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Devuan package repositories

June 17, 2018 — BarryK

I mystery. I am getting woofQ setup for building from Devuan DEB packages. There used to be a 'merged' directory, which I think had all of the specially-modified non-systemd DEBs, plus everything else from the Debian repo.

However, looking in the Devuan repo for the latest release, Ascii (2.0), which is based upon Debian Stretch (9.0), the 'merged' path is, well, not merged.

It seems that we have to get the Devuan-modified DEBs from the Devuan repo, and the rest from the Debian repo.

Here is a mirror of the Devuan repo:

...look in folder 'a', no 'abiword' (for example).

To get abiword, we have to go to the Debian repo, for example here, look in 'a':

Some guys have been creating Devuan-based Puppies.  Forum member musher0 did a Jessie-based Devuan:

Forum member Sailor Enceladus did a Ascii-based Devuan:

...which I have just downloaded, to see how he tackled the DEB repository problem.

The light has come on. The package database at merged/dists/ascii/binary-amd64/Packages.xz has everything, the Devuan and the Debian DEBs. In the field that has the path to the DEB, there is "pool/DEVUAN/..." or "pool/DEBIAN/...", and the online repository at merged/pool/main has a server rewrite rule, that redirects to wherever the DEB actual is.

Tags: linux

PureOS 8.0 Linux distribution

June 13, 2018 — BarryK

As I have ordered the Librem 5 phone dev-kit, which will have a PureOS-based distribution on it, I thought that probably the upcoming docs might assume a host development PC to be running their x86_64 PureOS, so I installed it. Downloaded from here:

Burnt it to a DVD, booted and the menu offered "Test or Install", which booted up running in RAM. Clicking top-left, some icons dropdown, and I chose "install", which runs the "PureOS Installer".

It is quite a nice installer. I was able to chose one partition that had nothing in it (sda5), and not to install a boot manager (as I already have ReFind, that I will edit manually). I took the precaution of unplugging one of the hard drives, my main work drive.

It installed OK, except changed some of the drive partition numbering, which was odd. Even odder, it changed the labels on all of the partitions -- unexpected and not nice!

Also, it changed the hardware clock to UTC, whereas I have it set to localtime. I hate it when an installer does that. It is saying, to hell with the other OSs, this is how it is going to be! There was nowhere after bootup to choose UTC or localtime for the hardware clock. Later, I booted Easy and changed the hardware clock back to localtime. Then rebooting PureOS, it was still correct time, as it was reading it from the Internet.

The file manager is the usual awful Gnome thing, so dumbed down.

One more thing: at first bootup it asked for a new password, and there was a checkbox to bootup without password -- except it doesn't work, requires a password.

Using PureOS was OK, just a matter of getting familiar with where everything is, but whenever I test a Linux distro, I always feel relieved when I get back to Easy/Quirky/Puppy.

Here is the PureOS website:

Back in mid-2016, I compared the Ubuntu and Debian installers:

Tags: linux

Aboriginal Linux 1.2.0.x resuscitated

March 09, 2018 — BarryK

Over the years, developing Puppy and derivatives, I have had a need to compile some utilities statically.

It has been ad-hoc, using different uClibc and Musl filesystems. Now, I am making it more formal, and reproducable and useable by anyone.

Rob Landley's Aboriginal Linux is an archived project. I am bring it back, specifically the uClibc based version.

Introduction is here:

Download (228MB):

And what to do after downloading:

if anyone is interested, you are welcome to play!

Forum feedback:

Have fun!

Tags: linux

Finally, success with OpenADK

March 06, 2018 — BarryK

I wanted the 'dmsetup' utility compiled statically, for use in initramfs. This is in the LVM2 package. It turned out to be a saga of many many hours...

Unfortunately, both OpenEmbedded and Landley Aboriginal dropped support for uClibc, going over to musl. What is really odd, is the developers on both of these projects gave the same reason, that uClibc is a dead project. That is very odd, as uClibc-ng is very active. Were they ignorant of the existence of uClib-ng? -- incredible if so.

Anyway, musl. have used it many time, just don't like it. uClibc is far more glibc-compatible, and hence far easier to compile source packages.

I did attempt to compile 'dmsetup' in an Alpine Linux x86_64 musl rootfs, but finally used Landley's Aboriginal x86_64 uClibc rootfs, version 1.2.0 -- very old, but it works great. year 2012 in fact.

However, uClibc does not have the fmemopen() function, so I had to compile an older LVM2 that does not require that function -- version 2.02.119. Success, compiled it statically, about 500KB stripped.


I ruminated on what other rootfs's and toolchains there are out there, that will have a recent version of uClibc. One of them is OpenADK, that I have tried a few times over the years, always failed, see these reports:

Decided to have another go!

Downloaded the latest snapshot, ran "make menuconfig" and then "make", hit some failures, fixed them, but finally gcc compile failed with "unable to determine size of (long long)".

Scratched my head for sometime over that, but then it occurred to me that my host system might not support "long long". That does not seem to good, but anyway. My host is EasyOS Pyro64, the packages were compiled in OpenEmbedded, targeting embedded systems, and perhaps this is one compromise.

So, went over to Quirky Xerus64 8.5, which is built with Ubuntu 16.04.4 DEBs. This time success:

# make distclean
copy DOTconfig to .config
# make menuconfig
# make
copy /usr/bin/autom4te to openadk/host_x86_64-oe-linux/usr/bin/
# make you can see above, a couple of little tricks were required, the "export FORCE_UNSAFE_CONFIGURE=1", and coreutils wanted a "autom4te" file.

It finished, and built a toolchain. Now I need to study the docs, see how to compile packages, and built a development rootfs.

Tags: linux

Easy network printing with CUPS

January 12, 2018 — BarryK

I have been trying all day to setup printing over a small network, just two PCs running Easy 0.6.6, connected to an ethernet router (and to the Internet via wi-fi wan, to my mobile phone hotspot).

One PC, my "midi-tower", has a Brother HL-2040 laser printer connected via USB port. Local printing works fine. The other PC is my Mele "mini-pc", and I want to be able to print from it.

The problem is, I cannot get the "ipp" protocol to work. I have studied online documentation, and can get the client machine, my mini-pc, to see the remote printer, however when do an actual print, get the dreaded "Filter failed".

As stated, I have messed around all day, trying different things. Then, I found something that "just works", very simple. I would like to acknowledge "paulkerry" for this info:

Just a comment: there is a lot of outdated, vague, ambiguous and misleading documentation about CUPS online. For example, one "very official" site explained the format of the ipp protocol as:


...without explaining that only "hostname" and "printername" must be substituted, and the text "printers" must be left as-is. There wasn't even an example, nor was it properly explained how to find the printername.

Anyway, I did learn how to specify ipp properly, but got stuck at "Filter failed".

The method described by paulkerry works, so here is a little tutorial to explain how to set it up. Note, I plan to semi-automate this, by extending QuickSamba, which I plan to rename to EasyShare. Anyway, the tut...

1: Firewall

I ran the firewall setup on both client (my mini-pc) and server (my midi-tower) PCs, so that the CUPS port (631) is enabled. In this snapshot, I have also enabled Samba ports, but that isn't necessary for just printing with CUPS:


On the server-PC, just setup the local printer as you normally would, but tick some extra boxes...

2: Server PC

You need to have the cupsd daemon running and point the web browser at http://localhost:631. In Puppy/Quirky/Easy, you do this by running the "CUPS Printer Wizard":


A window will popup asking if you want to add a new printer, and you click "Yes", then you will get the CUPS web interface:

image on "Adding Printers and Classes", then the next window:

images each of those, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Do not miss "Change Settings". Probably "Allow remote administration" is optional, but I enabled it, as I was then able to bring up the CUPS web interface of the server-PC on my client-PC. Next window...

...well, anyone who has setup a local printer will be familiar with this. Continuing, as per usual, except an important checkbox to tick...

...the first two boxes are pre-filled. It is not essential, but useful, to fill "Location". And, you must tick "Share This Printer".

In the next window, you choose a driver...


And set some printer options...


That's it, the server-PC is setup. Before setting up the client, you will need to know the IP-address of the server. A few ways of doing that. Open a terminal and type "ifconfig", and you will see it -- in my case it is "":


In Puppy/Easy/Quirky, there is no need to edit the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf main configuration file, as it is pre-configured OK. Note, for this tutorial, I am running pristine EasyOS Pyro64 version 0.6.6.

Now for the client-PC...

3: Client PC

Over on my Mele mini-pc, setup is easy-peasy. I created file /etc/cups/client.conf...


...with content just one line, "ServerName <ip address of server>"

Finally, restart the cupsd daemon...


...and run "lpstat -t" to verify that the remote printer is found.

That's it, nothing more to do. If you ran an application and choose "Print...", the remote printer will be offered, in my case, my Brother HL-2040.

Also, the CUPS web interface of the server can be accessed from the client, by going to "" in the client web browser.

As stated, I have thoughts how this setup can be semi-automated, including automatic creation and update (if the ip-address changes) of /etc/cups/client.conf. Stay tuned.

Tags: linux, easy, quirky

Intel and AMD video conflict

December 30, 2017 — BarryK

I reported yesterday about the result of plugging in my AMD Radeon HD6870 card:


Booting Easy Pyro64 0.6.4 from USB-drive, get a desktop. Fine, but 'glxinfo' reported software rasterising. Also, exit from X to commandline results in a blank screen. Also, under certain conditions, that I have not yet narrowed down, there is a hang at bootup.

My midi-tower PC also has on-board Intel video. There is a file, /etc/modeprobe.d/i915.conf containing this:

options i915 modeset=1

And /etc/modeprobe.d/radeon.conf, both with this:

options radeon modeset=1

I simply removed the i915.conf file, rebooted, and that fixed the exit-from-X-to-commandline, also bootup-to-commandline-no-X., but then I restored i915.conf, and exit-from-X-to-commandline, also bootup-to-commandline-no-X, are still fixed. Hmmm. The UEFI-Setup is showing on-board video as disabled ...the UEFI must have done that automatically? I don't know. There's too much that I don't know here.

This needs more testing, and rerwin's thoughts on this are also very helpful:

I will append to this post as I discover more.

Tags: easy, quirky, linux

Problems with JWM window manager

December 28, 2017 — BarryK

I have been using JWM 2.3.7 in recent builds of Quirky and Easy, however, have encountered rather a lot of bugs. The most recent report was choosing the "Move" option from the right-click menu in a window title-bar crashing JWM -- which brings down all of X.

So, I have been compiling and testing the latest from github, but this has not been smooth sailing, as I have reported to the Puppy Forum:

So, with revision 1675, ~/.jwmrc needs new <Mouse> tags, else is broken. It looks like Joe will fix that, so it defaults to working without those tags.

I keep thinking that I liked the old revision 976... it was pretty rock solid. I hunted through the Pup Forum for any reports of bugs with 976...

666philb reported 976 fixed a bug:

Ah, I recall someone mentioned this one... Hesse James reported 976 cannot properly display additional vertical trays:

For the JWMDesk app, radky commented about an icon-sizing problem with vertical panels in 976:

Incidentally, radky is continuing to support older versions of JWM in his JWMDesk.

Tags: easy, quirky, linux