Klaus Knopper, is a very special distribution – and its technical basis is of the finest quality. Because the live system boots on practically every old and new computer, has an absolutely reliable setup assistant and can optionally protect data and settings through encryption. The live classic based on Debian Linux celebrates its 20th birthday in September: Knoppix enabled live operation long before the live installation media from Ubuntu & Co., which are widespread today a universal second system on USB.

 


 

Quote

 

Notwithstanding some misleading information, the original Knoppix ISO is not reduced to DVD start, but offers a modern hybrid start environment. An intermediate step using a blank DVD is therefore not necessary, Knoppix also boots from a raw copy on a USB stick. The usual tools such as dd, Gnome-Disks (“restore drive image”) are suitable as tools for this raw copy,

Etcher
or the

Win 32 Disk Imager
under Windows.

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

The most important Knoppix tool: Not without reason is Flash Knoppix a permanent guest on the desktop. In this way you can turn a live system into a flexible Linux.

 

Knoppix live with overlay partition:

The ideal Knoppix setup variant for continuous operation is the use of an additional writable overlay partition. This not only saves and transports personal documents, but also allows permanent adjustments, installations and deinstallations. As far as we know, this variant can only be accessed from a Knoppix that is already running, but this is very easy: You can find the relevant tool as the link “Flash Knoppix” on the desktop. It can be reached in the menu under “Knoppix -> Copy Knoppix to Flash”. As the name suggests, Flash Knoppix is the installation assistant for copies onto writable USB and SD media, but can also be used for setting up on hard drives.

 

 

Knoppix is a fascinating distro for many reasons and early on in my penguin journey it found a secure place in my heart.

One thing that attracted me was that they actively promoted downloading Knoppix by Bit Torrent. After all that is what penguin life is all about is it not. Everyone helping everyone in small ways so that everyone can be included no matter where they live or how rich they are.

https://knoppix.net/get.php

 

Quote

 

Download Knoppix Live DVD and Live CD via BitTorrent

BitTorrent is a P2P (peer-to-peer) application which enables you do download Knoppix from multiple computers at the same time. BitTorrent, when properly set up, will usually give you a faster download than obtaining the Knoppix CD or DVD from one of the mirrors. It also includes its own file checking, so will avoid the file corruption problems sometimes seen with using mirrors to download. Users behind a firewall that they cannot control (such as those downloading at work or at an Internet cafe) may still need to use the mirrors below, but BitTorrent is suggested for most downloaders.

To use BitTorrent, Download it, and visit the Knoppix BitTorrent Tracker, and click the "DL" link next to the image you want to download ( -EN or -DE ). Save that file, then run btdownloadgui KNOPPIX-[date].torrent. Leave the program running when your download has finished, as you'll be uploading it for other people.

 

 

Another aspect of Knoppix that I thought was outstanding was Adriane,

 

https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/knoppix-adriane.html

 

 

Quote

 

Adriane is friendly

This is the first distro that I know of that has a screen reader enabled by default, making it usable for blind people, as well. Most of us rarely think of people with disabilities when happily clicking through our shiny desktops, taking life for granted, never wondering about seemingly trivial tasks like finding the right icon to click on. The forethought invested by the developers should be lauded. If nothing else, this highly humane act makes Knoppix worth the effort.

 

 

There are any number of books on Knoppix. This is a free one on-line.

 

Hacking Knoppix (ExtremeTech)

An exert from this excellent book which is from 2007 but still relevant today.


 

Quote

 

In this chapter, you actually make your own Knoppix-based distro. The distro is targeted at kids between the ages of 6 and 13, for several reasons.

First, more kids should be using Linux and open source, and Knoppix is a great way to do that. Make it fun and easy to use and kids will start asking for Linux. Then, when they grow up, they'll take their preferences for Linux into the workplace, and Linux can achieve total world domination (cue maniacal laughter)!

Second, the distro can help harried parents. If your brother's kids are visiting, for example, and you don't want them messing around on your Windows machine because you don't want to clean spyware and other garbage off again (for the umpteenth time), boot with your customized Knoppix for kids and your worries are gone. They can have fun and maybe even learn something, and you don't have to spend hours after they leave cleaning off malware.

Third, the cool new distro could be a boon for schools. Microsoft and the Business Software Alliance have been making life miserable for several cash-strapped school districts in recent years. Nothing would be nicer than a switch to more open-source software so that those schools wouldn't have to spend what little money they have on software licenses.

 

 

Another on-line free book may explain why I fell in love with Knoppix.

 

RunningKNOPPIX

One of the boot options on an early Knoppix.😋
 

Quote

 

knoppix desktop=??Instead of using the KDE desktop (kde), replace??with one of the following window managers:fluxbox, icewm, larswm, twm, wmaker, or xfce.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy folks. 😎

 

Edited by abarbarian
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raymac46

Ventoy is really cool. I installed it for Windows and after copying over a new iso of Manjaro 21 I am now posting this from it. Not that I ever intend to install Manjaro but it works with Ventoy.

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securitybreach
5 hours ago, raymac46 said:

Ventoy is really cool. I installed it for Windows and after copying over a new iso of Manjaro 21 I am now posting this from it. Not that I ever intend to install Manjaro but it works with Ventoy.

 

Neat

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raymac46

I also copied an ISO of Lubuntu so when you launch Ventoy it gives you a choice of the two distros in a menu. You need to turn off Secure Boot for it to work on Windows 10.

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Hedon James
On 9/15/2020 at 1:41 PM, securitybreach said:

I’m just boring, I install Archlinux on everything. 😎

 

How many Arch machines do you administer?  One of the things stopping me from using a rolling release distro like Arch, or Manjaro, or Siduction is that I like homogeneity on my machines.  That means installing the same OS on:

 

  • my daily driver (production machine)
  • my media machine/Kodi server
  • my laptop
  • my Studio/Recording machine
  • 2 NUCS used as set-top computer/Kodi clients

 

That would be a LOT of updating and my biggest concern would be that something doesn't get updated frequently enough (the laptop is used pretty infrequently and would probably be the first victim) and I'd bork the system when I did update, because it wasn't incremental enough.  Is there a tool to update a (mostly) homogeneous network of Arch machines?  Seems like keeping 6 Arch machines up to date would be a nightmare?  Your thoughts on that?

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securitybreach

I have 3 VMs, a VPS (linode), 2 laptops, desktop and 2 servers running Archlinux.

 

I update everything every day but the servers have the kernel held back and I only update on major kernel releases so 5.x instead of doing 5.x.x releases. This is still somewhat frequent but its not as bad as almost daily kernel updates.

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securitybreach

Plus you can update weekend or monthly, you don't have to update every day if you don't want.

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Hedon James
15 hours ago, securitybreach said:

Plus you can update weekend or monthly, you don't have to update every day if you don't want.

 

Yeah, but that's not the issue.  It's the 6x update/upgrade (SIX!!!) that's the issue.  Is there a way to update ONCE, and administer to all 6?  Maybe a script?  Or a network tool, like Kubernetes, which I've heard of as a "network tool" but have no idea what it's used for.

 

How do companies with small or large Linux networks update their systems?  They can't update 20-30 machines every week can they?  Seems like they'd need to hire an "update guy" for that job...not a very efficient use of resources, IMO.  I guess those companies stick to Debian Stable and only upgrade every 5 years?

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securitybreach

Of course not, you have to keep your systems up to date at all times as companies are very targetted. On Linux you would be using tools like Puppet, Chef, cfengine, etc.

 

Quote

 

With those tools you can divide your servers to groups, and then perform tasks to single servers, single groups, or several different servers / groups, or all the servers simultaneously. Tasks like "Add package X to group www-servers", "Change /etc/resolv.conf DNS servers from group database servers", whatever you need to do, will be more trivial to perform after the initial shock you encounter due the sheer amount of things you can do with CoMa software.

 

For user account management I say use the LDAP you already have, Linux fully supports that and is about the only sane way to do anything in a bigger environment.

 

 

Think of LDAP as Active Directory for  Linux   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Directory_Access_Protocol

 

If the company uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux, they can use their Red Hat Network for managing software upgrades in a more granular way, among other things it can do. 

 

Lastly, most distros allow you to set up your own repos to control which package updates get pushed to the machines. And since most distros now support in-place kernel upgrades, it's a lot smoother than upgrading window's clients.

 

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