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Minimal Tiger Install on 1gb USB Flash drive

15 posts in this topic

I am looking for assistance in getting (at least) 10.4.5 installed on a 1gb USB flash drive.

Here are the avenues I have already traveled (and my results):

1. Tried the tutorial on this page: Boot Mac OS from a USB

Result: Grey Apple screen with spinner

2. Tried the tutorial on this page: Bootable Drive

Result: Grey Apple screen with spinner

I have yet to try Verbose mode (-v) as I do not know where I would enter that in. Perhaps editing a file in the /etc folder? Key stroke at boot? Anything?

This may hold the key to understanding why both tries ended in a stall. Perhaps I can share the read-out and we can all come to a conclusion as to why this is happening.

This HAS to be possible.

Also, I should note that I would appreciate it if noone would simply bash my attempt by saying something like 'well, you CAN'T run it on a 1gb drive' because I know I can. I have seen it done. There are also numerous tutorials on how to do it. I followed them, verbatim, and was unable to come up with the same results...but that does NOT mean it can't be done.

I want to do this for a couple of reasons:

  • Troubleshooting
  • The ability to access a filesystem on a system which cannot normally be accessed(i.e. lost admin login)
  • The ability to run my own system on another Mac with my own settings
  • A compilation of portable apps like FireFox and VLC
  • Command Line? Bah! GUI makes it easier when you don't know the path.
  • and more...

Finally, thanks for any help you can offer. Flame guns set to stun, please.

Namaste

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UPDATE:

I was able to get it to boot in verbose mode and found a few files missing. Added them and it got to the point where it recognized the Airport and stalled again. This time, however, instead of stalling and the light on the USB key not blinking, it blinked for a good 10 minutes with no obvious activity on-screen.

In further news:

I found that the biggest disk hog was the 'Frameworks' folder under System/Library/

Perhaps some of those can be skipped? For instance: Quicktime - is it needed to run the system since I would most likely not be running multimedia?

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Have you thought about removing all the PPC/Intel binaries (either or) and language files not being used.

Saved almost 1.5gb on ppc binaries last night after using xslimmer.

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2 reasons that wont work:

1. I'm using an Intel only install

2. Applications in the System folder are not writable within XSlimmer. Each app would have to be 'Authenticated' and XSlimmer isn't built for that.

but yeah, I tried that earlier.

thanks though

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Update:

I've completed a minimal install using an external drive I had laying around. At present, I am down to this:

Capacity : 37.0 GB (39,676,690,432 Bytes)

Available : 35.8 GB (38,386,741,248 Bytes)

Used : 1.2 GB (1,289,949,184 Bytes)

Number of Files : 27,816

Total size of System folder: 807.1mb

Total size of usr folder: 158.3mb

Total size of private folder: 65.7mb

Total size of Applications Folder: 63.9mb

Total size of Library folder: 62.6mb

Total size of all other folders: 20.2mb

Applications Installed:

  • Address Book
  • Calculator
  • Chess
  • Dictionary
  • DVD Player
  • Font Book
  • Chat
  • Image Capture
  • Internet Connect
  • iSync
  • Mail
  • Preview
  • Quicktime
  • Safari
  • Sherlock
  • Stickies
  • Sys Prefs
  • TextEdit
  • Utilities

I booted it to make sure it would run and it did. Then, using XSlimmer, I trimmed the PPC code from everything in the Applications folder.

Due to the inability of XSlimmer to 'Authenticate' files in the System/Library folder I thought I would be unable to trim those. However, dragging the System/Library folder onto another drive and testing the results with XSlimmer saved 16mb of space from some of the Core Services. That's not a lot, but worth it.

Good news is: The OS still runs and all apps run normally.

So, I have a working 1.2gb install (which I am now going to create a disk image of JUST IN CASE) and no idea how to press forward except to start randomly deleting Frameworks and seeing which ones are important.

See, this is where I was hoping someone could help with perhaps some experienced input.

Wintel boxes have BartPE...why can't Macs have something similar?

Thanks

*edit-- Almost forgot - It seems with this being a new install, Mac OS is only allocating a 64mb swp file. That's good news. Perhaps it means I don't have to clear an extra 300mb on top of the 200mb I need to clear now. And yes, I know...caches and pref files will take up space. That's a bridge I'll have to cross later.

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removed all non-english 'lproj' folders

removed all items attributed to Printing

removed all Screen Reader, Speech, and Voice related files

removed xgridinterface folder

removed all .Mac files...and more.

Which means I am now at:

Used : 1.1 GB (1,211,322,368 Bytes)

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One of the next things I'd try:

Get a FUSE driver kext (file system in user space)

Check if mounting cramfs or similar to e.g. /usr works

Compress everything runtime (but not boot time) related into a cramfs image

mount image during boot to e.g. /usr

See image shrink by 50%

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Update:

It's not easy. Every time I think I have it almost there, the system requires a file I deleted. I've gone through about 20 different setups. All of which consist of deleting 'Frameworks' and it seems the system is dependent on all the files.

I just find it hard to believe that is the case. Something has to give.

Mac OS is a strong OS...that's a given, but if someone can bring Windows xp down to a 120mb install from about a 2gb install, then I can't believe the same isnt possible with Mac OS. Yes yes...I know--'BUT THEY'RE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT!'

...but I have hope.

I will soldier on and present my findings as they happen. For now, it's off to delete more files.

Anyone else trying or have any luck or ideas?

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Mac OS is a strong OS...that's a given, but if someone can bring Windows xp down to a 120mb install from about a 2gb install, then I can't believe the same isnt possible with Mac OS. Yes yes...I know--'BUT THEY'RE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT!

I think it's easy to slim down XP because it's bloated with so many non essential files to start with. Hence why they got hit with the European Complaint Fine.

I can only wish you good luck mate, I'm very interested in your findings.

I wish I could help you more.

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This is a really cool project. I look forward to finding the results of it.

Why don't you start getting rid of apps that you don't use or don't need? Calculator isn't necessary (there's a calculator Dashboard widget, which should be smaller than the app itself), neither is Chess, DVD Player, maybe some others. Don't know if you tried this already.

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Dashboard is not installed, and the apps folder takes too little space to worry about. In fact all I have installed, really, are the Utilities.

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wouldnt it make sense to use a slightly bigger drive? maybe a 2GB or up? because if you did get it to work..you'd be quite full, and therefore you would only be able to save a limited amount of things or keep booting up and such...

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Bapestar:

Sure if I had a bigger drive, I would...but why should I buy another one when I already own 2 1gb drives?

Besides, I am poor.

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Not yet, sadly.

Had to put the project on the back burner for a few days so I could complete a few websites for a client.

If I had a PPC Mac this would work since the PPC disks install less than 1gb, but the Intel install is 1.4gb. BIG difference.

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