DSL 1.3 Pre-announcement

Forum: User Feedback
Topic: DSL 1.3 Pre-announcement
started by: roberts

Posted by roberts on July 11 2005,20:53
Hi everybody,

I am breaking with tradition here. But there has been so much new and changed in the soon to be release of DSL 1.3 that I wanted to give evryone a heads up.

Here is the not quite yet official change log for 1.3:

1. Created an Icon layout manager for xtdesk.
     I wrote a layout manager. Icons will snap into place upon loading.
     Everything is in alphabetical order.
     Base icons will be followed by extension icons.
     This will have a big impact for those who have these currently backuped.

2. Improved icon and menu persistence with extensions.
     I  removed .xtdesktop and .fluxbox/menu from xfiletool.lst
     You can now backup and restore these.

3. Created a GUI date/time tool. System>Set Date Time
     Another lua gui gives more polish to DSL.

4. Created a frugal grub install script.
     I made this after seeing the renewed interest in frugal.
     frugal_grub is much more friendly for hard drives with multiple OS
     and easier to change boot options.

5. Replaced rxvt with aterm and added transparency xshell options.
     I had to make many changes throughout the system for this.
     You would think it would have been easier.
     If you see an extension with a "blank" or unreadable shell window
     Please let Ke4nt know so that it can be corrected.

6. Updated naim. John updated this popular program.

7. Replaced BashBurn with cdw. Another tiny marvel that John found.

8. Changed filetool.lst, xfiletool.lst, and webdata.lst to be hidden files.
     After some discussion, I changed these system files to be hidden.
     Some users would accidentially delete them.
    Again big impacts when you move to 1.3.

9. Reduced iso by stripping libraries of debug symbols
    As other distros get bigger, we got smaller.
     Again this affects so many files, mainly libraries, as I had
     most of the regular ELF files done. Hard to have tested everything.

10. Many typo's have been fixed
     I will acknowledge thanks later after official release.

     I also fixed many bugs as reported in the forums.
     Thanks will follow official release.

11. Fixed 2button mouse bug.

12. Adding users capability is now defaulted.

13. Fixed xvesa "leftovers" bug when choosing lower resolutions.

14. Fixed eth0 disable upon use of pon.

15. Fixed the null menu bug upon loading certain menuless extensions.

16. Deprecated the "ci" extension type.

17. Added persistenance to embedded user.tar.gz for uci types.

18. Internet man page lookup bug fixed.

19. New default theme.


These changes have gone through alot of testing by ke4nt, chris, and SaidenUnleashed. I created some 14 pre-releases to get this into testing ASAP.

Since the the filetool.lst and such have changed, you may lose your backup.  Your backup would be restored, but then be overwritten using the .filetool.lst thereby you may lose data.

Before booting the new version, using your existing system make a backup of your backup.tar.gz file. This is a MUST.
You should then boot this release with the "norestore" option. Experience the new features first. As there are changes throughout, even .emelfm is affected. If you "restore" your backup you may very likely break something.

I will now ask Ke4nt, Chris, and SaidenUnleashed to please post their experiences and recommendations for moving to DSL 1.3



Posted by clivesay on July 11 2005,22:00
Alot of Shingledecker magic in this next release.

I have a couple of comments/suggestions

Icon management is a really cool addition to DSL. Everything snaps to a grid nice and clean. Ke4nt has been going through the extensions cleaning up the existing icons. Mainly we want the icons to have transparent backgrounds and be 48x48 in size. Please keep this in mind when submitting new extensions to the community.

Backup/restore MUST be addressed by everyone. Please say it with me:  
Good! Now we can move on.

Here is what I did.

1. made a copy of my backup.tar.gz (See above :) )
2. renamed the copy to 'myconfig.tar.gz'
3. Boot up to DSL 1.3
4. Load your myconfig.tar.gz with mydsl-load
5. Go into /home/dsl and delete the hidden .filetool.lst file.
6. Rename the filetool.lst file from your backup to the hidden one '.filetool.lst'
7. Repeat steps 6 & 7 for xfiletool.lst and webdata.lst if you have these in your  
8. Go into the, now hidden, .filetool.lst file and rename any references to
   filetool.lst, xfiletool.lst and webdata.lst putting the '.' in front of each of the
   three filenames since they are now hidden.
9. Run a new backup and check to make sure everything is there.

Hope this helps.

Also, recently I have put together more pdf howto's for different DSL features. Check them out in the Downloads section in the 'current' folder.


Posted by cbagger01 on July 12 2005,03:41

Looks like someone's been pretty busy lately :)

I just looked at a screenshot of cdw and it looks like a nice console burn app.

Posted by ke4nt1 on July 12 2005,03:48
I was a bit more conservative migratng my old backup into DSL version 1.3.

For HDInstalls,

I suggest you backup your /boot, /etc, /home, and /opt
directories onto another partition or CD.
After the new install,  you can copy over personal files
and selections back into your filesystem.

For all others ( Frugal, LiveCD, Poorman's, Embedded )

First-off ..  BACKUP YOUR BACKUP !!

a pendrive
an FTP site
another computer

RENAME YOUR EXISTING BACKUP TO   ' backup.tar.gz.old '

If you have ANY issues, you'll sleep better knowing that
your personal data is safely tucked away..

I used a similar technique as I listed for HDinstalls for
recreating my backup to include my personal favorites
and files into the new DSL - 1.3 version.

Boot into the new live DSL-1.3 environment using the norestore option ..
" dsl dma toram norestore "  was my choice of boot options ..

Robert's suggestion to preview the pristine environment is wise..
Explore around in the filesystem , noting differences you observe..
Compare with this pre-checklog forum thread to find the new features.

From the desktop , I used emelfm *as userdsl* to open up
my backup.tar.gz.old file, and migrated things into the */home/dsl*
portion of the filesystem, like .xchat/ ,  .bluefish/ , .nethackrc, etc.
Things that ARE NOT included in the default /home/dsl directory.

Then I copy/pasted the lines I needed from filetool.lst to .filetool.lst .
Repeat with xfiletool.lst/.xfiletool.lst and webdata.lst/.webdata.lst .
Similar to the method clivesay listed above..
Remember to NOT migrate the .xtdesktop and .fluxbox/menu lines
from xfiletool.lst to .xfiletool.lst, as they are not needed anymore..

I also needed to copy over other files from my backup that aren't
owned by dsl.staff ( user dsl ) , such as /etc/X11/XF86Config-4,
or /etc/apt/sources.list. These are owned by root.root ..
To preserve ownership, it's best to use a *root owned*
emelfm session to accomplish this.  
Double check that these files are also listed in your .filetool.lst.

After I was satisfied with my migration, I manually created a new backup.
Check and verify it by using emelfm to open up the backup.tar.gz,
and peek around in it, verifying that the files you want to backup are in there.
Remember to answer *NO* to repacking the backup.tar.gz

Close all open emelfm sessions and reboot to test.
Leave off the 'norestore' option on bootup, add back in any
mydsl=hdXx extensions and restore=hdXx options you normally use,
and see what you get when you reach the desktop..

I still needed to make a few tweaks.. but I was up and running,
with minimal replacement to any " .iso included data "  ..

Once your happy with the changeover, you've got your custom FS ready to
begin creating custom mkMyDSL CD's , pendrive installs, frugal installs, etc.

Post any challenges you find in the forums or IRC..

Upgrading to 1.3 is highly recommended..
Also check the repository for updated/tweaked extensions ..


Posted by noclobber on July 12 2005,18:27
Quote (roberts @ July 11 2005,16:53)
14. Fixed eth0 disable upon use of pon.


This one has been a persistent annoyance for me ever since I discovered DSL.

Your hard work is much appreciated.

Posted by MethodOne on July 12 2005,20:51
I also fixed many bugs as reported in the forums.

Will I be able to run NetHack as a normal user with 1.3?

Also, can I migrate to 1.3 just by following clivesay's instructions?

Posted by clivesay on July 12 2005,21:35
Quote (MethodOne @ July 12 2005,15:51)
Will I be able to run NetHack as a normal user with 1.3?

Also, can I migrate to 1.3 just by following clivesay's instructions?

I believe ke4nt fixed the nethack extension.

You can follow mine or ke4nt's suggestions. Mine worked for me. Ke4nt was probably a little more thorough than I was so might use his methods. I can be a bull in a china shop sometimes. As long as you keep a copy of your backup tucked away, you're not going to hurt anything experimenting...at least on a frugal or livecd. I personally have little experience with a regular HD install.


Posted by RoGuE_StreaK on July 12 2005,21:49
A-Term!  Yay! :D
Posted by cbagger01 on July 13 2005,03:46
aterm definately improves the visual appearance of DSL with terminal window open and a semi-transparent view of the new wallpapers.

I am curious to see how aterm runs on very old hardware as compared to rxvt, however.

Posted by GRAWL on July 13 2005,15:15
Quote (cbagger01 @ July 12 2005,23:46)


Posted by cbagger01 on July 13 2005,16:31

No spellcheck in the forum editor.

Posted by roberts on July 13 2005,17:39
Upon reflection, I believe that these are the files and directories that should not be overwritten from an existing backup.
1. home/dsl/.emelfm/
2. home/dsl/xtdesktop/
3. home/dsl/.xtdeskrc
4. home/dsl/.fluxbox/menu
5. home/dsl/.fluxbox/init
6. home/dsl/.Xdefaults
7 opt/.start_synaptic

Therefore without introducing any new procedures, another way to move to dsl-1.3 should be as follows:

1. Boot up your existing dsl system as normal, i.e, with restore.
2. Open a root shell.
3. If necessary mount the drive containing your backup.tar.gz and rename it
4. Edit the existing xfiletool.lst to contain exactly the following

5. Notice that the 3rd thru 9th lines start with a ".". Save and Exit the editor producing a new xfiletool.lst
6. Now still from the root shell execute the following:
   filetool.sh backup noprompt
7. We have made a new backup.tar.gz that should work for the new 1.3 system.
8. This step is optional, to check the results execute the following:
   tar -ztf /mnt/hdXY/backup.tar.gz | less
Where XY is approriate for your system.    
You can use the up/down arrows to see that indeed those files and directories are not in this backup.tar.gz and all your other data is there! Use q to quit the less program.
9. Now do your normal shutdown.
10. Boot up your new dsl-1.3 and let the restore occur as normal.
11. Now we need to prepare for our first backup from dsl-1.3, since we will be manually doing a backup open a root shell.
12. Execute the following:
     mv filetool.lst .filetool.lst
     Now edit .filetool.lst and change any references of filetool.lst, xfiletool.lst, and webdata to have a leading '.'
13. You should not need to keep your exising xfiletool.lst, since we modified it to produce a selective backup in steps 4-5,
     rm xfiletool.lst
     If necessary edit .xfiletool.lst for any custom items you may desire to exclude.
14. Repeat step 12 for webdata.lst.
15. Now still from the root shell perform our first backup:
   filetool.sh backup noprompt
16. We have made a new backup.tar.gz that contains the new 1.3 system files and all our other data
17. This step is optional, to check the results execute the following:
   tar -ztf /mnt/hdXY/backup.tar.gz | less

In closing, DSL is extremely flexible, and not knowning how everyone might use their system, it can only be a recommendation for you to consider. Of course the safest way to move to dsl-1.3 is not to use your backup and start over. But I know that is not a desireable option.

My concern is that certain new features will not work if the system files are overwritten as listed above.

Posted by SaidinUnleashed on July 14 2005,04:22
Stupid Dillo... Read the post below.
Posted by SaidinUnleashed on July 14 2005,04:28
Quote (cbagger01 @ July 12 2005,22:46)
aterm definately improves the visual appearance of DSL with terminal window open and a semi-transparent view of the new wallpapers.

I am curious to see how aterm runs on very old hardware as compared to rxvt, however.

Aterm really hurts low ram boxes. At least as long as you have transparency on.

On my low ram box, I have changed the command that starts Aterm to "aterm +tr" wherever it is called with transparency on.
It actually uses less ram than rxvt while running, I think (something like 200k. Although I think it uses more while
loading. I really don't remember, because I haven't used rxvt in a long while). And it looks a lot nicer than rxvt, even
without the transparency.

In other words, aterm is nicer to older boxen than rxvt.

But just like the old default theme, the new default theme is PAINFUL on low ram boxes. I recommend changing to the minimal
theme ASAP on your first boot. We low ram guys have to let the big boys have their pretty pictures and borders. ^^
twm forever!!!

As far as the backup/restore issue goes, I have persistant home and opt. All of my settings files exist in /home, and
after a little tweaking, all the apps I use are in /opt, so I do not usually use backup/restore.

But for boxen that do, such as this little toshiba (the low ram box I use to test) which is using a 256mb cf card as hda
(no extra room), I just back up settings files, and a few other tweaks, so it's easier for me just to start from scratch
with the new backup. Mostly because I had to sort through all my scripts by hand for the move to aterm.

And I had issues with all the ways of upgrading that have been described. But I have a strong feeling that that is the
operator, and not the instructions.

anyways, this is a big jump for DSL. Enjoy the ride/dive/fall/whatever. ^^


Posted by cbagger01 on July 14 2005,17:03

Maybe we need to split up the fluxbox menu choices somewhat like this:

Aterm (transparent)     aterm
Aterm (black)              aterm +tr

or something like that.

Just a suggestion.

Posted by roberts on July 14 2005,17:35
There is already three choices on the menu.

For both user and root.

I also changed the color of the cursor to green for user and red to indicate root.

You can also change settings in .Xdefaults that will affect many programs.

Posted by SaidinUnleashed on July 14 2005,17:38
Quote (cbagger01 @ July 14 2005,12:03)

Maybe we need to split up the fluxbox menu choices somewhat like this:

Aterm (transparent)     aterm
Aterm (black)              aterm +tr

or something like that.

Just a suggestion.

i think we did.  ^_^

The desktop icon is the only place that defaults to transparent.

And I don't have enough ram on this to have icons and dockapps anyways. ^_^


EDITUS: dang Robert is fast. Or this dialup is slow :P

Posted by cbagger01 on July 14 2005,17:40

If you haven't figured it out yet, I haven't burned my 1.3 ISO yet :D

Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on July 18 2005,15:19
^thehatsrule^ suggests: maybe there should be a prompt (maybe part of xsetup.sh?), or a boot parameter that can specify the default fluxbox theme.

however, i agree otherwise that the low-ram users should be accounted for first.

Posted by roberts on July 18 2005,16:43
This has been discussed and will be addressed in the next full release.
Posted by adssse on July 18 2005,17:09
That would be a nice bonus. I usually think that the default themes look very nice, but one of the first things I do is change it to the 'minimal' theme.
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