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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
Video setup that "Just Works"
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun 2009, 08:42    Post subject:  Video setup that "Just Works"
Subject description: Xorgwizard Default Settings fine 99.9% of time
 

Over the past three years running a recycling operation/working as an IT tech, I must have booted Puppy Linux on hundreds of different types of computers.

ONCE, I have had to resort to using xvesa...and this was on a purposefully crippled PC world laptop where the XP graphics driver was unavailable except from PC world technical support (meaning re-installs could only be done in their shop!).

It has ALWAYS picked up which type of mouse (usb/serial/ps2).

I know there are individual reports of these things failing on the forums...however these must be incredibly rare....graphics card detection must have come on a long way since puppy was first released six years ago.

Surely Puppy linux would be friendlier to the majority of "linux newbies" if it didnt ask for a choice of xserver/mouse/screen resolution by default?

An automated graphic setup program would be of much use, not only IMHO to Puppy Linux generally, but particularly to kids educational puplets, and puplets aimed at particularly non-technical users.

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6996
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2009, 02:36    Post subject:  

Choosing mouse and Xvesa/Xorg is another issue, but it is good to be asked for the screen resolution. I want to use a resolution higher than the default selected by the Xorgwizard on almost all computers I have used, while other people like to use lower resolutions than default. It would be annoying to have to find and run the wizard to get the resolution you want. It is much simpler just to be asked.
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4843
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2009, 08:20    Post subject: xvesa as default  

Hack the xorgwizard script to just use xvesa, and Puppy will go straight to GUI with xvesa.

Or a simpler solution will be to try putting /etc/videomode in your remastered Puppy. Try running Xvesa and copy the resulting videomode file from /etc.

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DaveS


Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2009, 08:48    Post subject:  

Always the problem with automation is that it has to be perfect, not close, not OK most of the time, but perfect. That is a tall order. With respect to the Xorg set-up wizard, it would seem a bit high risk given that it is usually a one-time deal, not an 'every boot' procedure. I think the best way is just what we have, selection based on sensible defaults.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2009, 09:31    Post subject:  

Yes, the xvesa does bring up a good dialog of different screen resolutions after selecting a default on the low end. It would be good for xorg to use the same.

Im currently sat in a cybercafe, with three Puppy PC's and seven Windows ones. The management say we can turn over all the machines to Puppy once this problem is sorted out.

For the moment Im going to try and hack the xorgwizard script to always run xvesa as suggested.

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DaveS


Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2009, 09:34    Post subject:  

ecomoney wrote:

Im currently sat in a cybercafe, with three Puppy PC's and seven Windows ones. The management say we can turn over all the machines to Puppy once this problem is sorted out.


I dont think I remember you mentioning a problem. Problem? Are you having trouble booting some of them with defaults?

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DaveS


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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun 2009, 10:05    Post subject:  

Some video problems here
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=314000#314000

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun 2009, 04:31    Post subject:  

DavdS - although that is a computer where video didn't "just work", it hasn't got much to do with what we're really talking about here Smile

Quote:
Im currently sat in a cybercafe, with three Puppy PC's and seven Windows ones. The management say we can turn over all the machines to Puppy once this problem is sorted out.

You obviously have a special situation here with something special you want to achieve, so I think the appropriate solution is a remaster Puppy or something, rather than changing the official puppy.
What actually is the problem? How are you actually running Puppy? Are you giving customers a multisession LiveCD or what? Are all the machines the same?...

Quote:
xvesa does bring up a good dialog of different screen resolutions after selecting a default on the low end. It would be good for xorg to use the same.

Personally I would find it annoying if I had to use it on a slow PC where X takes ages to load, as I would have to wait for it to load twice.
Also, people would need to know a boot parameter or something if they needed to use Xvesa. At least at the moment if someone tries Xorg and it fails they have already read that there was another choice that they could try. If Puppy automatically used the default Xorg settings, anyone for whom it did not work would simply assume that Puppy "Just doesn't work".

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 11 Jun 2009, 00:49    Post subject:  

Ive found a solution to stop the xorgwizard running on each machine at the cybercafe.

Code:
rm /usr/sbin/xorgwizard


Now the machines just boot automatically into Xwindows. Laughing Cool

The cybercafe machines were netbooted via an ethernet wire, but the effect is essentially the same as a new Linux user booting from the puppy for the CD.

The point I wish to make is that puppies default video/mouse detection has become so good over the years that its reached the point that it has become detrimental to puppies "newbie friendly" and "just works" objectives to even be asked to confirm them.

Bear in mind that most Windoze users trying Linux for the the first time using puppy will have a head full of all types of pre/misconceptions about how its difficult/complex/only for experts...a conception that Micro$oft are only to echo even though it is a lot less true now than previously. As any software project manager knows migrating people from one system to another is as much about psychology as technical superiority. Its a "first impression" thing.

A CD that non-computer experts/windows users could simply put into their CD drive and delivers them a fully working internet connected desktop with all applications for daily use/fast/free and immune to viruses without any interaction at all would be like the holy grail to them....a magic trick! The xorgwizard with its text interface and "expert" terminology serves in 99.9% of cases just to detract from Puppies magic powers.

Of course there is the 0.1% of computers to consider. I suggest the following solution....

Puppy boots by default straight into xorg @ 1024/768/16 bit colour, with the exception of when the monitor probe cannot identify the type of monitor used (v. rare).

For the rest of the time, puppies bootup message, as well as the "done done done" displays a welcome message at the top saying something along the lines....

Quote:
Puppy Linux is now starting and will configure itself for your computer automatically. If for whatever reason it fails to do so, simply press [ctrl]+[alt]+[backspace] to use the manual setup utility. Woof Woof!


Should the xorg fail to start, the user will be presented with a blank/garbled/rolling screen, where they will (hopefully) press the x restart key combination taking them to a text based menu where they have the option to run the xorgwizard ("display setup wizard"), AlsaConfig ("sound setup wizard), or for the expert users drop to the command line.

Another safeguard would be to add a "puppy setup=manual" boot parameter for the very rare cases where trying to start X with defaults would lock the computer.

Upon starting X, the user could be presented with a screen where they could further adjust the screen resolution, as well as pick a keyboard layout. At this point the mouse would work....the first inclination I have seen by new Linux users when they see the xorgwizard (after they have asked whats "wrong") is to reach for the mouse!

The approach above would be much more "just works" and "friendly to linux newbies" than the current one employed...without removing any functionality employed by puppies expert users or lowering the amount of computer actually capable of running puppy. Win-Win.

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jun 2009, 02:06    Post subject:  

Quote:
The point I wish to make is that puppies default video/mouse detection has become so good over the years that its reached the point that it has become detrimental to puppies "newbie friendly" and "just works" objectives to even be asked to confirm them.

Well the point I wish to make is that I think you're suggesting something that isn't user-friendly.

Quote:
Ive found a solution to stop the xorgwizard running on each machine at the cybercafe.
Code:
rm /usr/sbin/xorgwizard
Now the machines just boot automatically into Xwindows.

Have you put that code in a remastered initrd or what?

Quote:
a fully working internet connected desktop with all applications for daily use/fast/free and immune to viruses without any interaction at all

Hang on a minute. I have to find and run a wizard to set up my internet, even though I am using a dhcp router. Has Puppy 4.2 caught up with the rest of the Linux world, to autoconfigure network access in cases like these? If not, I think you should worry about this before the video setup.

Quote:
Upon starting X, the user could be presented with a screen where they could further adjust the screen resolution, as well as pick a keyboard layout. At this point the mouse would work....the first inclination I have seen by new Linux users when they see the xorgwizard (after they have asked whats "wrong") is to reach for the mouse!

OK, so you don't actually want no interaction. You want mouse interaction. Does it currently instruct people to use the keyboard? Maybe we could instead hack it to do so.
What about the initial boot menu thing? It isn't mouse enabled.

Quote:
The xorgwizard with its text interface and "expert" terminology serves in 99.9% of cases just to detract from Puppies magic powers.

Maybe 95 or 99% (of computers, not people. A reasonable proportion of people would not be put off at all). Certainly not 99.9%.
It is a good system. If the terminology is too technical, it should be changed or explained. If the keyboard control really is obscure, it should be changed, replaced or explained.

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