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Fixing Quirky save-session

July 11, 2017 — BarryK
Testers of Quirky Xerus64 8.1.6 experienced issues with saving a session in a live-CD or frugal installation.

The good news is that I fixed one show-stopper bug. It was to do with an incorrect path when using overlay instead of aufs.

The bad news is that I have hit another show-stopper bug, that seems to be a fault in overlay filesystem.
I am running kernel 4.11.9, so very recent overlay driver.

Booting the live-CD, have a zram on top, the read-write layer, and q.sfs on the bottom, the read-only layer.
When I tried to run "rm -rf <folder>" it spat out lots of errors about directories "not empty".

I googled, and found people reporting this error when using btrfs, or overlay.
btrfs I expect, it is flakey.

This is one of the overlayfs reports:

OK, I am going to compile the 4.11.9 kernel with aufs, see if that fixes it.


New theme for Quirky

July 10, 2017 — BarryK
As I mentioned in a post yesterday, the last official release of Quirky Xerus x86_64 was in January 2017:

Ubuntu Xenial Xerus 16.04 is LTS (Long Term Supported), reaching EOL (End Of Life) in April 2021.
So, I intend to keep Quirky Xerus going for the next couple of years.

That being the case, we are due for another release. I intend this to be version 8.2, and a beta or RC before that.

Most of yesterday and this morning I worked on a new theme. Mostly created brand new themes for each of GTK, JWM, wallpaper and icons.
And, I have got to comment, it looks stunning.

I would probably have described some of my earlier themes as "stunning" also, such as the various green themes, but they weren't to everyone's liking.
This new one is very different, so we shall see ...I won't post a snapshot, will build the suspense

I will be monitoring this forum thread:

Tags: quirky, linux

0setup script fails in Woof

July 08, 2017 — BarryK
The '0setup' script in Woof* downloads package database files and converts them to Puppy-standard-format.

Sometime ago, yes I have a date, 160411, I applied a fix to the 0setup script in woofQ. UTF-8 multi-byte characters were breaking the script for Ubuntu-based builds.

These characters only occur in the description fields of the Ubuntu database files.

Back then, I inserted this code into 0setup, around line 200:
      #[ $RETSTAT -eq 0 ] && mv -f $xDLFILE ${PKGLISTFILE}pre

#160411 filter out utf-8 chars...
if [ $RETSTAT -eq 0 ];then
iconv -c -f utf-8 -t ascii $xDLFILE > ${PKGLISTFILE}pre
rm -f $xDLFILE

Today, the script was again failing. But it wasn't obvious that it failed. The Ubuntu "updates" DB files were not getting completely converted to Puppy-format, it was stopping partway through.

I wouldn't have known, except that discovered a DEB that I knew to be in the updates db, wasn't in the build, only the original version.

It took me hours, staring at the screen and wondering what was wrong. Eventually, the penny dropped, the above code also has to be inserted further down, around line 398.
That's where the update database files are being downloaded.

Well, those line numbers are in woofQ, but I just now looked in woof-CE and the line number for insertion will be 272 ...oh, it has become very different from my script, that is the only place that I can see to insert.

Note, the failure occurs at the assignment of "MANIPULATED1".

Woof-CE page:

Note also, another way to do the conversion:
# perl -i.bk -pe 's/[^[:ascii:]]//g;' filename
where filename.bk will become the original file.

Tags: linux

Kernel 4.11.9 and firmware

July 08, 2017 — BarryK
Running Quirky Xerus x86_64 8.1.90 on my midi-tower PC, have compiled Linux kernel 4.11.9. This will be used in the next release of Quirky Xerus -- the official final release is expected to be version 8.2. Note, the current official release is 8.1.6, back in January 2017.

The PETs(31.4M, 1.1M, 145.7M):

The kernel source and build scripts:
u*se*rn*am*e: p*up*py p*as*sw*or*d: l*in*ux

Have also created firmware PETs for networking and gpu. Note that creation of these PETs is quite easy. In a recent Quirky Linux, look in /usr/local/firmware. There you will find a couple of scripts and instructions.

I am currently getting most of the non-free firmware from here:

Firmware PETs (6.2M, 28.1M):


Intermittent hang at bootup

July 07, 2017 — BarryK
There is a very old bug, the PC hanging at bootup. Puppy Forum member ETP reported it. I looked at the code where the hang occurs. It only happens occasionally, well rarely, for me, so I have ignored it. But, ETP is getting it more frequently. It seems to be hardware related, and I have implemented what is probably a fix.

My response to ETP is here:

hdparm man page:

I see that woof-CE still has that line with "hdparm" (line 761), so maybe they should consider removing it also:


Qsync internationalized

July 07, 2017 — BarryK
I wrote Qsync late last year, a GUI utility to sync the time via an Internet time server:

I neglected to apply 'gettext' to the strings. L18L has now done so:

Put into woofQ.

The last official release of Quirky, apart from various pre-alpha, alpha and beta experiments, was the PC x86_64 Xerus Quirky 8.1.6, in January 2017:

Ubuntu's Xenial Xerus is an LTS release, so still has life in it. Xerus 8.1.6 is what I am using everyday on my desktop PC.

So, time for a new release, I reckon. It will probably be Quirky Xerus 8.2, with at least one RC.
Apart from updating to the latest Ubuntu Xenial Xerus update DEBs, will probably also compile the latest SeaMonkey and Linux kernel (4.12?).

Tags: quirky, linux

mdview markdown viewer

July 06, 2017 — BarryK
Recently I uploaded my "oe-qky-src" to github, and installed Smartgit to manage it locally:

Then I realised, there is no viewer for markdown files. Markdown is the format used for readme files in github.
There isn't even mime type handling for markdown.

I determined that the correct mime type is "text/markdown":

And fantastic, we have an "in house" markdown viewer, named 'mdview', created by jamesbond. This is a GUI viewer, but also is a converter on the commandline, to formats such as html.

jamesbond's mdview project site:

Puppy forum thread discussing mdview:

woofQ is now setup to recognise the mime type, ROX-Filer will display a special icon, and click on a *.md file will open it in mdview.

Tags: linux

MoManager 20170630

July 06, 2017 — BarryK
I wrote the original MoManager, a GUI to make it easy, well easier, to creat non-English language pack PETs for Puppy and Puppy-derivatives.

Forum member L18L has been maintaining it for some years now, and has greatly enhanced it. A forum thread is here:

The latest is '', which is essentially one script, /usr/sbin/momanager. I have copied this script into woofQ.

So, the pet is not needed, woofQ has, since the beginning, had that script builtin.

Tags: linux