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Old December 12th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question What is BusyBox?

I can't find any reference to BusyBox in this Ally thread, just in the threads for other phones. Is it used for the Ally, and if so for what?

Z4Root said it would install BusyBox when I rooted, but since then I have seen no sign of BusyBox, and there is no icon for it.

Zoandroid

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Old December 12th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was wondering this to, as you also need it to use MetaMorph.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can get it from the Market.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^ I know where to get it (actually you get the installer from the market), but what does it do? :|
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Old December 12th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Busybox is a collection of simple, but powerful, Linux utilities, that android doesn't come with by default. It is used by apps like MetaMorph and Titanium backup in order to do special operations. For more info, just ask Wikipedia, lol.

BusyBox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old December 12th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I did get the installer from the market and installed it after I did Z4Root because I thought something was 'wrong' when it never appeared after Z4Root had supposedly installed it. Once I got it installed it reported there being 2 instances found. A 1.17.1 and a 1.18.1git(unofficial). BusyBox chose to leave the 1.17.1 as active so I didn't argue. But I still have no idea what it does or how to access it. Is there a user guide somewhere?

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Old December 12th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoandroid View Post
I did get the installer from the market and installed it after I did Z4Root because I thought something was 'wrong' when it never appeared after Z4Root had supposedly installed it. Once I got it installed it reported there being 2 instances found. A 1.17.1 and a 1.18.1git(unofficial). BusyBox chose to leave the 1.17.1 as active so I didn't argue. But I still have no idea what it does or how to access it. Is there a user guide somewhere?

Zoandroid
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One post above you asking for more info.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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busy box is a wonderful collection of script programs for use in the terminal. for example the newest busybox rqueen beelease contains git which is a program for downloading fresh kernels and the like.
others include
wget which allows you to programs from the web through the terminal
bzip2 for compression.

In fact here's a list

[, [[, acpid, addgroup, adduser, adjtimex, ar, arp, arping, ash,
awk, basename, beep, blkid, brctl, bunzip2, bzcat, bzip2, cal, cat,
catv, chat, chattr, chgrp, chmod, chown, chpasswd, chpst, chroot,
chrt, chvt, cksum, clear, cmp, comm, cp, cpio, crond, crontab,
cryptpw, cut, date, dc, dd, deallocvt, delgroup, deluser, depmod,
devmem, df, dhcprelay, diff, dirname, dmesg, dnsd, dnsdomainname,
dos2unix, dpkg, du, dumpkmap, dumpleases, echo, ed, egrep, eject,
env, envdir, envuidgid, expand, expr, fakeidentd, false, fbset,
fbsplash, fdflush, fdformat, fdisk, fgrep, find, findfs, flash_lock,
flash_unlock, fold, free, freeramdisk, fsck, fsck.minix, fsync,
ftpd, ftpget, ftpput, fuser, getopt, getty, grep, gunzip, gzip, hd,
hdparm, head, hexdump, hostid, hostname, httpd, hush, hwclock, id,
ifconfig, ifdown, ifenslave, ifplugd, ifup, inetd, init, inotifyd,
insmod, install, ionice, ip, ipaddr, ipcalc, ipcrm, ipcs, iplink,
iproute, iprule, iptunnel, kbd_mode, kill, killall, killall5, klogd,
last, length, less, linux32, linux64, linuxrc, ln, loadfont,
loadkmap, logger, login, logname, logread, losetup, lpd, lpq, lpr,
ls, lsattr, lsmod, lzmacat, lzop, lzopcat, makemime, man, md5sum,
mdev, mesg, microcom, mkdir, mkdosfs, mkfifo, mkfs.minix, mkfs.vfat,
mknod, mkpasswd, mkswap, mktemp, modprobe, more, mount, mountpoint,
mt, mv, nameif, nc, netstat, nice, nmeter, nohup, nslookup, od,
openvt, passwd, patch, pgrep, pidof, ping, ping6, pipe_progress,
pivot_root, pkill, popmaildir, printenv, printf, ps, pscan, pwd,
raidautorun, rdate, rdev, readlink, readprofile, realpath,
reformime, renice, reset, resize, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route, rpm,
rpm2cpio, rtcwake, run-parts, runlevel, runsv, runsvdir, rx, script,
scriptreplay, sed, sendmail, seq, setarch, setconsole, setfont,
setkeycodes, setlogcons, setsid, setuidgid, sh, sha1sum, sha256sum,
sha512sum, showkey, slattach, sleep, softlimit, sort, split,
start-stop-daemon, stat, strings, stty, su, sulogin, sum, sv,
svlogd, swapoff, swapon, switch_root, sync, sysctl, syslogd, tac,
tail, tar, taskset, tcpsvd, tee, telnet, telnetd, test, tftp, tftpd,
time, timeout, top, touch, tr, traceroute, true, tty, ttysize,
udhcpc, udhcpd, udpsvd, umount, uname, uncompress, unexpand, uniq,
unix2dos, unlzma, unlzop, unzip, uptime, usleep, uudecode, uuencode,
vconfig, vi, vlock, volname, watch, watchdog, wc, wget, which, who,
whoami, xargs, yes, zcat, zcip
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Old December 12th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks to KuroTsubasa and his suggestion to check BusyBox in Wiki I now understand what it actually is. It is NOT a program (which I mistakenly assumed when Z4root said it would "install BusyBox").

In addition to KuroTsubasa's explanation, the wiki I read also mentions that BusyBox adds several commands for "embedded Linux" devices. In the list I recognized some I have used already in Android Terminal, such as ls, mv, and cat.

So my next question is - had, for some reason, BusyBox NOT been installed when I rooted with Z4root, would I not have had those commands workable in Terminal (in other words, were they ONLY available to me because of BusyBox?)

Just like to round out my understanding of what BusyBox brings to the rooting experience.

Edit - Theblueletters and I were both posting simultaneously. That is an incredible number of additions!!

Thanks for the info guys!

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Old December 12th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No problem. I was wondering all this myself awhile back (about when Velocity 0.2 came out... so not *that* long ago). No one really *explains* what Busybox is... they just say you need it, so it had me curious too.

Also, basic commands like ls, mv, and cat would be available by default in android, but as you can see, Busybox includes them too, and a whole lot more.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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just like $bash or any other terminal program it has scripts like a library of scripts like ls or man and each shell programs library is just a little different depending on the dev. thats one of the reasons some people prefer one shell program to another.

busy box adds a library of scripts to make your terminal more verbose that would otherwise not be accessible. so now your terminal can uncompress files using bzip2 whereas before typing that would give
no command 'bzip2' found

so z4root calls for certain scripts on its way to rooting your phone. if it were not there the program would get hung up calling for scripts not in the library.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have a copy of bash on my phone. There's an android compiled version floating out there somewhere online. When typing with a mobile keyboard, it's really handy to have a command history to recall with the "up" key (in case of typos and such). I only wish I could figure out how to use "tab" to auto-complete file paths when the Ally lacks a physical tab key. Using the alt key combo doesn't seem to register in the terminal emulator app. =/
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for sorting this out. Now I understand what BusyBox is and what it is for.

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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuroTsubasa View Post
I have a copy of bash on my phone. There's an android compiled version floating out there somewhere online. When typing with a mobile keyboard, it's really handy to have a command history to recall with the "up" key (in case of typos and such). I only wish I could figure out how to use "tab" to auto-complete file paths when the Ally lacks a physical tab key. Using the alt key combo doesn't seem to register in the terminal emulator app. =/
Reminds me of typing in the command line in Windows years ago. Wasn't it "F3" that repeated what you had just typed? Really handy when trying to debug the syntax of a long string. I miss that in Android Terminal. Is there a way to do it in a terminal app for the Ally?

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Old December 13th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow, I completely forgot about that. Yeah, I think it was F3. That was so long ago now.

shell bash for android - xda-developers

Download bash from there and follow the instructions (at least until chmod). From there, you have two choices. You can continue following the instructions, which will replace the default shell program "sh" with a symlink to use bash instead. Or you can leave it as is and change the default shell in the Terminal Emulator app (somewhere in settings). Either way, you can always start it by running "bash" at the command line.

For a little background, "bash" is the default command line program for most Linux distros, and is very powerful in what it can do. It also features a lot of conveniences, like pressing up to access previously typed commands and using the tab key to auto complete commands and paths (although I can't get this to work on our keyboard =/ ).

For some reason though (might be the fault of the Terminal Emulator app, but idk), it will only show you previous commands in your history from your *current* session. Usually bash will show you your history across multiple sessions, i.e. On my computer (Ubuntu Linux) I could close a command prompt, and even restart my computer, and my history would still be there next time.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. I'll give Bash a try.

Do you use this forum much from your Ally? I have an annoyance I'd like to work around somehow. After tapping thanks for you Opera Mini reloads the page, stops at the top of this page, and the "view first unread" button disappears. So I have to manually scroll back down here to do a reply. If the Dpad scrolled faster it wouldn't be an issue but it is pretty slow going, and finger scrolling reminds me of why I use only trackballs instead of mice on PCs.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I have run into a problem trying to get bash up and running. I downloaded it with the Ally, to the SD card. The steps they give, which you said to follow, are:

copy bash to /system/bin/bash

then run :

cd /system/bin

I got stopped in my tracks trying to copy bash to system/bin.

I ran

su
mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system

then tried to mkdir system/bin/bash

it says it is already there. But it won't let me cd to it or ls it so I can verify it is really there. So I tried to

cp system/sd/bash system/bin/bash and I get "no such file or directory.

Reworded to
cp / system/sd bash system/bin/bash and get "can't start 'system/sd' : No such file or directory.

This isn't making sense to me, but this is also all new ground. It seems like bash is "already there" or something, and I have no idea why I am not allowed into those folders using su and mounting them as rw.

- afterthought -- It came to me that if bash really IS there, I should be able to run it! So I reopened terminal, and typed in su followed by bash

I get this :bash - 3.2#

I presume that is the bash su prompt, right? If so something I did in the z4root + Rom Manager + Clockwork recovery installation process must have installed bash for me, or else could it have installed itself somehow when I downloaded it from xda?

Now the up key works just like you said. In Android terminal it doesn't. So I guess I have bash running already.

Zoandroid
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Old December 14th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoandroid View Post
I have run into a problem trying to get bash up and running. I downloaded it with the Ally, to the SD card. The steps they give, which you said to follow, are:

copy bash to /system/bin/bash

then run :

cd /system/bin

I got stopped in my tracks trying to copy bash to system/bin.

I ran

su
mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system

then tried to mkdir system/bin/bash

it says it is already there. But it won't let me cd to it or ls it so I can verify it is really there. So I tried to

cp system/sd/bash system/bin/bash and I get "no such file or directory.

Reworded to
cp / system/sd bash system/bin/bash and get "can't start 'system/sd' : No such file or directory.

This isn't making sense to me, but this is also all new ground. It seems like bash is "already there" or something, and I have no idea why I am not allowed into those folders using su and mounting them as rw.

- afterthought -- It came to me that if bash really IS there, I should be able to run it! So I reopened terminal, and typed in su followed by bash

I get this :bash - 3.2#

I presume that is the bash su prompt, right? If so something I did in the z4root + Rom Manager + Clockwork recovery installation process must have installed bash for me, or else could it have installed itself somehow when I downloaded it from xda?

Now the up key works just like you said. In Android terminal it doesn't. So I guess I have bash running already.

Zoandroid

Well, the first problem I see is with the mkdir command. Mkdir is "Make Directory" or in modern terms, make a new folder. You wouldn't want to be making a folder called bash. When you tried to run the command, it told you "I can't do that, there's already *something* named bash".

To verify it, you would cd to /system/bin and then run ls. If you tried to cd to /system/bin/bash, it should have told you that that location "is not a directory".

Anyway, moving on, it appears that your phone does have bash already installed on it for one reason or another (heck, maybe it's part of busybox... I really don't know). Though I can tell you for sure that it didn't install itself there from your download.

You can set android terminal to use whatever shell (command line program) that you want it to. It's somewhere in settings, and by default it's set to use "/system/bin/sh". If you change it to "/system/bin/bash", bash will be used by default instead. The only issue i've noticed with that setting is that when you "su", it goes back to the regular "sh" and then you have to run bash again.

Anyway, glad you got it working. =)
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Old December 14th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. I'll give Bash a try.

Do you use this forum much from your Ally? I have an annoyance I'd like to work around somehow. After tapping thanks for you Opera Mini reloads the page, stops at the top of this page, and the "view first unread" button disappears. So I have to manually scroll back down here to do a reply. If the Dpad scrolled faster it wouldn't be an issue but it is pretty slow going, and finger scrolling reminds me of why I use only trackballs instead of mice on PCs.

Idk what to say about that. Opera Mini and Mobile have some quarks due to it's preprocessing of web pages on opera's server. Despite being its best feature, it also causes a lot of issues. Personally, I use Miren Browser (it's been around awhile, and was also known as the MIUI Browser, but it's only recently been added to the Market).

Also, as of yesterday, Phandroid updated it's app to also access the android forums. I'm using it right now. It should be updated in the market sometime today, but if not, it's also in a post here if you search for or google it.

UPDATE: It has been uploaded to the Market. Just search for "Phandroid".
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Old December 14th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I guess I am still thinking in terms of files and folders from using DOS and Windows. Somehow I got the idea that I needed to make a folder called bash to put bash into. But bash seems to be something that is neither file nor folder, so trying to deal with it that way doesn't work.

I am guessing it either got installed with Rom Mgr or Clockwork Recovery. Or maybe even A2SD.

For now I will probably keep accessing it through Android Terminal.

I did find a list of bash commands on the xda site, but it is "just a list" (hundreds of commands jammed together into a paragraph). What I would like to find is a "user guide" for either Android Terminal or Bash, which lists the definition of each command and shows examples of how to use them. I am sure it could fill a book. Maybe even a book would be a better idea. Any suggestions? Are most of the common commands in Linux available in Android, so a guide to Linux would be valuable?

I learn best by the 'hands on' approach, so I do much better in a lab than in a library, if you get my drift. I would play with each command I am trying to learn and actually see it working on the phone. Then I can remember it and what it does. Otherwise it never seems to stick in my mind.

Anyway thanks for helping me understand what was going on getting bash working.

Zoandroid
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Old December 14th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuroTsubasa View Post
Idk what to say about that. Opera Mini and Mobile have some quarks due to it's preprocessing of web pages on opera's server. Despite being its best feature, it also causes a lot of issues. Personally, I use Miren Browser (it's been around awhile, and was also known as the MIUI Browser, but it's only recently been added to the Market).

Also, as of yesterday, Phandroid updated it's app to also access the android forums. I'm using it right now. It should be updated in the market sometime today, but if not, it's also in a post here if you search for or google it.

UPDATE: It has been uploaded to the Market. Just search for "Phandroid".
I'm installing Phandroid from the market right now. Maybe it will be a bit less hassle than the way Opera-Mini accesses the Android Forum. I like it because it is light years faster than the stock browser, but what I don't care for is that Opera refreshes the page every time I do things like zoom out from a reply box or tap the submit reply button, and for some 'stupid' reason it moves back to the TOP. I hate when email or word processors do that to me to. Very annoying.

OK, I just did a reply to a post on here using Phandroid's app and its forum access. It seems really nice! And it is very quick and responsive. It doesn't have all the features we have on PC access, like smileys and stuff, but otherwise seems quite useful.

Edit - I just realized it doesn't have the "view first unread" option either. :-( But at least it does scroll pretty fast.

Thanks!

Zoanroid
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Old December 14th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoandroid View Post
I guess I am still thinking in terms of files and folders from using DOS and Windows. Somehow I got the idea that I needed to make a folder called bash to put bash into. But bash seems to be something that is neither file nor folder, so trying to deal with it that way doesn't work.

I am guessing it either got installed with Rom Mgr or Clockwork Recovery. Or maybe even A2SD.

For now I will probably keep accessing it through Android Terminal.

I did find a list of bash commands on the xda site, but it is "just a list" (hundreds of commands jammed together into a paragraph). What I would like to find is a "user guide" for either Android Terminal or Bash, which lists the definition of each command and shows examples of how to use them. I am sure it could fill a book. Maybe even a book would be a better idea. Any suggestions? Are most of the common commands in Linux available in Android, so a guide to Linux would be valuable?

I learn best by the 'hands on' approach, so I do much better in a lab than in a library, if you get my drift. I would play with each command I am trying to learn and actually see it working on the phone. Then I can remember it and what it does. Otherwise it never seems to stick in my mind.

Anyway thanks for helping me understand what was going on getting bash working.

Zoandroid

Bash is an executable file, like a Windows exe file, except in Linux it doesn't need to be named ".exe". It's still a file though. Any information on Linux would be handy on the android command line. Android *is* Linux, just a modified version, with a layer of apps running on top of it instead of a standard desktop environment.

As far as learning goes, you could try learning some Linux cli skills on your desktop computer. I've been running Ubuntu as my OS for about a year and a half now, so I was already ahead of the game when I got my Ally and started experimenting with Android.

Also, on most Linux distros there is a command called "man" that pulls up manual pages about different commands i.e. "man ls" would tell you all you need to know (and then some) about the ls command. Android lacks this built-in documentation though... probably due to size constraints or something. You can also pull up simple help by adding -? or --help to most commands (like /? in Windows/DOS).
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Old December 14th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Actually, it does, just long press on a forum topic. It's pretty impressive so far, expecially for a beta. I can't wait to see where it's headed. They're saying they've got *a lot* planned for it.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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OK, thanks for the tips! I really did want to build a Linux PC and totally abandon Micro$oft some day. But unfortunately for me, I chose a notebook as my experimenting platform, and ran into endless problems trying to get the right drivers for all its hardware. Never could get the wifi to work, which I consider crucial on any notebook. The mfgr it turns out also used proprietary hardware and special Windows drivers for the video display, which caused additional problems. I ran into a wall every direction I tried to go, and in general it was just a totally un-enjoyable project.

The people on the Linux forums who will spend the time to help someone (just as you are doing in this thread) are very few and far between. Most of them are, to put it bluntly, arrogant and unhelpful. They expect you to know everything before you "dare" ask them a question. No place for a rookie to learn, for sure.

Actually I encountered that exact same scenario the day I was trying to root, while on the ally IRC channel. But fortunately for me, it was not the person I was speaking with who came across with something like "why don't you newbies research this stuff before you come here asking questions". He didn't get that researching is what I was trying to DO in the IRC. Once I got a few questions answered I was successful. I can tell you had I tried to do it by digging online it would have taken weeks, if EVER.

I try never to 'fend off' newbie questions in these forums. I remember my humble beginnings on any topic, and how I was the one asking questions. What good are forums like this if not to help people? So if you ask a question today and every day after someone new asks the same question, I am OK with that. I may point you to the previous post so I don't have to re-type the answer, but I won't tell you to get lost.

I still have some "live" Linux distro CDs I made during that project. I actually had tried 3 or 4 different ones. I suppose Ubuntu was the friendliest. There was one called PC Linux that I really liked because it had cool graphics. So I should be able to set up one of those again and it would give me access to that "man" option for each command I want to try to learn.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Zoandroid
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Old December 15th, 2010, 12:58 AM   #25 (permalink)
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As far as drivers and compatibility go, there are sometimes some issues. Keep in mind though that Linux distros usually follow a 6 month release schedule (that is, a new version comes out every 6 months). This means that compaired to the Windows world, a lot can change in very little time.

When I first tried Linux, I had some major video driver issues. No matter what, I could *not* get my video acceleration working right. Due to this issue, I didn't actually get into Linux until a few years later. I'm currently using that old video card in an older machine, and it works flawlessly now (due to advances in the open-source drivers for that card).

Another thing to keep in mind is that "Ubuntu" makes an excellent keyword in google searches. That's probably 50% or more of the reason I chose to use it. It makes it much easier to find solutions to Ubuntu problems than other distros.

Anyway, the biggest point that I can make is that if you try Linux now, and it doesn't work for you, check back in 6 months or a year. Everything will have come a long way, so don't write it off after just one bad experience.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Thanks for the motivational explanation. I had indeed written it off as a pita not worth pursuing. It's been about a year since I last made that decision so I guess I could give it another go.

There were several factors taken into account when I made that decision, and one of the biggest was that when someone did provide help, 99% of the time it was with command line statements. Very few forum 'helpers' ever seemed to mention the GUI to do anything at all in any distro version. I wasn't into that. But since my goal now is to learn more about the terminal commands for use on my Ally I guess that factor will no longer be pertinent.

It sounds like I might be better off downloading a new distro then, instead of relying on those I have on disc.

Thanks again!

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Old December 15th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I am playing with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, so far just in Live CD mode, because I wanted to see what kind of problems might surface using it on my main PC, which has a Matrox TripleHead adapter and 3 displays. I was surprised to find that it appears to have native support for this configuration, and it was fairly easy to get the Live CD setup working in 3840x1024 resolution. As I was playing with terminal and reading the Beginner Guide somehow the PC lost connection with my wireless trackball. Windows I can shut down from the keyboard, but Linux?? I couldn't seem to find a way. How does one shut down Ubuntu without a mouse?

So far I like the 10.04 LTS Beginner Guide. It is, just as they described, not full of technical jargon (but does provide links for those wanting more technical info) yet explains things fairly well. And it already saved me once from frustration, when I was totally blindsided by Linux's directory name structure being case dependent! Trying to 'ls documents' was not working. However after reading the above 'ls Documents' worked just fine. I presume Android is also case dependent in its path names?

If all keeps going well I will likely partition some space and install a dual-boot Ubuntu/Win7 setup.

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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Well, quite typical to my past experiences in trying to us Linux, I cannot get it to install on my Win7 PC. It runs fine as a live CD. But I have spent 2 days trying to actually install it and I keep getting the same result every time. I click the restart button, the display goes to white text on black, says lots of things which appear to be normal to the operation, and then suddenly it starts spewing a column of repeating statements which have slightly varying numbers in them, eventually freezing. The line at the bottom says:

[ 1020.620216] end_request: I/O error, dev sr0, sector 524560

All the lines above it are very similar, just have different numbers. Of course I have no idea whatsoever what this means. Not a good way to start a project. If I don't find a reasonably quick resolution so I can get things installed I'll chalk it up as "more of the same".

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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The error seem to indicate that it's having trouble reading the install disc. sr0 is one of the (unfortunately many) ways that Linux may refer to a cd drive. There are also cd0, cdrom, dvd0, and a lot of other annoying ones.

Anyway, when the live/install cd first starts, it should have an option to "check the disc for defects" or something similar sounding. Running that should tell you if there's any errors on your cd (I've never actually had to do that, but it seems like a good place to start). These errors could be from burning the disc too fast, or errors in the file if it didn't download right. Also, it could be due to your cd drive not reading the disc right. If your cd drive usually doesn't give you any problems though, it's probably just the disc.

Anyway... try messing around with it a little. Good Luck. If all else fails, I'd try it all over. Re-download the iso, burn it at a really slow speed, and see if that works.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Thanks for the appraisal. Sorry I was sounding so frustrated there, but, well, I *am* when things hit a wall.

However, I am getting similar advice from the Ubuntu help forum, so they had me checking the MD5 on the ISO I downloaded, and it turns out it does not verify! So I finally managed to re-download a copy that does verify with its MD5 hash. I just finished burning it at the slowest speed this drive will go (16x) and Nero says it is OK.

The options to test the disc at the start of the Live CD are new to me, and apparently never mentioned in the Beginner Guide I am using from the Ubuntu site. But the fellow on their support site also mentioned that, and I asked him for details. He told me to click on the "stick man" icon, press space, and follow the menu options that appear. He also suggested I use their "check memory" (RAM) option as well. So I'll try that next.

Thanks!!

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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Well, here is how it played out:

__ / __ >Burn MD5 verified Ubuntu 10.04.1 ISO using Nero 8 at minimum 16X speed (helps minimize jitter errors).
__ OK __ >Test CD during Live CD Boot
__ OK __ >Run memtest86 during Live CD Boot
Reboot and

Install Ubuntu 10.04.1 following this article Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu in Perfect Harmony
This time I did not even change to “log in automatically”. I left the default “use a password to log in” choice (hopefully that can be changed later). Everything has checked out OK so far, so this 'should' work (FINALLY).
Once the installation process ejected the disc, I got the same long list of errors ending in the line I first posted above. I removed the disc and pressed Enter, and the screen said “now rebooting”.

There is STILL NO BOOT MENU.

The PC boots directly into Windows 7. I have no way to know if Ubuntu is even correctly installed?? I need to figure out why there is no boot menu??

Any suggestions?

Zoandroid
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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Okay... wow, i feel stupid now. I miss read your original post about the error. I've found that often that happens on rebooting a live cd. I'm not sure why, but I imagine it's because the shutdown process unmounts the install cd prematurely or something.

Anyway, on to the boot loader issues. The installation *should* have set it up automatically. If it offered you a choice (which I don't think it does unless you tell it you want to set up your partitioning manually), you want to install it to the mbr (master boot record) of your hard drive. This will make it take precedent over the Windows 7 boot loader. Some keywords to help your troubleshooting would be: dual boot windows 7 ubuntu grub setup, etc. GRUB is the Ubuntu bootloader (it's the most common bootloader for Linux, though others do exist).

Last, something that just occurred to me. I've completely spaced out on mentioning "Wubi". Wubi is the Windows based Ubuntu installer. It installs Ubuntu into a few files on your Windows partition, then adds the proper information into the *Windows* bootloader. It installs as a Windows program, so you can remove it just as easily using Add/Remove Programs. The only downsides to this method are the inability to hibernate your Ubuntu OS (Windows will still hibernate fine of course), *slightly* slower disc access, and the inability to access your Windows files from Ubuntu (they don't want you to go and delete the files that Ubuntu installed itself too or something I guess).

Wubi might be your best bet, especially since you're just trying to get your feet wet. It's included on the Ubuntu Live/Install CD. Just pop it in while running windows and it should be on the cd's autorun. Also, since the Ubuntu filesystem will be installed into a file on your windows drive, you don't need a separate partition or hard drive for Ubuntu. So you can go and reclaim the space from your failed install.

Anyway, good luck again. Sorry if my posts have been a little delayed and/or sloppy today. It's been my day off and I'm feeling really wiped out.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Well, I just tried to research why Grub is not installed, and burned out on the attempt. The problem is that most responders to such a question make the assumption that you KNOW Linux and so they just toss something like this at you, which totally lost me:

>>Well I placed grub into /usr/sbin and was able to execute it, but now it says "Could not find device for /boot: Not found or not a block device"



Boot slax, drop to a root shell, run chroot /mnt/hda1 and then try /sbin/grub-install --recheck --no-floppy /dev/hda



This might not work. <<

Yep, It might not, especially since I have no clue what you are talking about!!

All I managed to glean from attempting the above in Terminal was to discover that Grub is not installed. WHY it is not installed from the CD, I have no idea. I tried to install it manually as the Terminal window suggested (something about apt-get), but it still isn't working. The PC boots ONLY to Windows 7.

I thought about Wubi, but since it is generally "looked down upon" by the hard core Linux community I did not want to get into a position where I needed help with something and had to tell someone I was using it, and then listen to them bash me for not having a "real" Linux installation.

But, since it is obviously impossible to install Ubuntu and Win7 on this PC together, I guess it is the only remaining option I have. So if I go that route, does it access some kind of group of Linux files and folders, so that when I want to play with Terminal and learn how to manipulate files and folders there will be things I can work with? As I understand it, Windows can't access Linux EXT formatted partitions. So unless it makes an EXT partition somewhere, how can it work with "Linux files"?

Thanks for sticking with me and all your help!! I am in the process of using Easus PM to wipe up the mess and put things back in order, and then I'll give Wubi a try.

Zoandroid
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Old December 17th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Default The last straw

After sitting here watching a progress bar for 15 minutes installing Linux "inside windows" when it reported about 5 seconds to go it tossed an error up on the screen:

Invalid argument

See the log file <username>\appdata\local\temp\wubi-10.04.1 -rev190.log. There is NO file at all in that location.

I ran this attempt twice and got the exact same results.

So despite my assuring the disc is pristine, it can't even do THIS right. That's enough for me. Any dealings I have with Terminal will be learned on the Ally.

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Old December 17th, 2010, 12:28 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Wubi creates a "virtual filesystem" within a file on your windows partition. When you boot into Ubuntu, this file will get mounted as a pretend ext partition. As far as the OS will know, it's on a real partition. Also, because of the way it works, no one ever really needs to know that that's how it's installed.

The Ubuntu Manual project is supposedly a wealth of information. I've never read it, but I've heard good things about it. It's geared toward beginner to intermediate level users.

Ubuntu Manual - Home

For the amount of difficulty you're having, I would *not* recommend installing grub manually. It's complex, and even I wouldn't be able to do it without some serious research (might be an exaggeration... but I'm tired right now). If you're going to mess with grub at all, try doing it during the installation. The installation wizard makes it *much* easier to configure than trying to go back and do it manually. Either way though, I'd suggest Wubi (and as I said, no one needs to know).

I don't know where you've been looking for help so far, but try going to the Ubuntu Forums. They're a bit more supportive than the rest of the web. And of course, like any forum, be sure to search for your issue a bit before posting with a question.

Yeah, Linux does sometimes have that annoyance of not being able to solve a problem easily... but things are always getting better.

Anyway, give Wubi a try, and see how it works. Ubuntu and Linux aren't *that* much more complex then Windows... they're just different. And it's that difference that makes for the steeper learning curve. I switched to Ubuntu after years of being a Windows power user, and even I felt a bit over my head when I started (not to mention the failed attempts I had before that).

I've found myself in a happy place with Ubuntu. That's me though. If you're experience turns out to be a bit rougher in the end, there's no reason you can't stick with Windows (especially with Microsoft starting to get back on track). And again, there's nothing wrong with installing by Wubi. Especially if you're just using it to learn a bit.

On another note... your second to last paragraph has a bit of Linux bashing in it. Although I won't make a big deal about it, be careful where you talk like that. =P Especially with your luck on some of those other forums.

Anyway, I'm tired and headed for bed... once I finish setting up my Ally with death's new Punisher Rom. =/ Don't really feel like re-reading my post. Hope it turned out okay. I'll try to help you out a bit tomorrow if you need it.

On a side note... this thread got hijacked from being "What is BusyBox?" quite some time ago. Doesn't seem like anyone really minds though, especially since it's just the two of us. XD
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Old December 17th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I had the similar topic hijacking thought earlier today, but like you said, it is pretty much just us, and I am the one who started the thread anyway.

I edited out my linux-bashing comments. I just wanted you to know precisely how frustrating this whole experience has been for me. Since you got to read them my mission was accomplished. But truthfully, I have completely lost any desire to try any further at this point. Maybe in another year or so I may look again. But I won't hold my breath. I don't even know anyone who has successfully switched to Linux, or for that matter anyone who uses it at all. What I do know is that those people I know who have tried it had exactly the same kind of experiences I have had and that is why they don't use it now.

I do find it a bit overwhelming, but I was willing to try to learn it anyway. However, I have no tolerance for any tools I acquire which are "broken" right out of the box. From what I can see on the Live CD it is interesting. But I can't go any further, and it simply takes way to long to do anything on a CD-based OS.

Thanks for the help!

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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default The untold story - bad installation files from the server?

Having slept on the matter I can only come to one logical conclusion why this is not working. Despite my doing everything possible with MD5 and slow burning speeds to assure the ISO makes the best possible disk, all that only assures that I get whatever was on the server. But, as they say, GIGO. What if the server's installation package was faulty??

So, this morning I decided to try downloading version 10.10 instead (even though there is as of yet no manual for it). And I made some other changes to the process as well. I used a DVD instead of a CD, which made sure there was plenty of room for the files, AND allows a much slower 4X burning speed instead of 16X. And I decided to install it to my Windows XP rig instead of the Windows 7 one.

I decided to try the Wubi method first, and if that works go from there. I got much further this time. Instead of the typical error I was seeing before it seemed to install everything and then rebooted, and offered me a boot option. Choosing Ubuntu it booted up and then spent some time downloading and installing files within the Ubuntu environment. Then it rebooted again. I chose Ubuntu again but now it says :

Alert! /host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

it then loaded BusyBox v 1.15.3, and is sitting at a prompt showing (initramfs)_

Am I supposed to leave the disc back in the DVD drive to use the Wubi method? What is it not finding?

Anyway, I think the version 10.04.1 desktop 32 bit installation files I was using before are defective.

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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Some more digging and gleaning bits and pieces of info here and there led me to try running CHKDSK -F on the C drive. I did so, and Ubuntu 10.10 can now load (Wubi) from the boot menu on the WinXP PC. Now applying 197 updates.

I had run across this issue when researching on the Win7 PC too. Perhaps I need to try it using the CHKDSK option there as well if I eventually try 10.10 on Win7. But this seems to indicate the 10.04.1 files I downloaded may indeed be bad from the source.

Interesting to also see BusyBox reference here on the PCs. Perhaps all versions and variations of Linux OS use it?

I don't want to turn this post into a build log for a Linux PC, but I just wanted to post that I am seeing some success with different install files. So something to keep in mind for anyone reading this.

Edit - I now have Ubuntu 10.10 up and running on BOTH my Win7 and WinXP computers using the second set of installation files. So the first set definitely are bug-ridden.

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Old December 18th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I can't really say much about 10.04 not working for you. I always stick with the current version, but I never had any trouble with 10.04 when it was around. It's a little odd considering that 10.04 is a LTS build (Long-Term Support). Anyway, glad to hear that you're having some luck. As for it using busybox when you had the error, I think that it just loaded it as a failsafe since it couldn't/wouldn't load its system files. This way you'd have some tools to work with. It's a good example of the versitility of busybox though.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Well, for the record, I also posted the final chapter of this saga on the Ubuntu support page. Of course they deflected my suggestion their server files might be corrupt. But then they immediately said it sounded like a known bug they had in 10.04 and "reduced the incident of" in 10.10. So read whatever you choose into that statement.



In the end they said pressing enter when all the boot screen repeating errors appeared should have allowed it to reboot and be OK. But I was trying that. It rebooted, yes, but far from OK. I can tell you that having seen success in the end using 10.10 instead, I was only seeing maybe half the installation process in 10.04 each time it failed and died.

If anyone else follows in this path, do NOT try to install a driver if you have an NVIDIA graphics card when using the Wubi method. At least not on a WinXP SP3 32 bit Home installation. That was another lengthy but educational saga and I did learn how to fix it (from the TTY interface).

Zoandroid.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Hopefully this question isn't too dumb...

Can the BusyBox Installer app (which I downloaded from the market) be safely uninstalled after successfully installing BusyBox? I'm assuming it's just a mechanism to copy the necessary files to where they need to be?

It's taking up 2M of RAM I wouldn't mind getting back.

Thanks.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle5434 View Post
Hopefully this question isn't too dumb...

Can the BusyBox Installer app (which I downloaded from the market) be safely uninstalled after successfully installing BusyBox? I'm assuming it's just a mechanism to copy the necessary files to where they need to be?

It's taking up 2M of RAM I wouldn't mind getting back.

Thanks.
I will say yes, but I am not 100% certain. I think the same way you did, that it is just an installer. However, it appeared on my Ally that BusyBox DID get installed when I installed Z4root at that point in time. There just wasn't any indication obvious to me. So I guess I didn't need to get it from the Market anyway.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoandroid View Post
I will say yes, but I am not 100% certain. I think the same way you did, that it is just an installer. However, it appeared on my Ally that BusyBox DID get installed when I installed Z4root at that point in time. There just wasn't any indication obvious to me. So I guess I didn't need to get it from the Market anyway.
FYI - I uninstalled the "BusyBox Installer" app, and Titanium Backup still works just fine. Nice to get that RAM back!
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I'm a little late, but yes, the installer is *just* an installer, and can be safely removed when you are done with it.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #45 (permalink)
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VERY informative thread! Thanks!
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