Fatdog64 720 Final is released

Fatdog64 720 Final was released on 20 December 2017, after about three weeks of beta (720 beta was announced here).

It was a hectic before Christmas so I didn't get to announce it here in my blog. In fact, Barry Kauler (original author of Puppy Linux) announced it earlier that I do - which is quite a tribute for us

There isn't much changes between this and beta, other than a few bug fixes - as I said earlier, 720 beta was actually quite stable.

One new "feature" made it there: 720 now comes with two initrds (dual-initrds) - the first one is the usual huge initrd, and the second one is a very small initrd (around 3.5MB) with ability to "load" the larger initrd. This was a suggestion from forum member LateAdopter, which we "adopted"

Why the need for that? Some people have been complaining about the slow booting speed of Fatdog64 due to its huge initrd. There are many reasons for this slowness but it's mainly because:
a) old BIOS
b) old bootloaders (grub4dos/grub-legacy)
c) boot from modern, large filesystem such as ext4 with size over 16GB.

This particular combination is especially toxic - bootloaders usually use BIOS calls to get data from the disk, and old bootloaders don't understand new filesystem well so while they can load from it, they only do it very very slowly.

Nevertheless, the new "nano-initrd" (as I call it) to the rescue. The small initrd will be loaded fast enough by the bootloader, and then Lnux kernel takes over and load the huge initrd - with the use of modern, optimised code. So booting remain fasts.

However, nothing comes for free. It's basically a stripped down initrd (as explained here so along with the cutdown in size, a lot of other stuff must be sacrificed too. Don't expect the nano-initrd to be able to boot from exotic environments.



Release Notes
Forum announcement

Get it from the usual locations:
Primary site - ibiblio.org (US)
nluug.nl - European mirror
aarnet.edu - Australian mirror
uoc.gr - European mirror


Posted on 28 Dec 2017, 14:36 - Categories: Fatdog64 Linux
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