Using Sage with SquashFS
SquashFS is the mountable read-only filesystem, almost all linux live and install systems are using. It is builtin the linux kernel and all tools are available for all linux platforms. It is a little bit like a compressed iso cd image file. But it can hold a full unix filesystem and has some other speed up features.
- more system independent because it is built in the kernel even on quite a lot of embedded or arm linux
- parallel processing optimized
- speed and memory optimized mount functionality on (almost?) all linux systems
- smaller disk space usage
- backup functionality
3.3<->4.0 version problem on old linux systems, so you have to create the sqfs at the system you built it or you have to convert it later
- the sqfs file is bigger than the lzma binary
- you need the rights for mounting filesystems on the machine where you want to use it live
Where it is useful?
- If you need a special version for some classroom pcs with older processors
- If you have to bring sagemath to quite a lot of pcs
- If the system is to weak for compiling or has not enough disk space and there is no binary for your maybe older linux
- If you want to test sagemath just for short or if you want to setup a quick'n dirty sagemath server
- If you want to use sagemath on your netbook with insufficient disk space from an usb-stick or sd card (512Mb is enough)
- If you are using old hardware you can check sagemath very fast by checking the md5sum of the sqfs file
Where can I download sagemath SquashFS-files
Prebuilt squashfs files for some ubuntu versions can be found here:
How to make a SquashFS file
- First download sagemath to your fastest Computer available.
Install the packages needed (for debian/ubuntu: sudo apt-get install gfortran m4 build-essential squashfs-tools)
- Compile sagemath and run the tests.
- If needed copy/move it to the place where will be mounted later and start it there (some paths are hardcoded)
Go to a terminal: mksquashfs /path/to/sage-x.y.z /path/to/sage-x.y.z.sqfs
(If you have to compile a special version for old machines configurate the variables for make so that it compiles for the processors on which you want to use sagemath. E.g. if you build sagemath on a system with SSE3 optimization then it will work properly only on systems where the processor has this functionality.)
How to mount the SquashFS file
About mounting files per /etc/fstab or directly per mount command there a lot of man pages in almost all languages available. Please just use the search engine of you choice.
- First create the folder where sagemath should be mounted in (it has to be same to the system where you built the sqfs file!!). The Path /usr/local/sage-x.y.z is the standard, where x.y.z stands for the version
under debian/ubuntu type: sudo mount -o loop -t squashfs /path/to/sage-x.y.z.sqfs /path/to/sage-x.y.z
now you can start sage with /path/to/sage-x.y.z/sage
You can create a link so that you just can type sage to start sagemath:
sudo ln -s /path/to/sage-x.y.z/sage /usr/local/bin/sage