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Gnome-mplayer 1.0.8

August 02, 2013 — BarryK
I have compiled Gnome-mplayer 1.0.8 in Precise Puppy. I also tried to set it up so that it will play DVD videos "out of the box". It also disables the screensaver while a video is playing.

PETs (55K, 142K, 237K):

I have also updated the gnome-mplayer template in Woof.

Note, I am expecting to build Precise 5.7.1 this evening.


Pidgin fixed (?)

August 01, 2013 — BarryK
A Precise 5.7 tester, using Pidgin, has reported that Facebook and Gmail fail, an authentication error.

Could you guys try something, delete this file:

Then try Pidgin again.

If still can't login to Facebook, or Gmail, try this PET (2.7M):

The binaries in this PET were compiled by Forum member Makoto in Puppy 4.3.1. I repackaged it, and made the PET much smaller.

Note, Makoto's compile does not have /usr/lib/purple-2/, but I put it in, from my own compile in Precise. Don't know if that was a good thing to do.


Service Pack 1 for Precise 5.7

July 29, 2013 — BarryK
I have only just released Precise Puppy 5.7, and a problem was reported with external USB optical drives -- the desktop drive icon did not appear when an optical media was inserted.

I chased down the cause of that, but then I was shocked to discover that Gnome-mplayer does not play DVD videos. I have no idea why. There is no error messages, just an empty window.

I want to replace Gnome-mplayer with another media player, but for now, leave it there, as it does play videos OK, just not DVDs.

The Service Pack has Ogle DVD player, which works great. Superior menu handling also.

Download the Service Pack from here (540.5K):

This Service Pack should be automatically offered for installation when you start the Puppy Package Manager.
This was a feature that I implemented some time ago, to make it easy for people to install the latest Service Pack.


Precise Puppy 5.7

July 29, 2013 — BarryK
This is going to take everyone by surprise! I decided that 5.7beta2 is pretty good, so haven't bothered with an RC. Here is a short announcement:

Another pup in the Precise series! This pup comes in two flavours, one for older hardware and/or those on dialup Internet, the other for those with relatively modern hardware.
The "retro flavour" is an upgrade path for those who have used our Wary Puppy, that targeted older PCs and analog modem dialup -- unlike most other Linux distributions, it continues to support a wide range of analog "winmodems". It also has two web browsers, SeaMonkey and Opera, the latter preferred for PCs with less than 256MB RAM.
The "modern flavour" only has one browser, SeaMonkey, and forgoes most of the analog modem and true-SCSI drivers, and is the choice that will suit most people with a PAE-capable i686 CPU, no ISA cards, and 256MB or more RAM. You also get the benefit of a much smaller download, the live-CD .iso file is 155.7MB.
There are many fixes, improvements and new features in this pup, and the release notes give details. In particular, there are exciting new features at the underlying "Woof-level", or infrastructure-level, such as the more efficient pup_event daemon and IPC mechanism, and support for running Internet applications as user 'spot'.

Full announcement and release notes:

Download from here:

Choosing a flavour
Regarding which .iso file to download, if you are a Linux newbie and have an "older" PC and don't know whether it is PAE-capable, or has ISA-bus cards, play safe and choose the "retro flavour". It is the same in all respects to the main, regular flavour, except has many more 3rd-party drivers for analog modems and true-SCSI drives, plus a slightly earlier kernel version.

The release notes mention that the regular flavour would be your choice for a PC with 1.5GHz CPU and 512MB RAM or more, but I have quite happily run it on a system with 256MB RAM. However, definitely not less than 256MB, as SeaMonkey 2.19 is a resource hog and in less than 256MB RAM will be extremely slow, with much disk swapping. The Retro flavour has both SeaMonkey and Opera, the latter being better in limited resources.

A warning if you try both: booting off CD, at first shutdown you are asked if you want to copy the .sfs files off CD to hard-drive -- if you reply 'yes', but you then want to try the other flavour, be sure to first delete it off the hard drive. You will find it in the partition in which you created the session save-file, as /puppy_precise_5.7.sfs.

The theme
The release notes describe the theme, with acknowledgements to the original authors. Thanks guys!
I have modified the original component themes and created a combined overall theme that is... well, I like it anyway. The orange menu button will probably provoke some comments!


Tricking Chrome to run as root

July 28, 2013 — BarryK
In the Puppy Package Manager there is a hack that modifies the Chrome/Chromium binary to run as root, however, Iguleder has devised a really neat solution, that could be applied to other apps: is the idea of a pre-loaded library, that fools Chrome. Brilliant!

Tags: puppy

Precise: 3.9.11 kernel

July 27, 2013 — BarryK
I have compiled the 3.9.11 kernel in Precise Puppy. It is configured for a i686 CPU, PAE-enabled, but devtmpfs is not enabled.

For Woof developers, the PET is here ():

All sources are at my sources repo:


Precise 5.6.11 (5.7beta2)

July 26, 2013 — BarryK
Similar to the beta1, except some bugs fixed, and this time the two browsers are SeaMonkey 2.19 and Opera 2.16.

Download from here:

It weighs in at 200.4MB, as I included libgstreamer and libgstreamer-plugins DEBs, as Opera needs them.
For the final, I will try and get it to about 199MB.

I expect the next build to be the Release Candidate.


PeasyScan, PeasyGlue

July 24, 2013 — BarryK
Forum member rcrsn51, as well as being very helpful with debugging printing and networking problems, has also developed a range of very useful applications, all named "Peasy*".

I have updated PeasyScan to version 2.5, and added peasyscan_pdf_plugin 1.1 PET. Forum thread:

A newcomer is PeasyGlue, for joining PNG or JPEG image files together, horizontally or vertically:

I have always used InkscapeLite, which allows free-format arrangements of raster and vector images and export as a PNG file. It can import any image formats.

However, PeasyGlue is a new and simple GUI interface, for when you just want to stick some images together.

The PETS are uploaded to (48K, 29K, 6K):