Saving space on USB persist installs

Questions about applications and software
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

Saving space on USB persist installs

Postby chapman55k on Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:24 pm

Hello. I have just recently discovered Linux Mint and have decided to use it as an alt. portable desktop / recovery system on my 4 gb usb drive. ( Using this <http://www.pendrivelinux.com/linux-mint-6-flash-drive-install-via-cd/> method, btw ) It has worked out very well so far. This is by far the most usable ( 'elegant' if you will, :wink: ) USB install I have tried. As with all the other USB installs I have tried, however, I have to choose applications very carefully so as not to use up all of my rather limited free space.
So here's the problem:
When I installed it, the first thing I did was check my free disk space. It was more or less the same number I had selected on the USB creator. ( ~1.7 gb or something ) I then turned off the downloaded package archive 'feature' in synaptic, and preformed a system update using mintupdate. It said it would take up >300k of extra space. Fine. I have 1gb free anyway. However, when it finishes, I check my free space again and find that it has plunged dramatically to 200MB :!: . So I decide to remove openoffice.org in favor of the lighter abiword, and to get rid of brasero and a few other packages I have no use for. ( All via synaptic ) That gets it to just over 400MB free. I decided that that was enough free space for the moment, so I went and got a few packages I had *use* for ( inkscape, blender, gnome games :P ) and that took it down to ~200mb free again. Later the freespace issue starts bugging me again, so I go and install localepurge, deborphan/gtkorphan, xdiskusage (exact name of package fails me) , and bleachbit. I run them all, along with a few 'apt-get clean/autoclean' 's and it gets me ~50MB, which I soon reuse with files from my other computer for backup. I'm still >700 mb off of what I started with.

Ok obviously there's something I am missing here. When I ran the update, where did all of my space go? :x The downloaded files were deleted, as I defined in the prefs section in synaptic. I suspect that the debs were deleted but their extracted residuals were left on the disk, but that is just a wild guess.
I don't want to get too long, sorry. Does anyone have any idea how to clean up space after a gigantic software update?
Any help is appreciated.

PS I just realised I wrote the whole post in present tense. :x :x :x
chapman55k
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:53 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Saving space on USB persist installs

Postby AK Dave on Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:22 pm

Does the USB stick you created still use squashfs? If so, then what has likely happened is that the files you upgraded were removed from squashfs and replaced with uncompressed versions.

Kinda depends on how you created your persistent USB.
Did you follow one of those "how to make a persistent USB" guides on the internet? If so, you basically took a liveCD and made a liveUSB out of it. It has squashfs. - I see this is what you did.
Did you use Ubuntu's usb-creator? Same deal: liveCD becomes a liveUSB. - no
Did you perform a full normal install onto a USB drive, treating the flash drive as a normal USB disk? No squashfs, nothing compressed. - no

One way to use a USB stick for a bootable linux image will be to do a full normal install, treat the stick as a normal USB disk, and use Reiser4 with compression. That should pack your data in pretty good. But you might also take a look at what filesystem you used for your USB stick. A particularly bad choice would be ext3 because it reserves 5% of the usable space for root. You can trim this down and gain back a lot of usable space.

Using the instructions from pendrivelinux, what you did was delete files from the squashfs where they were compressed and replace them with uncompressed files. Thats what happened. Thats where all your space went to.

How to fix this? Start all over from square-zero. Use remastersys to master your own Mint iso image, compressed, and then install THAT to a pendrive. Or start all over from square-one, perform a full normal uncompressed Mint install on your pendrive and update it the conventional way. First way is more compact, second way is faster booting.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1043
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: Saving space on USB persist installs

Postby chapman55k on Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:36 pm

Ok rats. I do have a squashfs. :evil:

Is there any way to totally uncompress my entire squashfs? If so, how much bigger will it make my system?
If not, that's ok. I'll just start over and do a regular install to the usb drive on the weekend like you said. ( Will this wear out the my usb filesystem? )
Thanks for the response. (c:
chapman55k
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:53 pm

Re: Saving space on USB persist installs

Postby AK Dave on Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:43 pm

The Ubuntu Hardy install on my netbook is <4gb. The Mint Felicia install on my notebook, loaded with all sorts of crap, is <4gb.

Don't use ext3 as the filesystem on your pendrive install. Use ext2. It doesn't reserve the 5% for root and by the time you dumb down ext3 with writeback journaling, noatime, and nodiratime, you may as well have started with ext2 in the first place.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1043
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: Saving space on USB persist installs

Postby chapman55k on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:16 pm

Lol I'm currently trying to convince my friend to get linuxmint on their netbook.

Writing image to the CD as I type. Would it be ok (possible?) to select fat32 for the filesystem? I don't want to wear out my usb drive. :?
EDIT: Ok, I see that it isn't available. I still want to know how to prevent wear though.
chapman55k
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:53 pm

Re: Saving space on USB persist installs

Postby chapman55k on Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:07 pm

Success! Everything works the way I want it to, but when the lptp im booting off of is running low on batteries, it randomly conks out on me. (USB drive unmounts or something, then icons disappear and no commands run) /c: I guess I won't boot lM on a battery powered laptop.

Thanks for the suggest!

EDIT: nevermind, on second thought, it just randomly conks out. Is there a fix, or is there a hardware problem?
chapman55k
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:53 pm


Return to Software & Applications

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 21 guests