Friday, April 24, 2015

How to install Fatdog64 (x86-64 computers)

Fatdog64 is a very small yet very fast 64-bit linux operating system.

There many reasons that I wanted to install Fatdog64 on my old Lenovo T61 notebook computer:
(0) It's free.
(1) It's a modern operating system full of online software tools to perform various software tasks, including programming Android APPs (see another blog for programming Android APPs using NetBeans in Fatdog64).
(2) It has very small footprint. It takes only a few gigabytes of hard drive space to start with.
(3) Individual instance of the operating system can be saved to a "savefile", and can be archived and used to roll back in case of unrecoverable damages, such as bad configuration, unintended change by user or virus, occurred to the operating system. This is especially convenient and powerful for experimenting software installation or configuration with potential system damage. The size of the savefiles can be increased if needed, therefore, it is possible to incrementally archive multiple instances of the Fatdog64 sessions with each session configured with different settings. When booting up Fatdog64, one of the savefiles can be conveniently picked.
(4) From my experience, the Fatdog64 is faster compared to it's Windows counterpart, and is much smaller compared to typical full-blown linux flavors.
(5) Thanks to the compact size of the whole operating system starting from a few Gigabytes (i.e. 4 GB), it can be installed on a USB drive, which can be carried around without affecting your current operating system. You can have your personal preferences and data (such as web browsing history, downloaded files) and installed software stored on the USB drive. 
(6) It can be installed on the same computer where other operating system coexists.

Steps to install Fatdog64:
(1) Download latest Fatdog64 iso file from You can see that the iso files are less than 300 MB, which means that the iso files can be burned onto a CDROM. Other linux distros are significantly larger so as to require a DVDROM.

(2) Burn the downloaded iso files (i.e. Fatdog64-700.iso) to a CDROM.
Notice that you must burn the content in the iso file to the CDROM, not the iso file itself, in order to make the CDROM bootable (LiveCD).
(3) Boot up the target computer off the newly burnt CDROM. The computer will run the Fatdog64 system off the LiveCD.
(4) After Fatdog64 has started, start Control Panel through system menu Menu|Setup|Control Panel. Select Utilities tab and run Fatdog64 Installer.
(5) Depending on the existing computer operating system and hardware resources, decisions should be made to select installation on either a USB drive, or a hard drive partition.If there are existing operating systems, decision has to be made to choose which disk drive and/or partition Fatdog64 is to be installed, and whether the allocated disk space is to be reformatted. See and linux forums for details. Patiently read all the instructions during the installation process.

The following photo shows my Windows 7 laptop computer after booting off Fatdog64 700. In my case, I opted to install the system on an hard drive partition which already had a Windows 7 system on sda2 (sr0 is the LiveCD).
It is important that target drive (sda2 in this case) must be unmonted in order for Fatdog4 to be installed (sda1 is mounted with a green checkbox in the top left corner of the disk icon).

After installation partition is selected, the installer will prompted for boot loader as follows.I opted to use current OS boot loader (not what's shown in photo).
Depending on the selection of boot loader, further steps needs to be taken to complete the boot loader. For example, the following photo shows that if the original Windows 7 boot loader is selected, a batch file needs to be executed in Windows 7 with administrative right to complete the boot loader configuration for Fatdog64 installation.
Check for another user's experience on installing Fatdog64 on Windows computer for dual boot.

Steps to Upgrade/Update Fatdog64 kernel:
Newer version of Fatdog64 might be released, and it's a good idea to try the newer version to see if some problems can be resolved in the new version. According to, following method is recommended to download the latest kernel files (vmlinuz and kernel-modules.sfs) from, and replace the current kernel files (the vmlinuz file, and the kernel-modules.sfs in initrd file). Backup your system files (fd64save.????, initrd, vmlinuz) before trying this.
  (1) Download the files from the aforementioned link: kernel-modules.sfs-?.?.? and vmlinuz-?.?.? 
  (2) Click the initrd file in ROX file explorer (located at /aufs/devsave), a window will pop up showing the kernel-modules.sfs along with a warning message.
  (3) Replace (by drag-and-drop, rename, and overwrite) the kernel-modules.sfs with the downloaded kernel-modules.sfs-???, of course taking out the -??? affix.
  (4) Click the repack-initrd  icon to rebuild the initrd file, a messagebox will pop up to indicate the completion.
  (5) Replace the vmlinuz file with the downloaded vmlinuz-?.?.? (drag-and-drop to the folder, rename and overwrite).

Saving Fatdog64 session
When shutting down Fatdog64 system after installation, the user will be prompted to create a savefile. Just follow the instructions carefully and allocate enough disk space for future use.The savefiles are regular files that carry software status of the Fatdog64 linux system. They can be archived as you like to either recover from unrecoverable damage or dedicate for different software installations. Multiple savefiles can be stored on the same computer into which Fatdog64 can boot to satisfy different purposes.

The first time savefile is used for reboot is quite slow, but it will be faster the next time.

Increasing free disk space
Fatdog64 is meant to be small in size, but it is capable of scaling up. By increasing the savefile size, users can allocate more free disk space when needed.Following the steps below to resize the savefile.
(1) Make the savefile accessable for resizing.
A typical Fatdog64 will uses a savefile by default (for example fd64save.ext4). It cannot be resized if it's in use. So the first step is to avoid the use of the savefile to be resized. One way to do this is change the reboot parameter to skip save file. This is done by modifying the menu.lst file on the partition where Fatdog64 is installed.
Typically, the menu.lst file is located at /mnt/home, in my case, the menu.lst file is stored on /mnt/sda2 (the file to the left of highlighted item). Open the file with any text editor and add parameter "savefile=none" to the end of line starting with kernel /vmlinuz. This will make Fatdog64 skip any savefile during reboot. Using a LiveCD may also achieve the same job.
(2) After Fatdog64 reboots (it may appear different since it no longer update the savefile), bring up Fatdog64 Control Panel and navigate to System tab, start the Fatdog64 Savefile Tool and increase the savefile size.
(3) Restore content of the menu.lst file so that Fatdog64 can use the increased savefile for the next reboot.

Adding desktop programs (Desktop shortcut icons)
(1) Use file explorer to browse to /usr/share/applications.
(2) Drag programs available there to desktop.
(3) Right click the icon of the newly created item, then choose Edit Item to change the name of the program.

Setting up network wired and WiFi network
There are two applications that can be utilized in the setup of network connection: wpa_gui and Network Wizard. In order to setup network connections, both programs might need to be used.One program may or may not work, and in case none of them work, or if Wifi isn't connected after boot up, try Restart Connection through the Network Wizard pop-up menu.
The easier setup is for wired (Ethernet) network connection. Simply run the Network Wizard from system menu or through Control Panel|Network tab, or right-click the circular icon (wpa_gui) on the left side of speaker icon, located in the bottom right corner, and select Network Wizard, then activate settings, then select eth0.

It is a little trickier to setup the WiFi connection. It may require the activation of WiFi (wlan0) using the Network Wizard before and/or after all settings are configure properly. 

To configure the password for secured wifi, start the wpa_gui program by left clicking it's icon, then click the Scan button if adapter is available to scan for available WiFi hotspots. The Adapter must show up before the scanning can proceed, otherwise try the Network Wizard to activate the WiFi (wlan0) again or select Restart Connection pop-up menu.
Double click on the items in the Scan results dialog to select authentication method and password, and add the item for use. Use the wpa_gui again to select the saved item from the dropdown Network list and click connect button. The item may need to be activated using the Network Wizard before it can be used.

To identify the active IP address of the Fatdog64 box, simply click the wpa_gui icon in the system tray, or in a terminal, type in "ip address show" to get technical details of the network connection.

Taking Screenshot
To take a screenshot of Fatdog64, use Shift_PrtintScreen keys to capture the whole desktop screen, or press PrintScreen key then click and drag left mouse to select areas to be captured (press PrintScreen key again to stop screen capturing). The captured screenshots are saved in /root/ folder with file names starting from xscreenshot00000.png.

Configuring vi editor

The vi editor can be configure through ~/.Xdefaults, change the color and other properties through urxvt.foreground, urxvt.geometry URxvt.font:xft:Monospace:pixelsize=15
and so on.

Setting Path variables
The path variables are set in /etc/profile file.

Language support for Fatdog64
The fresh installation of Fatdog64 might now have adequate support for languages other than English. For example, Chinese fonts don't come with the default installation. Search and download the necessary package and use the Fatdog64 Set Locale in Fatdog64 Control Panel to select preferred language.If the language setting messed up, use it to restore back to English. The following link provides the simplified Chinese font that works.

Installing Printer --- Failed Project.
Some manufacturers provide linux printer drivers in 64-bit deb or rpm packages. For example, the Canon LBP6030w pinter is supported by two deb packages. To install deb package, first run Gslapt package manager in Fatdog64 Control Panel and System tab, search for candi, and right click the candi package to install. Download the Linux driver packages for the pinter, and unzip it. Move to the directory where the 64-bit deb packages are located, and run candi ***.deb to install drivers.
To find out errors, check /var/log/cups/error_log.
This is a failed project. I have installed all the necessary files, but always got write 9 error code from /usr/lib64/cups/filter/pstoncapcpca. Don't know why.

Compressing videos for Android devices
Videos taken with camera or other recording devices may have files too large to be shared with email or other social media tools. Luckly, ffmpeg in linux can easily achieve high compression. However, the compressed file may not be playable on Android phones.
The following commands have proven to be able to compress MOV files to mp4 files that are playable on Android phones:
  (1) ffmpeg -i 100_100.MOV -ar 44100 -ab 96 -f flv vidoe.flv
  (2) ffmpeg -i vidoe.flv -c:v libx264 -crf 23 output.mp4
  (3) ffmpeg -i output.mp4 -vf scale=320:240 outputs.mp4
  (4) ffmpeg -i outputs.mp4 -i thumbnail.png -acodec copy -vcodec copy -map 0 -map 1:0 final.mp4
  (5) ffmpeg -movflags faststart

Other useful commands for ffmpeg tool:
  (a) Output a single frame from the video into an image file:
      ffmpeg -i input.flv -ss 00:00:15 -vframes 1 output.png
  (b) Output a frame every one second from the video
         ffmpeg -i input.flv -vf fps=1 out%d.png
        or every one minute
        ffmpeg -i input.flv -vf fps=1/60 out%03d.jpg
  (c) Extract partial video
        ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -ss 00:00:00 -to 00:02:00 -c copy cut.mp4
        ffmpeg -i input.wmv -ss 60 -t 60 -acodec copy -vcodec copy output.wmv
        ffmpeg -ss 00:00:00 -i outputs.mp4  -to 00:00:28 -c copy cut.mp4 (working)
  (d) Add image overlay
        ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -i image.png -filter_complex "[0:v][1:v] overlay=25:25:enable='between(t,0,20)'" -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a copy output.mp4
  (e) Mute a segment of audio
         ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -af "volume=enable='between(t,105,118)':volume=0" -vcodec copy out.mp4
  Regarding thumbnail preview: ffprobe, moov atom and  -pix_fmt yuv420p tag

Installing Citrix Receiver
From version 13.2 on, Citrix Receiver no longer requires the loading of 32-bit compatibility library (32bit-slacko6.sfs). The following describes the method for version 13.2. For previous versions, make sure that 32bit-slack6.sfs is loaded before running the Citrix Receiver, otherwise the receiver won't run.
   (a) Go to and search for the download of Citrix receiver for 64 bit linux, and download the tarball file to an appropriate folder.
   (b) Start a terminal window, go to the folder with the downloaded tarball and extract the files using command:
 tar -xvzf linuxx64-
   (c) In the terminal window, run ./setupwfc and follow the prompt:
        select 1 to install the Citrix Receiver, then select installation and other options. I simply selected default and yes to all questions.
    (d) After all steps were done, select 3 to exit the installation program at the end.
    (e) Associate the Citrix launch file with the installed Citrix Receiver. To run an application on a cloud server, log on to the cloud server's website, click the hosted executable program icon, a launch.ica file will be downloaded. Rightclick it in a file manager, and select 'Set Run Action' and then drag and drop the program onto the 'set run action' dialog.

    (f) The freshly installed Citrix Receiver doesn't have enough certificates to establish SSL connection with Citrix server, certificate files need to be copied to key store folder, in my case, it is /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts. I have made a copy of a a lot of certificates and you can download it and unzip the files to the folder. Use the following link:
    If you see this error message "You have not chosen to trust Go Daddy secure certificate authority – g2”, down load the certificate file by command wget
    (g) Then in file manager, when the downloaded launch.ica is clicked, the Citrix Receiver will establish the connection with cloud server and start the hosted application.

  Creating images with transparent background with gimp
  (1) Load image into gimp, and display the lay and channel tool box.

  (2)  Add an Alpha layer if no present to make transparency possible via Layer|Transparency|Add Alpha Chanel menu.
  (3) Define the areas to be transparent using Tools|Selection Tools|Fuzzy Select (the so called Magic Wand tool) menu or any other methods. Then change the color of the selected area to a selected color, white for example, using Color|Colorize or other methods.
  (4) After the intended transparent areas are changed to one color, use the magic wand tool again to select these areas (hold shift key to select multiple areas), and make them transparent by using Colors|Color to Alpha menu to change the white color to transparent.
  (5) Export the transparent image by File|Export As menu.

Streaming video/audio between Android devices and Fatdog64
   The VLC Media Player is not only a media player, but also a good tool for streaming video and photos accessible to other devices, such as android cell phones or android based media player, over the local network including WiFi. This makes it possible to play media files located on a Fatdog64 box on a cell phone connected to the same network via WiFi.

There are few key steps need to be taken in order to achieve the streaming of media files via VLC Media Player.

Sharing files between Fatdog64 and Windows

  The Fatdog64 has integrated samba service for sharing files between Fatdo64 linux and Windows operating systems. Simply run the Fatdog64 Control Panel,  then go to System tab, and double click the Manage Servers and Services icon as follows,
Then start the samba through the following GUI,
In Windows, start file explore, then the shared folder (~/Downloads, as indicated in /etc/samba/smb.conf) will show up as FATDOG64 in the Network of the Windows file system.

Coexisting with other Linux system: restoring boot menu after installing Ubuntu

  It is possible to install other linux along with Fatdog. However, the boot menu for Fatdog64 may disappear after installing other Linux (i.e., installing Ubuntu 16 with boot menu on the same partition with Fatdog64 will hide the boot option for Fatdog64). This can be fixed by "Grub4Dos bootloader config tool" in the Fatdog64 Control Panel|Utilities tab. 
  One note regarding video issue for installing Ubuntu on computer with NVIDIA graphic card: Ubuntu will crash/freeze with display totoally messed up, either via live CD ROM or normal installation. To resolve this issue, the following needs to be done:
 (a) After installatin, reboot to Ubuntu, before Ubuntu crashes, choose text mode (Alt_Ctrl_F12), then login (may have to try several times in order to log in properly).
 (b) Run sudo apt-get update command to update software lists. 
 (c) Run apt-get install nvidia-current to install latest NVIDIA drivers.
 (d) Run sudo reboot to reboot.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, the printer driver doesn't work. Refer . I tried a lot... I'll buy a Brother :-)