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 Post subject: Menu improvements (Hotkeys an short help)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 1278
Can you include hotkeys in you menus? If you place "^" before a character in your cfg files, it becomes highlighted. If you press e.g. the key for "p", the menu selection will jump to "Puppy linux V3.01". It is especially usefull in the "large" menus of UBCD.

Code:
LABEL ubcd
  MENU LABEL ^Ultimate boot CD V4.1.1
  KERNEL menu.c32
  APPEND /menus/main.cfg
LABEL puppy
  MENU LABEL ^Puppy linux V3.01
  CONFIG /puppy/isolinux.cfg

If you go over a item, some help text about the function of a program is handy. The following is an example of the use of TEXT HELP.
Code:
LABEL default
MENU LABEL ^1. Default settings (Runs from RAM / Ejects CD)
TEXT HELP
* version: 2.0, (C) 2008, Patrick Verner
* http://www.partedmagic.com
* Disclaimer: Author excluded from any liability.
ENDTEXT
KERNEL /pmagic/bzImage
APPEND noapic initrd=/pmagic/initrd root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ramdisk_size=200000

This will show the following at the bottom of your screen:
* version: 2.0, (C) 2008, Patrick Verner
* http://www.partedmagic.com
* Disclaimer: Author excluded from any liability.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:59 pm
Posts: 1255
Thanks for the suggestion. I have been following the latest simple menu system enhancements, and thought these were nice features that were added.

However, at present, I don't think I will do it for the next release because I am already having trouble getting the damn thing out due to time constraints. Maybe for the release after that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:27 am 
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Posts: 1278
How long will it take to make the next release? From a quick look on the forum, I see that you are busy with it from December. Are you only updating the programs or are you also making big changes in the freedos images? I just ask this because I wanted to make a tutorial, but because it can be that the folder layout can be very different that the previous editions (almost every folder in a specific folder to keep the top level clean) it would be stupid when the next version would come out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:07 pm
Posts: 136
I also agree hotkeys would be useful, although I wish I could use the F keys as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:59 pm
Posts: 1255
Quote:
How long will it take to make the next release?


Originally, I wanted simply to update the existing apps. I also modified the directory structure to isolated UBCD files in its own subfolder, and added some changes to the DOS images that kof94 suggested.

But since last month, I have decided that I am going to scrap the 4.2 release and come out with a 5.0 release. I have been pretty unhappy about NTFS access under DOS, so I am going to strip them all out (NTFSDOS, NTFS4DOS, Active NTFS Reader). In its place, I am going to integrate INSERT again with simple instructions on how to mount an NTFS partition under INSERT and copy them over to a USB storage device. I think this is one of the core things that people want to do when their system screws up, and currently the default UBCD doesn't really perform this task very well.

In addition, I am going to focus on only FreeDOS for the next release, and remove the DOS images for LZ-DOS and OpenDOS. Since Erwin has apparently stopped maintaining the FreeDOS image, I want to try to take over and remake the image. One of the things I am thinking about is how to reducing the number of dialogs that the FreeDOS image pops up during boot. The ideal scenario is to popup a single options page during boot, and nothing else for the rest of the boot process, but I am still not sure how it can be done.

I also want to strip out some apps (eg. DOS-based web browsers, file viewers) from UBCD. I haven't really thought through this fully yet, but the idea is to abandon the kitchen-sink approach, and make UBCD more focused on system preparation, diagnosis and recovery. The other apps that are not essential can be left as customization options for the users.

One more thing is I finally got a machine (Dell Latitude D610) that is able to boot USB, so I will make sure UBCD 5.0 works better with USB booting. Apps that don't work with USB will either be marked as such, or removed altogether.

So there it is. In short, it's going to be a major makeover in UBCD 5.0. I welcome any suggestions or comments!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 1278
I am happy that you are planning to change a lot. I was almost trying to bring an new release with the update programs myself, I wanted to start tomorrow (I am glad that I didn't start already).
The freeDOS image where you are refering to, does it contain the modboot disk from http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/modboot/ already or do you include it by yourself?
Puppy linux let you easily mount nfts partitions (grapical), but it doesn't contain very good other recovery options. Instead of all the dos partition tools, I suggest that INSERT with gparted will be used. I think that that will be a lot easier. Also Parted Magic (fork of Gparted) would be an alternative (contains also testdisk en some other tools). http://partedmagic.com/

You can compress all the applications in the dosapps folder. First, upx all executables in every directory. Second, 7zip each directory alone.
Remove the batch file from those directory before 7zipping. Make a new batch file for each excutable. I haven't looked yet, what the right commands are for the batch file, so I have written it in pseudo code.
Code:
- Extract /ubcd/dosapps/testdisk.7z with 7zip to the ramdisk (/dosapps/)
- Copy all batch files from /ubcd/dosapps/ to the ramdrive (/dosapps)
- Unupx all executable in it (this is needed for some dosapps because they write to there own executable in memory, upxed executable files don't write to the right places in memory)
- Do other necessary commands for the executables (if any)
- Launch the executable
- After quiting the application, let the user choose if he wants to run another app or not (run the appropiate batch file from the ramdisk to unpack and run the 7zipped file

Let me know I you like this idea or not.

Isolinux and syslinux are able to run run another isolinux.cfg or syslinux.cfg file now. This makes it possible to have the original menu for both iso's when you want to make a multiboot cd.
Code:
CONFIG image         - New configuration file
   Using one of these keywords instead of KERNEL forces the
   filetype, regardless of the filename.

   CONFIG means restart the boot loader using a different
   configuration file.

e.g: for Puppy Linux (You get the boot text before booting the image, which gives you the opportunity to add special parameters ==> e.g. "puppy pfix=ram")

LABEL puppy
  MENU LABEL ^Puppy linux V3.01
  CONFIG /puppy/isolinux.cfg

Also include the KBDMAP keymap command for isolinux (desirable when the Hotkeys functions is implemented); I haven't tried it yet, but I think that I can grab the necessary keymaps from a ubuntu iso.
The syslinux archive contains also some other .c32 tools (reboot, ...).

Maybe the vesamenu.c32 can be used also. Just let the user choose which (menu.c32 or vesa.c32) menu viewer, must be used at the boot prompt( e.g. 1. Text menu 2. Graphical menu)

Add also photorec (it is available in the testdisk directory)
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1244

I want to try to edit the StressCPU image, but I don't know how to open it. normally you can uncompress it whit cpio, but it doesn't work. Do you have the mail adress of Adrian (Adrian's combo Linux loader). If you have it, let me know it and I will send you an email or ask Adrian how to uncompress and edit it. Because you are including INSERT, we can also "insert' it in this images, just like the Mersenne Prime test. This will be a lot easier probably.

I want to help you. Just ask it .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:07 pm
Posts: 136
The feature I'd most like to see is the ability to boot ISOs.

Icecube wrote:
You can compress all the applications in the dosapps folder. First, upx all executables in every directory. Second, 7zip each directory alone.


That makes troubleshooting and later customization more difficult. How much would that compress things?

How can Icecube and myself help with the new version? Will it be based off syslinux again?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 1278
Scott Cooper wrote:
The feature I'd most like to see is the ability to boot ISOs.

This is very difficult, but I think grub4dos can do it, but I haven't tested it.
With Gujin and cdrecord you can but several iso's after each other.

A quote from http://www.linux.com/articles/52927
Quote:
A quick test is to install the Gujin bootloader either on a bootable USB stick, your hard disk or a floppy, then write your CD/DVD with the "-multi" and "-tao" (track at once) like:
cdrecord -tao -multi knoppix.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi dsl.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi puppy.iso
keeping the same CDROM/DVD in the drive. CDROM have a maximum of 99 tracks.

Then you boot Gujin (depending where you have installed it) and it should automatically display a menu of all sessions present.

If you make a iso for gujin itself also you get direct in gujin when you boot the cd.
Code:
cdrecord -tao -multi gujin.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi knoppix.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi dsl.iso
cdrecord -tao -multi puppy.iso

You can make the iso also with growisofs.
Scott Cooper wrote:
That makes troubleshooting and later customization more difficult. How much would that compress things?

I have compressed all the directories in the dosapps folder in 1 big file (45.1MB). The compressed size is 24,5MB. This is without upxing the execs first. To update one of the applications, you have to unpack it and update the necessary files and compress it again. No big deal, I think. BTW, all the disk images are also compressed, so 1 extra archive which reduces the size with 20 MB is acceptable, I think.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:59 pm
Posts: 1255
Quote:
The freeDOS image where you are refering to, does it contain the modboot disk from http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/modboot/ already or do you include it by yourself?


I was referring to Erwin Veermans' fdubcd.img. Modboot uses MS-DOS, which is technically payware (though I am not sure if Micro$oft still cares at this point in time), so it has been removed since V3.0.

Quote:
Also Parted Magic (fork of Gparted) would be an alternative (contains also testdisk en some other tools). http://partedmagic.com/


I will check out Parted Magic. Thanks! Under INSERT, it is quite easy to mount NTFS partitions and USB storage devices using EmelFM as well. Just navigate to /mount, right-click on the device ID (eg. sda) and select "Mount". All mountable devices are presented under /mount, so even if you don't know what "sda" means, it's just a matter of mounting it and taking a look at its content.

Quote:
You can compress all the applications in the dosapps folder.


This seems like a good idea. I will look into it. However, if 7zip is used to compress the directory, why is there the need to upx the EXE? 7zip by itself will do an excellent job of compressing the EXE file, wouldn't it?

Quote:
Isolinux and syslinux are able to run run another isolinux.cfg or syslinux.cfg file now.


I am aware of this from the syslinux mailing list. It's a great feature to have for integrating syslinux-based distros.

Quote:
Maybe the vesamenu.c32 can be used also. Just let the user choose which (menu.c32 or vesa.c32) menu viewer, must be used at the boot prompt( e.g. 1. Text menu 2. Graphical menu)


I am not likely to use vesamenu.c32. As I have mentioned a couple of times, I just don't find the eye-candy necessary for a troubleshooting/diagnostic CD.

Quote:
Add also photorec (it is available in the testdisk directory)


photorec and testdisk are already included in INSERT, so if I am integrating INSERT, I won't include the DOS version.

Quote:
I want to try to edit the StressCPU image


You might want to check with holgrrr. He managed to add "stress" to Adrian's image. I still have his updated image if you want it. holgrrr, if you are reading this, my apologies about the delay in getting your image out for the next release!

Quote:
Because you are including INSERT, we can also "insert' it in this images, just like the Mersenne Prime test.


I am not sure what you mean by this. Add "Mersenne Prime" to INSERT, or add INSERT to cpustres?

Quote:
The feature I'd most like to see is the ability to boot ISOs.


You have to understand that to do this in a generic manner is currently not possible. Even with grub4dos, it will only work under limited circumstances. From grub4dos' README:

Quote:
Like normal disk emulations, the CDROM emulation also (mainly) works with
real-mode OSes. After a protected-mode OS kernel (such as
WinNT/2K/XP/VISTA/LINUX) gains control, the OS would have no ability to access
the virtual CDROM through BIOS int13.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:06 am
Posts: 284
Location: FL
The last INSERT release is over a year old. Do you know if any development is being done on a possible new release or are you planning on doing any updates to it prior to release?

SystemRescueCd is similar and just had an update released in March. It is a bit on the large size at 187MB over INSERT at 61MB but can be customized. Maybe if the size was reduced this could be an alternative to INSERT?

RIP linux may be another alternative and it much closer in size to the INSERT ISO and can also be remastered.

I know you used to have INSERT built into the older "FULL" UBCD, is that why you are going with it over newer releases?

Just wondering....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:19 pm
Posts: 1
I figured this thread was a good spot for me to stop lurking and finally post something. :) I've been using my own menu structure for a bit now, and it does answer at least one of the feature requests in this thread.

This particular menu structure adds hotkeys, and allows custom menu items to not be overwritten when a new release of UBCD is out.

It's worked great for me, so I feel it's time to share. Feel free to integrate with your new release, I know I will! ;-)

Josh's Menu Structure.zip

To install, just extract to the root of the disc, overwriting anything in the /menus folder. Customize the stuff under /custom and never have to worry about re-doing your custom tools on a new release again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 6:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:59 pm
Posts: 1255
Quote:
The last INSERT release is over a year old. Do you know if any development is being done on a possible new release or are you planning on doing any updates to it prior to release?


I have currently integrated Parted Magic into UBCD5, 'cos I like its simple UI, Firefox browser, direct mounting of NTFS partitions from EmelFm2 and small size. The only downside is that it doesn't have any anti-malware tools AFAIK.

I will be looking at SystemRescueCD and Trinity Rescue Kit, as suggested in this thread. I will add RIP to the list then.

But I am hesitant to include anything that's too large into UBCD for obvious reasons.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 5:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:59 pm
Posts: 1255
Just looked at RIP. Parted Magic is still my keep for now. RIP is roughly twice the size of Parted Magic (72MB vs. 37MB), and I like Parted Magic's UI better, plus it is much easier to mount an NTFS partition under Parted Magic, as least to a newbie like myself.

If only Parted Magic comes with some anti-malware software...

Does anyone know if there's a LiveCD that is dedicated to anti-malware without the bloat?


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