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FoxyRoxy - Older News - DevRel_02 (archive)

Postby jbv » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:30 pm

If you have only just joined us, welcome. I'm not sure if this is the right place for this or not, and if you've only just downloaded FoxyRoxy, this may seem a little overwhelming right now. However, in time it may start to make sense :) With things progressing at a fairly rapid rate, I think it is important for you to have an idea of where things are at, as at today. The aim of this thread is to help keep you updated on where we are currently at and where we are going.

Over the last few weeks, I've been introduced to a couple of neat packages that have a great deal of interest for myself.
Even if not in the short-term, they are definitely things that I will want to use once the FoxyRoxy NAS is sorted.

I have also learnt an awful lot from watching what people are doing.
A good deal of this newly acquired knowledge can and will have a positive effect on FoxyRoxy.
None of this breaks my original architectural design, however it does enhance it.

Therefore I am starting to think that I may look at a DevRel_03 release before I crawl off into a deep-dark hole and start adding the NAS stuff that I originally wanted. So, what do I want, or think I might do with a DevRel_03 ....

For starters, I really want to fix the darn sound problem so that sound just works in FoxyRoxy. I have come to think that the current "Realtek" sound drivers are really just a hack of the ALSA library. If I am correct with this, then the fix may be to just get the latest official release of the ALSA stuff (1.0.25), build it all and make that the basic sound stuff. If that works, great. I know I have a confident and capable Lieutenant who can help confirm if this works, so I'm thinking I may give it a go.

I also want to clean-up 99-snap and will change the physical filename and load sequence so that a 95-snap will always be the latest stuff added or changed after installing a package or whatever. If this means that the 95-snap contains newer version of a file that is saved inside the 99-snap, then after the overlay, the 95-snap file will be the one the system has.

Current thinking is that 99-snap will create/manage/maintain 05-FoxyConfig.squashfs

I also want to carve out all of the /etc/init.d stuff and the other directories/files associated with system start-up
Current thinking is that this stuff should also live in 05-FoxyConfig.squashfs

However, now we have a problem.
Pulling the init.d stuff out of 01-FoxyRoxy and 02-FoxyDesktop means that FoxyRoxy won't load without 05-FoxyConfig
Which isn't a problem, until someone trashes 05-FoxyConfig. We can't leave the standard stuff in 01-FoxyRoxy because doing that sort of negates the whole configurable services thing. The only way to get a clean startup is to have a clean init.d and with the overlaid filesystem, this means we must remove the older stuff from 01-FoxyRoxy (and 02-FoxyDesktop) if it is going to work. Where a lot of this becomes problamatic is when someone installs a package that messes with system services and tries or needs to change system services. LMS is a classic example of this.

Sure, it gets picked up with a 95-create, but things start to get real messy, real quick if they then install another package that does the same thing. It's not a problem if the person has cleaned up the 95-snap file, and it is even better if they then inject their 95-snap into 02-FoxyDesktop which would be the ideal thing to do ... Although from what I am seeing, I don't think many people are going to do this.

My solution to this is to create a directory /scripts/special
In that directory will be some scripts to "cut-out" the init.d stuff from both 01-FoxyRoxy and 02-FoxyDesktop and punch it into 05-FoxyConfig I'm not sure if I will put emergency restore init.d stuff back into the 01/02 files or not yet. That will depend on how I feel when I'm making the stuff.

/scripts/special will also be the basic resting place for 99-create, 99-snap and associated tools.

Oh, our un-official office package will be pushed further down the startup sequence to be 10-whatever, although it is expected that if people are really using our offering, they would inject it anyway. If they don't they should.

Okay, so that gets that sorted.

Moving forward ... I don't think I can really do this properly while trying to worry about breaking stuff that you may have already done.
For this reason, I won't be trying to maintain any backward compatibility. If I post any scripts during this phase, you will really need to remember that this is development stuff and the script has been posted for you to test and give feedback on. In a way, if you follow closely, then you will end up with DevRel_03 about the same time I do, although it will most likely require a fair amount of manual hack/slash/burn along the way and I hope you will understand if I don't hand-hold everyone (read anyone : yes - this means you too) though the process.

Some other things I'm thinking of doing include:
Building the latest ffmpeg and XBMC from scratch. Not sure how I'll go here, but the goal will be to have XBMC in the standard package while also making sure that things like SMplayer continue to work out of the box. Having our own ffmpeg and XBMC are going to be the only way to do this properly - if I can get them to compile and work properly.

Now, before anyone starts getting excited, I need to remind everyone of the "golden rules"
This project will not eat my life, and neither will this Forum.

I have a real job, and a real family.
These are the highest priorities in my life and world.
They always have been, and they always will be.
Sometimes I can spend a little time playing with FoxyRoxy, sometimes I can't.


This means that if I do do this, I will not be supporting either ffmpeg or XBMC.
If it works for you, great. If it doesn't, tough.

So that is my current line of thinking.
It's a beautiful sunny Saturday morning here in Sydney, and I'm off to spend most of today with the family.
I hope you all have a great day, I intend to.

Cheers
jbv
 
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby KazzaMozz » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:22 am

Hi Jbv
I have Blogs with both Blogger and Wordpress. I ran blogger for quite a while but for my needs in the end Wordpress won.
The biggest decision, how public do you want to be ? This was my biggest obstacle and I only recently put mine out to the public. I don't push it very much as it's just a little side project to keep me sane. http://www.Kazzas-Corner.com originally was setup for friends who wanted help with their Thermomix recipes (that's another story) You will see what I mean.
Anway it has ended up merging into all sorts of areas and that's the beauty of a blog. You can do whatever you like with it. It's a bit of fun and somewhere to strut the stuff you enjoy. If people like it great if they don't then don't come back.
You can setup share buttons blah blah. I still have the blogger one just no longer published. For me the Wordpress won hands down, but I still keep going back to blogger just to see what improvements are being offered.

What I have found is my blog has been neglected recently due to other commitments. I have the same Motto (love it) but as opposed to the phpBB it's more an information area for people and not a discussion forum. So people are more forgiving with a blog. You can have subscriptions etc the biggest plus is NO SPAM they take care of all of that.

Whichever blog you go for you can tailor it to reflect FoxyRoxyLinux as well as any other topics you enjoy or want to share.
A good way to go if time permits is to run them side by side to see which suits your purposes. You can share/import/ from one blog to another without having to double post. I paid a very small price to get a domain name with Wordpress when they were having a special. You can upgrade easily and it's not expensive with a couple of paid extras included it rocks. the support side of things is prompt and the help available for any issues is great.

It's a great idea and speaking of such things I must get back to mine as I haven't done anything with it forever now.
Enjoy your day

Cheers
KazzaMozz
http://www.kazzas-corner.com :lol:
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby jbv » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:59 am

Hi KazzaMozz,

I haven't ever read a "blog" so perhaps I used the wrong term. I certainly wasn't meaning to create anything else. More along the lines of a single thread in a known location that can act as a sort of log-file.
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby saintless » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:19 am

Hi, JBV and KazzaMozz,

While FoxyRoxy is a developer release this forum is all we need. Blog type of communication for FoxyRoxy will give us more distraction than help.

Creating too many squash files will become a problem soon. I understand way we need 05-FoxyConfig.squashfs and I agree to choose this architecture, but lets try to keep the squash files less as possible.

XBMC crashing SMPlayer - it will be good to sort this out but from mine experience with debian many new packages will need newer dependencies files versions or will ask to remove some files in order to work. This may and will crash some other already installed. This means we will get this problem more than once in the future and I don't think we will find permanent solution for this. Lets do it with XBMC and SMPlayer and move forward.

It does not matter how many developer versions will we have. The important thing is to get where we like to go in time.

Cheers
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby KazzaMozz » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:17 am

Hello there
my thoughts exactly. As I said I hardly have time to keep up with a blog so now I understand more of what you are thinking. :lol:
One less thing to worry about. Think you could do what Astone have done as a specialised group with members you choose are allowed to post and read. You set this up in your PhpBB under Groups and add the members you want in it
.
Saintless I'm looking at options for the XBMC as it is a can of worms. So many things required to get it to work. Concern is once it's up and working who knows when and if something will cause it to break, or it breaks something else.
Working on it right now what I want is Eden 11.0 which isn't a goer Debian but I'm thinking options and experimenting. Real potential is there just time & patience to get it to all to work together. Maybe we can maybe we can't but I'll give it a damn good shot.

Working on a Dell Inspiron 6000 right now so far so good.
I've been tinkering with the wireless just as a distraction :lol:
Cheers
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby SBP » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:07 am

jbv wrote: I also want to carve out all of the /etc/init.d stuff and the other directories/files associated with system start-up
Current thinking is that this stuff should also live in 05-FoxyConfig.squashfs


This is fine. However, I don't quite understand why we have to do that - which problems have you met that needed special attention. You wrote that the LMS was a problem, but what excactly was the problem with LMS and the init.d stuff?



jbv wrote: Now, before anyone starts getting excited, I need to remind everyone of the "golden rules"
This project will not eat my life, and neither will this Forum.

I have a real job, and a real family.
These are the highest priorities in my life and world.
They always have been, and they always will be.
Sometimes I can spend a little time playing with FoxyRoxy, sometimes I can't.


That is the right attitude, I completely agree. Therefore I have also been thinking of the general concept of FoxyRoxyLinux. It is a very good idea to have a read-only (Puppy like) Linux, which allows us to install the packages from Debian. And as I see it it is one of the biggest advantages of FoxyRoxy and what really sets it above other Puppy-like Linux distros is excactly that you are able to install the Debian packages using apt-get install. So I think it very important to maintaing this possibility, and to make it as easy as possible.
Currently all the different packages seems to install very nicely (LMS, XBMC ect) but it seems like (at least for a linux noob as mee) that the problem is to make these packages stick after a reboot.

You have been very kind to make different scripts/modifications ect in order to let us play with XBMC, Nvidia and LMS, but lets us face it, you cant support every package that someone would like to use. So I think it is important to try to figure out a way, so that it is relatively straightforward for FoxyRoxy to use Debian packages, so that you dont have to help us to the same degree that you have been doing up-till now. Hopefully, it could be done without editing the packages or writing special install scripts.

I have been thinking on the following possibility (please don't laugh - eventhough you might think it is naive).

1. many packages needs to start when booting - controlled by the init.d stuff. You would like to move it somewhere else, you are the expert so if you feel it has to be done, then it should be done.

2. Some packages needs to write to log-files, configuration files and database (I know LMS do). Instead of you having to change the start-up script or change anything else - it would be very nice if we could let the package do a standard install - and the afterwards could define where the logfiles ect would be saved.
As you suggested earlier these files should not be saved on the FoxyRoxy_Pendrive or CF-card, instead they should be saved on the attached HDD. (Actually I plan to add a small USB-stick for the only purpose of saving these kind of files here. I know that this USB-stick over time might fail. but then it is only a matter of a few dollars to exchange this small USB-stick.)

In my mind it would be very handy if we had a FoxyRoxy_configuration file (which even could be saved on the attached USB-stick or USB-HDD)
This configuration file should tell FoxyRoxy to use a symbolic link between the /var/lib/cache/squeezeboxserver to ie. sdb1(If this is your attached HDD)/var/lib/cache/squezeboxserver, and all the other files and directories as well (like the minidnla database, The LMS server_configuration file and so on). (I don't know if there is a better method)
The purpose would be that the different Debian packages installs as they would on any other Debian based Linux, Then we save it by 95-create. The advantage would be that you (or another linux Guru) would not have to make special scripts for the different packages - we (the users) would be responsible for making the configuration_file, which would be telling FoxyRoxy to make the symbolic links between the files and directories. The precise files and places are defined in this file.

If it even was possible to define in the configuration file that ie the /etc/log/squeezeboxserver/server.log file would be piped to a NULL rederer - so that it dissapears and is not saved, then it would be even better.

So probably FoxyRoxy would need to read this Configuration file as one of the first thinks to do after a reboot, and when the symbolic-links are in place, then start the different installed programs, so that them could read and write from the files located on the attached USB-hdd (OR USB-stick)

God idea or bad idea?
Steen
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby jbv » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:14 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the notes. I will read them all in more detail a little later and reply as appropriate.

This is just a short note to let you know I have created 2 .tar.gz files that I have not uploaded yet.
One for 01-FoxyRoxy and another for 02-FoxyDesktop

Each of these contain the scripts to bring FoxyRoxy to DevRel_2.1
which means I've got the scripts to do the following:
remove kernels
fixup the permissions in the current 95 series of stuff
remove all system startup stuff from 01/02 and punch it into 05-FoxyConfig
refresh system startup into 05-FoxyConfig when required
minor adjustments to 99-snap which also uses 05-FoxyConfig now
replacement startup script for miniDLNA that finally fixes the problem miniDLNA has if it gets started before eth0 has a valid IP
made sure that all xx-save scripts flush disk buffers and all have the same " Message Line" being sent to the console while it does it.

I've also tweaked 05-softmakeroffice which is now 10-softmakeroffice and of course all of the patch/inject/refresh scripts have also been "tweaked" accordingly. This was to move it away from 05-FoxyConfig

It probably needs a little more testing than it's had, but I figure you can all help do that :lol:
I just need a while to work out the best way to distribute this.

At the moment, they would need to be manually cut into the core sqf's
I'm not sure if I should script it or not.....
Then there is the matter of weather I should update the ISO or not... (right now, I'm thinking No)

Gonna take a few hours off, and mess around with the kids for a while and let this just bubble around inside my head for a bit.

Cheers
jbv
 
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby jbv » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:20 am

Okay, I've thought about this and have decided to do the following:

I am going to hold off on posting these scripts for now. The main reason is that we already have a few people playing with stuff that may break or get broken and if they start trying to integrate this, then things can only get worse.

I have also reviewed the NVIDIA driver and remembered why I had the 02-libGLpatch.sh as a separate file. It was primarily because of the way I needed to have you restart the system for each kernel. While the NVIDIA sqf was the 3rd sqf loaded it overlaid the libGL file that needs to be "updated" or patched if you like. However, while injecting the NVIDIA driver I also inject the correct libGL file, and all of this goes into 01-FoxyRoxy. However, there is a package in 02-FoxyDesktop that has forced the loading of the same libGL file and it points to a library that isn't right for the NVIDIA stuff as for the NVIDIA stuff to work everything that points to or uses the libGL library must use the NVIDIA one and not the one in 02-FoxyDesktop. While I was already concerned about the number of reboots and the possibility of running out of stick space, I felt it best to have one last reboot for the patch to make sure we didn't run out of USB/stick space.

However ... I thought I might have been able to find a way to only require one reboot, but that idea did not work. Then I remembered why I even need to do the integration. It is because of the sound drivers and not knowing which one may be loaded. If I can sort out the sound drivers, then I can create a proper NVIDIA sqf that you can either always load as 03-FoxyNVIDIA and it will auto-magically self integrate during load or you can patch it immediately at which time the patch will also patch 02-FoxyDesktop.

So, the Sound Driver issue is the key. I've spent a bit of time cleaning up the Build environment and now have all 3 kernel headers inside it and have also managed to reduce it in size from 82.7Mb to 32.3Mb, so I've put more in, fixed it a little and removed 50Mb from it :)

I've got all of the ALSA source and everything is ready to go.
I won't be messing with it tonight and I can't promise that I will do it tomorrow night either, but I will get the Sound stuff sorted as quickly as I can.
From there it will just be a hop-skip-and-jump to cleanup the NVIDIA driver.

All of the other stuff is done. So, I hope you all agree that putting up any more scripts or patches in the meantime will just create more grief than it would intend to solve.

Until I get this sorted, hack slash and burn. Look at the scripts and get a feel for how things hang together.
But be warned, stuff you are doing may change, so keep track of what you are doing as you may need to redo it.

I will keep you posted as to how things are going (good/bad/indifferent), although as I am about to jump into the dark, I have no fear ... yet :lol:

Cheers
jbv
 
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby KazzaMozz » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:32 am

Hey Jbv
good stuff, where I fell into strife. Started a new stick, placed all the special stuff into live
it booted up asked for the 03-Nvidiaconfig stuff rebooted
did the patch
waited it rebooted
did the last patch and rebooted.
Why did I do this thought I could then just run the XBMC App (I was mistaken)
This is where it went a little awry and the snap file after save load kept flashing and going into limbo and I couldn't look at it for more than 20 seconds or so.

Happy to wait just like experimenting. I kept the backups for the ones that have worked with the portableapps so will revisit those too.
It's still all fun and love your work
Cheers
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Re: My thoughts on a few things

Postby jbv » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:38 pm

Hi Steen,

Just chilling a bit and I've re-read your message. I will try to reply in mode detail a little later or in a day or two. However, there are one or two things I need to set you (and everyone) straight on. I am far from being a Linux expert. Before I embarked on this venture, the last time I had played seriously with Unix was back in the 80's when a Sun 360 and SparcStation-1 were the hottest machines on the planet. Even then, a good deal of the Unix I was playing with were hacked up variations of BSD. I messed with Linux a little in the late 90's while making some custom firewall/routers using old 486 machines that booted from a 3.5" floppy, but that was only for myself and a few other friends (2 or 3 max) who were unfortunate enough to get the first broadband available in Australia that ran over a HFC (cable-tv-network) provided by our local telco.

I agree with many of the other things you suggested. Sadly, most if not all of those things are not things that FoxyRoxy can do anything about. Most would require the application developers to address and if they had written their stuff properly in the first place, they would "just work". However, things have become much more complex nowadays and it is very difficult, actually it is almost impossible to foresee and test for every possible permutation.

Sadly, when people can buy a mobile phone for $200 and it has all sorts of whizz-bang stuff in it, they no longer value the technology, even if the mobile phone locks-up or doesn't work properly. For some reason, they accept that as just being what it is. What they don't realise is that there are literally thousands of Engineers working on that crap and I mean thousands if not tens of thousands. Each chip manufacturer might have 1,000 Engineers working on one chip and they have 10 years of history to draw on. Consider that there will be at least 4 or 5, if not more chips involved and you can see how things grow. Then you may have 4 or 5 software companies involved. They can and often do have a similar number of people on each team, also drawing on many years of prior art. This stuff is only working in one known configuration too. Sure, they can produce something in 3 or 6 months, but it is riddled with bugs and glitches that people accept. Although they still pay >$200 for it.

Yet, with PC software there is often only one or two people working on something that must run in any configuration on any machine and they don't have anywhere near the same experience or prior-work to draw on. However, people expect them to also be finished in 3-6 months, if not sooner (after-all Nokia and Samsung can design and manufacture an entire mobile phone in that time, so why can't you?), and be absolutely error free! Oh, did I mention that they don't want to pay for it???

Welcome to my world.

Cheers
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