Sunday, April 19, 2015

Full Hard Drive Installation of FatDog64-700

With the release of FatDog64-700, most of us are interested in full hard drive installation, to get the maximum performance out of it. But till now FatDog64 does not officially supports hard drive installation.

I’d already wrote an article on how to make full hard disk installation of FatDog64-630 and FatDog64-631. You can read the same here. The steps are almost remains the same for FatDog64-700 too. But there are a few tweaks to be specifically made for the 700 series in certain steps.

Before moving into the steps, there are a few caveats and assumptions.

i.  The default boot loader provided with the FatDog64 (While using the Frugal Installer) having issues, while booting the full install. In fact, I’ve never succeeded creating a full install, with the default boot loader provided by the FatDog700 frugal installer (syslinux). The major issue with this is, the built in Frugal Installer will install the files to ‘/boot’, subdirectory. Not to the root of the partition. This can cause you issues with full installation, where you’ve to provide ‘root=’ switch to the kernel command line, that can only point to a root of the partition, not to a subdirectory under the root partition. i.e. ‘root=/dev/sda2’ is a valid switch, but ‘root=/dev/sda2/boot’ is not.

So I assume you already have an existing boot loader (Grub2 or Grub4Dos). This also means you might already owns, a primary linux OS, such as ubuntu! You will be making the changes to the existing boot loader, to boot the FatDog-700 full install.

ii. If you’re working with a Virtual Environment (like KVM), be careful, while choosing the disk image controller type (Don’t select VirtIO Block, instead choose either SATA or IDE). Choosing VirtIO will cause ‘Kernel Panic, unable to mount root file system, on unknown block device’ issue, during the Full Install boot.

OK. Here we go! I will only list the changes in the steps (provided here for FatDog64-631 Full Install), that needs to be made for 700.

1. Create and Prepare a new Partition for FatDog64

This steps remains the same. But I’ve some changes in my environment for this experiment. I’ve my primary OS as Lubuntu, installed in ‘Sda1’. I’ve then created a new ‘ext4’ partition ‘sda2’, for the FatDog700 installation, using Gparted (Included in the FatDog 700 live CD).


2. Download the latest FatDog64 ISO file and burn it to a CD

Download FatDog 700 from here.

3. Boot into FatDog64 Live CD

No change. But use the FatDog 700 ISO file, that you’ve downloaded in step#2

4. Frugal install FatDog64 to the newly created partition

We’ve a major change in this step compared to FatDog 631 install. FatDog 700 Frugal Installer, installs the files to ‘/boot’ sub directory, rather than to the root partition (as FatDog 631 does). So we will be going the manual way of Frugal Install here for 700.

4.1 Format your new partition (that you’ve prepared for FatDog 700 full install), with ext4. You can do this in Step#1. See the above figure.

4.2 Now open FatDog 700 Live CD partition (With a CD Icon, listed along with other partitions in the bottom, near the taskbar)


Now select both the ‘initrd’ and ‘vmlinuz’ files, and drag (copy) to the new partition (the one you’ve created for FatDog 700 install).


My machine, after successful copy operation.


5. Perform a Layred Full Install

No change. But in FatDog 700, the sfs file name has changed to ‘fd64.sfs’. Make a note of it. Also if your ‘unsquashfs’ command fails in the middle (shows #killed, before it gets to 100%), its due to no swap. Better switch on the swap, at the very first. I’ve a swap partition at ‘sda3’, and I switched it on under FatDog 700, before the file operations. Below screenshot is self explanatory.


6. Perform a True Full Install

No change. If you’re using a SATA hard disk, you can also try out ‘pmedia=satahd’ switch in the kernel commandline.

i.e “linux /vmlinuz pmedia=satahd root=/dev/sda2 rw rootwait pkeys=us”

7. Fix True Full Install – Restore broken and removed packages in the True Full Install

No change.

8. Reboot.


Though, I’ve been able to perform the True Full Install with all packaged retained, I am still seeing some warnings during boot up and shutdown, even in 700 series. If someone has figured out the same, please add the same at the comment section.

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