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New theme for Quirky

July 11, 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

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):


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

Quirky Pyro64 0.2 alpha

May 19, 2017 — BarryK
It's out! This is the first upload of Pyro64, tagged as alpha-quality, but is looking pretty good.

We are familiar with Puppy and derivatives having the "kitchen sink" in their builds, in a very small size. Well, Pyro includes the "kitchen fridge" as well.

Pyro64 is built with packages compiled from source in OpenEmbedded. It will run on PCs with x86_64 (64-bit) CPUs, of at least "core2" vintage.

Release notes, and how-to-install links:

Download, primary host:

Download, fast mirror site:

Note, I will be uploading the OpenEmbedded development system, with my modifications, plus a tarball of woofQ, later today, watch this blog.

Post feedback here:

Tags: oe, quirky

Quirky installed on old PC

May 06, 2017 — BarryK
The old PC (without monitor) that I bought a few days ago, had Windows 10 installed. I reported on the purchase here:

I want this PC to be my workhorse for big compiling jobs, such as with OpenEmbedded. Windows is not wanted, so I wiped all the partitions, using Gparted.

Then I created partitions:
sda1 fat32 511MB
sda2 ext4 approx 860GB
sda3 ext4 approx 32GB
sda5 swap partition 16GB (logical partition)

The "BIOS" on the motherboard is actually UEFI-firmware, so it looks for what are called ESP fat partitions at bootup.
There is no need for any boot manager, other than that provided by the UEFI-firmware. There is nothing to configure in the UEFI-setup, the factory default is that it will look for ESP partitions, first on the internal hard drive.

I wrote how to do this kind of easy-peasy installation last year:

In Gparted, right-click on sda1 and set the "boot" and "esp" flags.
Copy the "EFI" folder and file "vmlinuz" from partition-1 of the USB stick (that I booted Quirky off) to sda1.

Open /mnt/sda1/EFI/BOOT/syslinux.cfg in an editor and change to "root=/dev/sda3" --- I am next going to install Quirky to sda3

In the menu, Setup -> Quirky Universal Installer, choose to install to a partition, and choose sda3

That's it. Shutdown, remove the USB-stick, power-up and you are running the installed Quirky.

Tags: quirky, linux

Yocto 2 woofQ 2 Quirky

April 19, 2017 — BarryK
Have completed all of the steps. Compiled from source in Yocto, imported the x86_64 binary packages into woofQ, and built a Quirky distribution. It works, there is a desktop.

So far, have only done a "core-image-sato-dev" build in Yocto, with target-native SDK components included, as described here:

It is configured to create binary DEB packages, however, I ran into multiple issues with importing them into woofQ.
Instead, I wrote a script named '0pre-yocto' in woofQ, that imports entire un-split binary packages, as .tar.xz files. It also creates the Puppy-format database.

As this is early days with Yocto, to get a reasonable desktop I used many packages from April, for example Gnumeric and Dia. These work fine in the Yocto build.

Installed to a USB stick, booted, got a desktop. Although a "devx" PET has been created, have not yet tested whether there is a sane compiling environment.

'core-image-sato-dev' has some packages that I would rather do without, 'pulseaudio' for example. Next on the to-do list is to have a go at removing pulseaudio, see if it will still compile.


exfat support in Quirky

March 12, 2017 — BarryK
Some of the guys on the Puppy Forum have been discussing exfat support in Puppy:

And mavrothal has submitted patches to woof-CE:

Ok, exfat support is missing from Quirky, so I have also added it to the Quirky build system. Added 'exfat-utils' and 'exfat-fuse' DEB packages to the package list.
And modified these files:

/usr/local/pup_event/frontend_funcs, frontend_change, frontend_startup,

Note that /sbin/probepart did not need changing. The applets guess_fstype and blkid are part of busybox, and already support exat.

Tags: quirky, linux

Quirky Xerus x86_64 8.1.6 released

January 15, 2017 — BarryK
This release of Quirky is codenamed "Xerus" and is built from Ubuntu 16.04 x86_64 binary packages.

The background, announcement and release notes are here:

A very brief announcement blurb:

Quirky Linux 8.1.6 x86_64 is codenamed "Xerus" and is built using the woofQ Quirky Linux build system, with the help of Ubuntu 16.04 binary packages. Thus, Xerus has compatibility with all of the Ubuntu repositories.
The Linux kernel is version 4.4.40 and SeaMonkey is upgraded to version 2.46.
Quirky is a fork of Puppy Linux, and is mainly differentiated by being a "full installation" only, with special snapshot and recovery features, and Service Pack upgrades.

Instructions to install are here:

Quoting from the above link:

Quirky is provided as a 8GB USB Flash stick image, or for an SD-card. This file may be written to an 8GB or greater Flash stick. In the latter case, at first bootup there will be an offer to increase the filesystem to fill the drive.

Very easy install instructions for Windows users. The above link explains how to install from the commandline in Linux, though I intend to develop a simple GUI.

For those who still want one, there is also a live-CD ISO file.

The primary download host is Ibiblio:

There are faster mirrors, such as NLUUG:

You will notice that the Flash-stick image file is 502MB, whereas the ISO file is 398MB. The reason it is so large (by Puppy standards) is because it is gzip compressed. The same file xz-compressed is only 333MB.
Gzip compression is used as that is understood by many Windows image-writer applications. The *.img.gz file is very easy to install for Windows users.

The live-CD ISO is 398MB. It is smaller because internally it uses xz compression.

Setup notes
Please do think about the security of your Quirky. When QuickSetup is running, you will see a button to manage daemons. You can also run this from the menu, System -> Bootmanager -> Manage system services.
I recommend disable all daemons that you don't immediately need.
Also, tick the checkbox for a firewall. Leave the firewall at defaults to block all ports.

You might find that the keyboard layout choices in QuickSetup don't quite meet your country/language/region requirements. Never mind, make the best choice, then later click the "setup" icon on the desktop, and you will find an "Advanced Xorg keyboard configurator", to fine-tune the keyboard localization.

There are some known issues.

1. There is Bluetooth support, but it needs work.
2. SeaMonkey has a few problems. It is stuck on DuckDuckGo for starters.
3. CLI VLC only. A full GUI video player needs to be installed.

Regarding SeaMonkey, it is version 2.46. The SM developers released 2.40 in March 2016, then nothing until 2.46 was released at the end of December 2016. Perhaps they were under pressure to get something out. Whatever, 2.46 has some issues, mostly annoyances.

Choice of video player is left up to the user for now. Here are instructions on how to install Xine or VLC:

Feedback is invited to choose the "best" and hopefully small, video player for inclusion in the next minor-point release.

Forum thread for feedback:

Tags: quirky, linux