Quirky 8.1.5 x86_64 released

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My, how time flies! The previous release of Quirky for x86_64 desktop PCs and laptops, was version 8.0, on April 21, 2016:

Since then, some of my time has gone into porting Quirky to the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3. The most recent release is 8.1.4, on December 13, 2016:

WoofQ is the build system for building Quirky, and this has undergone significant infrastructure improvements. The release of 8.1.5 for the x86_64 CPU brings these infrastructure improvements, plus some package upgrades. Short announcement blurb:

Quirky Linux 8.1.5 is released for x86_64 CPUs. This is codenamed "Xerus", as it has binary compatibility with Ubuntu 16.04 package repositories. This means that Quirky is able to install DEB packages from these repositories.
Other than that, Quirky is in no way similar to Ubuntu!

8.1.5 has Linux kernel 4.8.8, SeaMonkey 2.40, Libreoffice 5.1.2, and a host of applications to fill every need. As per inheritance from Puppy Linux, Quirky includes the "kitchen sink" in a very small download.

Significant new features for 8.1.5 are mostly in the infrastructure, underlying improvements that you might not immediately notice. There have not been many package upgrades, however one major change is the removal of Abiword and Gnumeric, replaced with Libreoffice.

The full release announcement and notes are here:
...a bit brief, but I am in "Christmas mode" right now.

If you already have Quirky 8.0 installed, there is a Service Pack PET to upgrade. Unfortunately, due to the kernel upgrade and change to Libreoffice, this PET is rather big, at 186MB.
There should be an automatic offer to install the Service Pack when you run the Package Manager, or you can probe for new Service Packs via the menu "Filesystem -> Quirky Version Upgrade Manager".
Or, you can download it:

For everyone else, read these installation instructions:

Please try to move on from "legacy" optical media! Read this:

Primary site, courtesy of Ibiblio:

There are faster mirrors, such as courtesy of NLUUG (at time of writing, 8.1.5 has not yet propagated through):

For compiling source packages, you will need this PET (216MB):

And if you need the kernel source (140MB):

All bug reports and any feedback and discussion, can go here, from page 21:

Sound coming for my laptop

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I wrote about my Asus E200HA baby laptop back in March 2016:

At first, wi-fi, keyboard and sound were broken, however, I fixed the first two:

Now, finally, it looks like sound is going to be fixed:

This is great news for all of us with Cherry Trail SoC tablets and laptops.

Now, there is still a problem with the USB3 interface...

Headless Pi3 with X11vnc

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Right now, I have the full desktop of my Pi3 on my laptop. It was very easy to do, steps documented here.

To get going, I am trying the absolute simplest way of doing it. Not using ssh. On the Pi3 I am running the 'x11vnc' daemon, on the laptop running 'gvncviewer'. That's it.

Step 1: compile x11vnc
Puppy Forum member 'goingnuts' showed me how to compile an old version of x11vnc. This would be good if I wanted to create a static executable in a uClibc or Musl environment. But I am just running Quirky Xerus64 armv7 8.1.4 on my Pi3, so have glibc.

I downloaded the old x11vnc from here:

I modified the instructions from goingnuts, compiled it like this:

for x in libvncserver/auth.c libvncserver/d3des.c libvncserver/main.c libvncserver/sockets.c libvncserver/zlib.c libvncserver/cargs.c libvncserver/draw.c libvncserver/rfbregion.c libvncserver/stats.c libvncserver/zrle.c libvncserver/corre.c libvncserver/font.c libvncserver/rfbserver.c libvncserver/tight.c libvncserver/zrleoutstream.c libvncserver/cursor.c libvncserver/hextile.c libvncserver/rre.c libvncserver/translate.c libvncserver/zrlepalettehelper.c libvncserver/cutpaste.c libvncserver/httpd.c libvncserver/selbox.c libvncserver/vncauth.c x11vnc/*.c; do
echo $x
${CC_GLOBAL} -c ${CFLAGS_GLOBAL} -I. -I../ -I./libvncserver -I./x11vnc -I./rfb -I$INCDIR $x
${CC_GLOBAL} -I .. $LDFLAGS_GLOBAL -o x11vnc/x11vnc *.o -L$LIBDIR -lXinerama -lXtst -lXext -lX11 -lpthread -ljpeg -lz

A binary x11vnc/x11vnc got created, that I copied to /usr/bin.

Step 2: check wi-fi network
My Pi3 has a wi-fi hotspot already setup, as documented here:

...however, for now I am not using dropbear.

Just checking my IP address on the Pi:
# ifconfig

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr B8:XX:EB:38:02:BA
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:

Step 3: Run x11vnc daemon
Now, start the x11vnc daemon:
# x11vnc

20/12/2016 20:09:42 Using X display with 32bpp depth=24 true color
20/12/2016 20:09:42 Autoprobing TCP port
20/12/2016 20:09:42 Autoprobing selected port 5900
20/12/2016 20:09:42 screen setup finished.
20/12/2016 20:09:42 The VNC desktop is puppypc13817:0

Step 4: Compile vnc client on laptop
It is confusing, as there are two different products named gvncviewer. One of them is written in Python, requiring py-gtk. There is another written in C, for gtk, and that is what I am using. The latter is a package called 'gtk-vnc', that I downloaded from here:

Unfortunately, I have also read on some websites, the name 'gtk vnc' being used for the Python version. Oh well.

This is how I configured it:
# ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu --with-sasl --without-pulseaudio --with-examples --without-python --with-gtk=2.0 --disable-vala --enable-introspection=no

The "--with-examples" is required, and that will build the 'gvncviewer' binary.

Step 4: Run vnc client on laptop
After installing gvncviewer, it can be run:
# gvncviewer

Yes, up comes the entire Pi3 desktop on my laptop!

Step 5: ssh tunneling?
That would be the obvious next thing, to run dropbear ssh server on the Pi3, and tunnel x11vnc through it.
I am not in any hurry to do it, as I am only doing this on a wi-fi network within my house, well, the signal hardly reaches outside my room. Doing it without an Internet connection.

I have uploaded the x11vnc PET packages (112KB, 118KB):

They have a script, /etc/init.d/zz-x11vnc, which will start x11vnc daemon at bootup. It is a bit crude, waiting 10 seconds for X to start, before starting the daemon.

...oops, have just realised, the line invoking x11vnc inside the startup script, should have an "&" inside it. Will fix.

I am thinking in the future, I might include 'xinetd' in Quirky builds. It is known as a "super server" and is a way of starting other servers on demand. It could be used to start x11vnc and dropbear.

xinetd man page:

Pros and cons of x11vnc
The method that I documented earlier, with ssh daemon running on the Pi3 and ssh client on the laptop, has the great advantage of speed. It uses the X server of the laptop.

X11vnc, on the otherhand, does it all remotely, and it very slow. However, the advantage is seeing the entire desktop.

The ssh-server-client method has an advantage that X does not need to be running on the Pi. This is useful for testing purposes if X is broken on the Pi.

pUPnGO and Buildroot

I have been using Buildroot recently, to compile applications statically with uclibc-ng. Buildroot is great, but it has one major shortcoming -- it cannot create a chrootable self-compiling toolchain.

That is, you can't use it to compile packages for, say, a small Puppy Linux, and create a "devx" PET. Well, not officially that is -- Puppy Forum member goingnuts has done it.

For years I have been fascinated with what goingnuts (Kim) is doing. Really going back to the basics and creating tiny applications and distros.

I need to find out how he has done this trick with buildroot! So, I have downloaded everything needed to get going. Instructions and download links here:

There are a couple of other guys who are wizards in this simple/small/basic resurrection-of-old-stuff, technosaurus and Iguleder. I think that Iguleder is also known as 'dimkr' elsewhere.

For example, I posted about work done by Iguleder:

Here are a couple of pUPnGO threads on the Puppy Forum:

Running the Pi3 headless

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I posted yesterday about the Dropbear SSH server:

Also about automatic activation of the ethernet connection at first bootup:

With the Pi3 running, and the dropbear server daemon running on it, waiting on port 22, and an active ethernet connection to my wireless router, I should be able to login from my laptop.

The wireless router I am using is a tiny one suitable for travellers, the TP-Link TL-WR802N (cost me AU$29 at a local store):

The TL-WR802N was recommended to me by Puppy Forum member jamesbond. Yeah, it is nice. I changed the configuration to "Access Point" mode.

On my baby laptop, running Windows 10, mobaXterm makes it easy. I had to do a scan to find what IP-address the dhcp server inside the router has assigned to the Pi3. Then started a terminal session.

Running Quirky linux on the same baby laptop, not quite so simple. I used a little commandline utility called 'multiscan', and it reported this IP address:

> multiscan -t -s 22 -e 22 (ssh) is open

Then to run a session:

> ssh -X -l root -p 22

It asks for the password, which is the default for most pups, "woofwoof", and I am in.

Unfortunately, there is a gotcha. If I type "leafpad", I get leafpad running, then if I choose "File -> Open...", I am able to open files in the Pi.

Fine, however, if I type "rox" in the terminal session, it opens the filesystem of my laptop. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Over in Windows, running mobaXterm, "rox" behaves as expected, showing files in the Pi.

This is not a good situation, not for Linux on my laptop anyway.

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