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dimanche 20 novembre 2016

Bootable flash drive for both Linux and Windows: live Linux

Three years ago, I wrote a small series about having all my favourite tools on a USB flash drive when I am on the go. Some things have changed in these years, so the time has come to write fresh blog posts on the subject. My main aim is a full portable Linux OS, and this third part is about just that!

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lundi 3 août 2015

Synchronisation de fichiers légère, pour ownCloud et WebDAV

J’ai récemment commencé à utiliser ownCloud pour la synchronisation de fichiers. En fin de compte, malgré quelques problèmes à la marge, l’expérience est vraiment satisfaisante, à tel point que j’ai déplacé sur ownCloud tout mon « nuage personnel », précédemment sur un partage NFS. Néanmoins, si le client ownCloud standard convient lorsqu’il est disponible, il ne l’est pas toujours. En particulier :

  • Je transporte avec moi sur clef USB un bureau Linux léger basé sur TinyCore Linux, et pour lequel ce client n’existe pas.
  • Je possède aussi un vieil ordinateur portable qui doit se contenter d’un système d’exploitation obsolète à cause d’un composant vidéo bogué, qu’aucun système plus récent ne supporte (bien que cette même référence de composant graphique sur un autre ordinateur portable soit parfaitement supportée…).

Pour de telles situations, j’ai essayé d’utiliser DavFS, qui s’est avéré bien trop lent ; cela reste toutefois un bon second choix. Puis j’ai essayé le programme Java WebDAV-Sync, mais bien que celui-ci ait correctement effectué l’import initial, on ne peut pas dire que la synchronisation ait vraiment fonctionné : l’ensemble des données était à nouveau intégralement téléchargé à chaque nouvelle tentative de synchronisation !

Donc j’ai créé mon propre outil de synchronisation, dont les seules dépendances sont curl et bash, et optionnellement ssh. Ces dépendances sont disponibles partout, même sur Windows et quelques systèmes embarqués ;-)

This article is also available in English.

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dimanche 2 août 2015

Lightweight file synchronization for ownCloud and WebDAV

I recently began using ownCloud for file synchronization. All in all, although there are some minor hindrances, the experience is really satisfying. So much so, that I moved all my “personal cloud” data to ownCloud, from the previous NFS share. However, although the regular ownCloud client is just fine where available, it is not available everywhere. In particular:

  • I carry around on a USB stick a lightweight Linux desktop based on TinyCore Linux, for which the client is not available.
  • I also have an old laptop that is stuck with an obsolete operating system because the video chipset is buggy, and no newer OS will support it (even though the “same” chipset reference in another laptop works just fine…).

For these situations, I tried using DavFS, but this solution was much too slow; it is a great fall-back, though. Next I tried the Java program WebDAV-Sync, but although the initial download went fine, sync did not work all that well: the whole share was fully downloaded again each time!

So I created my own synchronization tool, the only dependencies of which are curl and bash, and optionally ssh. These dependencies are available everywhere, including Windows and some embedded systems ;-)

Cet article a été traduit en français.

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vendredi 21 juin 2013

The “bash” shell in TinyCore Linux outputs a “~” when I hit the Delete, Home, or End key

As far as I understand, different command-line interpreters (the Linux console, the bash shell, busybox…) translate these keys (Insert, Delete, Home, End) to key-codes in different ways, and then the underlying programs (aterm, urxvt…) interpret these key-codes with some variations. All of this makes for a rather fragile process. If the terminfo database is up-to-date on your system, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, TinyCore Linux doesn’t seem to even have a terminfo database.

That is why “bash”, or rather the “readline” library that “bash” is using, fails to correctly handle the said keys. But “readline” can be taught.

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UTF-8 everywhere in TinyCore Linux

TinyCore being Linux at the core, it does handle UTF-8. This encoding has been the default in most Linux distributions for years; not so for TinyCore. That’s because this distribution strives to be tiny and UTF-8 support does make the overall size grow a bit.

In my case, with a whole 16GB (woot!) flash drive, I can easily afford the comfort brought by UTF-8. Here we go…

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jeudi 20 juin 2013

Time zone in TinyCore Linux

I want to use the French time zone on any computer I log onto using TinyCore Linux. Of course, this is not set up by default. The information is sparse and sometimes contradicting on this topic, but I seem to have achieved a working configuration. Here it is.

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vendredi 31 mai 2013

Lightweight Windows Network Neighbourhood for TinyCore Linux

TinyCore is a Linux distribution, the aim of which is to be tiny. Although one can still install the whole KDE or Gnome desktop on TinyCore (it is still Linux after all), I prefer to keep it small. Thus, the “network neighbourhood” client proposed here is a rather lightweight Samba client, yet still with most needed features.

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dimanche 12 mai 2013

NTFS and modular boot for TinyCore Linux

TinyCore Linux is an awesome tiny Linux distribution. Better yet, TinyCore is made to be built on, and that’s just what I decided to do, build on it in order to match my exact needs:

  • I want to be able to install TinyCore Linux on an NTFS partition, and all NTFS partition should open with NTFS-3G by default.
  • I want a more modular startup, with a list of packages to load for firmware, another list for filesystems support, yet another for desktop applications, and so on.

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samedi 11 mai 2013

Bootable flash drive for both Linux and Windows: part 5

This blog post is part of a small series, with the aim of configuring a bootable USB flash drive for portable use on any PC. The main target is a full portable Linux OS, but I also addressed the Windows OS, for those times when you have no choice ;-)

This last part suggests a better Grub2 menu allowing you to boot according to the present need, and a useful tip…

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vendredi 10 mai 2013

Bootable flash drive for both Linux and Windows: part 3

This blog post is part of a small series, with the aim of configuring a bootable USB flash drive for portable use on any PC. The main target is a full portable Linux OS, but I will also address the Windows OS, for those times when you have no choice ;-)

This third part is about the portable Linux operating system.

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