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Quirky Tahr 6.0 released

January 30, 2014 — BarryK
Another amazing release in the "Quirky6" series! A short introductory spiel:

You have heard of Trusty Tahr, well this is Quirky Tahr, another exciting release in the "Quirky6" series of Quirky, a very quirky experimental Linux distribution.
Quirky Tahr is Quirky, with the same phenomenal upgrade/recovery features, optimisation for running in Flash memory, simplicity and ease-of-use, except built with Ubuntu Trusty Tahr binary DEB packages to provide compatibility with the large Ubuntu package repository -- which the Quirky Package Manager can install from.
Quirky 6.0, built from packages compiled in T2, started the ball rolling, and there were steady improvements, the latest release is 6.1.3 with 6.1.4 due out in a few days -- these accumulated improvements are in Quirky Tahr 6.0, plus a lot of debugging and refinement to get the DEB packages to "play nice" in the Quirky environment.

Please read the main announcement and release notes here:

You can download the file 'tahr-6.0.usfs.xz' (154.4MB):

Then one of these scripts to install:

...the former requires running in a very up-to-date Linux distribution, that recognises the f2fs filesystem, and f2fs-tools, syslinux (and probably mtools) packages will need to be installed.
Amongst Puppy Linux releases, Precise 5.7.1 meets this requirement.

The latter script has easier requirements, f2fs is not (necessarily) required, however, you need to have a spare hard drive partition to install to.

If neither of the above suit you, to get started with Quirky you can download this image file, for a 8GB (or greater) USB Flash or SD-card (159.5MB):

If you a unfamiliar with the Linux commandline, or just want to read more first, the earlier Quirky release notes have more details on how to install:

If you would like to provide feedback, or read what others have to say, please go to this Forum thread:

Known bugs
There are some, not to serious.
1. The PPLOG personal blog (in the Personal menu category), a Perl script, does not work.
2. VLC multimedia player defaults to "/dev/dvd1" --change that in the Preferences to "/dev/dvd" to be able to play DVDs (then just plug in a DVD, click the disk icon when it appears on the desktop, and VLC will launch).
3. The "pet-tahr" repo in the Quirky Package Manager is not yet working.


Forum member aarf has started a torrent:

archive downloads media other personal portable projects more, as I think of them.

However, this is against the standard Linux directory hierarchy, in which subfolders under /home should be user-names.

Note, Quirky is single-user, but even so I was uncomfortable with changing /home into that single-users home hierarchy. So, I have changed the name to /myhome.

Also, I had forgotten to exclude /home when a system snapshot is taken. Well, that is now /myhome -- everything in there must be ignored when a snapshot is taken, and a recovery is performed.

If you would like to fix this manually, change the name "/home" folder to "/myhome", and insert this line into line 512:

  [ -d "/myhome" ] && echo '/myhome' >> /tmp/audit/rootfs-snapshot-exclusions1 #140201

My future intention is that applications will default to a directory inside /myhome. For example, click on the "file" icon top-left of screen, will open ROX-Filer inside /myhome.

This gets us out of /root, which has been something that has concerned me for sometime. There is so much stuff in /root that is potentially confusing, or at least distracting, for new users.

You could even install "portable" applications under /myhome, that are unaffected by system recovery/upgrade. I noticed today that shinobar has created a portable Chrome browser for Puppy -- that is not suitable for Quirky, but the idea can be applied to Quirky. See shinobar's post here:

In case you wonder, why don't I create /home/me, or some sub-directory name like "me", in which to have "download", etc. This would cater for possible future multi-user.
However, I want /myhome to be "outside" the system. I don't want Linux to be treating a subdir inside it as the user's home directory.
Anyway, I don't expect Quirky to ever become a normal multi-user Linux. We do have users 'spot' and 'fido', but their homes are inside /root.

"This is a small and experimental live CD"

Um, no, Quirky is not available as a live CD. It is a available as a file that can be installed to an entire drive, such as USB Flash or SD-card, or to a hard drive partition.

Distrowatch announcement:

Could I ever build it as a live-CD? It could be done, maybe using zram.

You need to install this:

Curious, Ubuntu Trust Tahr has a very old version of 'parted', 2.3. However, I built Quirky Tahr with a Gparted PET, a very recent version of Gparted, compiled against parted version 3.1.

The next release of Quirky Tahr will have both parted packages, for any packages in the Ubuntu repo that need the old parted lib.

If you haven't been following the history of Quirky, upgrading to later versions is very easy, by way of Service Packs. A Service Pack 6.0.1 will be uploaded soon.

With regard to an earlier comment, below, /home is not changed to /myhome. Instead, I decided to name it /file, as that matches the label "file" on the file-manager icon at top-left of screen -- clicking on which now opens at /file.

/file is intended to be outside the snapshot/recovery/upgrade mechanisms, somewhere that you can keep your own files permanently.

If already installed an earlier version:

In running Quirky Tahr, menu:

Filesystem -> Quirky Version Upgrade Manager

And there will be later releases. Please read my latest Quirky announcements before downloading Quirky:

Tags: linux