Intro – This is Part 4 in a new Porteus v5.0 series, and I am sorta gearing the series towards MS Windows users, but still mindful of interested Linux users. I first started using Porteus Linux around March of 2022, and some of my posts back then are a little outdated now – or – at least sections of them are. Porteus v5.0 Linux was just released on July 3rd, 2022 and I’m using this series to correct some of my earlier mistakes and to provide an easier way of installing Porteus Linux. The older posts are still useful for me to refer back to, but my knowledge of Porteus has…has…has vastly increased in less than 4-months from that first post. Porteus is plenty stable enough for even newbie MS Windows users to thrash ‘n hack around in without breaking everything…in most cases. 😉
In Part 2 we prepped a Target drive wid two partitions – a 360 MiB fat32 partition & an 114.26 GiB ext4 partition. Then we used the EFI, boot, and porteus folders – located on that fat32 ‘Live‘ Porteus USB to create the new Porteus 5.0 Cinnamon installation that had a fat32 ‘n an ext4 partition.
In Part 3 we covered: the Official Porteus Installation Guide, their Forum, the actual Porteus Home page, and mentioned the_Username for root is root and password is toor_User name for guest is guest and password is guest. Went over what to expect during ‘First Boot Up‘ after installation, and the available options (that I have used) in the Graphical menu window. After booting into the new desktop, the topic of ‘Editing the porteus.cfg file‘ was covered for those interested in ‘Passwordless‘ OS sessions, and a basic introduction to that important ‘n easy to edit porteus.cfg file.
Porteus Browser Tool
Porteus is a portable operating system based on Slackware. It does not require installation (see “copy and/or drag ‘n drop” in Part 2) and can be run from fixed and removable media, such as a USB flash drive or compact disc. It is light in weight wid just a 359 MB iso and extremely fast.
Instead of the traditional style of downloading a program and installing it, Porteus uses a file called a module which you activate (install) or deactivate (uninstall). Modules are similar to zip files in that they are compressed and they can contain multiple files and directories. The file extension of Porteus modules is .xzm. To activate a module you simply double click on it and it will be injected into the Porteus directory structure and all of the required files will be put in their place. To deactivate the module just double click on it again and all the files will be removed from the directory structure and packed back into the module. This makes installing applications very simple and you don’t clutter up your computer with thousands of rarely used files.
Porteus v5.0 doesn’t come wid a Browser; however, they offer a choice of seven browsers…tho Firefox is one choice, it comes wid four browser options of its own – SERVER, ESR, CURRENT, and BETA versions. I used the “Server” option back on 3/31/2022, but went wid the “Current” version for this post. I suspect the other six choices work about the same, but haven’t tested any of them this time. Both the server & current versions end up as Modules.
Ignore the old installation methods I mention in this post: Porteus 5.0-rc3: Install to USB + create a savefile.dat container + add Firefox – ‘Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes‘ and focus instead on the ‘Browser Selection and Update Tool‘ & the ‘Porteus SaveFile Manager‘ sections. I had only just started using Porteus Linux when I published that post, back on 3/31/2022, and I was sorta ‘feeling‘ my way around that new Linux OS at the time. 😉
Browser Selection and Update Tool:
Browser Selection and Update Tool is located under Internet…click on it to open the Porteus Browser Tool:
I only tried adding Firefox during both tests – server & current versions. Clicking on Firefox brings up the automated Porteus Terminal:
I selected “y” the first time, for server version. Selected “n” this time, for current version (I like it better). (NOTE: The server version is premade in the “en-US” language.)
Selecting “n” brings up these choices:
I enter “2” for the current version and that brought up this:
It asks if I want to download the firefox-102.0.1 version – selected “y” which brings up this:
Language – I entered “23” for en-US.
It starts downloading firefox-102.0.1.tar.bz2 – OH NO, A TAR BZ2 FILE…HEEEELLP!!! 😉 Just kidding. It will be a module when Porteus gives it to us. My internet has been problematic recently, and it was a slow download.
Download complete…make sure you remember that it is in the /tmp folder! I moved it to my Downloads folder, after I finally found it (thanks to the pic!).
Now, we move it to the modules folder:
The tmp folder is in “/” whatever place. 😉 Terminology can be fragmented in Linux – one Distro might call something a ‘XVDR‘ and another might call the same thing a ‘ADFB‘. 😉 Linus Torvalds says Fragmentation is Why Linux Hasn’t Succeeded on Desktop: ‘I still wish we were better at having a standardize desktop that goes across all the distributions … It’s more of a personal annoyance how the fragmentation of the different vendors have, I think, held the desktop back a bit … It seems to be that Chromebooks and Android are the paths towards the desktop.‘ If you count all the Linux Distros, their Flavors, SPINS, DE’s and etc. you’ll find over 3,000 Linux OS versions. Anyway, the tmp folder is in “/” whatever place. 😉
Click on the tmp folder to open it in a new window – ‘Thars the firefox-102.0.1-x86_64-en-US.xzm module (already created for us)! – \o/ ‘Hippity hip Hoorah‘ \o/ – Oh, for this post I had also better open the porteus modules folder in a new window. OK, now we can copy and/or drag ‘n drop it into the porteus modules folder, I then click it to activate it, and reboot. However, I read today that the modules folder will automatically activate the module, during a reboot, if the module is in the modules folders. Yes, I am still learning about Porteus Linux…I make mistakes all the time, but Porteus v5.0 keeps covering for humble me.
See how easy modules are to work with! I have another 1-3 posts for this series, and will try to cover the modules process a little more.
OK…we now have a Browser, and I believe I will get the LibreOffice office suite module next. 🤔 Don’t worry MS Windows users, LibreOffice is free, and I even use it on all my Win11 Pro machines.
…to be continued.