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Arch pup boots to desktop

March 14, 2013 — BarryK
Building from Arch Linux binary packages in Woof, I reported earlier that it boots to the commandline. Now, it boots to the desktop.

However, with KMS enabled for the kernel i915.ko driver, and booting straight to the desktop (using the Xorg driver), I just get a black screen.

I had to disable KMS -- which can be done by changing the value in /etc/modprobe.d/i915.conf from "1" to "0" -- then at bootup run the xorgwizard and choose the 'vesa' driver. Then I got to the desktop, mouse and keyboard working.

The live-CD ISO file is massive, over 270MB with xz compression of the internal SFS file. Using Gdmap, I see the main reason -- massive dri files -- incredible sizes, don't know how Arch managed to get them so big. I suspect that they have compiled in some packages statically, into each one.

Anyway, I have got it booting to the desktop. That's it. Woof is now fully fixed to build "Arch pup". Fixing the packages and reducing the size, that's a whole new ball-game, and anyone who wants to take that on, you are welcome.

Woof commit:

Oh, there is one more thing I might do in Woof, before changing to something else. In fact, I might do it tonight. Forum member noryb009 wrote code in 3builddistro to execute post-install scripts from the Arch binary packages. However, the PPM doesn't have that -- so I will add execution of a post-install script when a Arch pkg is installed via the PPM.
I'll announce that when it is done.


Arch: ppm support
Username: BarryK
OK, PPM in Woof now supports installing Arch Linux packages, with post-install script execution. Woof commits: ...not tested though.

post install
Username: mavrothal
"Arch packages could have [url=]several more scripts. I guess post_remove may be the most important to implement. Though given the rolling Arch packages, would be problematic if you ignore the rest. Then again pacman is small enough and calling it through PPM may be a viable option.

Re massive dri
Username: BarryK
"noryb009, Just a guess, this might be the main culprit, see they have left it out: [i]--with-llvm-shared-libs[/i] llvm is enormous.

arch: icu
Username: BarryK
"Another thing that surprised me, is that gtk2 has 'icu' as a dependency. icu is also massive. icu is a dep of webkit and I think (otptionally) of qt. Maybe also (optionally) of gtk3. But never of gtk2, at least I thought not.

arch: llvm
Username: BarryK
"There is some controversy over the encroachment of llvm. I have read comments from people who state that they hate it, but all I know is that it is enormous. mesa is gradually using llvm more, but can be compiled without it. You lose some drivers, so it would be tough for those people with that particular video hardware, but the size reduction is dramatic. My Wary and Racy don't have it, as they have earlier mesa versions, pre-llvm. Note, you can't just roll back to an earlier mesa in Arch, as the version of mesa and of xorg are kind of inter-dependent.

arch: mesa
Username: BarryK
"Oh, I should mention, if mesa is recompiled with significant changes, such as llvm removed, it might break xorg-server and some xf86-video-* drivers, they might also need to be recompiled.

Re massive dri
Username: noryb009
"[i]--with-llvm-shared-libs[/i] might add to the size, but it is not the reason for it being so big. That is the exact script that was used to make mesa (and the dri modules), so it isn't enabled (at least in the latest version). gtk2 doesn't directly have icu as a dependency. gtk2 needs pango, which needs harfbuzz, which needs icu. I don't know if you can disable pango in gtk2's configure options. Would a T2 (or whatever) mesa + Xorg work?

llvm, icu
Username: BarryK
"What I meant was, adding --with-llvm-shared-libs would probably [i]reduce[/i] the size, as it implies llvm being a shared lib, as opposed to compiled-in statically. Well, pango could be recompiled.

T2 xorg + mesa
Username: BarryK
"The Racy one might, though it is getting a bit old. Compiling xorg and mesa in latest T2, configured for minimum deps, might work.

meba rich
Username: aarf
"i am one of these mega rich who can afford a 8G SDcard so i dont particularly care for submicro input. however what does piss me of is if my hardware is not supported because someone has a tiny penis.

Tags: woof