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1  MyDSL Extensions / Extension Development / Firefox 3.6 on: September 07, 2014, 11:33:21 PM
A while ago I put the work into looking at what dependencies would be needed to install Firefox 3.5.16 on DSL, which would then allow it to be made as a package. I never finished (will one day), but I thought I'd post whatI got for anyone who wanted to finish the list before me.

The latest Firefox versions just won't work due to the old Kernel in DSL, but I use 3.6 on a WIndows XP PC (shudder) and it still works with the vast majority of websites, quite an improvement from V. 2 at the moment. It also offers some nice refinements such as a proper download manager.

As I say, I haven't finished, but here' whatI've got. V. DSL means the version of a dependency included with DSL, note is made to dependencies in the MyDSL respository (mentioned in notes as "dsls"). V. Req. is the minimum required version for Firefox. Of course I've had to look at the dependencies for dependencies as well and these are shown as a branch from the original Firefox dependency. As you can see, xulrunner is a door to a world of unmets.

Code:
Firefox unmet dependencies in DSL:

3.5.16-20 - Debian Iceweasel - https://packages.debian.org/squeeze/iceweasel
 Name: Status V. DSL V. Req.
-Debianutils met 2.1.4 1.16
-fontconfig unmet none 2.8.0 - gtk+ 2.12.9 .dsl has 2.5.91
 -libfreetype6 unmet 2.1.2 2.2.1 - in gtk+ dsls 2.10.9
 -libc6 met 2.3.1 2.0
 -expat unmet none 1.95.8 - in gtk+ dsls 2.10.9
 -zlib1g met 1.1.4 1.1.4
-libc6 unmet 2.3.1 2.3.6-6
-libglib2.0-0 unmet none 2.16.0
-libgtk2.0-0 unmet none 2.10 - gtk2-core.unc?
-libnspr4-0d unmet none 1.8.0.10
-procps met 3.1.5 any
-xulrunner unmet none 1.9.1.16
 -libasound2 unmet none 1.0.18
 -libatk1 unmet none 1.29.3 - unmet in any gtk+ dsls
 -libbz2-1.0 unmet none 1.0
 -libc6 unmet 2.3.1 2.3.6
 -libcairo2 unmet none 1.8.8 - unmet in any gtk+ dsls
 -libdbus-1-3 unmet none 1.0.2 - unmet in any gtk+ dsls
 -libfontconfig unmet none 2.8.0 - prob. in fontconfig
 -libfreetype6 unmet 2.1.2 2.2.1 - in gtk+ dsls 2.10.9
 -libgcc1 met none 1:4.1.1 - dsls only go to 3.3.4
 -libglib2.0-0 unmet none 2.24.0
 -libgtk2.0-0 unmet none 2.10 - gtk2-core.unc?
 -libhunspell unmet none 1.2.11
 -libjpeg62 met 6b6 6b1
 -libmozjs2d unmet none 1.9.1.16-20 - firefoxcomponent
 -libnspr4-0d unmet none 4.7.1-1
 -libnss3-1d unmet none 3.12.6
 -libpango1.0-0 unmet none 1.14.0 - in gtk+ dsls 2.10.9
 -libpng12-0 unmet 1.2.5.0 1.2.13-4 - in gtk+ dsls 2.12.9
 -libreadline unmet 4.3-5 6.0
 -libsqlite0 unmet 2.4.7-1 3.7.3
 -libstartup-notification0 unmet none 0.10
 -libx11

https://packages.debian.org/squeeze/xulrunner-1.9.1
2  Damn Small Linux / User Feedback / Re: DSL revival? on: September 04, 2014, 11:18:54 PM
John hasn't said much about 4.11 since the last RC release. My guess is that he lost the time to work on it again, but I don't really know. He still logs into the forum every month or two.

I don't know how one person (well, perhaps with the exception of a very good full-time software developer) could manage to really keep DSL progressing to support newer hardware and software without loosing much of the support for the older generations.

Even ignoring size (which would be a bit silly for a main DSL release), a modern kernel comes without much of the early hardware support that has been stripped off over the years. It wouldn't be as simple as adding it back again (which could be done simply using Kernel Modules), the driver software would have to be adapted to work with the cahnges made to the kernel. You'd have to make sure the software line up stayed light enough to run on a Pentium 1 as well, which could mean making changes to some application software to keep it working in harmony in a modern system.

Perhaps it would be better to keep the old kernel and "backport" (if that's the right term) the hardware support. Of course this would basically make DSL a branch from the Linux Kernel and over time it would probably become its own entity like BSD. Like I say, this would be great if someone very good was willing to devote their life to it. Ideally it would also inspire its own suite of low resource usage software to fill in the gaps that exist at present.

That second one is what I'd really like to happen, but I just can't see it. In reality, I expect the best that will happen with DSL (and it's not really all that bad) is that the standard version will slowly be refined at its current level (new versions of Dillo, better installation scripts etc.), while a new DSL-N will take over most of the development and target more recent computers (eg. last 10 or so years) with improved hardware and software support while retaining the DSL philisophy to the extent possible. That would cater to both camps that tend to pop up here on the forum, and I expect it's what John is already aiming for (or, at least was when he started the new forum).
3  Damn Small Linux / DSL Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Flash or Gnash?? on: August 26, 2014, 11:23:04 PM
The version of the Linux Kernel used in DSL limits the software that can be run with it. New Adobe Flash doesn't work. I'd have to check the kernel version required by Gnash, but it probably won't work either.

There are plenty of posts about this in the old forum archive, Flash compatibility broke down with DSL a number of years ago. I believe at least relatively recent versions of Java work though, however the old Firefox version prevents them from running in the web browser.
4  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: Making a faxserver out of DSL on: August 26, 2014, 10:56:29 PM
It's tricky to get Apt working because DSL is based on such an old system. Even if you did get it to work, you'd be limited to an old version of the software you want to run. You need to use a package respository for Debian 3 "Woody", packages.debian.net is the official archive.

If the program isn't in the MyDSL respository, then the best option these days is to compile the software from source. Though you need to check that it, and its dependancies, will work with v. 2.4 of the Linux Kernel.

There's a guide to compiling software here (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/creating_a_compressed_extension_from_source.html). You don't need to make a tar.gz package for the MyDSL respository, but you are encouraged to so that you can help others who want the program.

That page doesn't tell you how to set up a compiling environment. An easy way to do this is to first install the following packages from the MyDSL repository: gcc1-with-libs, gnu-utils, compile-3.3.5.

For making changes in DSL permanent, see the DSL Wiki pages on "Persistance" and "HDD Install". You'll need a HDD Install if you're going to compile software without making MyDSL extensions as well.
5  Damn Small Linux / HD Install / Re: "Loading sata_vsc.o..." on: August 09, 2014, 10:02:53 PM
Thought I'd brought out my CD pile for this purpose once before, looks like I did a similar list in this post (http://damnsmalllinux.org/forums/index.php?topic=838.msg1441#msg1441).

The ones I missed this time around are Plop Linux and TinyMe Linux. Both are on the fringe of Linux distro development, but I remember Plop is meant to be built from the ground up, so it could work where a lot of others don't (or the other way around).

Anyhow, good luck and do report back your results.
6  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: Android tethering on: August 04, 2014, 10:07:57 PM
Ah, right. I'm not into modern phones, so I thought you were asking how to connect your phone to the internet, not to a computer.

My mistake.
7  Damn Small Linux / HD Install / Re: "Loading sata_vsc.o..." on: August 03, 2014, 10:47:27 PM
I believe the problem with supporting recent hardware along with old examples from the 90s is that the modern Linux kernel has been stripped of much of the hardware support for the older systems. Additionally, its total size has grown.

The result is that in order to maintain a small size and good support for old hardware, DSL enevitably ends up getting left behind the pack as Linux marches forwards. As time goes on, fewer new developments in Linux software are able to be passed on to DSL - most apparent with the limited Firefox version.

However DSL-N was designed to counter these problems by presenting an alternative version of DSL that continued the same philisophy, but submitted to the need for newer software (particularly a newer version of the kernel, 2.6.x instead of 2.4.x). The problem is that this has seen a longer time without development than DSL, so in some ways DSL is still newer and both are still very far away from the current generation of Linux distributions.

SATA wise, DSL usually works, but the old drivers mean that you have to rely on BIOS designers playing by the same rules that they did a few years ago. I've actually never had a problem with DSL and SATA, but I usually use PCs that are a few years old anyway.

So practically speaking, I'd first start with DSL-N and see if it has the same problem (I've often found it to behave very differently in terms of hardware detection, for better or for worse). If that doesn't work, or you don't like DSL-N's older software and/or design, you can try these picks from my Live CD stack:

  • Puppy Linux - An actively developed distro for old hardware using a much newer kernel. Lots of versions and spin-offs, many of which can use mainstream package repos.
  • Puppy Linux Pulp - A little known spin-off that's also now rather dated development-wise (last I checked), but seems to have an ultra-light approach more like DSL.
  • Tiny Core - Done by Robert, who left DSL development some time ago. Uses a different approach by coming with minimal software as standard and requiring the manual addition of the particular software packages you desire
    . Uses its own package system like DSL though, so choice can be a bit limited if you don't want to compile.
  • Slitaz - I don't know too much about this one (except I used one PC for which this was the only Linux distro which would boot from CD), another low resource usage distro. Wide language support.
  • Knoppix - DSL is based on an early version of this. It runs quite light and pretty (often very) fast on PCs from the last ten years or so. It's what I install if I want a Linux that can run newer software (it can use Debian packages). Note that it's really meant just to be run from CD (though HDD installation usually goes alright).

Well there you go, hope it helps. Sorry it's such a long post.
8  Damn Small Linux / Other Help Topics / Re: Android tethering on: August 02, 2014, 03:46:51 AM
Unless you've managed to install Damn Small Linux on your phone, in which case I'd say you're pretty lucky if internet is the only thing not working, I'd say you'd be better finding a forum about Android phones.

You could also post in the "Water Cooler" section, but your chances of finding help probably make getting hit by a meteorite look like an normal lifetime hazard.
9  Damn Small Linux / HD Install / Re: "Loading sata_vsc.o..." on: August 02, 2014, 03:39:17 AM
In case you're still checking this topic, here are some anwsers:

I'm not sure of the exact age of the DSL SATA drivers, but they would be from 2008 at the latest, and probably much earlier. As is the usual line with DSL, the OS is designed to run on older hardware with the trade-off being that it doesn't readilly support many new systems. Its current, lets call it intermittent, development doesn't help this at all either.

Basically, the SATA drivers probably don't play well with your more modern motherboard BIOS because they were likely designed some time before it existed.

I did once install DSL on a machine which wouldn't recognise a SATA HDD until "IDE Emulation" was turned off in the BIOS (that's to say it didn't recognise it pretending to be an IDE drive). So there are all sorts of strange things that can go on.

(1
If you install to hdb9, it should boot from hdb9 as long as GRUB is set up with the "kernel" path in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file pointing to /dev/hdb9. In theory the installation script should do this automatically, but it's the first thing to check if booting fails.

If you change the BIOS settings to use the HDD as a SATA device, the partition address will become /dev/sd?9 and the "kernel" line in menu.lst will need to be changed for DSL to boot.

(2
I can't remember if it's impossible, but it would take some work to get DSL to boot from GRUB2 directly. When I needed to do this in the past, I was lazy and set up the GRUB in DSL (v. 0.91) on the DSL partition, then chainloaded it from GRUB2 like one would a Windows installation.

Actually now that I think of it, I did that the other way around and chainloaded GRUB2, but that was because DSL was installed first and I wanted to keep some menu options for booting it (the menu was disabled for GRUB2 so that one isn't even aware of the multi-step process).

I remember the HDD installation script asks you if you want to install a boot loader (in your case I would anwser "no" and do it manually to hdb9). I expect the frugal one does the same.
10  Damn Small Linux / User Feedback / Re: I have DSL installed on a Fujitsu Stylistic 1200. How to reset firefox size? on: August 02, 2014, 02:54:59 AM
If you do "firefox --help" and look under "Mozilla options", there are options "-height" and "-width" to specify window size.

So you just have to use the command "firefox -width <pixels> -height <pixels>" to start it with the size specified in pixels. The height should be a bit less than the screen resolution so that the window doesn't cover the task bar at the bottom.

You can put the full command in a menu item by editing "/home/dsl/.jwmrc", or make a script file with the command and create a link to it on the desktop.
11  Non-DSL Topics / water cooler / Re: personal spam filter? on: July 13, 2014, 12:50:41 AM
I looked but never found anything. Just had to wait it out (as I expect did you).
12  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: How to find what's happening if DSL gives me "read error...-problem reading. on: July 13, 2014, 12:43:45 AM
The permissions errors are because some tasks must be done by the "root" user. Use the root terminal to execute commands (can be found in the Xshells menu of the DSL menu), or "emelfm as Super-User" which can be found in "Apps>Tools>Emelfm File Manager". You can also execute commands as root from a normal user terminal by preceding them with the "sudo" command, eg. "sudo nano /etc/fstab".

Extensions can be loaded by double clicking on them in Emelfm, or using the command "mydsl-load <extension name>". On a HDD install, ".dsl" and ".tar.gz" extensions will be permaently installed on the system while ".uci" and ".unc"  types will be gone at the next reboot. In a Frugal install, nothing stays. You can have them auto-load by placing them in a "mydsl" folder on a partition you specify in the menu.lst kernel line (see the "cheatcodes" page of the Wiki), or putting "mydsl-load" commands for each extension in the "/opt/bootlocal" file.

Did you get the floppy drive working, if you were only trying one disk it could have just gone bad.
13  Damn Small Linux / User Feedback / I can see clearly now the Spam has gone! on: July 13, 2014, 12:01:28 AM
Thanks John, I was giving up hope on the Forum.

Strange what its done to the forum statistics though.
14  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: How to find what's happening if DSL gives me "read error...-problem reading. on: May 20, 2014, 10:39:00 PM
Hmm, strange. Perhaps try creating the two files (as root) and checking that the "nofstab" option isn't in your startup commands on the "kernel" line of /boot/grub/menu.lst, then restart and see if things work.

You can create fstab entries manually (search for guides online, there are plenty), but it probably wouldn't be practical if your machine has USB. It could also be that DSL is having trouble reading the spot on the disk with fstab (though I don't know why it wouldn't show up in a directory listing), try running fsck on the DSL partition.

You could look at the dmesg log (can be viewed in the "System Stats" window (in the DSL menu "System>System Stats")) to see that DSL is detecting the drives at all, they should be there with a short description (though the floppy drive will just say it's 1.44MB (unless it's an old DD type)).

For a short-term fix, you can tell Linux what to mount where directly with the "mount /dev/<device> <mountpoint>". For example your floppy drive could be mounted using "mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/auto/floppy". Or was that what hung the terminal?
15  Damn Small Linux / Laptops / Re: How to find what's happening if DSL gives me "read error...-problem reading. on: May 19, 2014, 09:21:11 PM
Have you tried reading the same partition of the drive from other Linux Distros? If it doesn't work with them, it might be a problem with the file system (run fsck) or the HDD itself.

I don't know of any better way to kill a process started with Emelfm than killing Emelfm itself. There's no command in the keyboard shortcuts list.

I don't fully understand why you want a list of terminal commands. in any case, you mount with the command "mount", unmount with the command "umount" and install MyDSL extensions with the command "MyDSL <extension name>". Look at mount --help for how to use the commands fully, but basically just put the path to the mount point after the command, eg. "mount /mnt/hda3" to mount partition hda3. If it says the entry isn't in fstab, that means the system hasn't automatically set up a partition to use with that mount point.
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