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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Creating application packages on Vector Linux
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Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Evanston, Illinois, USA

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul 2005, 11:03    Post_subject:  Creating application packages on Vector Linux  

Evanston, Illinois, USA

Dear Barry and Puppy-fans!

I stumbled onto a couple recent rave reviews of Puppy Linux, and a friend and I are both excited about what we read. I took renewed interest lately in Puppy when I learned Puppy now has a full BASH shell! Great!

I've followed Puppy going on two years now. I always thought that the idea of loading a ca. 60 MB distro fully into RAM is a very good idea. We like that your site goes into the preparation of application packages.

I especially like Puppy forking internally instead of trying to be one size
fits all. «MultiSession Puppy» for example I think I will let alone, but for
some people it might hit a sweet spot. By what amounts to «forking» into a handful of well defined Puppies, you are giving people the flexibility they
need for their particular situation.

Where garden variety computers are concerned, it looks like there is now a practical RAM limit of 256 MB. In my own thinking I'm wanting to keep to
128 MB to be sure that everybody will be included in the math hobby group with whom world wide I'm looking to share the BASH scripts I plan to write along with the Yacas command line algebra program. I hope to keep to a core Puppy which does nicely with 128 MB RAM, with lots of wiggle room upwards, extending to an absolute max of 256 MB RAM. It's nice that a swap partition can help out, and yet I can't necessarily expect my fellow hobbyists to create such a partition.

I may have to provide several live CDs to the fellow hobbyists, because of
hardware detection from one PC to the next. Thus I may wind up with a Kanotix version and a PCLinuxOS version in addition to a Puppy. I've ruled out other mini distros than Puppy for reasons it would take too long to go into. Mainly, I must have BASH.

Kanotix (and I think also Knoppix) provide several options with UnionFS, and I think these options show foresight. My inexpert opinion is that without these options UnionFS might work against a user. Mainly, a person does want tight control over such a powerful tool as UnionFS. You may wish to provide these same options: To boot i.e. with:

( 1.) No UnionFS.

( 2.) UnionFS read only entire RAMDISK. Load previous filesystem changes (if any) into RAMDISK.

( 3.) UnionFS read write entire RAMDISK and write all changes only to /temp in RAMDISK.

( 4.) UnionFS read write the entire RAMDISK and be able to write all changes to specified /home directory.

Each option, of course, allows writing to the /home directory to some extent (if a /home directory has been set up). Naturally, each boot up allows specifying any (or no) /home directory. To explain in this e mail why I like this set of options would mean writing a treatise. But I think I'm on to something here. I'll not explain more until I'm sure I know what I'm talking about. Having these four choices means huge flexibility, which has great appeal for me. May I suggest you might want to offer these options?

I'm pleased you're going with Vector Linux. It too has gotten good reviews
lately. I like that you spell out why you are choosing Vector. I like that
some of your reasons are strictly practical and that you do not hesitate to say what they are. I like that Vector Linux runs well on older hardware.

Both my friend and I would like to become competent enough to use any distro and just put any and all extra packages which don't accompany the distro itself into /opt or /usr/local. (Stow works only with /usr/local. XStow will supposedly work also with /opt. My friend and I do not know enough to say whether an XStow is even necessary.) If /usr/local and /opt are respected, I think the differences among distros more or less vanish for the everyday desktop user. (It has been tough slogging through all this information, but a few bright spots of clarity emerge here and there.) As you I'm sure well know, these issues are tough, yet I can't believe they are really all that tough once a few key concepts are in place. Puppy of course works around some tough issues with ROX or KLIK style packages. To me, the key to the Linux desktop is clearly how to make those packages, yet also where to install those ROX-like packages.

It does look like from day one of Unix that /opt was designed for these
packages. Should Puppy go with /opt and thus teach everybody in
get-hands-dirty practical ways what Unix really is about? Including even those who will not be using Puppy itself? The practical side of Puppy seems to be this:

Shouldn't those who wish to contribute packages to Puppy by using Vector Linux all be working on the same page and so: (1) Compile so that the app and all its dependencies go into /usr/local/pkg_name and can at least be run at the command line from there by ./name_of_executable
(2) Proceed then to make this package drop into /opt on any distro whatever? Yes, this method will duplicate some libraries, but for practical uses in the home-desktop context, who cares? Did not OpenOffice begin by getting installed into /opt before anybody tried to integrate it into (say) Debian, Red Hat or into any of them?

If I ever figure this all out (!) I'll submit it to Puppy first. We would of
course like to know what any of you thinks about what I've mentioned here. (My friend and I are both about your same age). In the meantime, congrats Barry on the Puppy reviews. I can imagine you're happy about the publicity!



Wenn man hier auch Deutsch kann, so freue ich mich darueber,
von euch zu hoeren. Die Mathematik mit der ich mich beschaeftige
hat mit der Hamburg-Schule zu tun.

When all else has been ruled out,
Whatever remains standing,
However absurd,
Must be true.
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Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 4078

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul 2005, 16:51    Post_subject:  

unionfs is fairly simple
for example, to turn off /usr read/write, just type umount /usr

this is an interesting package system
everything is in one app dir
it can be run directly from the dir
or it can be installed to any dir you choose
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Puppy Master

Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7441
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul 2005, 21:17    Post_subject:  

Actually, Bash is not yet the default on 1.0.4.


in a script still runs the old Ash.
You have to do this:


I'm cautious! Will probably put Bash as the default shell for 1.0.5.
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Official Dog Handler

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11463
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul 2005, 21:34    Post_subject:  

GuestToo wrote:
<snip>this is an interesting package system
everything is in one app dir
it can be run directly from the dir
or it can be installed to any dir you choose
Isn't that basically the same thing as a DotPup? I thought DotPups were applications-in-a-directory.
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