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NVMe support in Easy and Quirky

April 09, 2018 — BarryK

Recently, Puppy Forum member 'scsijon' alerted me to the new NVMe Solid State Drives, and I compiled the Linux kernel with support for these drives enabled:

http://bkhome.org/news/201803/linux-kernel-41427-compiled.html

However, that is only the start of it. There are several scripts in woofQ (the Easy/Quirky builder) that need to be modified. 'wdlkmpx' has been adapting woof-CE to support NVMe:

https://github.com/puppylinux-woof-CE/woof-CE/issues/1115

The last couple of days, I have sifted through the woofQ scripts. Basically, just had to search for the string "mmc" or "mm", where there is special handling for MMC drives (SD cards), and add the special handling for NVMe.

NVMe drives have device nodes in /dev of the form "nvme[0-9]n[1-9]". Partitions are appended as "p<number>", for example "nvme0n1p3".

We should be ready to go for NVMe with the next release of EasyOS, coming soon.

Useful links on NVMe:

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2899351/everything-you-need-to-know-about-nvme.html

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drive/NVMe

https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/NVMe

https://itpeernetwork.intel.com/finding-your-new-intel-ssd-for-pcie-think-nvme-not-scsi/ 

Note, I have compiled kernel 4.14.32, getting ready for the next release of EasyOS.

Tags: easy, quirky

Gnome-MPV multimedia player for EasyOS

April 02, 2018 — BarryK

I posted about compiling Qt5-based SMPlayer and MPC-Qt multimedia players:

http://bkhome.org/news/201804/smplayer-mpc-qt-mpv-for-easyos.html

However, I am reluctant to include Qt5 in a build of EasyOS, due to it's size. Instead, I asked, are there any GTK frontends for MPV?

Yes, there is one, Gnome-MPV, written in C, but it wants GTK3. Project page:

https://github.com/gnome-mpv/gnome-mpv

I have been holding out, all apps in EasyOS use GTK2. time to capitulate, I guess.

I compiled GTK3 and Gnome-MPV, and it is a very pleasant surprise. A very simple and clean UI, plays my test videos nicely.

It also played a DVD. Clicked on the "+" icon, selected "Open location", then typed in "dvd://", yay, "The Lost Room" started playing.

Gnome-MPV will be in the next release of EasyOS Pyro64, along with GTK3. I won't post the PETs here, as there is a bit of needed icon infrastructure that will be in the next build.

So, we can compare with Xine-UI multimedia player, and decide if one of them should go -- coz, I am adding more and more packages to the build, getting fatter.

Tags: easy

SMPlayer, MPC-Qt, MPV for EasyOS

April 01, 2018 — BarryK

I have already posted about compiling Qt5 and two apps that use Qt5, Symphytum and VLC:

http://bkhome.org/news/201803/vlc-and-qt5-for-easyos-pyro64.html

http://bkhome.org/news/201803/symphytum-simple-database-manager.html

Now I have compiled MPV, a CLI multimedia player, and two Qt5-based GUI frontends for MPV, MPC-Qt and SMPlayer.

You can find them online:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-pyro/

Remember to install the Qt5 and MPV PETs also.

If you would like to compile any other frontend app for MPV, you will also need to install the mpv_DEV PET.

Tags: easy

Symphytum simple database manager

March 31, 2018 — BarryK

Symphytum is a simple and easy database manager, with a nice GUI. Project page:

https://giowck.github.io/symphytum/

I have compiled it in EasyOS Pyro64 0.8.1. It requires Qt5, so you must install both PETs (3.7MB, 31.9MB):

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-pyro/symphytum-2.3-pyro64.pet

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-pyro/qt5-5.10.1-pyro64.pet

Looks like a fun app to play with!

Tags: easy

VLC and Qt5 for EasyOS Pyro64

March 29, 2018 — BarryK

I have compiled VLC 3.0.1 and Qt5 5.10.1 in EasyOS Pyro64 0.8.1.

Qt5 is a dependency of VLC, to provide the GUI, so both of these must be installed (31.9MB, 5.7MB):

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-pyro/qt5-5.10.1-pyro64.pet

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-pyro/vlc-3.0.1-pyro64.pet

Working well on my PC. For the record, this is how I compiled Qt5:

# export QT5PREFIX=/usr
# ./configure -prefix $QT5PREFIX -sysconfdir /etc/xdg -confirm-license -opensource -dbus-linked -openssl-linked -system-harfbuzz -system-sqlite -nomake examples -no-rpath -skip qtwebengine -no-directfb -no-pulseaudio -skip qttranslations -skip qtserialport -no-warnings-are-errors  -no-gstreamer -archdatadir /usr/lib/qt5 -bindir /usr/bin -plugindir /usr/lib/qt5/plugins -importdir /usr/lib/qt5/imports -headerdir /usr/include/qt5 -datadir /usr/share/qt5 -docdir /usr/share/doc/qt5  -translationdir /usr/share/qt5/translations -examplesdir /usr/share/doc/qt5/examples -alsa
# make
# make install

Note that "new2dir make install" does not work properly (but it is easy to copy the installed files out of the .session folder). And VLC:

# ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu --disable-udev --disable-dbus --disable-altivec --enable-optimize-memory --enable-run-as-root --disable-lua --disable-httpd  --enable-faad --enable-flac --disable-pulse --enable-alsa --disable-skins2 --disable-atmo --disable-bonjour --disable-vsxu --disable-projectm --disable-goom --enable-libgcrypt --enable-gnutls --enable-dvdread --enable-dvdnav --enable-vlc --enable-schroedinger  --enable-theora --enable-mmx --enable-ncurses  --enable-dc1394 --enable-xvideo --with-x --disable-jack --enable-x264 --enable-qt --disable-libnotify --disable-smbclient --disable-dsm --disable-vdpau
# make
# new2dir make install

Note, had to put these in, as compile failed:

--disable-smbclient --disable-dsm --disable-vdpau

If you want to compile any other package that requires Qt5, you will need this (27.3MB):

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-pyro/qt5_DEV-5.10.1-pyro64.pet 

Tags: easy

Module-loading options fixed

March 20, 2018 — BarryK

The BootManager, /usr/sbin/bootmanager, which is in all pups going back many years, has three options for choosing which modules to load at bootup. There is "blacklist", "add" and "preference".

The "blacklist" option manages a list of modules that are blacklisted, that is, will not be loaded. This list is in variable 'SKIPLIST' in file /etc/rc.d/MODULESCONFIG, which is written to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf by /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit at bootup.

One qualification though, a blacklisted module can still be loaded manually, using the 'modprobe' utility, and will also be loaded if it is a dependency of another module that is loaded. Note, if you want to absolutely blacklist a module, including the above two, a line like this  in a .conf file will do it: "install <module name> /bin/false"

The "add" option is a list of modules that will be loaded, that would not have done so automatically. This is variable 'ADDLIST' in /etc/rc.d/MODULESCONFIG, and they are loaded by /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit

The "preference" option is to give one module preference over another, in the situation where two (or more) are contenders for the same hardware. This  was variable 'PREFLIST' in /etc/rc.d/MODULESCONFIG, and was loaded by 'pup_event_backend_modprobe'. However, this script has been removed, see earlier blog post:

http://bkhome.org/news/201802/revisiting-pupevent-first-changes.html

Also, variable 'PCI_OVERRIDES' is no longer supported, now removed. The "preference" option is removed from BootManager.

It's ok, the "preference" option is redundant anyway, blacklisting suffices.

Tags: easy, quirky

Linux kernel 4.14.27 compiled

March 16, 2018 — BarryK

I have compiled this in EasyOS Pyro64 0.8.1. That release came with kernel 4.14.23, which I compiled with the 'nvm' driver builtin, following advice from forum member scsijon:

  Device drivers
<*> NVM express block device

Yesterday, scsijon advised on the forum about the new very fast 'ufs' flash memory. Previously, I had the driver for this as a module. However, for the 4.14.27 compile, I have changed it to builtin:

  Device drivers -->  SCSI device support
SCSI low-level drivers
<*> Universal flash storage controller driver core
<*> PCI bus based ufs controller support
<m> Platform bus based ufs controller support

The intention is to support computers with these very new flash memory architectures at bootup.

Tags: easy, quirky

EasyOS Pyro64 0.8.1 released

March 14, 2018 — BarryK

Upgraded SeaMonkey, now at 2.49.2. New Inkscape 0.92.2, included in the build -- I like a good selection of graphics apps builtin, so this joins Gimp, LibreOffice-Draw, Dia, and mtPaint.

The Intel Xorg driver, 'xf86-video-intel' has been upgraded to a recent out of git. We are trying to find out why EasyOS is troublesome on some hardware. It is Intel GPU related.

The Xorg Wizard now has an option to switch between 'sna' and 'uxa' video acceleration, the latter suiting older hardware (I think).

Download:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/pyro/0.8.1/

We are discussing the stability issue on the Puppy Forum:

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=985156#985156

"Unfortunately", EasyOS is completely stable on my PCs, and all four of them have Intel video! So, I can't reproduce the problems myself.

Tags: easy