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Plans for next Quirky Pyro64

November 18, 2017 — BarryK

I have been away. Here is a photo:


While on holiday I couldn't get into the mood of doing any Linux development, but intend now to start putting together the next Pyro64. The current release is 0.5.

0.5 has the latest LibreOffice, that I compiled in Pyro64, and I had to use some inbuilt libs as some packages compiled in OpenEmbedded were too old. Had the same problem with latest SeaMonkey. For example, had to use SM's inbuilt icu, as the system package was too old.

The problem with this is that it makes the distribution bigger. So, I plan to do a recompile in OE, and bump the versions of some packages.

Another thing, plan to compile some extra perl modules in OE, as previously only had the base perl package. It seems that pplog, and probably some other apps, need extra perl modules. I think that I have figured out the extra modules needed.

Then, will build a new Quirky Pyro64, and compile the latest LibreOffice and SeaMonkey.

Also plan to upgrade the Linux kernel to 4.14.x, as this is LTS, supported for six years. Which is great.

So hopefully then I will build a Pyro64 which will also be a LTS. Might release it as version 0.6.

I previously mentioned creating a GUI wrapper for shellCMS and put into Pyro64 as a replacement for pplog personal blog. Haven't got very far with that.

Then there's Easy OS. Not forgotten, an idea is percolating.

Another photo:


Tags: oe, quirky

shellCMS bug fixes

November 10, 2017 — BarryK

There were a couple of bugs.

Using SeaMonkey Composer to create a new post, the shellcms script is supposed to wait until SM exits, before continuing with executing the script, however, sometimes did not wait. This was due to pidof being executed too soon.

When save a new post as a draft, the name of the file in the drafts folder was wrong.

The latest shellCMS is here:

GUI for shellCMS

Quirky and Easy still have PPLOG personal blog, in the "Personal" category of the menu. However, it no longer works.

I kept it in the menu, in the hope that it would be fixed. However, shellCMS can perform the same function, and a lot more. But first, I need to write a GUI for shellCMS.

shellCMS can then be used as a notes manager and blog, on local machine as well as a remote site. It may also be a replacement for Notecase.

The intention is, this shellCMS GUI will be in the next release of Pyro64.

Tags: shellcms

SeaMonkey 2.49.1 compiled in Pyro64

November 10, 2017 — BarryK

I have compiled SeaMonkey 2.49.1 for the next release of Pyro64.

It is a bit bigger, the PET package is up from 44MB to 51MB. Mostly this is because I was unable to link against the system 'nss' and 'icu' packages, and had to use SM's inbuilt packages.

nss and icu compiled in OE are too old. SM requires nss >= 3.28.6 and icu >= 58.1

Sometime in the future, I intend to do a recompile in OE with these later packages.

Tags: quirky

Optus Prepaid Ultimate Plus

November 07, 2017 — BarryK

I have been lamenting how quickly I churn through my AU$40 6GB prepaid data. However, I discovered that I am on an old prepaid plan, "Prepaid Ultimate", whereas Optus is now touting "Prepaid Ultimate Plus". I found that I had to manually upgrade.

Here are the details:

I probably don't qualify as a "new customer", so don't get that one-time bonus data. But, for AU$50 get 10GB per 28 days. I can manage with that.

Data rollover too, that is nice, for those months when I use less data.

Hey, I wonder what they will call the next one? "Prepaid Ultimate Plus Extreme"?

Tags: tech

Xcalc crash fixed

November 06, 2017 — BarryK

In both Pyro32 and Pyro64 (versions 0.5), the xlib-based calculator xcalc crashes on startup, and also brings down Xorg.

When this was reported on the forum, I tested xcalc ...and it worked!

Later, in a pristine first-bootup of Pyro32 0.5, tried xcalc again, this time it did crash, as did Xorg. So, I tried in a terminal and got this message:

# xcalc -h
Warning: Cannot convert string "calculator" to type Pixmap

A bit of research, found that xcalc looks for file /usr/include/X11/bitmaps/calculator, which doesn't exist. In fact, /usr/include doesn't exist, and it may be the missing folders that brings down Xorg.

The missing file is in package "xbitmaps", which is in the "devx" PET. So, of course, it clicked in my mind. When xcalc did work for me, devx PET was installed.

Solution, click the "install" icon on the desktop to run the Package Manager, do a search for "xbitmaps" -- it is in the "oe-pyro" package. Install it, xcalc will then work.

Changing the subject. yesterday's upload of Pyro32 0.5 was about 2GB, the day before I uploaded all of the "oe-pyro" binary packages which was about 1GB -- that is 3GB, half of my $40 6GB monthly prepaid allowance!
I'm with Optus, might change over to Vodafone as they are offering 14GB for the same price. This is for my mobile phone, that is how I access the internet, phone as a wi-fi hot-spot. The downside with Vodafone is they don't have quite the same 3G/4G coverage as Optus.

Anyway, thanks again for the donations, it is covering this expenditure!

Tags: quirky

Quirky Pyro32 version 0.5 released

November 05, 2017 — BarryK

It has been a long time since I have built a 32-bit distro!

Release notes:



Minimum CPU requirement is Pentium-Pro (i686). Minimum RAM -- don't know, probably 1GB. For PCs with BIOS-firmware, not for post-2012 UEFI-firmware PCs. Will only recognise a maximum of 4GB RAM. The Linux kernel will recognise multi-core CPUs.

Tags: quirky

xine-ui, inkscapelite imported into OE

November 02, 2017 — BarryK

Two more this afternoon.


This is an xlib-based GUI media player, using xine-lib. I had already compiled xine-lib in OE, but the player was compiled as a PET in a running Quirky Pyro64. Now imported into OE:


Wow, this one is a major achievement! Very cross-compiler unfriendly. I had attempted to compile in OE a few times, took up the challenge again this afternoon, this time, success.

One hurdle is that it compiles a binary executable, src/libnr/gen_nr_config, which is then run to test the sizes of variables, and creates src/libnr/nr_config.h

However, this is a cross-compiler environment, so the above is a no-no. OE does have an official way to handle this situation, which is to create another package "inkscapelite-native", which compiles in the host environment, and only needs to compile that gen_nr_config. Then inkscapelite-native can be used as a dependency for the inkscapelite package.

The problem is, I have not yet grasped the implementation details. It is poorly documented, and my nice big OE reference book doesn't even mention the topic. If you are reading this, and do now how to do it, I would greatly appreciate a walk-through on how -- kindly send me an email via the Contact link at top of this page.

Anyway, I came up with a workaround, a hack solution. Committed:

Celebration was short-lived however, as testing the executable in a running Pyro64, crash at startup. Same thing for inkscapelite compiled in a running Pyro64, as reported by the guys on the Puppy Forum who are testing Quirky Pyro64 0.5.

It could be traced, and the place where the crash happens can be found. However, maybe the time has come to retire inkscapelite. I am fond of it, as it is so small, and quite a useful app. However, Pyro64 has the Draw module of LibreOffice, so SVG editing is covered.

Tags: oe

Notecase imported into OE

November 02, 2017 — BarryK

Notecase is a hierarchical notes manager, one of the essential apps in all Puppies and derivatives.

The problem was, I was unable to compile it in OpenEmbedded, so Pyro64 has notecase compiled in a running Pyro64. But, it is partly broken. Images in GTK themes do not load, and cause notecase to hang, as well as spit out a continuous stream of errors on stderr.

In my notes, I have written that notecase in Slackware has the same problem, but I don't recall any details.

To workaround the bug, Pyro64 0.5 is running notecase via a wrapper script:

#170512 Pyro64, images from gtk themes don't display.
#workaround for now, use a theme without images...
export GTK2_RC_FILES=/usr/share/themes/Default/gtk-2.0/gtkrc
exec /usr/bin/notecase.bin "$@"

This morning, I had another go at compiling notecase in OE, and this time succeeded. The source has its own inbuilt zlib, which gave an error due to the cross-compile environment, and despite this error being reported many times in a google search, I could not pin down a fix.

The workaround was to use libz.a already compiled in OE, and success. Then a surprise -- I tested the notecase executable in a running Pyro64, and it works perfectly, GTK theme images load. Well, well, I shall just accept this little bonus.

Here is the github commit:


I bumped mp (cli text editor) from version 3.2.13 to 3.3.17, as the menu wasn't working. OK now. Note, mp is named "mped" in OE.

Tags: oe