Quirky Linux 8.1 for Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3

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This is the first release of Quirky built for ARM boards, specifically the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3. Brief release announcement:

Quirky 8.1 is built using Ubuntu Xenial Xerus 16.04 armv7 DEBs and some especially compiled PET packages such as SeaMonkey 2.40.
Version 8.1 is the first to be built for the ARM platform, specifically the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3. Note that Quirky will not work on a Pi1. It is expected a build for the Odroid XU4 is coming soon.

The functionality is much as you have come to expect with a Puppy-derivative -- you get "the kitchen sink" in a very small package. That is, an application for just about everything and utilities to setup and configure just about anything.

A difference though, with the Raspberry Pi build, is that it includes LibreOffice and Inkscape, whereas Puppy-derivatives usually have light-weight choices, such as Gnumeric, Abiword and InkscapeLite. This decision was made so as to provide the same functionality out-of-the-box as Raspbian, and in fact a whole lot more.
This has resulted in a somewhat larger build than usual, a download file of 360MB. However, compare that with Raspbian at 1.3GB, and Quirky is still relatively small.

The full announcement and release notes are here:

The primary download site is ibiblio.org, though it can be slow:

A faster mirror of ibiblio.org is thanks to nluug:

Quirky 8.1 has also been archived at archive.org:

Quirky is provided as an "8GB" image, quirky-pi2-sd-8gb-xerus-8.1.img.xz, that can be written to a micro-SD card. Currently, this is only for the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3, it will not boot on any other ARM board.

If you are running Windows, you will first need to expand the file. It is compressed with XZ, and a suitable Windows program to expand it is 7-zip. Almost 8GB of free space in the partition is required. Then, write the expanded image file to the SD-card, using a Windows program such as Win32DiskImager. The raspberry Pi website has some instructions for the latter step:

If you are running Linux, then it is easy-peasy, well, especially easy if you are running Puppy Linux, or derivative (such as Quirky) -- some other Linux distributions will automount the card, and give it a strange device name, so you have to unmount it and determine it's correct device name (/dev/sdb for example). Instructions here:

Expect on-going posts to this blog. Discussion, including bug reports and fixes, and general user experiences, are to be found at this thread on the Puppy Linux Forum, from page 12:

SimpleVLC, a GUI for VLC

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I recently wrote about compiling the CLI-only version of VLC:

Back around 2010, Puppy Forum member 'sc0ttman' wrote a GUI frontend for VLC, named VLC-GTK

I started to fix VLC-GTK, however, came to realise it would be better to make a fresh start.

That fresh start is named SimpleVLC. It is a frontend using 'gtkdialog' for the GUI, and the utilities 'xdotool' and 'wmctrl':


I am using wmctrl to find the window-id of the playing video (also audio has a visualisation window), and xdotool to send simulated key-presses to the window.

So far, have only got it to play local video and audio files. There is not (yet) any playlist mechanism, but it will play whatever is in a folder.
It is working well on the Pi2, including full-screen with OpenMAX hardware acceleration -- though, I found the Pi2 is barely adequate for playing 1080p videos even with the hardware acceleration -- though, I read that Omxplayer does it better than VLC. 4K videos are totally unplayable.

One hint for Pi users. To play 1080p videos, you have to set "gpu_mem=256" in file 'config.txt' in the boot partition. This is reserving part of the 1GB RAM for the GPU.

Inkscape compiled for Pi2

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Running Quirky 8.0.27 on the Raspberry Pi2, I have compiled Inkscape 0.91.

There is Inkscape in the Ubuntu DEB repository, however it requires libmagick, a rather large dependency that I would prefer to avoid.

These extra DEBs are required:
libgsl2, libgsl-dev, libboost-dev (and its dependencies).

Then, to configure and compile:
# ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --build=armv7l-unknown-linux-gnueabihf --with-pic --disable-cdr --disable-visio --disable-wpg --enable-poppler-cairo --enable-lcms --disable-static  --disable-dbusapi  --without-gnome-vfs

# make
# new2dir make install

It runs OK, but I am surprised how slow it is on the Pi. Slower even than Libreoffice. Compare with our old InkscapeLite, which does everything instantly.

Anyway, I was motivated to move to the full Inkscape for two reasons.

Firstly, I am using Gparted DEB from the Ubuntu repo, with the shared gtkmm DEBs, rather than Gparted compiled by me with gtkmm linked statically. So, having the gtkmm shared libs there, makes it more attractive to also install Inkscape.

Secondly, many SVG images do not render correctly with InkscapeLite. This includes many of the SVG images created for woof-CE, in /usr/share/pixmaps/puppy.
I am gradually putting those into Quirky, so I really do need to be able to open and edit them.


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Up until now, Quirky has been using the venerable 'Linux Firewall' PET. The original project site for this has long ago disappeared.

There is another firewall setup script that has been adapted for Puppy Linux by '01micko', with a nice GUI using gtkdialog.

Recently, Puppy Forum member 'watchdog' extracted it from woof-CE for use in an old version of Puppy:

I decided to consider it for inclusion in Quirky. Yes, looks good, so I have put it into rootfs-skeleton in woofQ.

Here a github repository for firewall_ng, at dimr's woof-ce-libre:

VLC 2.2.4 compiled for Pi2

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I posted about VLC on the Pi2 and Pi3 a few days ago:

My thinking now is that I will put the CLI VLC (no GUI) into the next build of Quirky, and use sc0ttman's VLC-GTK (or similar) as the frontend.

I left the default ffmpeg from the Ubuntu repo installed. This is how I configured VLC:

# ./bootstrap

# CFLAGS="-I/opt/vc/include/ -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vcos/pthreads -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vmcs_host/linux -I/opt/vc/include/interface/mmal -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vchiq_arm -I/opt/vc/include/IL -I/opt/vc/include/GLES2 -mfloat-abi=hard -mcpu=cortex-a7 -mfpu=neon-vfpv4" CXXFLAGS="-I/opt/vc/include/ -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vcos/pthreads -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vmcs_host/linux -I/opt/vc/include/interface/mmal -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vchiq_arm -I/opt/vc/include/IL -mfloat-abi=hard -I/opt/vc/include/GLES2 -mcpu=cortex-a7 -mfpu=neon-vfpv4" LDFLAGS="-L/opt/vc/lib" ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-omxil --enable-omxil-vout --enable-rpi-omxil --disable-mmal-codec --disable-mmal-vout --enable-gles2 --enable-gles1 --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --disable-udev --disable-dbus --enable-optimize-memory --enable-run-as-root --disable-lua --enable-faad --enable-flac --disable-pulse --enable-alsa --disable-atmo --disable-bonjour --disable-vsxu --disable-projectm --disable-goom --enable-libgcrypt --enable-dvdread --enable-dvdnav --enable-vlc --enable-schroedinger --enable-theora --enable-ncurses --enable-dc1394 --enable-xvideo --with-x --disable-jack --enable-x264 --enable-x265 --enable-dvbpsi --disable-qt --enable-vpx --enable-vorbis --enable-libmpeg2 --enable-a52 --enable-mad --enable-ogg --disable-skins2 --disable-static --enable-shared

sc0ttman's VLC-GTK doesn't work anymore. Part of the problem is that VLC options have changed. sc0ttman has lots of version tests for different versions of VLC, however, that was some years ago, back around 2010 I think.

I also found other issues. Did eventually get a still image appearing on screen, with the OSC (On Screen Controls) window, but the video doesn't play. Well, could work on it some more, but I am thinking perhaps make a clean start, a brand new frontend.

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