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PupSysInfo 2.7

July 16, 2017 — BarryK
Puppy forum member radky created PupSysInfo, a very detailed system information GUI app for Puppy.

Quirky has version 2.6.3, however radky has released 2.7:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=73101

I have upgraded the PET for Quirky.

Note, Quirky also has HardInfo, which is written in C and requires GTK.
https://github.com/lpereira/hardinfo

They are similar, but PupSysInfo is specifically designed for Puppy (and Puppy-derivatives), so provides more Puppy-specific information.

Tags: quirky, linux

PeasyPort 2.2

July 16, 2017 — BarryK
Puppy Forum member rcrsn51 created the "peasy" series of apps for Puppy.

Quirky has many of them, including PeasyPort, a network scanner. Quirky has version 2.0, but rcrsn51 has now released version 2.2:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=79913

I have created a PET, named 'peasyscan-noarch-2.2.pet' and updated Quirky.

Note, rcrsn51's PET has two binary executables, 'pnscan' and 'arp-scan', but Quirky already has those, so I have repackaged the PET without them.

Tags: quirky, linux

aemenu-pango, replaceit

July 16, 2017 — BarryK
These are a couple more binary utilities used by musher0 in his recently-used-files PET. I have decided to put these utilities into Quirky. I already posted about 'bcm' yesterday:
http://bkhome.org/news/201707/bcm-popup-messages.html

aemenu-pango
This is the aemenu utility from the wewm project, modified by vovchik to support pango markup of text:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=107578

I have compiled it in Quirky Xerus 8.1.94 and created a PET. The binary will be at /usr/bin/aemenu-pango

replaceit
This is a simple text file string replacement utility:
http://www.pldaniels.com/replaceit/

I have compiled it and created a PET. The binary will be at /usr/bin/replaceit.

Tags: quirky, linux

Live-CD ask save at shutdown

July 16, 2017 — BarryK
When Quirky Xerus is booted from CD, or a frugal installation, there is a "save" icon on the desktop, for saving the session to internal or external drive.

The save window has a checkbox, which if ticked, will bring up the save window at every shutdown. This defaults to unticked, as I was thinking of users who might only want to save a session occasionally.

However, one tester reported having lost some work, setting up a theme. He forgot to save. Hmmm, this is because he has a Puppy Linux background, where a window pops up at shutdown asking if want to save the session.

In deference to those with a Puppy Linux background, I have changed the default to ask at shutdown.
So now, even if you have never clicked the desktop "save" icon, you will be asked at shutdown. Every shutdown, but you can untick the checkbox if you don't want to be asked at every shutdown.

Tags: quirky, linux

bcm popup messages

July 15, 2017 — BarryK
BaCon Cairo Messenger (bcm) is a popup message box for shell scripts, written by forum member vovchik.

Oh dear, not another one! I am losing count of how many there are already in Quirky. Well, we have these:

pupmessage, xdialog, gxmessage, xmessage, popup, gtkdialog, yad, pupdialog, gtkdialog-splash

So, why not have one more!

I was reading about MRUF created by musher0, a PET to list most-recently-used files. His PET has three binary executables, so I thought why not put those binaries into Quirky.

Starting with bcm. This is a very pretty popup messenger thingy, written in BaCon. Vovchik posted about it here:
http://basic-converter.proboards.com/thread/869/revised-bacon-cairo-messenger

I have compiled it and created a PET. It will be in the next Quirky. It is /usr/bin/bcm, only 39KB. I also included the source in the PET, /usr/share/doc/bcm/bcm.bac and a help file, bcm.txt.

Tags: quirky, linux

Take-a-Shot screenshot utility

July 15, 2017 — BarryK
Quirky 8.1.94 has two screenshot utilities, and old one, mtPaint-snapshot, and one created by 01micko: Screeny.

Yesterday, musher0 informed me that there is a very good screenshot utility named Take-a-Shot, created by SFR.

I looked, here it is:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=84528

Tried it out, it sure is cool. So, it is going into the next Quirky.
I will leave the others in, so users will be spoilt for choice. But, they are so tiny, doesn't matter.

Tags: quirky, linux

GetFlash get Flash Player fixed

July 15, 2017 — BarryK
Forum member shinobar originally wrote GetFlash. Quirky Xerus 8.1.94 has version 1.5-4b, but testers have reported it no longer works, that is, fails to download the latest Adobe Flash Player.

Fortunately, some of the guys, rerwin, Geofrey and Sailor Enceladus, have continued work on it. The latest is 1.7-1:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=960815&sid=ed47b4503c3fd614bdab0fe0eaebd2c4#960815

I have tested it, it works. This will be in the next Quirky.

Note, it has an optional new feature, created by Geoffrey, to auto-update the Flash Player. It defaults to off, but if you want to try that feature, note that sszindian reported that it locks up SeaMonkey:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=960827#960827

I don't know why it would lockup, unless the update is happening after SeaMonkey has been started.

Tags: quirky, linux

Puppy versus Quirky

July 15, 2017 — BarryK
A tester of Quirky Xerus64 8.1.94 (8.2beta), has complained about the lack of a "pupsave" file, and slow shutdown.

Someone with a Puppy background needs to be aware that Quirky has some philosophical differences from Puppy, and be prepared to embrace them.

Quirky is intended primarily to be a full installation. For other distributions, such as Ubuntu, Debian and Slackware, a full install is all they offer. Basically, a full install just means that the distro occupies an entire partition, and it has to have a Linux filesystem, such as ext4.

A full install may or may not have an initramfs. This is a mini-Linux that runs in RAM before the main distro partition is started up. Quirky does not have a initramfs. Debian for the desktop does, for the Pi doesn't.
The reasons for and against an initramfs are a topic for another time!

Quirky's full install has a fundamental difference from other distros, due to the ramdisk-based snapshot/recovery/rollback mechanism, called "easyinit".

Quirky is deployed as a live-CD ISO file, but this is not as flexible as Puppy. Puppy has several modes, known as PUPMODEs, one of which is, running from live-CD, to have a "pupsave" file mounted as a layer in the aufs layered filesystem.
What this means is that all changes get automatically and immediately saved to hard drive. The downside to this is that it is limited by the size of the pupsave file, but then, if you make it big to start with, say 5GB, then you are good to go for awhile.
Ditto for a frugal installation -- this is similar to a live-CD in that Puppy can also have a pupsave file.

Quirky live-CD and frugal installation run totally in RAM. There was a philosophical choice made not to use a pupsave file. One reason is for those people who want to be as invisible on the Internet as possible, or as secure as possible. any changes happen in RAM only. The user can choose to save the current session at any time, by clicking the "save" icon on the desktop. But a security-conscious user may choose to do that only when there is some change, such as Internet-setup, or a package installed.

Note though, Quirky can be configured to bring up the session-save window at every shutdown, so you can decide whether you want to save the current session or not.

There two limitations to consider with this totally-running-in-RAM situation:

One is the size of RAM. My laptop has 4GB of RAM, however Quirky assigns about 5.3GB working space -- this is because zram compression is used. So that's how much space you have for installing packages, caching, etc. Though, Quirky dumps all caching in /var at shutdown, to save space.
So, if you have a reasonable amount of RAM in your PC, you are pretty much OK. If you download files, you would do that to the hard drive, so as not to bulk up your session in RAM -- so you do need to have that awareness.
There is a storage icon in the tray that will start flashing if RAM space is getting low.

Two, as everything is running in RAM, when you save a session to hard drive (or external drive), the session has to be copied in its entirety to the save-file. In Quirky, the save-file is named s.sfs, and it is a squashfs filesystem. And yes, if at any time you want to see your saved files, just click on s.sfs and you can view the contents.
Saving a session is done by the 'mksquashfs' utility, and the time this takes depends on how much there is to save. It starts off just a couple of seconds. If your session grows to say 5GB, then a save may take a minute.

There are some future possibilites for keeping the session small. For a frugal installation, there is q.sfs (all of Quirky) and s.sfs. It is possible to transfer installed packages out of s.sfs, to q.sfs. It could even be done when the package is installed.

In fact, I might do this soon, as it is easy to implement. When you click on the "save" icon, Quirk could detect if you have installed packages and offer to move them permanently into q.sfs. That frees up your working space in RAM, and s.sfs stays small.
This will even work with a live-CD, not just a frugal installation.

Regarding other interesting ways of running Quirky, I am exploring those in the latest branch, Easy Linux.

Tags: quirky, linux