How to install Quirky

Download and install

Quirky is deployed as a compressed image that can be installed to either an external (plugged in) Flash drive (minimum 4GB), or to a partition in a hard drive. These are Methods A and B. Or, if you already have Quirky installed, there is a simple method of upgrade using a Service Pack, see Method C. I have also provided a ready-to-go image for an 8GB (or greater) Flash memory, that just needs to be copied to the drive -- that is Method D.

Method A: install to any size Flash drive

Firstly, the steps to install to any size Flash drive. This will optimise the installation to whatever size drive you want to install to (anything 2GB or bigger), but you must be comfortable with running a script in a terminal, and be running a very recent Linux distribution (that understands f2fs). Go for it:
  1. Download three files:
    *.usfs.xz, sha1sums.txt, 4install-quirky-to-drive.gz
  2. Verify download.
    Open a terminal window where you have downloaded the files, and execute this:
    # sha1sum *
    ...check against contents of sha1sums.txt
  3. Run script to install.
    Plug in a spare Flash drive, then:
    # gunzip 4install-quirky-to-drive.gz
    # chmod 755 4install-quirky-to-drive # ./4install-quirky-to-drive
    ...this script will ask questions, then write the image to the drive. 

Some people found the script to be troublesome in certain Linux distributions -- this may just be a matter of installing needed packages, for example with Ubuntu you might need to install 'mtools', 'syslinux' and 'f2fs-tools' -- if the latter is not in the repo, then the distro is too old!). If you encounter a problem that you can't solve, go to the Forum to discuss it, or try Method B or D.

Method B: install to a partition

This is to install Quirky to any internal hard drive partition. This requires that you have setup your own boot manager, such as GRUB, GRUB4DOS, or LILO. The script will install to the desired partition, then offer a suggested entry to be made in GRUB's menu.lst file.

This method can erase whatever is currently in the chosen partition, or, optionally, upgrade a prior installation of Quirky.

This is as per Method A, you download *.usfs.xz, but instead you download and run this script:
# gunzip 4install-quirky-to-partition.gz
# chmod 755 4install-quirky-to-partition
# ./4install-quirky-to-partition will ask questions about which partition, etc.

Method C: upgrade

With a running Quirky, it is very simple. In the menu at bottom-left of screen, Filesystem category, choose "Quirky Version Upgrade Manager". That's it, you click a button and the upgrade happens. This is for the future!

Alternatively, the Package Manager will check for an upgrade, known as a "Service Pack", at startup, as long as there is an Internet connection -- after starting the Package Manager, after a short delay, a window should pop up informing you of an available upgrade.

NOTICE: Method C not available yet for Quirky April series.

Method D: 8GB image

This ready-to-go for a 8GB (or greater) USB Flash stick or SD card. The steps, for Linux:
  1. Download *-8gb.img.xz.
  2. Expand and install (for example of Flash drive being sdb) (in a non-Puppy distro, you might have to do the 'sudo' thing, to run as root). Substitute correct name of .img.xz and drive for that of example given here:
    # xz --decompress --stdout quirky-6.1-8gb.img.xz > /dev/sdb
    # sync
    # xz --decompress --stdout april-6.89-8gb.img.xz | dd of=/dev/sdb bs=4M conv=fdatasync
    # sync
The first example works, but I recommend the second, using 'dd'.
Be careful, write to entire drive, for example 'sdb', not to a partition, example 'sdb1'.
Also be extra careful that it is the desired USB drive you are writing to, not your main hard drive!

Further documentation is required to do this from Windows. Well, you might look here:
...but, you will need to first install an application such as 7-zip (, that can uncompress an .xz file -- and be prepared, it will expand to a 7.6GB file, so make sure the partition has enough space!

If you use a 16GB or bigger drive, no problem, you can use GParted (which is in Quirky) later to create an extra partition to fill the drive. Note, f2fs can not yet be resized.

If Method A did not work for you, method D should do it, and then you have "pulled yourself up by your boot straps", as they say. You will then have a running Linux that is capable of doing method A.

Barry Kauler
January 2015