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Live CD for low RAM systems

Minimum RAM requirement for Slitaz core Live CD is 160Mb (128Mb for 1.0). Many X11 applications won't run with such a low memory size, then boot option screen=text is recommended.

The packages slitaz-loram, slitaz-loram-http or slitaz-loram-cdrom are used to build a Live CD for systems with RAM larger than 64Mb, 32Mb or 24Mb respectively.

  • slitaz-loram will compress /usr tree and all the system will still run in RAM. It will not use cdrom, harddisk or USB key.
  • slitaz-loram-http will get /usr tree from an iso image stored in built with slitaz-loram-cdrom. To use the 'tiny' keyword while booting from the web
  • slitaz-loram-cdrom will move /usr tree on the cdrom.

/usr will be read-only. If the package funionfs or aufs is installed you will have read-write access to /usr.

These packages patch /etc/init.d/rcS to mount /usr and install two scripts in /etc/tazlito:

  • loram.rootfs is called by tazlito gen-distro to compress or move /usr
  • loram.extract is called by slitaz-installer to uncompress or move /usr and install the same distribution as the Slitaz core Live CD

Let's build slitaz-loram-cdrom.iso !


We boot the Live CD and install package slitaz-loram-cdrom:

 # tazpkg get-install slitaz-loram-cdrom 

tazlito gen-distro will create an ISO with the packages listed in /etc/tazlito/distro-packages.list or ./distro-packages.list. Since some more packages are installed, we remove these files to force tazlito to use all installed packages.

 # rm -f /etc/tazlito/distro-packages.list ./distro-packages.list 

Now we can build the iso image…

 # tazlito gen-distro 

…and burn it.

# wodim dev=1,0,0 /home/slitaz/distro/slitaz-hacked.iso 

slitaz-loram | slitaz-loram-cdrom variations

slitaz-loram compresses /usr with cromfs by default (higher compression but very slow). You can use squashfs instead :

  • refuse to install cromfs during slitaz-loram installation,
<code> # yes n | tazpkg get-install slitaz-loram </code>
  • install squashfs with its dependancies.
 <code>   # yes y | tazpkg get-install squashfs </code>

slitaz-loram-cdrom moves /usr uncompressed to cdrom and produces a 90Mb iso. if you install cromfs or squashfs /usr will be compressed in cdrom and iso size will be between 25Mb and 35Mb.

Let's build slitaz-loram-cdrom-sqfs.iso !

We boot the Live CD and install the package slitaz-loram-cdrom and squashfs (sqfs):

# tazpkg get-install slitaz-loram-cdrom
# yes y | tazpkg get-install squashfs

Now we can continue the process…

# rm -f /etc/tazlito/distro-packages.list ./distro-packages.list
# tazlito gen-distro
# wodim dev=1,0,0 /home/slitaz/distro/slitaz-hacked.iso

slitaz-loram-cdrom and large memory size

When the slitaz-loram-cdrom Live CD detects enough memory during boot, /usr is copied from cdrom to ram. You can eject and/or use the CD drive. The system behaves as:

  • a slitaz Live CD (/usr was not compressed on cdrom)
  • a slitaz-loram Live CD (/usr was compressed on cdrom by squashfs or cromfs)

slitaz-loram-cdrom and tiny memory size

The boot command line is usually:

 boot: slitaz args... 

Slitaz boots on a 9Mb RAM system with the boot command:

 boot: loram single root=/dev/hdc 

Where /dev/hdc is the CD-ROM device. The loram boot entry avoids ramdisk creation and CD-ROM detection. Next the first thing to do is add swap ! You need 10Mb to use the boot scripts with

 boot: loram root=/dev/hdc 

In this case you can add arguments like kmap=, config= …

slitaz-loram auto extraction

Each slitaz-loram* flavor can be extracted in RAM at boot time (if enough memory is available), by using the boot argument extract-loram. You will get a core flavor running without read-only restrictions for /usr.

Example: assuming you boot a slitaz-loram-cdrom-sqfs,

 boot: slitaz extract-loram 

you will get:

  • /usr read-only squashfs on cdrom with small RAM size.
  • /usr read-only squashfs in RAM with middle RAM size (like slitaz-loram).
  • /usr read-write tmpfs in RAM with big RAM size (like slitaz-core).
en/guides/lowramcd.1266716490.txt.gz · Last modified: 2010/07/08 17:16 (external edit)