PixieLive4 to HDD as "normal" distro

Dear PixieLive4 users, since some of you wanted to install PixieLive4 on their NetBooks HDD as "normal" (i.e. non live) distro, here is the quick and dirty guide.

It's pretty straight forward, it can be summarized as:

  • prepare an HDD partition
  • extract the lzm modules
  • remove pixielive scripts
  • create missing directories
  • copy /dev
  • create an /etc/fstab
  • install and configure grub (the bootloader)
  • reboot and have fun!

This guide is not for newbies, i will not explain every command in the details, it would take too much time and you could damage your system if you don't know what you are doing.

For the commands you don't know "man", "gentoo wiki" and "google" are your friends.

I cannot guarantee everything is done in the best way here, it worked on my computer so it should on your.

Let's get started:

  • backup all of your documents
  • backup your windows partition if you think you will need it in future
  • make sure you have a backup of all your documents and software
  • double check you have a backup of all your documents and software (on a different disk)
  • boot PixieLive4 as usual
  • Prepare an empty partition on your disk, at least 10GB (you can use fdisk or gparted)
  • open a terminal window and become root
    • su
  • format the partition you created as ext3 (ext4 won't boot with grub-1)
    • mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdaX #where X is the partition number
  • prepare the mount directory
    • mkdir /gentoohdd
  • mount the partition in the directory (replace the X with your partition number)
    • mount /dev/sdaX /gentoohdd
    • recursively copy the content of every module on the partition (notice the / after $i, it's important). It will take a looong time
      • for i in /mnt/live/memory/bundles/*; do rsync -a "$i/" /gentoohdd; done
    • copy the /dev directory
      • cp -a /dev /gentoohdd
    • create the some missing directories:
      • mkdir /gentoohdd/sys
      • mkdir /gentoohdd/proc
      • mkdir /gentoohdd/run
      • mkdir /gentoohdd/tmp
      • mkdir /gentoohdd/mnt
      • mkdir /gentoohdd/media
    • create the fstab file (replace the X with your partition number)
      • echo "/dev/sdaX / ext3 noatime 0 1" > /gentoohdd/etc/fstab
    • install grub
      • grub-install --root-directory=/gentoohdd /dev/sda
    • copy the kernel in place
      • cp /mnt/live/memory/data/PixieLive4/boot/vmlinuz /gentoohdd/boot
    • create a grub menu configuration (replace the Y with your partition number in the grub way, usually Y=X-1)
      • nano /gentoohdd/boot/grub/menu.lst
        • ##############################
        • default 0
        • timeout 5
        • title PixieLive4-HDD
        • root (hd0,Y) # usually Y = X-1
        • kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdaX
        • # you don't need this part if you don't have Windows installed
        • title Windows
        • rootnoverify (hd0,0) # assuming windows is on the first partition of the first disk
        • makeactive
        • chainloader +1
        • ##############################
    • remove unneeded pixielive init scripts
      • rm /gentoohdd/etc/init.d/pixielive*
      • rm /gentoohdd/etc/conf.d/pixielive*
      • rm /gentoohdd/etc/runlevels/default/pixielive*
      • rm /gentoohdd/etc/runlevels/boot/pixielive*
      • rm /gentoohdd/etc/runlevels/shutdown/*
    • rebuild the shutdown runlevel
      • ln -s /etc/init.d/killprocs /gentoohdd/etc/runlevels/shutdown
      • ln -s /etc/init.d/mount-ro /gentoohdd/etc/runlevels/shutdown
      • ln -s /etc/init.d/savecache /gentoohdd/etc/runlevels/shutdown
    • copy the xorg.conf
      • cp -a /etc/X11/xorg.conf /gentoohdd/etc/X11
    • unmount the gentoohdd partition
      • umount /gentoohdd
    • reboot from the hdd

PixieLive4 Released

After a long time, PixieLive is back with a brand new release including a new Boot Menu, updated programs, and some new entries.

The software selection can be completely tuned by removing the unneeded packages, ranging from 500 MB to about 2000 MB as explained Here

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PixieLive3RC1 Released

After a long time, PixieLive is back with a brand new release candidate. Most of the requested features were added (Chinese websites support, docky, rhythmbox, calibre, various network drivers). As usual the gma500 (a.k.a. poulsbo, psb) is supported (using the emgd-1.16 driver)


  • Settings saved in several different ways (if the boot device is writable):
    • some directories in the $HOME are mounted in the PixieLive3RC1 directory on your pendrive (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Templates, Videos)
    • on demand save settings (for normal settings, as usual in PixieLive)
    • live changes, for data and settings which change frequently (email {yes we have thunderbird}, dropbox {yes, it saves on your pendrive}, sticky notes, calibre, torrents, calendar {osmo}, wifi networks)
    • encrypted settings (for sensitive data {browsers, email, dropbox settings, pidgin, skype, filezilla, wifi passwords})
    • encrypted storage (~/Private directory encrypted, so you can safely save your sensitive documents on you pendrive)
  • Dropbox (which saves automatically on you pendrive)
  • Thunderbird (which saves automatically on you pendrive)
  • Enlightenment (ultra light desktop environment)

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N64 Emulator for PixieLive

mupen64plus-1.5-r1.lzm is now available for download quoting the Mupen64Plus site: Mupen64Plus is a cross-platform plugin-based N64 emulator which is capable of accurately playing many games. Included are four MIPS R4300 CPU emulators, with dynamic recompilers for 32-bit x86 and 64-bit amd64  […]

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