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woofQ tarball uploaded

July 19, 2017 — BarryK
For anyone who wants it, this is a tarball of woofQ, as used to build Quirky Xerus x86_64 version 8.2 final.

Download (47M):

It will expand to folder 'woof-project' and at woof-project/quirky/ there is a README file, also another useful README inside woof-project/quirky/woof-code.

Note, I maintain woofQ online as a "bones" minimalistic VCS, see explanation here:

Tags: quirky, linux

Quirky Xerus64 8.2 final

July 19, 2017 — BarryK
This is it, the final official version 8.2 release of Quirky Linux Xerus series. This is for PCs with x86_64 (64-bit) CPUs.

Announcement blurb and release notes are here:

There is a beautiful new theme:

There is a choice to download, either a live-CD ISO file, or an image file for 8GB or greater USB Flash stick. Install instructions:

Primary download site:
Fast mirror:

To turn Quirky into a complete compiler environment, install just one PET package (334M):
Also, kernel patched source is available as a PET (146M):

To patch and compile the kernel:, and
U#se#r: p#up#py P#as#sw#or#d: l#in#ux

Forum thread for feedback:

Please note that I have not provided a Service Pack to upgrade from Xerus 8.1.6, as I want to examine some possible issues with the mechanism. I do expect though, upgrade to 8.2.1 will be by a simple Service Pack PET package.


Alpha Litebook laptop

July 18, 2017 — BarryK
Puppy Forum member muggins (David) purchased one of these laptops:

However, he decided that he didn't want it, and offered it to me. I offered to pay him something, but he didn't want any money. That is extremely generous.

The reason behind the offer, is I posted awhile back that I wanted to replace my baby laptop with Cherry Trail CPU, as it has problems running Linux.

The Alpha Litebook has a Intel Celeron N3150 CPU, which is 14nm technology, 6W TDP and 1.6GHz (2.1GHz burst). This is a more Linux-froendly CPU.

It arrived this afternoon, and I eagerly fired it up. It comes with Linux, however, I am keen to run Quirky Linux on it.
No problem with configuring the UEFI-setup to boot from a Quirky Xerus 8.2 USB stick, but...

The kernel loaded, then just got a blank screen with a blinking cursor at lop-left. Rebooted with "loglevel=7" so I can see what is happening, and saw messages like this:

ata3: Link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)
ata3: SRST failed (errno=-16)
ata3: Reset failed

Anyway, after 2 minutes and 20 seconds, spewing out the above messages repeatedly, it booted and I got a desktop. Well, after bootup, it all looks good, sound, drives all working.

I examined the GRUB config, can't see any special kernel boot parameters. So, the next thing to do is compare the kernel configuration of the Linux that the laptop came with. It is kernel 4.4.66.

Quite a nice laptop, hi-res screen, good specs for such a low price.


Quirky Xerus64 8.2 coming soon

July 18, 2017 — BarryK
I thought that I had built 8.2 final this afternoon, but it failed one test. This is what can happen when one introduces changes at the 12th hour.

The problem is the introduction of the ntfs-3g driver into the initramfs, as I reported yesterday:

I had compiled this driver statically sometime ago, I thought that it was configured to use its internal fuse driver. The ntfs-3g driver can be configured to have its own internal fuse driver, or use the fuse driver of the Linux kernel.

Testing "8.2", the ntfs-3g driver reported fuse to be missing. There is no setup to have kernel modules in the initramfs, all drivers required for bootup are expected to be builtin to the kernel.

Instead of recompiling the ntfs-3g driver, I decided to recompile the kernel. Have bumped to the latest, 4.11.11, and just made one change, fuse driver now builtin. It is compiling right now.

So, hopefully, 8.2 will be out about another 24 hours from now. Will of course have to do more sanity testing before releasing.

Tags: quirky, linux


July 17, 2017 — BarryK
As well as the "peasy" series, rcrsn51 also created Yet Another Share Mounter (YASSM) for Samba. Now up to version 3.0:

Quirky has version 2.9, have updated to 3.0.

Tags: quirky, linux

ntfs-3g driver in initramfs

July 17, 2017 — BarryK
The guys on the Puppy Forum are testing Quirky 8.1.94, most recently an issue with ntfs:

There is something strange going on here. The Linux kernel has the ntfs driver builtin, and configured to allow writes when ntfs partitions are mounted.

Except that we can't. Get an error when try to write. It used to work, something has changed.

Anyway, writing to an ntfs filesystem is supposed to be less reliable using the kernel driver, and ntfs-3g fuse-based driver is preferred.

I didn't have ntfs-3g in the initramfs as compiled statically it is about 410KB. Have now put it in and modified the 'init' script to use it.

This is a good thing, as writing to ntfs filesystems will now be more reliable. Though, it may be possible to avoid writing from the initramfs, and remount with ntfs-3g when running in the main Quirky f.s.

The downside of ntfs-3g is that being fuse-based, it is slow.

Tags: quirky, linux

JWMDesk 2.3

July 16, 2017 — BarryK
Forum member radky has created JWMDesk, a very comprehensive GUI desktop manager, for configuring JWM and many other things:

It overlaps configuration tools already in Quirky, however has the advantage of being an integrated manager.

So, I have decided to give it a go in Quirky. The latest version is 2.3, and I have created a PET named ''. The "-1" is because I have made a couple of changes -- I removed the '' file, and created /usr/local/jwmdesk/window_width with "510" in it.

The problem with is that it has absolute paths in it, so not suitable for woof* builder. Also, I scanned through it, and I couldn't see anything that is really required. Admittedly, my look was brief, but a quick check (also brief), it seems to work without having run

JWMDesk will be in the next Quirky.


UrxvtControl 1.3

July 16, 2017 — BarryK
Ha ha, I was lamenting the proliferation of GUI popup message box utilities in Quirky:

I have now removed one of them: 'yad'.

It is only required by 'urxvtset', a urxvt terminal emulator configuration utility:

However, I have removed urxvtset, replaced it with radky's UrxvtControl 1.3:

Tags: quirky, linux