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Aufs development hiatus

November 30, 2019 — BarryK

I was pleased last night when I saw that the Linux 5.4.1 kernel has been released. So, got setup to compile it, including the latest Aufs5 from github:

There is no "5.4" branch, so had to use "5.x-rcN". I noticed the lack of commits, the last at was September 19, tag "5.3".

The aufs patch is broken for 5.4.1.

I found this in the aufs mail list:

> Ouch!
> My test machine is finally dead.  It is Core2-duo, 4GB, 512GB HDD, 10
> year old...
> I have to get a new pc and replace it.  Until then, all my development
> stops.  Hopefully it will be within a week or two.

I cannot get the new pc until 18 Dec.
I am afraid that my aufs development, especially compile and tests are
done this year.

J. R. Okajima

Looks like I am going to have to be patient, unless someone fixes the patches before then. 

Tags: easy

SolveSpace for Easy Pyro take-2

November 29, 2019 — BarryK

I posted about compiling SolveSpace in Easy Pyro 1.2.8:

Version 2.3 was hanging, so I compiled v3-alpha from github, which worked. However, using v2.3 in Easy Buster, and want file compatibility. So, having another go at 2.3.

There have been some commits to the "2.3" branch at github, so I downloaded it:

# git clone --single-branch --branch 2.x --depth 1

Notes on compiling:

requires json-c, gtkmm v2, unifont

# patch -p1 < ../debian/patches/01_RemoveGitHash.patch
# patch -p1 < ../debian/patches/20_use_system_unifont.patch
NO THIS FAILS# patch -p1 < ../debian/patches/30_fix_ftbfs_glibc.patch

extlib/libdxfrw is empty... get it from the debian src pkg.

# mkdir build
# cd build
# make
# new2dir make install

Good, seems to be stable in Pyro, so this will be in the next release of Easy Pyro. If you want the PET now (2.5MB):

The instability that I experienced before is due to the Intel i965 kernel driver. I came across some discussion about this:

Quoting post from 'whitequark':

Maintainer of SolveSpace here. I've been seeing numerous mystifying issues with i965 graphics with SolveSpace, including rendering issues and massive video memory leaks (dozens of MB per frame), all of which are not present with LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=true; there are no GL errors and no GL object leaks as far as I can tell by calling glGetError() appropriately and analyzing traces with apitrace.

If you experience crashing, you could try running SolveSpace like this in a terminal:

# LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=true solvespace

Let me know if that fixes it.

Tags: easy

Bluetooth fixes for Easy

November 28, 2019 — BarryK

The package that provides core bluetooth support is 'bluez', and GUI management is provided in Easy Pyro by 'BluePup' and in Easy Buster by 'Blueman'.

BluePup is a GUI manager that I developed in 2016, that uses the 'bluetoothctl' CLI utility, GUI provided by 'gtkdialog'. I haven't done any work on it since 2016.

Blueman is a sophisticated GUI written in Python3. It is in the Debian repository. It has many dependencies, which is why I haven't used it in Pyro -- but BluePup works OK, although very basic.

This has been a long time coming, but I have finally fixed Easy so that the Bluetooth management icon does not appear in the system tray if there is no bluetooth hardware on the motherboard.

The situation up to now, is that the icon appears, like right now running Buster 2.1.8 on my HP desktop PC, with a little "x" on the icon to show it is disabled. But really, we don't want the icon to be there at all.

BluePup has /root/Startup/bluepup_tray, that now checks for existence of /sys/class/bluetooth/hci0 and if not exist, will not launch the tray applet. Ditto, Blueman has /root/Startup/blueman_tray, which now has the same check.

I tested detection and pairing of my bluetooth mouse, on both Pyro and Buster, and success, but in both cases the mouse did not work after a reboot. I had to turn the mouse power off then on again, and it worked.

But then I discovered, all that is necessary is to click one of the mouse buttons. Moving the mouse does not do it. That's OK, I can live with that.

One thing that is essential, which was already in Buster but not in Pyro, is that /etc/bluetooth/main.conf needs this in it:


...apparently, this replaces a udev rule that runs "hciconfig hci0 up".

My mouse is working consistently in both Pyro and Buster, not dropping out. 

Tags: easy

First go using SolveSpace

November 20, 2019 — BarryK

I posted about SolveSpace:

After working through a couple of tutorials, had a bit of a go at drawing a basin-type distiller. Hmmm, got to the point where some things became difficult. This is as far as I got, exported as PNG:


I could plough ahead, however, there really isn't much point. I can create reasonable drawings with pen and paper, no need for the fancy 3D visualising. Even a 2D CAD program would be OK, to publish drawings that are more tidy than my hand-drawn sketches. 

Tags: easy

Using SolveSpace v2.3 in Pyro

November 19, 2019 — BarryK

Yesterday I posted about including SolveSpace v2.3 in the next build of Easy Buster, and v3.0alpha (latest from github) in Easy Pyro:

The latest source looks good, more features, however, last night I was working through this tutorial, running Easy Pyro:

Those tutorials are excellent, but they are written for v2.3 and I discovered slight UI differences -- only slight, not a show-stopper. Zoom in-out does not work in v3.0alpha (but later I found that it doesn't work in v2.3 either).

What did stop me was when I tried to open my creation in v2.3, that had been created in v3.0alpha -- which hung the application.

I can live with less features, for now want the compatibility, to be able to open and edit drawings created in either Easy Pyro or Buster. And then there's the tutorials being written for v2.3.

Oh, yes, v2.3 uses gtkmm v2, which is already in Easy Pyro. gtkmm v3 is a very big package. So including v2.3 in the next release of Pyro will hardly add anything to the download size.

Compile notes for v2.3 in Pyro 1.2.8:

requires json-c, gtkmm v2, unifont

# patch -p1 < ../debian/patches/01_RemoveGitHash.patch
# patch -p1 < ../debian/patches/20_use_system_unifont.patch
# patch -p1 < ../debian/patches/30_fix_ftbfs_glibc.patch

# mkdir build
# cd build
# make
# new2dir make install

The PET has been uploaded, as well as a 'unifont' PET, so in the "petget" package manager, update the package database. If you already installed v3.0-alpha, uninstall it first.

Got to say, liking SolveSpace! 

Oh bother! v2.3 is hanging in Easy Pyro. Have to use the v3.0alpha. Both are in the package manager. If you have already installed v2.3, uninstall it, and instead install package 'solvespace3'.

Tags: easy

SolveSpace parametric 3D CAD in EasyOS

November 18, 2019 — BarryK

SolveSpace is another CAD application. See links to QCAD and FreeCAD here:

Example construction in SolveSpace;


SolveSpace has various points in it's favour: looks easy to use (from a very superficial first-look), reasonably powerful, and small size. It uses the gtkmm library, and is in the Debian DEB repository.

The version in the Debian repository is a bit old, version 2.3, released in 2016, and uses gtkmm v2, which is already in the Easy Buster build. So great, I have added it to the package list and it will be in the next release of Easy Buster.

Note, if you are running Easy Buster and want to try it now, via "petget", there is also another package 'libslvs1' -- install that too. It is actually part of SolveSpace, looks like it is optional, and I don't know what it brings to the table, but might as well install it in case it is something useful.

For easy Pyro, I have compiled it from source, and got the latest out of github:

A downside of this latest source is that it requires gtkmm v3. However, as this project is very active, with lots of commits since 2016, I decided to compile the latest source. Compile notes:

needs json-c
# cd json-c-0.13.1-20180305
# ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
# make
# new2dir make install

needs gtkmm-3.0>=3.18
gtkmm 3.22.3
# ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu --enable-static --enable-shared --disable-documentation --enable-x11-backend=yes --enable-wayland-backend=no
# make
# new2dir make install

# git clone --depth 1
# cd solvespace
# git submodule update --init extlib/libdxfrw extlib/flatbuffers extlib/q3d
# cd ..
# mv solvespace solvespace-20190920
# dir2tgz solvespace-20190920
# cd solvespace-20190920
# mkdir build
# cd build
# make
# new2dir make install

I have uploaded the PET packages, so via "petget" on the desktop, if you update the PET database, you can install SolveSpace -- or, wait until the next release of Easy Pyro -- yep, might as well be consistent with Buster. 

The thing for me to do now is learn how to use it, find out if it is suitable for my solar water still designing.

Here is the project home page:

On YouTube, there are tutorials, uploaded by Eric Buijs:

Found this, looks great: 

Tags: easy

QCAD 2D CAD application compiled

November 18, 2019 — BarryK

I posted earlier about FreeCAD provided as an SFS:

I have been exploring other CAD applications. QCAD has been around for a long time, and is very easy to use. It is only 2D, though does have isometric views. There is a paid-for version, also a free open-source GPL version.

I compiled the open-source version in Easy Pyro 1.2.8. Note, QCAD is not available in the Debian repositories, however the SFS that I have created will work in both Pyro and Buster.

It requires 'qtscript', so I had to compile that:

Downloaded from here:

# export OE_QMAKE_AR=ar
# qmake PREFIX='/usr' LIBDIR='/usr/lib' PKG_CONFIG='/usr/bin/pkg-config'
# make
# make install

...had to manually create the PETs.

Downloaded QCAD source from here:

# export OE_QMAKE_AR=ar
# qmake -r PREFIX='/usr' LIBDIR='/usr/lib' PKG_CONFIG='/usr/bin/pkg-config'

...errors, but go ahead anyway...

# make release
# cd release
# LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. ./qcad-bin

Created a PET and a SFS. The SFS has been uploaded, and you can get it by clicking on "sfsget" on the desktop. It will work in both Pyro and Buster, in the latter case in a container only.

Here is the QCAD home page:

If you go to YouTube, there are tutorials. 

Tags: easy

FreeCAD SFS created for EasyOS

November 17, 2019 — BarryK

I have been making very rough sketches of the solar water distiller prototypes, and have even published some of them to this blog. Planning for basin-type prototype #2, thought might have a go at better quality drawings.

Running Easy Buster 2.1.8, I installed FreeCAD from the Debian DEB repository, via the "petget" icon on the desktop. This has a massive number of dependencies. After installation, ran it, and it did start, but with an error message:

No module named StartGui

A google revealed this to be a known problem in Debian, that was fixed by running:

# update-alternatives --all

Now it works, well, starts anyway, and beyond that I haven't got a clue. However, there are lots of tutorials, including YouTube videos.

I made it into a SFS, a massive 239MB, and tested that it works in Easy Pyro 1.2.8 in a container.

If anyone reading this knows how to use FreeCAD, you are welcome to test it, and let me known if there are any issues. You just need to click "sfsget" on the desktop, and can download and install to either Buster or Pyro -- in the latter case, as a container only. 

Here is the FreeCAD home page: 

Tags: easy