Good bye ipkg, welcome opkg

During last days I was working on switching Poky Linux into using OPKG package manager. Today whole work was merged into trunk and we got rid of non-maintained IPKG.

What is OPKG? It is fork of IPKG (from handhelds.org) done for Openmoko distribution. It has all usable patches from OpenEmbedded related projects merged and got some new features:

  • libcurl instead of wget for fetching
  • GPG signing of repositories is now possible
  • GUI package managers can have own callbacks
  • sends download progress updates to libopkg clients
  • marks packages that were installed to satisfy dependancies (auto installed)
  • additional command line option to remove “auto installed” packages
  • support for faceted classification (similar to debtags) – not used yet

And most important — it is maintained (which can not be told about ipkg).

Year with Openmoko

It was over year ago — day when I got Neo1973 GTA01Bv3 as part of “phase0” developer program. What happened during that time?

First there was “OM2007.1” version of interface. Ugly, hard to use, lacking features. But that was start so let forgive developers that they created such thing.

Then OpenedHand guys created new look for Openmoko — and “OM2007.2” was born. As one of OH developers I created first recipes for it (so we were able to show it during GUADEC 2007) and later Openmoko guys switched to this set of applications. During next months I did testing from time to time — one of them resulted in most popular post ever: “OpenMoko 2007.2 testing”. It hit Digg and I had problems to reach website ๐Ÿ˜‰

In meantime Trolltech guys started to use Neo1973 as development platform (instead of Greenphone). It resulted in nicely working Qtopia Phone Edition which even got re-licensed to GPL. TT also officially announced that Greenphone will be no longer available but still supported.

What does Openmoko release now for phone? To tell the truth: I have no idea. Last time when I switched Neo1973 it was for testing Poky 3.1 release on it. My GTA01Bv4 is now upgrading from 2007.11 snapshot (last available on downloads.openmoko.org website) so I will see what is going on now with development. I heard lot of E17 based applications for Openmoko + mixture of apps from Qtopia Phone Edition + GTK+ based ones. I hope that result will still fit in 64MB of flash…

Will Openmoko idea survive? I hope that next half of year will show it. I also hope that it will survive — would be nice to have usable phone with possibility to hack any application or behaviour. But until then I will keep my SonyEricsson k750i cellphone or upgrade it to newer model.

Where does my disk space go?

I have nearly 400 gigabytes storage in my desktop. Some people will tell that this is a lot, some that it is quite small size. But everybody agrees with one simple rule: “there is no such thing as big enough storage”.

From time to time I have situation when I lack space for my projects (which can take 17GB in one run). In such moments there is one solution handy: removing not needed data. But how to check what takes most of space?

Some time ago I discovered ncdu application. It offers simple interface with all required informations — list of directories with space used (all sorted by size). User can walk through directory structure, remove not needed ones, recalculate directory use — everything what is needed in such tool.

Few minutes later 40GB from old builds recovered ๐Ÿ˜‰

Poky Linux 3.1 released

Yesterday OpenedHand team (which I am proud to be a part of) released Poky Linux 3.1 โ€˜pinky`.

What interesting in this version?

  • user manual with lot of things explained
  • conversion to use the sysroot mode of gcc, making cross compiling both easier and more robust.
  • conversion to use pkgconfig in sysroot mode
  • Anjuta integration with Pokyโ€™s SDK and QEMU, making cross development of applications simple
  • new machines: Compulab EM-X270, Zylonite, Freescale MX31ADS, Phytec PhyCORE-iMX31, Logic iMX31 Lite and the HTC Universal
  • standalone toolchain and SDK application developers can develop against
  • addition of new tools to the SDK such as QEMU
  • updates to recent versions of almost all packages
  • addition of NetworkManager to standard images
  • addition of a Webkit based browser
  • uClibc support

Go and get it while it is still hot ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bought car

Today I bought my first car. It is Opel Astra combi from 1997 year.

My Opel Astra

It drives very nicely and have lot of space for all things which we will want to take with us (pram/pushchair for Mira and other luggage).

As N810 came with some kind of car holder I unpacked it today and looked at it. There is no way to mount it in the car… From fast googling it looks like provided holder require another Nokia accessory — HH-12 Easy Mount ;(

So using N810 for navigation has to wait a bit… I need to buy HH-12 to mount it (or use other holder), then buy car charger DC-4 (or rather 3rd party replacement) and then get better GPRS plan to be able to use Maemo Mapper on the road. Map application which comes with device has very poor maps of Poland and routing functionality require additional payment.

Resolving ‘Power on drama’

There are many N800 and N810 tablets with so called ‘Power on drama’. It appear as device which does not want to power on after shutting down or takes lot of time to switch on.

Few days ago new version of OS2008 was released to solve that. There was no informations about it on Maemo website. I do not know why…

But as usual all they did was release of one big flash image with no instructions other then “reflash your tablet and keep hope that it will restore all your changes from backup”. I decided to not check does “Backup & Restore” application will magically install xvinfo, gvim, powertop, custom kernel and few other modifications which I have on my N810.

So how to get fixed device? All you need is flashing bootloader. On Nokia tablets it is split to 3 parts: X-Loader, NOLO secondary bootloader and NOLO cold flasher. First you need to unpack FIASCO image (I am using N810 image in example):

$ flasher --fiasco RX-44_2008SE_2.2007.51-3_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin --unpack
flasher v0.8.1 (Jan  5 2007)

SW version in image: RX-44_2008SE_2.2007.51-3_PR_MR0
Image 'kernel', size 1529984 bytes
        Version 2.6.21.0-200749osso2
Image 'initfs', size 1954560 bytes
        Version 0.95-70
Image 'rootfs', size 137625600 bytes
        Version RX-34+RX-44_2008SE_2.2007.51-3_PR_MR0
Image '2nd', size 8192 bytes
        Valid for RX-44: 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804, 0805, 0806, 0901, 0902
        Version 1.1.11-1
Image 'xloader', size 9216 bytes
        Valid for RX-44: 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804, 0805, 0806, 0901, 0902
        Version 1.1.11-1
Image 'secondary', size 99968 bytes
        Valid for RX-44: 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804, 0805, 0806, 0901, 0902
        Version 1.1.11-1
Unpacking kernel image to file 'zImage'...
Unpacking initfs image to file 'initfs.jffs2'...
Unpacking rootfs image to file 'rootfs.jffs2'...
Unpacking 2nd image to file '2nd.bin-RX-44:0801,0802,0803,0804,0805,0806,0901,0902'...
Unpacking xloader image to file 'xloader.bin-RX-44:0801,0802,0803,0804,0805,0806,0901,0902'...
Unpacking secondary image to file 'secondary.bin-RX-44:0801,0802,0803,0804,0805,0806,0901,0902'...

Then all needed is flashing N8x0 tablet with one command:

sudo  flasher --flash --reboot \
--xloader xloader.bin-RX-44:0801,0802,0803,0804,0805,0806,0901,0902 \
--secondary secondary.bin-RX-44:0801,0802,0803,0804,0805,0806,0901,0902 
--2nd 2nd.bin-RX-44:0801,0802,0803,0804,0805,0806,0901,0902

After reboot you will have your tablet with all your data in same places as they were (because rootfs and kernel are not touched) and it will behave properly on OFF/ON cycle.