DSL Tips and Tricks :: Getting 4.4.10 to Function


DSL After 90 Days : A Report : 2009mar31am0331

Hope everyone had a great DST change this weekend (hee hee; dont get me started). Anyway, my work since the first of the year has resulted in a stable, well-configured DSL-based Linux installation which I would like briefly to discuss. As an experienced programmer & computer scientist Ive long maintained that if youve got anything to document you havent done enough programming. Ive rewritten this post a number of times but in fact the coding Ive done to get DSL 4.4.10 to function finally speaks for itself & is posted on my project site, which of course will remain a work in progress.


Ive come a long way since my initial disenchantment with our favourite LUA programmer & these days Im studying the gnonsense surrounding ld. As Ive always said, despite its overambitious desktop engineering DSL is a brilliant architecture for the Linux experimenteur. Nearly everything needed for real work is either in the base system or properly bundled in the extensions repository. Because programs are reinstalled from scratch with each flashdrive boot a broken system rarely remains that way provided the ${HOME} directory & the startup scripts are managed properly. & although Ive installed programs from Debian & from the net at large Im more than satisfied with the preKDE / pregnome environment & the 2.4.31 kernel.

Anyway, heres a summary enumeration of whats been done. Refer to my posted scripts & config files for details.

1. Complete elimination of DFM; rehabilitating XTdesk including a script to restart the desktop without cycling X; fixing "switcher.lua" (& its support in the .xinitrc); patching mydsl-load to properly remove unmounted icons; a script to run xsetup in such a way that user mods to the bootlocal.sh & .xserverrc are persistent (particularly systemwide support for right-Alt)

2. Enabling numpad navigation keys under X via xmodmap; setting the mouse config via xset in the .xinitrc; standardising on "mount.app -n" rather than mount.lua; a script to generate a "bootable UCI" which when placed on a remastered LiveCD will find & restore the user backup from the booted volume without requiring commandline parms

3. A pair of system control scripts, one to centralise operational functions (backup, mount, ppp, WM switch, UCI unmount, xsetup, XTdesk restart &c.) via a pesudomenu of stubfiles accessible from any filemanager (including Lynx) even with WM menuing unavailable, & an IceWM menu handler script which performs a conditional single-point mydsl-load install of invoked applications prior to their execution

4. Finetuning of the backup (& the cacheing / history behaviour of the browsers) to eliminate bloat from files which can regenerate themselves at runtime & can thus be added to the .Xfiletool.lst:

# -- firefox --
# -- opera --
# -- misc --

5. Abandonment of EmelFM in favour of VFU & particularly Midnight Commander 4.61 both of which are capable of preserving timestamps during move / copy; also coding their user menus to invoke one another & perform mount / umount of filesystems & mydsl-load of DSL extensions

6. Further tidying of the midcomm (& VFU) bindings files to properly handle archives, AVIs, SWFs, Imakefiles &c.; also enablement of the midcomm "subshell" capability by configuring the Unix98 master / slave pseudottys via the bootlocal.sh (or its equivalent)

7. Installation of rman & wp2x from Debian, scripted to convert their output to HTML & route it to Lynx (repackaged as a UCI) making manpages & WP51 documents effortlessly available when integrated with VFU & midcomm

8. Unhanging tty1 by running xinit asynchronously & desquirreling the infinite loop around it in the DSL startx script in favour of a general purpose script which also enables access to additonal virtual consoles via openvt

9. Installation of the procps utils (particularly the version of top) to get a handle on memory usage & the use of "exec" when chaining bash scripts; the multiple instances seen of Java, firefox & opera are apparently implementing threaded processing by assigning new PIDs to forked images of the original process

10. Installation of rexima from Debian scripted to use umix to load & save soundcard settings

& thats it (!). Before settling down to start some C programming I finished getting the consoles configured. More scrollback lines & no scrollbar in the .Xdefaults along with the 9x15 font & a default Aterm geometry of 088x037+000+010 for my humble 800x600 VGA session. The geometry should be in the scripts only when necessary & in the IceWM winoptions file only to bring up applications maximised (firefox, AxYftp) or in the screen corners (mount.app, calcoo &c.). BTW the 4096byte bitmapped fonts Id collected aeons ago from Roman Czyborraland really do load right up via "consolechars" in a native virtual console. That even includes 33line & 14pt fonts that make Lynx exceedingly useful at the lower resolutions.

Finally, if you havent seen Xcruise at Debian install it right away. It lets you fly thru the Linux filesystem as if it were galaxies in deep space. It doesnt like NTFS much but itz an absolute trekker on a properly burned ISO. To sum it all up, Linux works great, & DSL is great Linux. Keep up the excellent work everybody. :)

....+....1.. Kevin A Powell .3....+....4
(!) kevipow@tifosi.net
(!) http://kevipow.vze.com

original here.