lesslinux.org Development Blog

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Archiv für May, 2009

Xconfgui added, packages updated

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Another major step is done: An easy to use graphical frontend is added to adjust some final settings before starting into the desktop. The functions currently implemented are:

  1. Start of the X-Server to automatically detect the graphics card:

  2. Install LessLinux to an USB stick:

  3. Use or create encrypted containers:

  4. Set the user password:

  5. Adjust monitor driver and resolution:

Currently installation to USB stick and creation of encrypted containers does not do a check of free space. So you have to take care yourself. Besides that those functions work very well.

If you want to help, plese download the latest development build and run it.

Other improvements:

  • Many updates of individual packages
  • Xvesa not the only Xserver anymore, Xorg with drivers or Ati, Nvidia, Intel and Openchrome added
  • Mousewheel now works in Xvesa
  • XFCE updated to 4.6.1

Please provide feedback: I would be thankful if you provided me with some feedback regarding graphics and resolution on your hardware. If something does not work perfectly, please describe the problem and send me you hardware information so I can work on a solution. You might prepare an USB stick with an empty folder “hwinfo”. LessLinux writes an archive with lots of hardware information to this folder. Send me the content along with a description of your problem and I will try to solve it.

What’s next: I am now working on separating message strings from the tools to prepare some internationalization. WLAN support also has a high priority and the mount tool should follow soon.

Where to get it: Please download Lesslinux build 20090528-0856 from download.lesslinux.org/testing/

libc decisions in future releases

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

When I started LessLinux I was considering uClibc as base C library, it is small and provides nearly everything that is needed for a small niche distribution like LessLinux. Unfortunately, several applications needed to be patched to compile flawlessly against uClibc. So I went with Glibc, just the BusyBox used in the first stages of the boot procedure is statically linked against uClibc.

Still there are some drawbacks when using Glibc, especially the dependence on Bash as shell and the relative big size. Now there seems to be a solution for this problem. Eglibc is a fork of Glibc that aims to be source and binary compatible with Glibc but removes the dependency to Bash as sole shell and will allow for lighter configuration. In the medium term this seems like a perfect solution: LessLinux does not need NIS and for some applications even localization might be skipped.

In the next weeks I will not have the time to play around with Eglibc, but as soon as the release of Glibc 2.10 is near, I will give Eglibc a try.

Next release, switched to Glibc 2.9

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

The next build is available, it is now built upon glibc 2.9. Besides that the former firefox binary is now replaced by a firefox 3.0.10 built from scratch — when starting LessLinux you will notice that Firefox starts in Minefield livery. This is OK for now since it is not an official build.

I also made some progress with the mount tool. During the boot process hard disks and USB sticks with FAT32 are detected, a Ruby-Gtk based simple graphical frontend now aks the users’ password when clicking a device (just in case you wonder, the password is set to “test”). A full fledged “mount manager” will follow.

We are nearly GPL compliant now, all sources are available at http://distfiles.lesslinux.org/. I will move obsolete sources to the subfolder “old/” some time in the future, but this does not have any priority here. The build system progresses and since the next days will be fully dedicated to LessLinux you might expect some progress and at least weekly updates in the next time.