Install programs to external media

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Pogo555
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Install programs to external media

Post by Pogo555 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:54 am

I have been searching for a way to install a program to a USB rather than the internal drive on my storage poor netbook.

I have been using EasyEDA online in Chromium on my netbook, but a recent 'upgrade' has made it unusable for me.

I've tried KiCad on a desktop machine and found it usable, but installing it on my netbook will eat most of my spare drive space.

I can't see a way to install it (or anything else) to an external drive. Is it possible? Is it easy enough to be worth doing?

Pogo.

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by BenTrabetere » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:59 am

Pogo555 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:54 am
I have been searching for a way to install a program to a USB rather than the internal drive on my storage poor netbook.
There is an AppImage for KiCad v4.0.6, and you should be able to run it from an external drive without problem.

You can download it here: https://bintray.com/probono/AppImages

After you download it you will need to make it executable. The easiest way to do this is to open your file browser, navigate to the folder where the AppImage is located, right-click on the AppImage and select Properties from the fly-out menu. Select the Permissions tab and check the “Allow executing file as program” box. Close the Properties and launch the AppImage by double-clicking it.

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Flemur
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Flemur » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:51 am

Pogo555 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:54 am
I have been searching for a way to install a program to a USB rather than the internal drive on my storage poor netbook.
Mostly not possible with regular packages. IMHO it's a bad characteristic of linux in general.
Edit: and Windows, too, until people started making "portable" installs.

Firefox is a very nice exception: "unzip" a file into a directory and it's installed in that directory!" Make a link to the executable and you're done.
https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/
I wish more linux software was packaged like that.

You can see the files installed in a regular package with

Code: Select all

dpkg-query -L <package-name>
A fairly simple program like xfce4-terminal has > 250 files, installed all over the place.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Mute Ant » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:49 pm

Snap and Flatpak are the 'portable' systems that avoid contaminating the OS with application-specific libraries. The old method is to statically compile the application with all the libraries built in to the command. The wide adoption of dynamically linked libraries is rooted in one cause... a portable application is much bigger than a DLL or SO (^) version.

Dynamically linked ffmpeg in Bionic Beaver is 295.5kB

Statically compiled avconv from here... https://johnvansickle.com/libav/ ...is 27.4MB

If you really want applications that can run from any drive, I would look at making a Flatpak version. I have read that this is a normal function of the Flatpak system, but I have no practice doing it... https://flatpak.org/

(^) DLL is a Dynamically Linked Library used by Windows OS. SO is a Shared Object used by Linux OS. They do similar jobs.
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BenTrabetere
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by BenTrabetere » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:07 am

Mute Ant wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:49 pm
... I would look at making a Flatpak version. I have read that this is a normal function of the Flatpak system, but I have no practice doing it...
A flatpak already exists for KiCad - it can be installed from Software Manager.

This thread, https://github.com/flatpak/flatpak/issues/1224, suggest that a flatpak can be installed to something other than the default location. However, the instructions on how to do it are very sparse and man flatpak-installation is not very helpful at all.

A snap also exists for KiCad, but I do not know if or how a snap can be installed and run from anywhere other than the default locations.

On the other hand....
AppImage is an entirely self-contained, portable system that does not contaminate the OS with application-specific libraries, and the only thing you have to do to run it from an external drive is place the file there.

I would say that AppImage is flatpak (and snap) done better, except both flatpak and snap are based on AppImage. [/rant]

Pogo555
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Pogo555 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:20 am

BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:59 am
Pogo555 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:54 am
I have been searching for a way to install a program to a USB rather than the internal drive on my storage poor netbook.
There is an AppImage for KiCad v4.0.6, and you should be able to run it from an external drive without problem.

You can download it here: https://bintray.com/probono/AppImages

After you download it you will need to make it executable. The easiest way to do this is to open your file browser, navigate to the folder where the AppImage is located, right-click on the AppImage and select Properties from the fly-out menu. Select the Permissions tab and check the “Allow executing file as program” box. Close the Properties and launch the AppImage by double-clicking it.
Thanks for a great response. I haven't been able to get it to download. I think this at the bottom of the KiCad page might be relevant "No direct downloads selected for this package." Following the links through, I found that it is an AMD64 version, so I can't run it on my 32 bit netbook anyway, but I will look to see if I can move some other packages onto an external drive and maybe free enough space for KiCad.
Pogo

Pogo555
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Pogo555 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:34 am

Mute Ant wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:49 pm
Snap and Flatpak are the 'portable' systems that avoid contaminating the OS with application-specific libraries. The old method is to statically compile the application with all the libraries built in to the command. The wide adoption of dynamically linked libraries is rooted in one cause... a portable application is much bigger than a DLL or SO (^) version.

Dynamically linked ffmpeg in Bionic Beaver is 295.5kB

Statically compiled avconv from here... https://johnvansickle.com/libav/ ...is 27.4MB

If you really want applications that can run from any drive, I would look at making a Flatpak version. I have read that this is a normal function of the Flatpak system, but I have no practice doing it... https://flatpak.org/

(^) DLL is a Dynamically Linked Library used by Windows OS. SO is a Shared Object used by Linux OS. They do similar jobs.
In my (long passed) Windows life, I recall being able to install software anywhere. The installer typically asked where to install. Even further back, software on the CPM machines that I worked on was *all* on external media. If Linux really can't do this, then that seems like a flaw, but it is what it is. I'll work with it or work around it.

Flatpack tells me that I should upgrade my Mint to 18.3, which I would eventually have to do, but it does seem like a lot of hassle... I'll keep it in reserve.

Pogo

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by BenTrabetere » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:39 pm

Pogo555 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:20 am
Thanks for a great response. I haven't been able to get it to download. I think this at the bottom of the KiCad page might be relevant "No direct downloads selected for this package."
A more direct location for AppImage files is https://dl.bintray.com/probono/AppImages/
I found that it is an AMD64 version, so I can't run it on my 32 bit netbook anyway
I missed the "netbook" part in your original post. :oops:

Most AppImages are 64-bit. I have found a few 32-bit AppImages, but they are not very common. MuseScore is available as a 32-bit AppImage.
https://musescore.org/en/download

I followed a discussion a while back where someone asked if there was any point to supporting 32-bit AppImages. The consensus was 'the world has move to 64-bit' and that building for 32-bit architecture was a lot of work for little gain.

I agree, but this could be a missed opportunity. There are a lot of 32-bit netbooks and old Windows laptops that could find a new life with Linux.

Pogo555
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Pogo555 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:14 am

So it looks like I'm stuck going either the Appimage or Flatpak route. It is sad that the devs have all leapt onto the latest greatest fastest bandwagon. I guess that's what pays.

So I'll try another route.

When I installed Linux, I read several posts about moving my Home directory to a separate partition, and didn't. Could that partition be on removable media? If I then installed KiCad, would it go into that partition instead of my struggling on-board ssd?

Pogo.

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by BenTrabetere » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:26 pm

Pogo555 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:14 am
I read several posts about moving my Home directory to a separate partition, and didn't. Could that partition be on removable media? If I then installed KiCad, would it go into that partition instead of my struggling on-board ssd?
Moving /home would not change where KiCad installs - it would still place files in the default locations.

As for moving /home to removable media, I foresee lots of problems and very few benefits.

Is the current version of KiCad even available for 32-bit Linux. I know there is an older version, but I can find no reference for the current version.

Pogo555
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Pogo555 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:23 am

BenTrabetere wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:26 pm
Moving /home would not change where KiCad installs - it would still place files in the default locations.
Worth asking the Q.
As for moving /home to removable media, I foresee lots of problems and very few benefits.
And if KiCad didn't install there, then no benefit.
Is the current version of KiCad even available for 32-bit Linux. I know there is an older version, but I can find no reference for the current version.
The one that they offer for LM is V4,07, the current stable version which is a 32 bit version.

So now I'm out of software options, it looks like I'll need to hunt down a bigger SSD for my poor little netbook.

Thanks for the helpful discussion. I'll keep you in touch with any developments.

Pogo.

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by BenTrabetere » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:47 am

Pogo555 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:23 am
So now I'm out of software options,
Well, there is another option - request the KiCad developers to create an official AppImage for both versions - 32-bit and 64-bit. It appears to me as if theKiCad flatpak were created by KiCad; The developers may be receptive to a request for AppImages.
it looks like I'll need to hunt down a bigger SSD for my poor little netbook.
You might check the local pawn and computer repair shop to see if any have a more capable machine for sale.

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Re: Install programs to external media

Post by Pogo555 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:14 am

BenTrabetere wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:47 am
Pogo555 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:23 am
So now I'm out of software options,
Well, there is another option - request the KiCad developers to create an official AppImage for both versions - 32-bit and 64-bit. It appears to me as if theKiCad flatpak were created by KiCad; The developers may be receptive to a request for AppImages.
It's worth a shot. Somebody must have requested the 64 bit Flatpack.

You might check the local pawn and computer repair shop to see if any have a more capable machine for sale.
:shock: But I love my little netbook. :(

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