site  contact  subhomenews

Precise: SeaMonkey 2.19

July 14, 2013 — BarryK
I have compiled SeaMonkey 2.19 in Precise Puppy.

The PET (26MB):

Just a note while I remember it:
I don't recall who it was who contributed a Chromium PET for Precise. It was in the 'puppy-precise' repo but I took it out, as it needs ''.
That version of libpng is not in the Ubuntu Precise DEB repo.

Does anyone know of another Chromium PET that works in Precise? Or, do you have expertise in creating one? Note, it does need a few adaptations to run in Puppy.

Planning next Precise
I am just starting on a round of compiling some latest apps, preparing for the next release of Precise. SeaMonkey now, then Asunder, Geany, mtPaint, etc.

Also I mentioned that I was planning to improve the PPM. In particular, there needs to be a mechanism for users to report on what software works, and if any post-install tweaks required.
Although it is nice to have access to the large Ubuntu DEB repo, some apps just don't work, and some can be made to work with some adaptations after installation.

My current thinking is that I will use a Fossil repository to hold this "user experience database". You guys who are keen testers can have login access to it, and report success/fail plus any further notes, on each package that you install.
The PPM can then automatically read this database.


QtWeb: a surprise

July 12, 2013 — BarryK
darry1966 suggested that a web browser named QtWeb might be good for Precise Puppy.

It is available as a ready-to-go binary from here:

Just Unzip it and set it to executable, then run:

# unzip
# chmod 755 QtWeb
# ./QtWeb

It starts up very fast.
I tested a https: site, it reported no ca-certificate, I had to give permission, but then it worked.
I went to, played a video.

So, the Adobe Flash player works, and I presume the mplayerplug-in. There is no addons/plugins manager.

This looks like an excellent alternative to Opera, and it is considerably smaller. The zip'ed download is only 10MB.
Well, I know that is not really tiny, but considering that it has webkit, icu, and everything else statically linked in, that is very good.
It means, it should "just work" on all our pups.

Try it out, do you know some sites that will test it's limits? Embedded video? hairy HTML5? Javascript?

Oh, one thing, it does not support Java.

I am posting from it right now. It defaults to the GTK current theme, so looks just like the other apps.


Precise 5.6.4 (5.7 alpha1)

July 12, 2013 — BarryK
I have built this, in case anyone wants to play with it. Especially, try it out on old hardware, and with analog modem dialup.

This pup has the 3.2.48 kernel with all the analog modem drivers, announced in the previous blog post.

There are two browsers, SeaMonkey 1.1.19 and Opera 12.15. There is a popup window at first bootup that states that Opera is set as the default, however,that isn't correct, SM is.

The oldest PC that I have currently got connected up for testing has these specs:

Compaq Presario
Celeron (Coppermine) 565MHz CPU
128MB RAM, 972MB swap partition

It is a nice old computer.

In earlier testing, SM 2.17.1 was unusable.

Trying this latest pup:

Browser 1st 2nd
Opera 15 15
SeaMonkey 14 11
Gtkmoz 8 5

...these are the startup times in seconds, first startup then a restartup. Only approximate, I only counted mentally, also waited until the home web page appeared, not until it was fully loaded.

These timings are after creating a savefile, and choosing the copy the .sfs from CD to HD.

I don't know if I will persist with this two-browser idea.

The .sfs file inside the .iso is gzip'ed, which makes the .iso a bit big, at 180MB. But it should improve responsiveness in older PCs.

Get it from here:
Us#er$na@me#: pu$pp@y Pa#ss$wor@d#: li$nu@x


Precise: 3.2.48 kernel

July 11, 2013 — BarryK
I have compiled the 3.2.48 kernel for Precise Puppy. It has the f2fs patch, non-PAE, SMP, i486. It does not have devtmpfs.

Thanks to Richard Erwin (rerwin on the Forum) who patched many analog modem drivers to compile with this kernel, and documented steps to compile them, I was able to automate the compiling of them all.

I also included the Broadcom 'wl' driver, thanks to rerwin and peebee who patched it especially for Puppy:

All sources, patches, scripts and source .sfs file, are in my sources-repository:
(the usual username and password!)

And for Woof developers, here are the PETs (30.1M, 831K):

...yes, it is massive, but it does have all of those analog modem drivers.


Precise: Python moved to devx

July 10, 2013 — BarryK
Precise has the Python interpreter in the main .iso, and libpython in the devx. Earlier puppies had all of Python in the devx.

The "minimal python" that is in the main .iso weighs in at about 15MB uncompressed. Oh wow, I am not at all happy about that.

I moved it from the devx as some apps from the Ubuntu repo want it. On the other hand, libpython is wanted by 'gdb' which is in the devx.

Anyway, I have moved all of Python back to the devx.


Precise: remove i686 video libs

July 10, 2013 — BarryK
Forum member linuxcbon discovered that there are duplicate video library files in /usr/lib/i686.

These are for ffmpeg and x264, and the libraries also exist at /usr/lib.

The duplicate libraries will give slightly better performance with a i686-class of CPU, however, as I am now targeting smaller size for Precise, I created a package 'zz_remove_i686_libs', whose sole purpose is to delete those duplicate libs.

This knocks about 10MB off, uncompressed.


Precise: GParted updated and smaller

July 09, 2013 — BarryK
One thing that has always been a problem for us, wanting to have the smallest possible .iso file, is that GParted uses the gtkmm libraries.

Normally, it is the only application that does. The gtkmm libs are an Object Orientation layer on top of the normal gtk libs, but they are about as big again as the libs they sit on top of.

What we have done in earlier pups, such as Wary/Racy, is link GParted statically with the gtkmm libs, which eliminates the gtkmm libs at runtime. Typically the total size of GParted and gtkmm libs is about twice that of the statically-linked GParted.
So, it is a worthwhile saving, probably knocking about 1.5MB off the .iso file.

Precise pup up until now, has the shared gtkmm libs, but I have just compiled the latest GParted, version 0.16.1 (amongst other improvements, it supports exfat and f2fs) linked statically with gtkmm.
What stopped me from doing this previously is Ubuntu does not provide the static gtkmm libraries.

However, I have compiled all of these as static libs. Look for gtkmm, glibmm, pangomm, cairomm and libgnomecanvasmm here:

I also updated parted (253K):

And here is gparted (1.3M):

Both parted and gparted need to be installed in Precise Puppy, nothing else.


Precise going down

July 09, 2013 — BarryK
I am having fun!

I am working on making Precise Puppy smaller and less resource-hungry.

First step, I have elminated 'llvm' and 'icu', and the live-CD .iso file has dropped from 172MB to 159MB. Fantastic!

I have a long list of things to look at, to keep reducing the size.

The recent SeaMonkeys are extremely resource-hungry, making them unusable on old RAM-constrained PCs.
So, what I am planning is to build Precise with the old SeaMonkey 1.1.18. It is extremely small and has the bonus of mail&news, Composer HTML editor and address-book, so those items are taken care of.
Then for those who want a later browser, I propose a kind of "quickpet" thing (like is already available as a PET -- um, forget right now who created that), to offer to upgrade the browser. So you keep all the other goodies, but upgrade the browser to something better.

There is another advantage of the old SeaMonkey: we can bring back 'gtkmoz', the tiny HTML viewer. Puppy old-timers will remember this.
It is a great little Mozilla-based browser/viewer, and can replace HelpSurfer as the internal HTML viewer. It also does a decent job of web browsing.

To give an idea of the size saving: SM 2.17.1 PET is 25MB, SM 1.1.18 PET is 9MB, which will reduce the live-CD .iso size by a whopping 16MB.

Also I will build Precise with a heap of SM 1.1.18 addons, as they don't take much space:

fullerscreen (for presentations)
zombiekeys (enter special characters)

This is a fantastic collection of addons.
Those on analog dialup will out-of-the-box be able to block advertising downloads. For sites that say the browser is "too old" (youtube), or say they want Internet Explorer, there is user-agent-switcher.
And of course the great video downloader.

Adding up the sizes of those addon PETs: 426KB.

I am tempted to also include another small browser, such as Opera, so that users will have a more modern browser out-of-the-box.
My Opera PET is 14MB. Doing that though, would take away most of the size reduction: 19M -0.5M -14M => 1.5M reduction.

But, I think Opera does have a reputation of running nicely on older hardware.