Forum: User Feedback
Topic: howto forum
started by: Vacendak
Posted by Vacendak on Nov. 11 2003,08:00How about adding a section to the forum that includes howtos we could do all kinds of stuff like howto do a HD install( I know it's in the FAQ) but after you do an install you might want to add icons or add stuff to the menu or do any number of things. If you know how to do something cool or the way you have changed DSL this would be a neat place to post it.
Posted by davide on Nov. 11 2003,15:18very good idea!
Posted by Gilbert Ashley on Nov. 14 2003,13:49Yeah, since coherent help is so lacking in the Linux world! It's not that there's no help, there's too much of it! If there ever is distro that gets the pertinent help and HOWTOs under one little question mark icon that'll go a LOOOOONG way towards conquering the world. DSL is a great little implementation for demonstration fo what Linux can do. Unfortunately it's a third generation hack so it's not compliant with all the Linux norms, leaving more experienced users frustrated because it doesn't work like real Linux, and leaving Linux newbies in the cold. However there is some good help on this site.
Posted by John on Nov. 14 2003,18:47>leaving more experienced users frustrated because it doesn't work like real Linux, and leaving Linux newbies in the cold.
Tell me what is frustrating you Gilbert. It might be enlightening.
Posted by Tranka on Nov. 14 2003,22:55
I always thought of Linux in terms of the old adage:
"give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him
how to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime".
Close-source operating systems and software are
giving us a fish.
The Open-Source community (Linux and its variants) is
teaching us how to fish.
-- BTW, isn't half the fun of DSL leaning it through trial,
tribulation and error?
Posted by Gilbert Ashley on Nov. 14 2003,23:45Very glad you asked John. Don't be offended. You've done a very admirable piece of work here and I am quite excited for you as I think you have an excellent candidate here for the downfall of Billy Gates! DSL loads and install faster than anything else I've seen in this size range. Lots of great features. I could go on with more 'attaboys' but let me weigh in on the other side. I've posted a few friendly helps for some newbies and am following some of the threads from more experienced users, too. People with experience in Linux are being frustrated in their attempts to setup a HD install to run like other distros, and to be able to make all the usual configuration changes. I've been working on this some, trying to restore the functionality of the run levels. Unfortuntely I'm not a very experienced administrator and what I do know applies to Slackware which uses BSD style init scripts. For about two weeks I have been using DSL as my workhorse and have a Knoppix HD install alongside it. I'm trying to decipher how Knopper setup the init scripts in order to apply some of that to DSL. Unfortunately I don't know if the KNX method fully conforms to the sysVinit method or not. I think not as the installed version boots runlevel 3. I'm thinking that runlevel 3 should be for CLI only (with login), then 4 for a graphical login. Runlevel 5 could be setup for first boot after install, running more or less as it does now, but giving Old linux hands who want to really dig in could then setup runlevel 3 or 4 as they choose.
I had trouble a time or two with X not starting properly after installing to hard disk and was disappointed to not be able to fall back to run level 3 and reconfigure.
For newbies they don't need to know any of that YET but when they want to learn more, the ability should be there for them.
I have LOTS of time to help out but this doesn't seem the best way to learn about sysVinit! Very hard to sort out what's DSL, what's KNX, what's Debian, and what's pure sysVinit.
You've done a great job and I expect this distro to really go places. I'd like to help with some HOWTOs for the newbies, but need a little help myself for more advanced stuff.
Other issues are Keyboard config, package management.
This gets too long for the forum. E-mail me?
Posted by roberts on Nov. 15 2003,01:00Gilbert,
I have been looking to help make DSL more standard compliant. The 5.0 release is getting closer, with .xinitrc and the elimination of some of the sudo requirements, i.e., MozillaFirebird. I have since contributed more code, maybe it will be in 5.1, a real .bash_profile and new HD install scripts that allow multi-logons via standard gettys. It is a real challenge to make both a LiveCD, an appliance, and a distro. It is hard for people to change their mind set, get a CD, install it to hard drive. The original concept was to make a LiveCD. As a LiveCD there really are no issues. But since so many people are installing it hard drive, I have volunteered to look at this area of the project. Afterall, any thing that DSL can do to promote Linux is a good thing.
Posted by John on Nov. 15 2003,03:05I'm going to get to a point, but there will be a couple of turns first.
Thank you for the feedback Gilbert. Anybody here who tried out dsl 0.1? It was an awfully crude mini distribution. If I opened up a forum then, I doubt anybody would have bothered to post.
Yet at the time I through it on the net, and made it available for download. It was a good thing that I did because about 50% of DSL's improvements are from people other than myself. Before Andreas Granig wrote the Xsetup script I was having the user edit a config script in Vi, Peter Sieg put a lot of time in on getting PPP working right. Peter is also responsible for the original DSL hard drive script. Right now Robert is doing some great work straitening out the user and boot routines.
From the beginning I've thought of DSL as a mini liveCD project -- but may others want to use it as an installed distro. To that end, I made the little script that restores apt-get, eliminated the need to reconfigure X at every boot, made things run as user 'damnsmall' instead of root, and improved the way $HOME is handled. Robert is taking this a lot further with his work.
As the refinements get more sophisticated and the iso approaches 50M the releases are going to slow down some because it isn't going to be as much about new features as enhancing user interface. Also, this is all valentire, and the project work is done around work scheduals.
That said, I don't think there will ever be a DSL 1.0, I think this will always be a work in progress.
So, after all that, what's the point?
Right now I would recommend DSL to anybody, newbie or experienced user who wants to use a small live GNU/Linux CD, and hard drive side of things are going to take some time, but they are comming.
Posted by Gilbert Ashley on Nov. 15 2003,08:34I'm downloading 0.5 right now so will be migrating to that later today to see the changes.
Other things I've noticed: Running live picks up my SCSI cdrom but after HD install aic7xxx doesn't work until I do a insmod, even though it shows up in lsmod listing.
The dummy wvdial.conf template is messy. i still haven't figured out the right syntax so I use /usr/sbin/pppconfig instead and then pon/poff. Seems to work for others also, as I've helped a couple on this. I'll work on a patch to the fluxbox menu for that. I've used wvdial before and like it, but what's the right synatx for pap-secrets?
I'll submit a patch for that or for the Debian pppconfig. Which would you prefer?
Let me be the first to ask for less programs instead of more! I've seen some posts about redundancy and there is lots of it in the fdisk/cfdisk/parted category. Also many unused Debian and Knoppix scripts are left over. I've seen a request for more scripts to download and install things ala Firebird. This points up the need for a package manager. I'm new to Debian and so had never used dpkg or apt. The first time I tried it on DSL I broke my box! I use slackware and it does tar -xzvf *.tgz just like the Firebird script. Anyway, a universal script for installing tgz's might be the way to go. Then make packages available on the website for the extras like rdesktop, games,etc.
The thing is that a basic installation should be easily extensible.
A functional Browser, File Manager, Text editor and Internet access is all one needs to start. Then they can extend it the way they want.
Browser: has anyone tried Browsex. It's a little more functional than Dillo and comes as a single binary and is quite small, 300-400K as I recall.
File Manager. I;ve recently been trying out ROX-filer which is fast and slick and which can be extended with a desktop, editor and other stuff. In fact tthey are working on a ROX OS. Anyway it's very good but it needs libxml2 and libpix_buf at least. I'm going to work some more on patching that in to see what all it needs.
I use vi, but don't expect beginners to do so. Nedit seems to be good for all.
Less software, but more modules, more libs and package management.
I've replaced wmnet with wmppp but it always breaks after a few times. I'm going to try compiling yawmppp and patch that in- an elegant way to go online with just one click!
Sorry if my posts get long, but how many million lines are in the Kernel, Headers, Bin-utils,gawk,make,and GCC, etc?
Posted by Gilbert Ashley on Nov. 15 2003,08:40Shouldn't Firebird and other stuff go to /usr/local/bin or /usr/bin so it would be available to all users?
Posted by cbagger01 on Nov. 15 2003,09:27You are correct about the ideal install locations, but the Firebird install script is designed to also work properly when you are using the live CD version of DSL and the live CD version will not let you write to /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin (Read Only File System error).
This is because when using the live CD, the "/usr" directory is actually a symlink to "/KNOPPIX/usr" (cdrom image)
It is possible to install Firebird to the above locations, but in order to do so the live CD structure would need to be modified in the following way: Create a REAL /usr directory in the ramdisk and then add a bunch of symlinks inside it that point back to each individual file contained inside the /KNOPPIX/usr directory.
You would then create a real /usr/bin and then create symlinks for all files inside /KNOPPIX/usr/bin etc, etc...
Posted by Vacendak on Nov. 16 2003,02:22How about adding a section to the forum that includes howtos we could do all kinds of stuff like howto do a HD install( I know it's in the FAQ) but after you do an install you might want to add icons or add stuff to the menu or do any number of things. If you know how to do something cool or the way you have changed DSL this would be a neat place to post it.
Posted by hasty on Nov. 18 2003,19:53Second that.
Don't necessarily want to install much other stuff, but would like to try adding a few small items such as an older version of midnight commander for example.
Often it's just informative seeing what others have done....
re >> "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him
>> how to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime".
Prefer terry Pratchetts
"Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day.
Set fire to him, and he's warm for the rest of his life"