sage windows installer.exe - Very easy install!

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emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 6:47:23 AM11/24/10
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I succeeded in building a windows installer for the latest sage 4.6.
It is a 1 click install! This is a cool alternative to Virtual image
and Live CD.

I tested it in Windows 7 and XP, but it should also work in Vista and
Windows 9x. It will NOT work in Windows ME.

Technically it is similar to a "WUBI" install, but automated. It will
hook the latest Live CD Version into the Windows boot menu. At startup
you can choose to run Windows or "Start Puppy Linux", which will have
the Sage system, The complete Sage online documentation (incl. FAQ and
Tutorial) and may other applications. Also important: there is
basic localization available (currently english, french, german,
spanish).

requirements: Basic system needs 577 MB of disk space, with a
"personal savefile" it will need ca 1,5 GB of disk space.
I tested it down to 768 MB RAM in a virtual machine, maybe its will
work with less, currently it doesn't work with 512 MB, I guess this
could be fixed with some development but it is not really a
priority imo. (Ah, and yes: it will install into the windows
partition, no linux
partition required. It is just a folder with a 4-5 files)

I figured that this could really broaden the possible userbase of
sage, especially in the field of education.

Download:
http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/sagelive/sagelive-511-46.exe

Steps:
defragment Windows harddisk (recommended)
download installer
run it
reboot
choose "Start Puppy Linux"

there is also screenshot how it looks like:
http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/sagelive/screenshot.jpg

Once the Sage system is running, it is easy to make additional
installs, eg create a CD, bootable USB, or create a HD install in a
seperate linux partition.
(Has install wizard).

If there is interest in this, I would need testers and feedback.

regards
emil

I crossposted already to sage-devel, but H.Shilly recommended to post
also here and on sage-window

Sazzad

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Nov 24, 2010, 7:48:24 AM11/24/10
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Dear Emil,

I appreciate and celebrate you great work. 

If there is interest in this, I would need testers and feedback.
I'm always interested, but in a native windows version of Sagemath. Did you use cygwin for this build? Why do your version of Sage require so much memory? Can't a user pull off some packages when unnecessary? 

I'm interested in Graph Theoretic part of sage. Therefore, I will be happy if the minimum requirement of sage had windows port.

I think I'm stuck in a dilemma :
1. A native port can be built using cygwin, but that wouldn't help developers/user much, since it requires a long time to build. moreover, newcomers would feel cygwin an extra burden and may not figure out some technicalities.
2. MSVC wouldn't conform to most of the sage c/c++ codes.

There must be a workaround.

Best Wishes
Sazzad

emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 9:02:50 AM11/24/10
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Hi Sazzad,

to make myself clear :-), this is not a windows port of sage. Not with
Cygwin, nor with MinGW, nor with MSVC. I couldn't to that. I know my
limits.

This is just a possibility to install a working linux + sage in
parallel to Windows in a very easy way (i.e download an exe file and
execute it). Of course this is not an optimal solution. An optimal
solution would be a working windows version which can be maintained.

It is also not "better" then the virtual image, just "different". The
advantage of the virtual machine approach is, that you still run sage
inside the windows environment. The disadvantage is, that installation
is more complex than the average windows program. I dare to admit that
99% of windows "users" will shun from it. and will find it geeky.

Well, installing a complete Linux OS in parallel to windows is also
very geeky, but the process to do so is very simple and not different
to installing other programs in windows (download 1 file, start
installer, reboot). The hurdle to get sage running is lower.

I think this is the most important argument: the hurdle is lower. The
Linux environment itself is rather user friendly and it should be
possible for windows users to get productive in it quickly.

So in a nutshell, this is an additional option to get a running sage
system onto a windows system, and in my opinion it is the fastest and
easiest option at the moment.

To try the software. To get the feeling. To play around. To use it
daily. To do serious work. Whatever.

The installation itself is easier then in most linux systems (I dare
say it is as easy or even easier than in ubuntu). It is "minimal
invasive". It just needs a folder and a couple of files. It can live
happily on a windows NTFS partition. It can be uninstalled. Additional
software (like open office) can be installed into it. It is even
possible to get a full development environment installed (for linux,
with gcc, make, gfortran, simple ide etc) this will just need 1
additional file ( ca 120 MB).

About size:
I don't think it uses much disk space - compare with other big
programs. A conventional sage install on Linux is well over 1,5 GB
disk space. I dont't know about the latest Mathematica, but I am
pretty sure it is over 1GB.
About the RAM: this can be a problem, especially I am aware that you
are living in a "3rd world country" (hm, I don't really like that
expression). The system can be installed on computers with less RAM,
but currently this is not 1 click. I am pretty sure it will also work
in an "out of the box mode", but I don't know how well and it will
need a bit of tinkering (surly less then 1 man week to find that out
if necessary).

I also starte some help pages, right at the moment they are pretty
basic.
http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/html/en/home

So there is lotsof room for testing and improvement.

best greetings from Austria,
emil

Harald Schilly

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Nov 24, 2010, 9:51:26 AM11/24/10
to sage-windows
On Nov 24, 12:47 pm, emil <emil.widm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It will
> hook the latest Live CD Version into the Windows boot menu...

I've just one question, is it possible to access other windows files?
Because, one of the bigger problems with the vmware/virtualbox
environment is, that the files of the user are somehow locked-in. It
would be cool if one could access the files in the surrounding ntfs
partition - or even others - to make import/export easy. If it works
just like I imagine it should be possible.

H

emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 10:48:28 AM11/24/10
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You have full access to all files on the NTFS partition. You have
basic support for word and excel files with "Abiword" and "Gnumeric"
which are included in the base distribution, but this might not work
smoothly for all formats. For some files (like the latest Word, Excel
and Powerpoint formats) it is necessary to install open office, but
this is no big problem, it just adds 1 more file to the install.

So it is possible to save your work and then go to windows and access
the files, yes, and also vice versa.

More details about the included applications:

The base distribution has full set of applications, it is a full-
fledged (however small) linux distribution.
Including admin tools, Graphic tools , Audio/Video tools, CUPS printer
support, Network, Webcam and Wifi support, Seamonkey browser (mozilla
engine=same as firefox). email client and composer, a selection of
text editors (notepad like, geany - which is also a lightweigt
pragramming ide, micro emacs ...), even some small games, Chat client
(with sage and linux help channels priconfigured), and much more ...

Then there is a package manager for additional software, especial
quickpet-1-click install for popular programms (like gimp, VLC video
player, Jave RE, different browsers etc) ...
The System was build with Ubuntu binaries, so additional software is
available (however apt get won't work really)

lg
emil



emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 11:08:21 AM11/24/10
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add:
Of yourse there is support and autodetection for other devices beside
the NTFS harddisk (ext2, ext3, ext4?, fat32, linux swap), CD/DVD, USB
and flash drives, even floppies and old zip drives.

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 12:41:32 PM11/24/10
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Dear Emil,

I was excited to try this out. I gave it a go on my Windows 7 64 bit
machine. Here is what happens:

Output folder: C:\Sage-Live-511-46
Extract: lupq-511.sfs... 100%
Extract: vmlinuz... 100%
Extract: initrd.gz... 100%
Extract: readme.txt
Output folder: C:\Sage-Live-511-46
Output folder: C:\Backups
Output folder: C:
Extract: grldr... 100%
Extract: grldr.mbr... 100%
Execute: "bcdedit" /export "C:\Backups\BCD Backup"

Then it just sits there and the progress bar stops. It hasn't moved
for 10 minutes, so I think it is stuck. I can't think of a reason why
it should stop here.

By the way, the machine is relatively freshly installed, about a week
ago, with nothing more than Chrome, WinSCP, Putty, MSVC Express and
Cygwin on it.

I can try it on my Windows Vista 32 bit machine. But I don't use it
very much as Vista is about 20x slower for most things and the
keyboard on that machine is broken. Actually, I've just noticed the
download on that machine stopped at 0.2mb and it says it will be
finished downloading in 22 days.

Bill.

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emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 2:16:52 PM11/24/10
to sage-windows
Dear Bill,

thank you for testing and sorry for the inconvenience.
I assume you checked the md5sum after download and you started the
installer with admin privileges.

I also assume you know that this is about changing you boot
configuration, so it is not risk free (at least at this stage)
Ok, that said lets go into details

I tried my version on a 32 bit Windows7 installation, maybe that is
the reason it is not working, I will investigate that.

On 24 Nov., 18:41, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Dear Emil,
>
> I was excited to try this out. I gave it a go on my Windows 7 64 bit
> machine. Here is what happens:
>
> Output folder: C:\Sage-Live-511-46
> Extract: lupq-511.sfs... 100%
> Extract: vmlinuz... 100%
> Extract: initrd.gz... 100%
> Extract: readme.txt
> Output folder: C:\Sage-Live-511-46
> Output folder: C:\Backups
> Output folder: C:
> Extract: grldr... 100%
> Extract: grldr.mbr... 100%

Everything seems to be alright until this point. There should be a
folder C:/Sage-Live-511-46 and there should be some files in it.
My installation on Windows 7 has the following:
initrd.gz
lupq-511.sfs
readme
uninst
vmlinuz

> Execute: "bcdedit" /export "C:\Backups\BCD Backup"

bcdedit is the programm Vista and Windows 7 use to manage the
bootloader.

some information how to use it
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2676-bcdedit-how-use.html

The installer should backup the bootfile in the root of the
bootpartition (probably C:/bootmgr)
and then installgrub4dos. This will change the bootfile to grldr.
I have the files:
grldr
gtldr.mbr
menu.lst

in C:/

Do you also have those?


>
> Then it just sits there and the progress bar stops. It hasn't moved
> for 10 minutes, so I think it is stuck. I can't think of a reason why
> it should stop here.
>
> By the way, the machine is relatively freshly installed, about a week
> ago, with nothing more than Chrome, WinSCP, Putty, MSVC Express and
> Cygwin on it.

Right at the moment I just can think of 23/64 Bit issues, I would be
very happy if you could send me details on what files
were created.

> I can try it on my Windows Vista 32 bit machine. But I don't use it
> very much as Vista is about 20x slower for most things and the
> keyboard on that machine is broken. Actually, I've just noticed the
> download on that machine stopped at 0.2mb and it says it will be
> finished downloading in 22 days.

if your new windows 7 is still working and you can move over the
installer file with usb or so to the Vista machine then I would be
very happy if you try it there (because its 32 Bit). If that works you
should also experience a performance increase in the sage system
compared to Vista.

I will uninstall in my Windows 7 (with the uninst.exe) and repeat my
installation.
thank you again for trying and valuable feedback
emil


>
> Bill.

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 2:55:19 PM11/24/10
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On 24 November 2010 19:16, emil <emil.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Bill,
>
> thank you for testing and sorry for the inconvenience.

Not at all. You are the one who has done the hard work here, so
certainly no inconvenience for me.

> I assume you checked the md5sum after download

No.

> and you started the
> installer with admin privileges.

Maybe not. There is one user only on this machine though.

>
> I also assume you know that this is about changing you boot
> configuration, so it is not risk free (at least at this stage)

Actually I didn't realise this. However, if it *only* screws up my
bootloader and not my Windows partition then I know how to fix this.

Yes. Me too.

>
>> Execute: "bcdedit" /export "C:\Backups\BCD Backup"
>
> bcdedit is the programm Vista and Windows 7 use to manage the
> bootloader.
>
> some information how to use it
> http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2676-bcdedit-how-use.html
>
> The installer should backup the bootfile in the root of the
> bootpartition (probably C:/bootmgr)

There are two files there, boot and bootmgr.

> and then installgrub4dos. This will change the bootfile to grldr.
> I have the files:
> grldr
> gtldr.mbr
> menu.lst

I don't have any of those.

>
> in C:/
>
> Do you also have those?
>
>
>>
>> Then it just sits there and the progress bar stops. It hasn't moved
>> for 10 minutes, so I think it is stuck. I can't think of a reason why
>> it should stop here.
>>
>> By the way, the machine is relatively freshly installed, about a week
>> ago, with nothing more than Chrome, WinSCP, Putty, MSVC Express and
>> Cygwin on it.
>
> Right at the moment I just can think of 23/64 Bit issues, I would be
> very happy if you could send me details on what files
> were created.
>
>> I can try it on my Windows Vista 32 bit machine. But I don't use it
>> very much as Vista is about 20x slower for most things and the
>> keyboard on that machine is broken. Actually, I've just noticed the
>> download on that machine stopped at 0.2mb and it says it will be
>> finished downloading in 22 days.
>
> if your new windows 7 is still working

It is.

> and you can move over the
> installer file with usb or so to the Vista machine then I would be
> very happy if you try it there (because its 32 Bit). If that works you
> should also experience a performance increase in the sage system
> compared to Vista.
>

I'm downloading it again. I don't have a usb stick. It has two more
hours before it downloads on that machine (I restarted the download).

Bill.

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:26:03 PM11/24/10
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I wasn't able to tell if I have administrator privileges on Windows 7
or not. On the Microsoft forums there are people who have posted about
"enabling a secret Windows 7 administrator mode". Other people
recommend not using it. Others say that if you only have one account
then the privileges should be automatically elevated anyhow (which
should be the case for me). I would expect it to tell me if I needed
admin privileges for something though.

I should be able to try my Vista 32 bit machine in a few hours.

Bill.

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:31:27 PM11/24/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
Oh, I should mention that the last time I tried to install ordinary
linux on this machine it completely failed. In fact Windows 7 and the
Windows restore partitions are in some kind of weird logical partition
arrangement instead of actual partitions. So to the linux partition
manager there was a single partition on the machine. One linux
installation I tried didn't even ask what I wanted to do with the
partitions and wiped my entire hard drive and installed linux. It just
formatted the only partition it could find, thinking the machine was
blank, thus taking my Windows partition *and* the Windows restore
partition with it!!

Bill.

emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:39:18 PM11/24/10
to sage-windows


On 24 Nov., 20:55, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:
Ok, glad system is fine so far:

If you want to check your download with md5sum, you can download the
program here
http://www.etree.org/cgi-bin/counter.cgi/software/md5sum.exe
copy it to the directoy where the sagelive-511-46.exe is, open a
commandline in this directory and type md5sum sagelive-511-46.exe.
it should say:
390515264dcb42ae6e248c10adab3624 *sagelive-511-46.exe

If the md5sum is ok try to run the installer again with right-click
"Run as administrator", it will recognise that the programm files are
unziped, so it should continue with the backup of the C:/bootmbr and
then put grldr and grldr.mbr in the C:/ directory

if this will not work I would like to ask you to try some commandline
work to try to backup and install the grub bootloader manually.

regards
emil












Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:51:18 PM11/24/10
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I have Cygwin, which has md5sum. So I checked with that.

All fine.

>
>  If the md5sum is ok try to run the installer again with right-click
> "Run as administrator", it will recognise that the programm files are
> unziped, so it should continue with the backup of the C:/bootmbr and
> then put grldr and grldr.mbr in the C:/ directory

OK, trying as administrator. Back in a minute.

>
> if this will not work I would like to ask you to try some commandline
> work to try to backup and install the grub bootloader manually.
>
> regards
> emil
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:52:38 PM11/24/10
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Nope. Same problem I'm sorry.

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:55:59 PM11/24/10
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Ah, this time there is a grldr and grldr.mbr, but no menu.lst

emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 3:58:53 PM11/24/10
to sage-windows


On 24 Nov., 21:31, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Oh, I should mention that the last time I tried to install ordinary
> linux on this machine it completely failed. In fact Windows 7 and the
> Windows restore partitions are in some kind of weird logical partition
> arrangement instead of actual partitions. So to the linux partition
> manager there was a single partition on the machine. One linux
> installation I tried didn't even ask what I wanted to do with the
> partitions and wiped my entire hard drive and installed linux. It just
> formatted the only partition it could find, thinking the machine was
> blank, thus taking my Windows partition *and* the Windows restore
> partition with it!!
Well I know, this happend to me too. It is frustrating! But it should
not happen in this case.
In fact I have installed at least a 100 complete OS installations in
parallel to existing windows in the course of the last year, I only
wiped my HD once, and this was with a major distro.

>
> Bill.

Well, this sagelive installer not going to mess with partitions at
all.
It just extract the files to the folder and then, it just changes the
bootloader.

In the Sage Live Linux system there is gparted included, a tool for
repartitioning, but you stay in full control
It is a pity that it is not easy any more to repartition the
harddrive, because standard windows 7 installs use all 4 possible main
partitions, so it is not straightforward to make an additional linux
partiton - I am sure this is completely coincidental ;-) .

emil

>
> On 24 November 2010 20:26, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > I wasn't able to tell if I have administrator privileges on Windows 7
> > or not. On the Microsoft forums there are people who have posted about
> > "enabling a secret Windows 7 administrator mode". Other people
> > recommend not using it. Others say that if you only have one account
> > then the privileges should be automatically elevated anyhow (which
> > should be the case for me). I would expect it to tell me if I needed
> > admin privileges for something though.
>
> > I should be able to try my Vista 32 bit machine in a few hours.
>
> > Bill.
>
> > On 24 November 2010 19:55, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 4:03:29 PM11/24/10
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Yes, this is a security feature. It is to stop those dirty, filthy
rabid free sof... er I mean virus writers from taking control of the
machine.

(Actually I really don't know why they did this.)

emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 5:17:23 PM11/24/10
to sage-windows


On Nov 24, 10:03 pm, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> >> >>>> > To post to this group, send email tosage-...@googlegroups.com.
> >> >>>> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email tosage-window...@googlegroups.com.
> >> >>>> > For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/sage-windows?hl=en.
>
> >> >>> --
> >> >>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "sage-windows" group.
> >> >>> To post to this group, send email tosage-...@googlegroups.com.
> >> >>> To unsubscribe from this group, send email tosage-window...@googlegroups.com.
> >> >>> For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/sage-windows?hl=en.
>
> > --
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "sage-windows" group.
> > To post to this
>
> ...
>
> read more »th

Hello Bill, please check something quick:

rename sagelive-511-46.exe to Sage Live 511-46.exe
(yes there are 2 spaces in the filename)
then run it again

what does it say?

if that is not going to work (should not anyway),

I ask you to try to backup your bootfiel manualy:
so open a commandwindow (run as admin) and try a backup:

bcdedit /export "C:\BCD Backup"


if that workswe can create a bootmenu entry:

bcdedit /create /d "Start SageLive" /application bootsector

This command returns an ID, like in this image (sorry its japanese):
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?mode=attach&id=33758
The installer gets the ID. Now this can be added to the bootmenu
You have to use the { } brackets for it to work.

bcdedit /set {Insert ID here} device "partition=C:"
bcdedit /set {Insert ID here} path \grldr.mbr

bcdedit /displayorder {Insert ID here} /addlast
(adds it to the menu)

bcdedit /timeout 10
(sets the timeout to 10 seconds)

now the bootloader should be added. At last we have to create the
textfile menu.lst

the content is

title SageLive 511-46
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /Sage-Live-511-46/initrd.gz
kernel /Sage-Live_511-46/vmlinuz psubdir="Sage-Live_511-46"
initrd /Sage-Live_511-46/initrd.gz
boot

this are the manual steps to create the boot entry. Does anyone of
those give an error?
Probably it is the 1st one with the /export

kind regards,
emil

emil

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Nov 24, 2010, 7:55:15 PM11/24/10
to sage-windows

Actually before any manual changes, can you post the output of
bcdedit?
Like got Start/Accessories/cmd (right click,open as administrator)

cd c:\
rcdedit > output.txt

and sendmethe contens of the file c:\output.txt

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 7:59:07 PM11/24/10
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Yes, sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I've been working on
something else and didn't want to restart...


Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
extendedinput Yes
default {current}
resumeobject {c279be75-9b51-11de-9b93-a29d207e6d0e}
displayorder {current}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30
customactions 0x1000085000001
0x5400000f
custom:5400000f {a158c575-ef54-11df-a032-99cb5e6bc3f8}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {a158c575-ef54-11df-a032-99cb5e6bc3f8}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {c279be75-9b51-11de-9b93-a29d207e6d0e}
nx OptIn

Bill.

Bill Hart

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Nov 24, 2010, 8:34:13 PM11/24/10
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It works great on my Vista 32 bit machine. That's actually the first
time I've had a notebook running locally on a laptop!

Bill.

emil

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Nov 25, 2010, 3:48:59 AM11/25/10
to sage-windows

On Nov 25, 1:34 am, Bill Hart <goodwillh...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> It works great on my Vista 32 bit machine. That's actually the first
> time I've had a notebook running locally on a laptop!
>
> Bill.
>
> > On 25 November 2010 00:55, emil <emil.widm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> Actually before any manual changes, can you post the output of
> >> bcdedit?
> >> Like got Start/Accessories/cmd (right click,open as administrator)
>
> >> cd c:\
> >> rcdedit > output.txt
>
> >> and sendmethe contens of the file c:\output.txt

Hi Bill!

I am so glad it works for the Vista machine! Would you please be so
kind and assist me to find out what goes wrong with the the windows 7
machine?

I have written the commands earlier, but they are burried at the
bottom of a long post, so I repost here:

This is just to check something quick (I don't really expect it to
work though):
rename sagelive-511-46.exe to Sage Live 511-46.exe
(yes there are 2 spaces in the filename)
then run it again (as admin)

what does it say? - has the output of rcdedit changed?

if that is not going to work,

I ask you to try to backup your bootfile manually:

so open a command window (goto Start/Accessories/cmd right click it to
"run as admin") and try a backup:

bcdedit /export "C:\BCD Backup"
any error messages? On my installation the Backup is then situated in
the directory C:\BCD Backup. It should also create a log on the
backup!

if that works we can create a bootmenu entry:

bcdedit /create /d "Start Sage Live" /application bootsector

This command returns an ID, (it is rather long, be sure to make no
typos when using it).
The installer gets the ID. Now this can be added to the bootmenu
You have to use the { } brackets for it to work.

bcdedit /set {Insert ID here} device "partition=C:"
bcdedit /set {Insert ID here} path \grldr.mbr

bcdedit /displayorder {Insert ID here} /addlast
(adds it to the menu)

bcdedit /timeout 10
(sets the timeout to 10 seconds)

now the bootloader should be added.

check with bcdedit, there should be an entry now!

At last we have to create the plain
textfile menu.lst

the content is

title SageLive 511-46
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /Sage-Live-511-46/initrd.gz
kernel /Sage-Live_511-46/vmlinuz psubdir="Sage-Live_511-46"
initrd /Sage-Live_511-46/initrd.gz
boot

save it in C:

this are the manual steps to create the boot entry. Does anyone of
steps give an error?
Probably it is the 1st one with the /export

kind regards,
emil

PS: I saw yesterday that there is a nice free application called
easybcd, which allows to manage boot entries in a gui. I have not used
it, but maybe this is handy

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 25, 2010, 9:01:52 AM11/25/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
Hi Emil,

I'll try to do all that this evening and report the results.

Bill.

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 12:46:32 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
Hi Emil,

Sorry I didn't get this done last night. I was working on a talk and
needed my computer for that so I didn't want to restart it.

Below are the results of the new experiments:

On 25 November 2010 08:48, emil <emil.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>

It still hangs at the same place.

>
> what does it say? - has the output of rcdedit changed?

It is identical (assuming you mean bcdedit, not rcdedit).

>
> if that is not going to work,
>
> I ask you to try to backup your bootfile manually:
>
> so open a command window (goto Start/Accessories/cmd right click it to
> "run as admin") and try a backup:
>
> bcdedit /export "C:\BCD Backup"
> any error messages?

It says "The operation completed successfully."

> On my installation the Backup is then situated in
> the directory C:\BCD Backup.

There is now such a file. It's a binary file.

> It should also create a log on the
> backup!

I don't know what that means. I don't see any log file.

>
> if that works we can create a bootmenu entry:
>
> bcdedit /create /d "Start Sage Live" /application bootsector
>

It say the entry was successfully created and gives me an ID.

> This command returns an ID, (it is rather long, be sure to make no
> typos when using it).
> The installer gets the ID. Now this can be added to the bootmenu
> You have to use the { } brackets for it to work.
>
> bcdedit /set {Insert ID here} device "partition=C:"

Completed successfully.

> bcdedit /set {Insert ID here} path \grldr.mbr

Completed successfully.

>
> bcdedit /displayorder {Insert ID here} /addlast
> (adds it to the menu)

Completed successfully.

>
> bcdedit /timeout 10
> (sets the timeout to 10 seconds)

Completed successfully.

>
> now the bootloader should be added.
>
> check with bcdedit, there should be an entry now!
>

Seems to be there.

> At last we have to create the plain
> textfile menu.lst
>
> the content is
>
> title SageLive 511-46
> find --set-root --ignore-floppies /Sage-Live-511-46/initrd.gz
> kernel /Sage-Live_511-46/vmlinuz psubdir="Sage-Live_511-46"
> initrd /Sage-Live_511-46/initrd.gz
> boot
>
> save it in C:

Done.

>
> this are the manual steps to create the boot entry. Does anyone of
> steps give an error?
> Probably it is the 1st one with the /export
>

No errors. Now restarting machine to see what happens.....

> kind regards,
> emil
>
> PS: I saw yesterday that there is a nice free application called
> easybcd, which allows to manage boot entries in a gui. I have not used
> it, but maybe this is handy
>

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 12:49:42 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
OK, upon reboot there's now a menu option there. It doesn't do
anything other than drop me to a Grub4Dos command line though.

I might try fiddling with some of the underscores and dashes to see if
they are wrong....

Bill.

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 1:34:42 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
I replaced the underscores with dashes in those menu.lst commands. It
still just drops me to a Grub command line. I've tried saving the file
with both Windows or just Linux line endings. No difference.

However, if I type precisely those commands (with dashes instead of
underscores) at the Grub command line, it boots into Puppy Linux!

I checked again that I had typed precisely the right thing into
menu.lst, and I have.

Anyhow, so I can get into Puppy Linux manually.

There are unfortunately two problems however. The mouse is unusable.
It random clicks buttons as I move it around the screen, meaning all
manner of menus and options come up.

Also the notebook doesn't work on this machine. There is no evaluate
button to click and the cells don't do anything when evaluated with
any combination of shift-enter, control-enter or alt-enter.

Sage itself works from the command line.

It also asked me upon shutting down if I wanted to save my settings
(the mouse sensitivity and keyboard locale were set incorrectly for my
hardware, so I had adjusted these). Upon clicking "Save Settings" it
promptly told me that "Settings have not been saved".

I don't know if it is feasible that some of these problems might be
rectified. Apart from the keyboard locale and the mouse sensitivity,
on my other machine I didn't have these problems.

Bill.

emil

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 2:02:08 PM11/26/10
to sage-windows

Hi Bill,

thank you for going all through this. I just come from a friend who
happens to have a windows 64 bit installation. I tried it and it hangs
exactly at the same place, i.e. at the backpup.
So this is indeed a a BUG and not working!

I then did all manual steps I sent you in the previous email and was
indeed able to boot it up.
However, upon lookin at my menu.lst entry I see that indeed I gave you
wrong "underscore" and dashes.

it should be:
title SageLive 511-46
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /Sage-Live-511-46/initrd.gz
kernel /Sage-Live-511-46/vmlinuz psubdir="Sage-Live-511-46"
initrd /Sage-Live-511-46/initrd.gz
boot

it should work with this entry. I will investigate whats wrong with
the scripts for 64 bit.
Again thank you very much for your support and the testing!
kind regards
emil

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 2:47:56 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
Hi Emil,

Indeed, what you have below is precisely what I have in my menu.lst.
But this fails to work for me, without a specific error message that
might give a clue.

It surely has to do with line endings somehow. I'll try semicolons and
see if that helps.

Bill.

emil

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 3:15:17 PM11/26/10
to sage-windows
> I replaced the underscores with dashes in those menu.lst commands. It
> still just drops me to a Grub command line. I've tried saving the file
> with both Windows or just Linux line endings. No difference.
>
> However, if I type precisely those commands (with dashes instead of
> underscores) at the Grub command line, it boots into Puppy Linux!
>
> I checked again that I had typed precisely the right thing into
> menu.lst, and I have.

I suppose there is still an error somewhere in the menu.lst. It is
situatet in C:\ ?

>
> Anyhow, so I can get into Puppy Linux manually.
>
> There are unfortunately two problems however. The mouse is unusable.
> It random clicks buttons as I move it around the screen, meaning all
> manner of menus and options come up.

Thats unfortunate, I suppose this is really a brand new machine and
maybe there are some new drivers which are not included in the base
release (the base distro is 2 months old). I just can guess.
try open console and type
mv /etc/modprobe.conf /etc/modprobe.d
modprobe usbhid

> Also the notebook doesn't work on this machine. There is no evaluate
> button to click and the cells don't do anything when evaluated with
> any combination of shift-enter, control-enter or alt-enter.

On sage devel there was a similar problem with the evaluation of
cells, there it was just, that at first startup it asks for a password
in terminal window and the browser windows goes over this terminal
window and "hides" it. Until the password is not set you can not edit
cells. I will try to change the default popping coordinates.

>
> Sage itself works from the command line.
>
> It also asked me upon shutting down if I wanted to save my settings
> (the mouse sensitivity and keyboard locale were set incorrectly for my
> hardware, so I had adjusted these). Upon clicking "Save Settings" it
> promptly told me that "Settings have not been saved".

Upon the 1. shutdown it should ask to create a "savefile" which is by
default 512 MB.
Maybe it refuses to write this file because an inconsistency in the
NTFS Filesystem is detected.
If so this could be rectified with defragmentation of the harddisk.
Try going to (in win 7)
to [Start]->[Computer[]->[Disk C: ]"right klick" and select
[properties]->[Tools]->[Defragment now]
and then to
[Start]->[Computer[]->[Disk C: ]"right klick" and select [properties]-
>[Tools]->[Check now]
if there is no error it should be possible to create the save file at
shutdown.
Maybe it is also related to the 64 bit Windows.

> I don't know if it is feasible that some of these problems might be
> rectified. Apart from the keyboard locale and the mouse sensitivity,
> on my other machine I didn't have these problems.
>
> Bill.

As a last resort for the mouse issue you could try the following:

leave the graphical "X-Windows" environment by pressing
Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (simultanly)

type "xorgwizard"
at the commandline

You should come now in a setup tool for the Xorg environment.

There is a menu point which reads "test"
choose it, then you should have the option to probe your video
resolution or to probe the mouse.

after finnishing the xorgwizard type "xwin" at the command prompt to
restart the X-server (the Gui).

Bill, the sum of problems (with the confirmed problem of the
installer.exe hanging at the backup of the bootfile) let me come to
the conclusion that right at the moment it is too early to seriously
consider to support a install on a 64 bit windows 7. It worked on all
32 bit system so far I know of, with maybe minor cosmetical issues.

I will direct my work:
1) I will make a version with built in JRE (because sage needs it for
3d plotting)
(currently i have a patch online to include that)
2) I will make a better documentation, and How To for the installation
process

I already started at:
http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/en/home.htm

Any comments and contributions are welcome, I will improve as time
allows.

kind regards
emil


emil

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 3:19:15 PM11/26/10
to sage-windows

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 3:20:09 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
Hi Emil,

some progress:

At the Grub prompt I looked at the C:\ directory and noticed there was
no menu.lst file. I booted back to Windows and I was able to edit this
file. So I scratched my head a bit and decided it was some kind of
permissions thing. I tried changing the permissions on the file, but
that didn't work.

Then I had the idea to create the file in Cygwin after **running
Cygwin as Administrator**. This did the trick. It now gives me the
appropriate Sage Live option and it boots into Puppy Linux.

The issues with the mouse and notebook still remain, but this time
when I restarted it offered me the option of creating a save file.
However it said I should not do this without defragmenting my Windows
partition. This makes me a little nervous. I can't see why it should
need to defragment to create a save file. So I chose not to do this
until I understand this a bit better.

Bill.

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 3:32:17 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
On 26 November 2010 20:15, emil <emil.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I replaced the underscores with dashes in those menu.lst commands. It
>> still just drops me to a Grub command line. I've tried saving the file
>> with both Windows or just Linux line endings. No difference.
>>
>> However, if I type precisely those commands (with dashes instead of
>> underscores) at the Grub command line, it boots into Puppy Linux!
>>
>> I checked again that I had typed precisely the right thing into
>> menu.lst, and I have.
>
> I suppose there is still an error somewhere in the menu.lst. It is
> situatet in C:\ ?

That is solved now. See my other email which crossed with yours in the aether.

>
>>
>> Anyhow, so I can get into Puppy Linux manually.
>>
>> There are unfortunately two problems however. The mouse is unusable.
>> It random clicks buttons as I move it around the screen, meaning all
>> manner of menus and options come up.
>
> Thats unfortunate, I suppose this is really a brand new machine and
> maybe there are some new drivers which are not included in the base
> release (the base distro is 2 months old).

It is a very new machine, < 1 year.

> I just can guess.
> try open console and type
> mv /etc/modprobe.conf  /etc/modprobe.d
> modprobe usbhid
>
>> Also the notebook doesn't work on this machine. There is no evaluate
>> button to click and the cells don't do anything when evaluated with
>> any combination of shift-enter, control-enter or alt-enter.
>
> On sage devel there was a similar problem with the evaluation of
> cells, there it was just, that at first startup it asks for a password
> in terminal window and the browser windows goes over this terminal
> window and "hides" it. Until the password is not set you can not edit
> cells. I will try to change the default popping coordinates.

I actually noticed this and changed the password. In fact it would not
allow me to log in to the notebook without doing this, so I don't
think this was the issue. I put a password in and it still didn't
allow the evaluation of cells. Note that I did the exact same
procedure on my 32 bit machine and it worked fine there. I'm puzzled
as to why the behavior should be different on this machine as
presumably the Linux runs in 32 bit mode anyway. It should be exactly
the same. But for some bizarre reason it isn't working.

>
>>
>> Sage itself works from the command line.
>>
>> It also asked me upon shutting down if I wanted to save my settings
>> (the mouse sensitivity and keyboard locale were set incorrectly for my
>> hardware, so I had adjusted these). Upon clicking "Save Settings" it
>> promptly told me that "Settings have not been saved".
>
> Upon the 1. shutdown it should ask to create a "savefile" which is by
> default 512 MB.
> Maybe it refuses to write this file because an inconsistency in the
> NTFS Filesystem is detected.

That's possible. I didn't defragment, as I didn't understand why a
filesystem included in a file on my NTFS partition without making a
new partition for it should require a defragment. I see now that it
wants to create the savefile outside of the existing files created by
the Windows installer.

Is it possible to have the Windows installer create the savefile? This
would be much safer. As this is my primary machine I don't want to do
anything too risky.

> If so this could be rectified with defragmentation of the harddisk.
> Try going to (in win 7)
> to  [Start]->[Computer[]->[Disk C: ]"right klick" and select
> [properties]->[Tools]->[Defragment now]
> and then to
> [Start]->[Computer[]->[Disk C: ]"right klick" and select [properties]-
>>[Tools]->[Check now]
> if there is no error it should be possible to create the save file at
> shutdown.
> Maybe it is also related to the 64 bit Windows.

It did offer to create the file the second time I used it. It may have
been due to the fact that it didn't boot into Puppy Linux
automatically from the menu the first time around. The second time I
tried it was after I fixed the menu.lst permissions issue.

>
>> I don't know if it is feasible that some of these problems might be
>> rectified. Apart from the keyboard locale and the mouse sensitivity,
>> on my other machine I didn't have these problems.
>>
>> Bill.
>
> As a last resort for the mouse issue you could try the following:
>
> leave the graphical "X-Windows" environment by pressing
> Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (simultanly)
>
> type "xorgwizard"
> at the commandline
>
> You should come now in a setup tool for the Xorg environment.
>
> There is a menu point which reads "test"
> choose it, then you should have the option to probe your video
> resolution or to probe the mouse.
>
> after finnishing the xorgwizard type "xwin" at the command prompt to
> restart the X-server (the Gui).
>
> Bill, the sum of problems (with the confirmed problem of the
> installer.exe hanging at the backup of the bootfile) let me come to
> the conclusion that right at the moment it is too early to seriously
> consider to support a install on a 64 bit windows 7. It worked on all
> 32 bit system so far I know of, with maybe minor cosmetical issues.

OK. I am sure Puppy Linux will improve their support over time.

>
> I will direct my work:
> 1) I will make a version with built in JRE (because sage needs it for
> 3d plotting)
> (currently i have a patch online to include that)
> 2) I will make a better documentation, and How To for the installation
> process
>
> I already started at:
> http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/en/home.htm
>
> Any comments and contributions are welcome, I will improve as time
> allows.

Thank you for the hard work you've done on this!

>
> kind regards
> emil
>

Bill.

emil

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 3:46:56 PM11/26/10
to sage-windows
Hi Bill,

technically the safe file is a file wich "internally" is formated like
a linux partition (either ext2 or ext3). The default size is 512 mb,
and there are options inside the OS to expand this file further, i.e.
if you install lots of additional software. Since it is a big file it
is a good idea to have this file as a solid block on the hard disk. It
would mean performance penalties if this file would be fragmented, so
the puppy linux system forces the user to defragment before this file
is created.

A bit more on the background:
During normal operation of the OS, the files vmlinuz (kernel),
initrd.gz (initial ramdisk) and lupq-511.sfs (haves all the OS and
sage in a compresse filesystem) are used, These files are only read
only, so no real danger to break something. Normally the System runs
completely in Ram, making it very fast. To store changes the mentioned
savefile is created. During 1.boot (without saffile) the system runs
in mode pfix=ram, this means changes are held in in memory. As soon as
a savefile is created it will save changes of the ramdisk in
periodical intervalls to this file (when on harddisk then the
intervall is 5 sec),
If you use a rewritable CD it is only saved at the end of the session.
So the savefile and an eventual swapfile (which you will not need, I
am sure you have 4GB + RAM) are the only 2 files which will be
written "into" from the OS without being invoked by the user. Of
course you can read and write other files from the NTFS partition
manualy, but the OS only writes into 1 or 2. And resizing or changing
those files is always invoked by the user.
t is also possible to make the safe file on usb stick or flash memory.
Normally those are formatted fat 32, this format is less tricky.

At the link of the help page is also a very brief explanation of the
"layered filesystem"
http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/html/en/HOWTO-Filesystem.html

Of course you know that NTFS is a windows proprietary format, and it
was always shrouded by some secrets (and really tried to be kept
secret), but I think it is pretty well understood now. So of course
everybody is very careful about using it and not breaking it.

kind regards
emil

Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 4:36:07 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
Hi Emil,

thanks for the explanation. So, essentially the defragmenting is for
performance reasons so that the file can be contiguous. It isn't
because the ntfs driver is flakey. I was aware of the proprietary
nature of ntfs and that no one really knew for sure how it worked. I
recall some BSD or linux distributions which refused to write to NTFS,
they were read-only because they didn't trust the drivers to not screw
ntfs up.

So it sounds safe enough to create a savefile, and it will work better
if I defrag. Once it is successfully created, little can go wrong
unless it needs to resize the file, at which point it will ask me.

I might try defraging and allowing it to create a save file next time
I restart my machine.

Thanks again for your help.

Bill.

emil

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 7:55:39 PM11/26/10
to sage-windows

> Hi Emil,
>
> thanks for the explanation. So, essentially the defragmenting is for
> performance reasons so that the file can be contiguous. It isn't
> because the ntfs driver is flakey. I was aware of the proprietary
> nature of ntfs and that no one really knew for sure how it worked. I
> recall some BSD or linux distributions which refused to write to NTFS,
> they were read-only because they didn't trust the drivers to not screw
> ntfs up.

I am not a real expert on file formats, I can just tell my experience
that I accesed NTFS partition now for 1 year from inside linux. So far
I had no problem but I also have no heavy usage, just copy some files
occasionally.

>
> So it sounds safe enough to create a savefile, and it will work better
> if I defrag. Once it is successfully created, little can go wrong
> unless it needs to resize the file, at which point it will ask me.
>
> I might try defraging and allowing it to create a save file next time
> I restart my machine.
>
> Thanks again for your help.
>
> Bill.
>
> On 26 November 2010 20:46, emil <emil.widm...@gmail.com> wrote:

Which system are you using? Did you give up on the 64 bit one?
I just have the question if sound was working on that machine. I made
the observation that sound was not working out of the box with the 2
windows 7 machines I tested.

Normally it should run fine with a bit older hardware - 1GB Ram is
fine to do some basic work.

Maybe check the java package on my download site, to enable 3d
plotting :). I really like it - it looks so cool!!

emil



Bill Hart

unread,
Nov 26, 2010, 8:03:38 PM11/26/10
to sage-w...@googlegroups.com
On 27 November 2010 00:55, emil <emil.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi Emil,
>>
>> thanks for the explanation. So, essentially the defragmenting is for
>> performance reasons so that the file can be contiguous. It isn't
>> because the ntfs driver is flakey. I was aware of the proprietary
>> nature of ntfs and that no one really knew for sure how it worked. I
>> recall some BSD or linux distributions which refused to write to NTFS,
>> they were read-only because they didn't trust the drivers to not screw
>> ntfs up.
>
> I am not a real expert on file formats, I can just tell my experience
> that I accesed NTFS partition now for 1 year from inside linux. So far
> I had no problem but I also have no heavy usage, just copy some files
> occasionally.
>
>>
>> So it sounds safe enough to create a savefile, and it will work better
>> if I defrag. Once it is successfully created, little can go wrong
>> unless it needs to resize the file, at which point it will ask me.
>>
>> I might try defraging and allowing it to create a save file next time
>> I restart my machine.
>>
>> Thanks again for your help.
>>
>> Bill.
>>
>> On 26 November 2010 20:46, emil <emil.widm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Which system are you using?

Well, "using" is a state of mind. The 32 bit machine is not really
usable because it has Vista which is incredibly slow compared to
Windows 7. Also on that machine my keyboard is broken. Some keys don't
work properly, e.g. the "d" key.

So basically I'd have to use the 64 bit machine. But that is not
really usable either because of the mouse and notebook issues.

But my comments above are in relation to the 64 bit machine.

> Did you give up on the 64 bit one?
> I just have the question if sound was working on that machine. I made
> the observation that sound was not working out of the box with the 2
> windows 7 machines I tested.

I'll test this the next time I restart and find some time to play some more.

>
> Normally it should run fine with a bit older hardware - 1GB  Ram is
> fine to do some basic work.
>
> Maybe check the java package on my download site, to enable 3d
> plotting :). I really like it - it looks so cool!!

Cool.

Bill.

HMark

unread,
Jan 5, 2011, 8:36:31 PM1/5/11
to sage-windows
Hi Emil, and thank you for doing this!

I'm thinking of using this to introduce new Math concepts to middle
schoolers as part of an enrichment program, using Windows machines
that the students don't own (belonging to a school), and therefore
need a quick, convenient, repeatable way to get in, do work, save it,
and get out (once a week sessions, 60 minutes each).

Maybe I'm missing something, but I burned a CD with the iso image you
provided, and am able to boot a Windows machine into Puppy Linux, and
start Sage/Notebook and do some work. So far so good!

The 2 problems I have:
1. I can't see a way to have a student save their work for the next
session (happening once a week). Any ideas/suggestions?
2. I can actually see files in the Windows file system, navigating
through the mounted /da1, but when I try to open any file (whether a
plain ASCII, or a Sage Notebook), it shows as garbled. Any idea why
and/or how to resolve this?

Thanks,
HMark

emil

unread,
Jan 6, 2011, 7:06:39 AM1/6/11
to sage-windows
On Jan 6, 1:36 am, HMark <myh9...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Emil, and thank you for doing this!

Oh welcome :-) .
I am happy if it is usefull to some extend. I have to admit that I
made sagelive and I think it is a very flexible base,
but regarding possible applications I am pretty a newbie. I have
hardly scratched the surface in the possibilities.
There are also some concepts in Puppy Linux which differ rom other
distributions. So I'll try to keep my answers short and to the point,
but every advice regarding sagelive as courseware has "alpha" quality,
because I was not involved in any real teaching situation with it. (I
have some years highschool math teaching experience though)

I have put some documentation on the web, maybe you skim it to get an
idea what there
http://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/html/en/index.html

(feedback about it is welcome - I also know I write quite buggy
english, so any help to make it better is appreciated)

> I'm thinking of using this to introduce new Math concepts to middle
> schoolers as part of an enrichment program, using Windows machines
> that the students don't own (belonging to a school), and therefore
> need a quick, convenient, repeatable way to get in, do work, save it,
> and get out (once a week sessions, 60 minutes each).

In fact, there are several options to accomplish this.
The base of sagelive was build on puppy linux, which has its origins
as a Live CD distro. To store personal settings and changes
a "savefile" was introduced. The savefile is (optionally) created at
first shutdown. The savefile can even be written back to a R/W CD this
is called "Multisession CD". In the case of sagelive, the base
distribution is to big (630 MB, only 70 MB left on a 700 MB CD). So
this would only work if the students use DVD's.

So 1. possibility:
Students use a personal multisession DVD

2. possibility:
The same concept is also used for USB sticks, sagelive and a personal
savefile can be stored on an USB stick.
The easiest way for you to test a bootable USB stick is, if you boot
the iso, and then go to Menu/Setup/Installing Utilities/Boot Flash
Install Puppy to USB. There are two options, install and keep data on
stick, and install and wipe data. So be sure you choose the right one.
On most computers it is necessary to press a certain key during
booting to get to the boot menu (On some it is even necessary to
change the BIOS boot settings, I don't know if you are willing to go
this far)

3. possibibility
mix of DVD / USB sticks

The advantage of this portable approach is, that the students can take
their DVD'S / USB'S home and, if BIOS allows, can boot their own
computers exactly the same way than the school machines. Since you
seem to have problems reading the harddisk (I haven't experienced this
yet) The system can run completley without the disk that way.

4. possibility
install sagelive on the school computers. This 4.option has numerous
sub options, but all those depend on the fact that sagelive can read
your disk correctly.




> Maybe I'm missing something, but I burned a CD with the iso image you
> provided, and am able to boot a Windows machine into Puppy Linux, and
> start Sage/Notebook and do some work. So far so good!

Yes, this is the classic live CD approach!

The easiest way to get sagelive going should be a frugal install on
the windows partition using the .exe installer.
I use it on a regular base, also to revive friends old, slow windows
machines, but I still would be happy if you could try it if it works
for you. (Especially since there are troubles with your filesystem).
Is there any computer where you can test some mildly "risky" stuff. I
guess it will run smoothly, but a small chance that something bombs
exists!

>
> The 2 problems I have:
> 1. I can't see a way to have a student save their work for the next
> session (happening once a week). Any ideas/suggestions?

As discussed before

1. the easiest possibility is a personal savefile for each student.

2. Next possibility is to store Data locally on the computers, but
this would assume that the filesystem is working (I should) and that
students always use the same computers.

3. Possibility is that you have a network and students save their work
on a server. There are several networking tools included into sagelive
(ranging from ftp client/server to samba client/server), so it should
even be possible to configure and use the network in a standard way.

4. Possibility: You run a central sageserver in your school and the
students work with the normal browser on the windows machine. They can
also save their worksheets there (each student can create account and
password). It is also possible that they access the server from their
home to do their homework. This sageserver can be run on the puppy
Linux machine, I know that it works because I tested it with the
virtual machines, but I don't know how well it will perform for lots
of users. Also the network setup would need some work, probably you
would need help from a skilled admin (security issues, firewall
configuration etc)


> 2. I can actually see files in the Windows file system, navigating
> through the mounted /da1, but when I try to open any file (whether a
> plain ASCII, or a Sage Notebook), it shows as garbled. Any idea why
> and/or how to resolve this?

I never experienced this before, since the files / directory structure
seems intact maybe it has to do with encoding?
Try to go to Menu/Desktop/Country Settings/Countrywizard language and
time..... try to choose another language package and then anable/
disable UTF-8 encoding. Hm, I might be completele wrong though ..

If that doesn't help:
Boot into windows, open a terminal as admin and issue chkdsk /f, then
reboot
repeat this (do it 2nd time)

After that your Filesystem should be fixed.

Another quirk is, that by default sagelive mounts NTFS partitions as
read-only. I came to the conclusion that this is not necessary and I
will change this in the next release. In order to have write access
just unmount and remount the drive (click on the drive icon).

>
> Thanks,
>              HMark
>
> On Nov 24 2010, 3:47 am, emil <emil.widm...@gmail.com> wrote:

There are many options available, to take the best solution depends on
various parameters:

Could you please give me more information about the computers you have
available (Ram / speed /HD space, how old are they)?
Do student have USB sticks? Can the machines boot from USB (or even
flash cards?)
Can you access the NTFS partition without the reported errors?
Do you have network access?
Is there sensitive information stored on the computers locally?
Is it possible install a small linux partiton on the harddisk?
How much time you want to invest in setting up the course and
administer it?

A last question: Is it possible to use parts of this discussion (and
possible further experience) on my sagelive homepage for reference
purposes? I think your situation is a typical one and any experience
is valuable.
Emil

HMark

unread,
Jan 8, 2011, 10:56:56 PM1/8/11
to sage-windows
Thank you for the detailed response, Emil!

I agree with you that my situation/needs may be a common case, so
please feel free to use this any way you see fit.

Based on your documentation, what I ended up doing is the following:

1. downloaded the .iso image (sagelife-511-46.iso) to my PC (WIndows
XP)
2. downloaded the Unetbootin Installer for Windows (from
http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/)
3. plugged in a USB stick into the PC
4. ran unetbootin and installed the iso image on the USB stick
5. restarted the PC and booted into Puppy Linux from the USB stick
6. once Puppy Linux was up and running, I restarted it and went
through the process of creating a save file on the USB stick (in my
case selecting sdb1 and vfat on the USB stick, and *not* sda1 and FAT
on the hard drive)
7. after the restart you can see a save icon on the Puppy Linux
desktop, so you know you have successfully created a save file (e.g.
lupqsave.2fs)
8. now running sage notebook and creating/saving your work will save
it on the USB stick
9. I think that in order to make sure that your sage work is saved in
the save file, you have to:
- save and quit your notebook (in sage)
- log out of sage in an orderly fashion
- if you want to get back to Windows, restart Puppy Linux (which will
save everything into the save file)
- or if you want to turn off your PC, shut down Puppy Linux, by
exiting to the command line, and issuing "poweroff" at the shell
prompt, which will save your work to the save file and shut down the
PC

This way, every student can get a USB stick, put it into the school
PC, restart/boot into Puppy Linux, and launch the sage notebook,
saving his/her work to the USB stick when they are done working. This
will not leave anything on the school PC, which is the desired
behavior... ;-)

Thanks,
HMark



On Jan 6, 4:06 am, emil <emil.widm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jan 6, 1:36 am, HMark <myh9...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Emil, and thank you for doing this!
>
> Oh welcome :-) .
> I am happy if it is usefull to some extend. I have to admit that I
> made sagelive and I think it is a very flexible base,
> but regarding possible applications I am pretty a newbie. I have
> hardly scratched the surface in the possibilities.
> There are also some concepts in Puppy Linux which differ rom other
> distributions. So I'll try to keep my answers short and to the point,
> but every advice regarding sagelive as courseware has "alpha" quality,
> because I was not involved in any real teaching situation with it. (I
> have some years highschool math teaching experience though)
>
> I have put some documentation on the web, maybe you skim it to get an
> idea what therehttp://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/html/en/index.html

HMark

unread,
Jan 8, 2011, 10:57:18 PM1/8/11
to sage-windows
> On Jan 6, 1:36 am, HMark <myh9...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Emil, and thank you for doing this!
>
> Oh welcome :-) .
> I am happy if it is usefull to some extend. I have to admit that I
> made sagelive and I think it is a very flexible base,
> but regarding possible applications I am pretty a newbie. I have
> hardly scratched the surface in the possibilities.
> There are also some concepts in Puppy Linux which differ rom other
> distributions. So I'll try to keep my answers short and to the point,
> but every advice regarding sagelive as courseware has "alpha" quality,
> because I was not involved in any real teaching situation with it. (I
> have some years highschool math teaching experience though)
>
> I have put some documentation on the web, maybe you skim it to get an
> idea what therehttp://boxen.math.washington.edu/home/emil/doc/html/en/index.html

emil

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 4:05:49 AM1/9/11
to sage-windows


On 9 Jan., 04:57, HMark <myh9...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you for the detailed response, Emil!
>
> I agree with you that my situation/needs may be a common case, so
> please feel free to use this any way you see fit.
>
> Based on your documentation, what I ended up doing is the following:
>
> 1. downloaded the .iso image (sagelife-511-46.iso) to my PC (WIndows
> XP)
> 2. downloaded the Unetbootin Installer for Windows (fromhttp://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/)
Hi Mark,

Great! With todays spread of USB sticks I think this is the best
solution.
Just one question - what memory do the school PC's have?

A few remarks:
After you have sagelive running you can create other USB sticks with
the wizard in the Installer menu,
maybe this is faster than unetbootin.
It should be possible to choose "Poweroff" from the Shutdown Menu?
Does this not work properly?







emil

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 12:02:21 PM1/9/11
to sage-windows
Another question -
can you access harddisk drives or do you still experience garbled data?

HMark

unread,
Jan 11, 2011, 3:20:14 PM1/11/11
to sage-windows
Hi Emil,

yes, with 2GB USB sticks costing less than $10, it's a very affordable
solution for a "quick in and out" such as the school environment we
are in.

Regarding your questions:
- the school PCs are running Windows XP, and have 2GB RAM. I don't
know if this will be the final configuration though, until the end of
Feb. (we may be moved to a different computer lab/class at school)
- The "power-off" option does work from the shutdown menu, so that's
nice ;-)
- The garbled hard drive content was due to data encryption software
running on one of the PCs. Took a while to find out, but we were able
to access the PC file system through /mnt/sda and view un-encrypted
files, ON ONE SYSTEM (Lenovo W500, running XP)
- Unfortunately, PC filesystem access ON OTHER SYSTEMS (HP running XP)
does not work, since the hard disk is not mountable (tried both the
Pmount Puppy Drive mounter and 'mut', with the same error message:
"unable to mount")
- also, setting up the wireless network (using "connect") is
relatively straight forward, but I was not able to save the settings
(for example by using a template) from one session to another (i.e.
after rebooting, the network needs to be set again).

Any ideas, Emil?

Thanks,
H Mark.

emil

unread,
Jan 11, 2011, 5:38:46 PM1/11/11
to sage-windows
Hi,

> - the school PCs are running Windows XP, and have 2GB RAM. I don't
> know if this will be the final configuration though,
With 2GB it should run fine (nice equipment you have there), even 1 GB
should work well for your school purposes.
If it get lower then some swapspace would be nice, for this you would
need HD access.

> - The garbled hard drive content was due to data encryption software
> running on one of the PCs. Took a while to find out, but we were able
> to access the PC file system through /mnt/sda and view un-encrypted
Ah, that explains ...

> files, ON ONE SYSTEM (Lenovo W500, running XP)
> - Unfortunately, PC filesystem access ON OTHER SYSTEMS (HP running XP)
> does not work, since the hard disk is not mountable (tried both the
> Pmount Puppy Drive mounter and 'mut', with the same error message:
> "unable to mount")
Never experienced a unmountable drive myself. Can you see if you run
Gparted from System Menu (without making changes of course)?
Is there a dev device assigned for the drive? (Like /dev/sda1 exists?)
What happens if you run mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/home/sda1 in a terminal?
Do you get any error messages?


>  - also, setting up the wireless network (using "connect") is
> relatively straight forward, but I was not able to save the settings
> (for example by using a template) from one session to another (i.e.
> after rebooting, the  network needs to be set again).

Well, basically the network settings should be saved in the savefile.
If that is not the case there is a bug somewhere (or network settings
or internal IP adresses change?),
although if reconnection is easily possible then
it is not a showstopper issue.

If possible try also the new version (sagelive-511-46-r3.iso), it
should be fine if you just copy the lupq-511.sfs file over.
there is improved functionality

emil
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