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Quirky: new packages

March 27, 2011 — BarryK
I have compiled these packages in Quirky:

glib12 1.2.10
gtk+12 1.2.10
imlib 1.9.15
gdk-pixbuf0 0.22.0
rox_filer_gtk1 1.2.2-patches_12_root
seamonkey_nomail 2.0.13

Rox-Filer has the latest patches from argolance plus running-as-root patch. The Flash Player has technosaurus's patch.

I have compiled SeaMonkey without the mail&news module to make it smaller.

These PETs will be usable in the upcoming Quirky 1.5 and also in Wary.

They are uploaded here:


Gnash 0.8.9

March 27, 2011 — BarryK
I have been through the exercise of compiling the latest Gnash Flash player and browser plugin.

It is still far too immature to use. I couldn't get it to work as a browser plugin, as when I tried to play a video on YouTube, there was an error message that Gnash needs the AGG renderer, although it is supposed to work with the Cairo renderer. I did a search, others have hit this problem also.

I tried the standalone player, and it played one of three .swf files.

So, I will stick with the Adobe player. For building a smaller system, I might use technosaurus's trick of making the Flash9 player pretend to be a Flash10 player.


"baby" Quirky

March 23, 2011 — BarryK
My Quirky distro is where I am supposed to be trying out new ideas, so I am thinking that the "Baby Linux" will debut as a Quirky.

I have abandoned Buildroot and uClibc, but I learnt a few things. One is how to create a smaller Xorg, 'vesa' driver only. I have taken this knowledge of a smaller Xorg over to T2, and I am now doing a compile of the same package versions as used in Quirky 1.3.

I need to explain something about Quirky: 1.3 was very popular. Announced here: of it's great features was a cut-down commercial nVidia driver in the ISO.

However, Quirky 1.4 was the precursor to Wary, in which I rolled Xorg back to 7.3. This had advantages and disadvantages. One advantage was I was able to put in the old i810 Xorg driver. Also Xvesa. Disadvantage was didn't run so well on newer video hardware. Quirky 1.4 announcement:

Anyway, T2 is compiling now. I am planning to bring the T2 compiled binary packages over to Woof and do a Quirky build, then do some manual work to create "Baby Linux".

That's the plan anyway. We'll see how it goes.


uClibc cli rootfs

March 19, 2011 — BarryK
A uClibc rootfs that you can mount and chroot into, and compile cli packages. Mostly useful for creating small static executables. See my previous post:

Buildroot has a bug, it left out /usr/lib/crt0.o, crti.o, crtn.o, and I have put those in and I did a test compile of udev-151 source, works.

I have re-uploaded the working rootfs here (27.5MB):



zzz: usb-modeswitch fixed for JimTcl

December 07, 2010 — BarryK
I reported recently that I am using JimTcl (a tiny Tcl interpreter) to run the usb_modeswitch_dispatcher script in the usb-modeswitch package:

It did seem to work, however I have been communicating with Josua Dietze, the author of usb-modeswitch, and he found a few little bugs:

I just checked the latest version (1.1.5) of the tcl wrapper with jimsh. It turned out that the only problems were in fact caused by the code adding the "gsmmodem" symlink. JimTcl seems to have problems with the "d" shorthand for digits in regular expressions. Also I had to replace a "file link" command with "file readlink".

This is great news, and I have put the modified script into my 'zzz' package.

Josua is very pleased that I have introduced him to JimTcl, as he has been asked by other cut-down distro developers to rewrite the script in something else. He did make a start with Python, but didn't like the extra libraries needed just to do simple things, so he stopped that effort (thank goodness ).

Josua is even thinking that he might include JimTcl in his package, configured to compile with just enough features to run his script.

Tags: quirky

Hso modem driver

December 04, 2010 — BarryK
While developing my 'zzz' 3G modem support, I was puzzled that I do not have the 'hso.ko' module in the kernel that I am using for Wary 098 and Quirky 1.4.

This site states that the hso driver is in kernel 2.6.27 and later.

I looked in my kernel PET packages, and yes, it is in my PET, It is also in the kernel PET. However it is missing from 2.6.31 and later kernel PETs.

Oh, i see why. I have configured 2.6.31 and later with 'rfkill' turned off, which hso requires: in kernel source drivers/net/usb/Kconfig:

config USB_HSO
tristate "Option USB High Speed Mobile Devices"
depends on USB && RFKILL

However, I have found a Hso source package that is a backport from 2.6.33 to 2.6.31 kernel, and it does compile:,827.0.html

It states that it is version 1.2, but the changelog shows that the author Paul has backported lots of things from the 1.14 release.

The big question is though, will it actually work with my kernel that has rfkill disabled? 'depmod' reports no missing symbols, but perhaps the internal code in the module expects some functionality that rfkill provides.

Request to test hso.ko
Anyone reading this who has a 3G modem that uses this driver? Like for example this AT&T Velocity modem with GPS:
The main Hso page lists all the devices supported by the hso.ko module.
If so, would you be prepared to help me, test a special build of Quirky with this driver included? Let me know and I will built it an upload it.

Well, I guess that I could just upload the module, and if you have Wary 098 or Quirky 1.4, that use the kernel, you could give it a try. Gunzip it and place it somewhere in /lib/modules/ -- the official location is /lib/modules/ Then run 'depmod'.
You might have to blacklist the 'option.ko' module -- quickest way to do this is create a file /etc/modprobe.d/option.conf with just one line in it: "blacklist option" (without the quotes).
Reboot, with modem plugged in. No go, try replugging it. After hso.ko has loaded, you should see /dev/ttyHS* ports. Any failure will probably be reported in /var/log/messages. might load ok, but will it actually work without the rfkill subsystem? Let me know!

I have uploaded the module here:

Tags: quirky

zzz: 3G: request: test /dev/ttyUSB* ports

December 04, 2010 — BarryK
I have been investigating if PupDial can do a good guess at the correct port to use.

If usb_modeswitch successfully switches the 3G modem from memory mode to modem mode, you may see more than one /dev/ttyUSB[n] entry.

My Optus Huawei E160E modem has four ports:
/dev/ttyUSB0, ttyUSB1, ttyUSB2, ttyUSB3

...and ttyUSB0 is the correct one to use.

Now, I found something very interesting. If I do this in a terminal:

# modem-stats -c "ATZ" /dev/ttyUSB0


...that is, it returns a blank line and an "OK".

ttyUSB1 and ttyUSB2 do not respond.

# modem-stats -c "ATZ" /dev/ttyUSB3









...this is great! I can use the "NO CARRIER" response to determine that ttyUSB3 is not the one to use. Also, the non-response of ttyUSB1 and ttyUSB2 to rule them out.

I currently only have the Optus 3G modem to play with, so I have a request to you guys who have a 3G modem:

Feedback request
If it has switched to modem mode, look in /dev to see how many ttyUSB[n] ports you have, then try the above test on each port. Let me know if this method finds the correct port for you!

Please do this test before using PupDial (or any other method) to connect to the Internet.

I am eagerly awaiting feedback! Try this on any Puppy, not just Quirky.


zzz: pupdial_init_hotpluggable

December 03, 2010 — BarryK
Very heavy development work continuing...

In /usr/sbin, this is a new script called from PupDial, that probes for the external hot-pluggable devices. This replaces what were previously scripts in /etc/init.d.

Easy switching internal<->external
A problem that I have had with my laptop is I sometimes want to use the internal dialup modem, at other times the 3G modem. I have made switching between these simpler. Also now PupDial is no longer confused which one to detect.

3G modems work-in-progress
I have been testing with my Optus E160E 3G modem (which works great, plugged in at bootup or hot-plugged), but tomorrow I will make a quick trip to Perth and pickup my Vodafone Z3571-Z 3G modem -- currently being used by a relative. I have another relative who has a Telstra 3G modem, that she doesn't use (too expensive), and I will borrow that too.