Linux kernel 3.19.2, EFI-enabled

2Comments
I plan to re-investigate UEFI booting, so I have compiled a kernel with what seem like appropriate EFI-related configuration choices.

Here they are:
Bus options (PCI etc.)

[*] Mark VGA/VBE/EFI FB as generic system framebuffer
Device drivers
Graphics format
Frame buffer devices
[*] EFI-based framebuffer support
[*] Simple frame buffer support
Firmware drivers
EFI support
<*> EFI variable support via sysfs
Filesystems
Miscellaneous filesystems
<M> EFI variable filesystem
Kernel hacking
[*] Early printk via the EFI frame buffer
<

...anyway, we shall see.

The kernel source, with patches and build scripts, is here:
http://bkhome.org/sources/kernel-3.19.2/
(us#er#na#me: pu#pp#y pa#ss#wo#rd: li#nu#x)

Patched kernel source as a PET:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/packages/pet_packages-april/kernel_src-3.19.2-patched.pet

...note, I have previously placed these kernel source PETs in the 'pet noarch' repository, however that is not appropriate, as I run "make prepare" before creating the PET, which does some architecture-specific configuration and compiles some binaries.
So this one is in the 'pet april' repo.

Linux headers:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/packages/pet_packages-april/linux_headers-3.19.2.pet

And here is the compiled PET, to be used in woofQ:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/packages/pet_packages-april/linux_kernel-3.19.2-builtin_aufs_f2fs_squashfs_zram-efi-amd64-april.pet

...note, the only third-party drivers are aufs and ndiswrapper, the former is built-in not a module.

Here is the aufs utilities, compiled against the 3.19.2 headers:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/packages/pet_packages-april/aufsutils3-20150321-amd64.pet


Quirky 7.0.2 released

4Comments
Quirky Linux 7.0 was released on February 26, 2015. Please read the announcement here:
http://bkhome.org/news/?viewDetailed=00174

Quirky 7.0.1 is a bug-fix release, just over one week after 7.0. See announcement here:
http://bkhome.org/news/?viewDetailed=00175

Well, we have continued to find, and fix, bugs, but 7.0.2 is more than that, with some improvements and upgraded applications.

Summarizing the changes of 7.0.2, from 7.0.1:
1. Frugal install now faster bootup, faster saves.
2. SeaMonkey now version 2.33, significant bug-fixes.
3. Package upgrades: nss 3.17.4, sqlite 3.8.8.3
4. Internationalized: gfnrename, gmeasures (and bug-fix)
5. pupRadio: fixed preset radio stations.
6. GetFlash: fixed Adobe download URL change.
7. MoManager (internationalization tool): bug-fixes.
8. New semanticUI.ttf font added.
9. icu4c: icudt53l.dat data file size increased, fixes SM bug.


It is strongly recommended to read the announcement for Quirky 7.0, as it contains a link to install instructions. Or, here is the direct link to the install instructions:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/april-7.0/install-quirky.htm

...the difference now, of course, is that we are up to version 7.0.2. So, to download 7.0.2, go here:
x86_64: http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/april-7.0.2/
i686: http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/x86/april-7.0.2/

There are faster mirrors, for example nluug in Europe:
x86_64: http://ftp.nluug.nl/os/Linux/distr/quirky/quirky6/amd64/april-7.0.2/
i686: http://ftp.nluug.nl/os/Linux/distr/quirky/quirky6/x86/april-7.0.2/

If you already have 7.0 installed, then an upgrade to 7.0.2 is available as a "Service Pack", a small PET package.
Read an explanation of Service Packs here:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/quirky/quirky6/amd64/april-7.0.2/upgrade-quirky.htm

Frugal installation
Puppy and Quirky users will know what a "frugal" installation is. For the uninitiated, it is a method whereby Quirky is installed into a folder in any partition. Whatever that partition is used for doesn't matter, that remains undisturbed. The partition can have any filesystem, Linux or DOS/Windows.

Anyway, Quirky is intended for conventional "full" installations, into a partition or entire drive, however, now a frugal install is supported, with some limitations.

Booting from the live-CD, you will see a "install" icon in middle of the screen, which will offer to do a frugal install.
Note, it is possible to do a frugal install by opening up the .iso file (and not have to burn and boot the live-CD), however there are some issues, and I will post instructions to this blog soon.

One important point: the live-CD and frugal install require a PC with at least 2GB RAM (though I have feedback that 1.5GB works).

Service Pack
If you already have 7.0 or 7.0.1 installed, as full installations, the Service Pack is a small download to upgrade to 7.0.2, as introduced above.

Note, however, that the Service Pack does not work for live-CD and frugal installations, not properly anyway.

What's next
Some more tweaks to the live-CD and frugal install.

The 'installquirky' script to be greatly expanded, GUI installs to drive or partition (it currently only has frugal).

For "win8" PCs, Quirky currently requires that "legacy boot" be enabled, which has limitations with some PCs.

It seems that some PCs do not like mixed legacy-boot and UEFI-boot, some do.

I did investigate UEFI-booting before, but put it on hold. I now intend to resurrect that, and hopefully the next release of Quirky will support UEFI-booting on win8 PCs.

In short, this will make it easier to dual-boot Windows and Quirky, and make it easier to install Quirky into a hard-drive partition.

Forum feedback
You are welcome to read other's feedback, and contribute, to the "Quirky 7.0.x" thread in the Puppy Forum, starting at page 16:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=834501#834501


Fonts fixed for SeaMonkey

6Comments
For a very very long time, using Quirky and my earlier puppies, there has been a problem with some characters not rendering on some web sites.

These characters only display as small rectangles, with their hex code inside, for example:

E629, E62A, E62C, E631

This site is an example:
http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Journey-Planner

These missing characters seem to be "picture", or "glyph" icons.

There are many sets of glyph TTF font sets, but I found what I wanted here:
http://dquinn.net/how-to-fix-broken-font-icons-in-chrome-32-for-entypo-web-font-in-gumby-framework/

I downloaded 'entypo.ttf', to /usr/share/fonts/default/TTF.

While I was at it, decided to update the DejaVu Sans fonts, got them from here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/dejavu/files/dejavu/2.34/dejavu-fonts-ttf-2.34.tar.bz2

Then inside the 'TTF" folder, ran:

# mkfontscale
# mkfontdir


Then, in any folder:

# fc-cache -f -v

Yes, the Entypo font set has fixed, the Transperth site, but not all.
For example, the characters are still missing here:
https://twitter.com/Saygus

...so, I will experiment some more.


SeaMonkey with Lightning

7Comments
Puppy Forum member 'labbe5' posted this news about LXLE adopting SeaMonkey:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=98130

The article at LXLE is an interesting read:
http://lxle.net/articles/?post=lxle-switch-to-seamonkey-introduces-rotation-donation

The article is amusing in some ways. Puppy has had SM as the main browser for, how many years? Must be about 10 years.

I always saw SM as the best compromise, and held out against pressure from many Puppy-users who wanted Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.

The integrated suite is what makes SM great, and the LXLE article states that they will be bundling Fireftp and Lightning addons.

Now that is interesting. The old Netscape had a calendar module, but it fell by the wayside. In Quirky, and the pups I used to build, I use Osmo personal organizer, which is OK. However, Lightning brings to the table tight integration with SM, and that is what makes it very attractive.

I haven't tried Lightning yet, but presume the LXLE people have, and found it works reliably.

Right now I am compiling SM 2.33. I am planning to release April 7.1 with this SM, and Lightning, removing Osmo.


Saygus V2 Super Phone

1 Comment
I regularly scan the news on what is happening with smartphone development. I have an agenda in the back of my mind, that involves smartphones -- but the right kind of phone has not yet arrived.

I was reading one of the mobile phone news sites today, and something really jumped out at me. Here is the page I was reading:
http://ausdroid.net/2015/03/04/the-saygus-v2-super-phone-now-supports-australian-lte-bands-and-will-ship-to-australia/

OK, this phone has incredible specs, but reading down, this is what jumped out:

Multi-Boot (supports booting from MicroSD card)

There are two SD card slots, that will support the new 200GB cards, so together with the inbuilt 64GB (emmc I think), that is a total of 464GB.

Actually, the huge storage capacity is the second thing that jumped out at me. I have grave reservations about storage in "the cloud", apart from its limited capacity and up/down transfer cost to keep it synced.
I want lots of local storage, and this phone gives me that.

No, the first thing that drew my attention was the dual-booting. Plug in an SD card and boot from it. What other phone offers that?
This will be great for my "in the back of my head" agenda.

There is some question though when the company will deliver a finished product. Apparently, although the hardware is there, a lot of it isn't working. Even the camera isn't working.
They have mentioned delivery in "Q2", but I wonder if that is just a wild guess.

I like the specs of this phone very much, but I will wait awhile until some more progress is reported on the hardware working.
Then, seriously considering placing an order.

There are some very interesting possibilities with a phone like this.
I have created a forum thread for discussion:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=98068


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