Quirky 7.0 final released

Quirky 7.0, codenamed "April", has been released.

Please read the full announcement and release notes here:

Extracting some of the announcement to here:

I created Puppy Linux back in 2003, but there was never a toolchain for compiling Puppy completely from source. Instead, Puppy is built from binary packages of another distro, plus PET packages compiled natively.
We did use the T2 system right back at Puppy v2, T2 being a system to compile from source, however it only compiled a big chunk of the packages, not all. We still used manual compiling to create many PET packages.

Until now. Starting in December 2014, I tackled the formidable task of compiling everything in T2, and I had to introduce 105 new packages into T2. It took a couple of months, but I eventually was able to compile every package required for Quirky (my fork of Puppy).

T2 is able to compile for various CPU targets, and the proof of concept was when I compiled for a x86_64 CPU (all previous builds had been for i686). I was able to build a x86_64-based Quirky, and it works the same as the i686 build (after some tweaks).

Great! I decided to jump this new Quirky to 7.0, and gave it the codename "April".

Also, there have been a lot of infrastructure improvements since the last release of Quirky, as well as application upgrades.

Quirky is intended to be installed as a full installation, either to a drive (such as a USB Flash stick), or a hard-drive partition.
The smallest download is this file, which is an image that can be installed by means of the supplied scripts. Only (131.8MB):

Have a look here, and you will see other files to download:

...this includes a live-CD .iso file, but do read the install guide first, to fully understand the choices:

The above links are to the x86_64 CPU build, that is, any PC with a 64-bit x86 CPU -- which is just about all PCs manufactured in the last 4-5 years.

There is also an i686 build, which is for 32-bit x86 CPUs. Note, this will also work on x86_64 bit CPUs. The main limitation is a max. of 4GB of RAM, plus is a tad slower.
Download from here:

Quirky, just like Puppy, includes the "kitchen sink" with all builds -- everything you need, in a tiny 132MB download. Have fun!
Posted on 26 Feb 2015, 9:52 - Categories: Quirky

Wary64 6.99 live-CD

In response to interest from Quirky testers, I have built a live-CD of Wary64.

Download from here:

However, I must emphasize that Quirky is intended for full installations. Live-CD and frugal installations are not as fully functional as with Puppy.

Quirky live-CD and frugal installations consist of two files, 'vmlinuz' and 'initrd.q'. The latter is a cpio archive, with all of Quirky as a file 'q.sfs' inside it.

At bootup, initrd.q and hence q.sfs are loaded entirely into RAM. Quirky runs totally in RAM, which means that you are very restricted in what you can download and install -- though of course, files can be downloaded to a mounted partition -- but any installed packages are going to occupy the RAM.

When you boot the live-CD, there are two icons on the desktop, "install" and "save". The former only offers a frugal install for now.
The latter offers to save the session back to CD/DVD, however this is not multisession, an entirely new blank CD/DVD is required, or a -RW type can be erased then saved to.

Currently this save operation, which involves rebuilding 'initrd.q', is done in RAM, meaning that heaps of RAM is needed. My laptop has 4GB, I don't know how little will work. Just booting the live-CD and never saving will need less, but still a lot, maybe 2GB.

A frugal install works the same. initrd.q gets loaded into RAM and Quirky runs totally in RAM. There is a "save" icon on the desktop, and 'initrd.q' gets rebuilt in RAM then written to the drive.
So again, heaps of RAM needed.

This is definitely not like Puppy! There is no "save file", no automatic saving, no save at shutdown.

I can reduce RAM usage in the future. Zram may not be the most efficient after all, in which case there is another way I can do it.
rebuilding 'initrd.q' could be done in a partition -- the "save" script can offer to mount and use a partition for this purpose.

The two new scripts are /usr/sbin/installquirky and /usr/sbin/savesession.

I do see some usage-scenarios where people might like this live-CD. It doesn't look at the hard drives at all -- in fact, the Childproofing app (in the Filesystem menu) can be used to completely hide HD partitions if required.
Settings can be saved to CD/DVD, then used for web browsing without saving anything, no history.

I do intend to expand the "install" script to also do full installations, to drive or partition.
Posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:33 - Categories: Quirky

Live-CD, frugal Quirky coming

With Quirky, I have favoured providing an image file that can be written to Flash drive or HD partition.

I have not been interested in a live-CD, nor the famous Puppy "frugal" install.

However, that is about to change. Today I built a Wary64 live-CD, designed to be more RAM-efficient than my previous effort. It works great.

I also did a frugal install to HD, that works great too.

I can't just upload it right now, as I have to write "install" and "save" scripts. These will be icons on the desktop in case of the live-CD.

For the live-CD, "save" is intended to save the session to the CD, either -RW, or if only -R then use a new CD -- I am not going to support multisession, as it doesn't work on laptop optical drives. Nor UDF, as it is not bootable.

I'll work on the scripts tonight, but have other things to do tomorrow (dentist, then my wildlife park volunteer job), so will continue working on the script in the evening.
So maybe Saturday upload.
Posted on 12 Feb 2015, 19:56 - Categories: Quirky

udftools 1.0.0b5

The UDF filesystem allows mounting of CD/DVD media read-write. Even write-once media, such as a CD-R, can be rewritten -- that is, if a file is to be changed, the new file gets written but the previous version remains, just becomes inaccessible.

I did briefly look at UDF in 2013, but only as far as mounting:

Fortunately, Puppy Forum member 'amigo' posted a comment, with a link to here:

amigo has collected lots of patches, which I have put into T2, except for '007-udftools-last-cvs.patch' as it failed.
There was one patch already in T2, a fix for gcc43.

I have compiled it for Wary64 (60K):

Now I have to learn how to use it...
Posted on 11 Feb 2015, 23:09 - Categories: Quirky

Wary64 6.98 (7.0 RC)

I have uploaded Wary64 6.98, or "7.0 Release Candidate".

Wary64 has the same code-base as April64. The only difference is smaller size, which is mostly achieved by providing a small subset of the Xorg drivers -- in particular, there is no llvm, mesa, opengl.

I also left out Qt4, which is required for the VLC media player. However, I discovered that the Xine media player, which only requires Xlib (not GTK or Qt libs), plays all of my test videos.
Xine is small, and works well with external ffmpeg libs.

Anyway, get Wary64 from here:

...as you can see, I did not manage to get down to 100MB, reaching 110.8MB!

A couple of packages not there are samba and pidgin. Instead of the latter, SeaMonkey provides IRC chat.

I also took out some less-needed kernel modules. This is what we used to call the "zdrv" (8MB):

Here is the "devx" PET (244MB):

These zdrv and devx PETs should also be available via the Package Manager -- just type "devx" and "linux_modules_extra" in the search box.

No live-CD yet. I intend to work on that next.
Posted on 11 Feb 2015, 7:24 - Categories: Quirky

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