Click here for UEFI (Windows
8) installation instructions.
Fatdog64 comes with an installer capable of installing to hard
drive and flash drive. It provides guided step-by-step guide:
- To choose which device to install to:
- You can choose hard drive or flash drive.
- You can choose to format the chosen partition (=data
loss) or leave it as is.
- You can also run gparted to modify the partition.
- For flash drive, you can install to a partition (e.g.
sdb1) or to the entire flash drive, in "superfloppy" mode
(e.g. sdb). We recommend you install to a partition.
- To choose whether you want to install a boot loader:
If you choose to install a boot loader (to MBR or partition),
the partition that contains Fatdog64 will also be made the
"active" one and the one that will boot. If you have other
operating systems installed in another partition - they
may no longer boot.
- Install boot loader to Master Boot Record (MBR)
(unsafe, can cause existing operating system to stop
booting, but Fatdog64 will boot)
- Install boot loader to the partition where Fatdog64 is
(usually safe if Fatdog64 is the only operating system in
the partition. If you do this on partition that has an
existing operating system in it, that operating system may
- Use existing Operating System
Only works for Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7. For Linux, please
see below on manual installation note.
- Do not install boot loader
Note that Fatdog64 will not boot unless you install the
boot loader. If you choose not to install a boot loader,
you must do so manually yourself.
- To choose installation sources:
- From Fatdog64 CD/DVD
- From ISO file downloaded from the Fatdog64 distribution
Fatdog64 installer supports installing to VFAT, FAT16, FAT32 (also
known as MSDOS partition, usually used for flash drive),
ext2/ext3/ext4 (Linux partitions, usually used on hard drive), and
NTFS partition (Windows partition).
Note: Fatdog64 Installer is experimental code. It may cause data
loss, or other installed operating systems to stop booting. Backup
your data before you use it. Use at your own risk.
Manual installation is good for upgrading an already installed
system. All you need to do is copy two files from Fatdog CD/DVD: vmlinuz
where you previously installed Fatdog64 before, and overwrite
Note: Grub Legacy and Grub4dos are VERY
slow loading files from ext4, you may not have noticed this with
a typical 10MB kernel/initrd, but with Fatdog64 that will be
closer to 370MB. If you want to use one of these bootloaders,
put Fatdog64's kernel/initrd on an ext3 partition.
Manual boot loader configuration
If you already has a boot loader and don't want to bork it, you
may choose to install Fatdog64 manually. Simply copy the two files
above somewhere in your disk, adjust your boot loader
configuration (grub.cfg / menu.lst / extlinux.conf / whatever) to
load Fatdog64's vmlinuz kernel and initrd. Some examples below:
Example for menu.lst (GRUB and GRUB4DOS)
Example syslinux.cfg (for syslinux, extlinux, pxelinux)
That (hd0,0) refers to GRUB-style naming of the device and
partition. If you're not sure what it means, Google
is your friend.
Supported media / operating modes
Fatdog64 can be installed in several types of media and has a few
You don't have to install Fatdog64 to use it. You can just use the
Fatdog64 CD/DVD as is. When you shutdown, you will be asked where
to save your "session" (ie your changes, configuration settings,
browser bookmarks, etc). You can choose to save in a flash drive,
or in your hard drive. This session is saved in a file referred as
the "savefile", its actual name can vary but it's usually called
fd64save.ext4. Next time you want to start-up the computer it,
just put the CD (also plug-in the flash drive if you put your
savefile there) before you power-up your computer, and Fatdog will
find and load-up the savefile - your environment will be just the
same as it was when you shutdown previously.
Note: Fatdog64 loads completely into RAM. It means that after
Fatdog64 completes the boot process, you can take out CD/DVD and
put something else there (e.g to listen to music, watch movies).
On the downside, this means you need to have enough RAM to load
entire copy of Fatdog64 into memory --- minimum of 1GB is probably
You can install Fatdog64 to your hard drive. The installation
method use by Fatdog64 is known as "frugal install", where instead
of occupying a dedicated partition, it can use *any existing*
partition, sharing it with existing data and/or operating system.
All the installation does is to copy two files: vmlinuz
, and configure the boot loader
if you ask it to.
Operation in Harddrive mode is identical as in Live CD, except
that you don't always have to carry the CD with you. The savefile
can be in the harddrive or can be on flash drive. You can also
modify the kernel command line parameters (please refer to Boot Options
) to specify exactly
where your savefile is so that Fatdog64 does not waste time
looking for your savefile.
Also known as thumbdrive, usb stick.
For booting on UEFI (Windows 8) hardware click here.
Flash drive operates exactly Harddrive install. Flash drive needs
to be formatted with VFAT/FAT16/FAT32 (MSDOS filesystem) or NTFS
(Windows filesystem) or one of the Linux filesystems
ext2/ext3/ext4 before it can be used to install/boot Fatdog64.
Other formats not supported.
Flash drive can be formatted just like a harddisk (ie multiple
partitions), or it can be operated like one big storage (called
"superfloppy" mode in Puppy Linux terms). If you use the
installer, you can see the difference as follows: a flash drive
formatted like harddisk will have partitions (e.g if your flash
drive is identified as sdb
, then it will
have partitions named sdb1
sdb2, sdb3 and so on), whereas a flash drive prepared in
superfloppy mode does not have partitions.
Fatdog64 supports both, but sometimes your BIOS (your computer
firmware that controls your computer before any operating system
is loaded) may not. You can try whichever one that works.
You can use Fatdog64 installer to change between your flash drive
between harddisk mode or superfloppy mode (warning: data loss
If you want to use standard harddisk partitioning, use Gparted
("Modify Partitions" from the installer) to create partitions in
your flash drive if one does not exist and then format that
partition (usually Gparted will do that for you too). If you want
to use superfloppy mode, choose the "disk" device of your flash
drive (e.g. sdb
, not sdb1
) and then
Once special concern with flash drive is that they have limited
number of writes that can be done on them, usually arount 10,000
for cheap ones. After this number of writes have been done, they
will start to fail in unpredictable manner. While you think you
may not do 10,000 writes, as part of operating system operation it
writes a lot of times behind your back (especially if you use
journaling filesystems like ext3/ext4 or NTFS).
Session saving control
Fatdog64 address this by using the RAM layer - writes are stored
into memory, and only once every 30 minutes or so (configurable)
the changes will actually be flushed and written to the flash
drive. This helps to extend the life of flash drive considerably.
It also makes operations faster, as flash drive is a slow device
when it comes to writing stuff to it. In this way, you will only
notice the delay during the periodic saving. This is all good
stuff but like everything in the world, it has a downside: if you
lose power, you can lose up to 30 minutes (or whatever period you
set) of your work. If this is not acceptable, don't use flash
drive, get a portable harddrive instead.
This feature to all savefile operation - not only flash drives,
but also to regular drives and network drives. The periodic saving
can also be disabled, making you fully in charge of whether or
when to save changes. (You can save by clicking the big red "Save"
button on the desktop). You can choose not to save the session at
all if you wish - whatever you did during your session will be
thrown away and you start fresh when you use your computer next
Unlike Puppy Linux, Fatdog64 does not try to automatically enable
RAM layer feature for flash drive. You need to specifically enable
RAM layer (please refer to Boot
Multisession DVD+RW / DVD+R / DVD-R
Running Fatdog from Multisession DVD+RW is just like running
Fatdog from Live CD/DVD, except that the session can be saved
directly to your DVD+RW --- not flash drive or hard drive. During
shutdown, your changes will be compressed and written as SFS file
on the disc, and it will be loaded again the next time you reboot.
Note that all the session data is loaded into RAM - so you need to
have quite a bit of it. Once the system boots up, you can take out
the DVD+RW - just like Live CD/DVD. You will be reminded to put it
back in at shutdown time.
When the disc is full, all you need to do is burn another copy of
Fatdog64 on a new optical disc, then use this disc when prompted
to insert the disc. Fatdog64 will save your old session as well as
the new session on the new disc.
Multisession is enabled by passing multi
parameter on the kernel command line parameter.
Note 1: The following optical disc types have been tested and
known to work: DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-R. CDs are not supported.
Note 2: Multisession DVD+RW is an oxymoron. DVD+RW in fact does
not have nor support "multisession" as it is defined for CD or
DVD-R. But the result of running in this mode is similar to
running traditional multisession, so we keep this term.
Note 3: At this stage, support for multisession is still rough.
There is no warning on whether the disc is full, and when the disc
is full, you need to manually burn a new copy of Fatdog64 to
before saving the session.
Advanced installation options
These will only be discussed briefly. Starting from Fatdog64 600,
the following installation options are available:
Copy ISO file directly flash drive
Fatdog64 ISO file is an isohybrid
image. In addition to burning it to CD/DVD, it can be imaged
directly to a flash drive. When done this way, the flash drive
will work exactly like a Live CD.
Savefile can be encrypted. This is asked during its creation
during shutdown. During boot, the system will ask for the
password. If the password is wrong the system will continue to
boot without the savefile. The cipher used for encryption is AES,
in the future it may be configurable.
Fatdog can mount and use other existing Linux operating system as
part of its own filesystem. In this way, it can use many of that
operating system as it it its own. In Puppy Linux terms, this is
called as "underdog" feature. Changes done can either be saved
directly to that system, or saved and stored in a separate
savefile so that the original operating system is unaffected.
Savefiles can be stored not only in local devices. They can be
stored in remote systems, using either CIFS (aka SAMBA / Windows
shares), or NBD (network block device).
Fatdog can be directly booted by pxelinux directly from the ISO
file, using memdisk. A simple configuration looks like this:
append iso raw
Or you can still use the standard netboot options by extracting vmlinuz
and specify them directly without using memdisk. Fatdog64 only
requires these two files to boot, in Puppy Linux term, Fatdog64's
initrd is called "humongous initrd".
Using memdisk is easy, but using extracted files is more flexible
because you can configure the kernel command line to pass to
Fatdog64 (which isn't possible when you use memdisk).
Multisession with harddrive
Multisession feature is available not only for DVD+RW, but also
for harddisk. This way, every session is saved as a separate SFS
file (which can be opened and reviewed independently). Unwanted
session files can simply be deleted.
Unsupported installation options from previous Fatdog64
Multisession with CD is not supported. Systems capable of running
Fatdog64 usually comes with DVD writer anyway, so this usually is
not a concern.
Multisession with DVD-R/DVD+R/DVD-RW is not supported. It might
work but it is untested.
is where the compressed files from the install CD is expanded and
copied to harddisk, to a dedicated partition. This is the normal
mode of installation for mainstream Linux system, such as Ubuntu
or Fedora. Fatdog64 does not officially support this mode of
installation, but see here
you're really inclined to.