diary at Telent Netowrks

cirCLe CD update,#

Mon, 27 Oct 2003 00:21:41 +0000

cirCLe CD update, for everyone wondering. I'll probably make an announcement on the mailing list this week as well.

Having decided to ditch Knoppix I find that I can get a working Linux (running X, apache, sawfish, mozilla-firebird and emacs, which is more or less what's needed) into ~120Mb after compression. The sources for this lot weigh in at around 380Mb, so it's looking for the moment as if I can get the whole thing on a single disc. Some sacrifices have had to be made in the process: we autodetect your ethernet card, sound card (not that we use it for anything), mouse, video, etc, but if you have some more exotic hardware (usb cablemodem, isdn, pppoe thingy) we don't support that out of the box. I'd like to add support for wireless ethernet at least; we'll see how it goes.

Contrary to the initial announcement, it will use SLIME, not ILISP.

If you install it on a real system (as I hope that most serious users eventually will), the package names are chosen to avoid conflict with existing packages (unless you have existing packages whose names start circle-, in which case you still face problems), and it all goes into /opt/circle-2003-1, so in the worst case you can still dispose of it pretty easily with rm. There are actually only a couple of "vendor" packages in there: most of it is installed from source with asdf-install.

I've been playing with Linux USB storage support recently, and although it works most of the time I'm not altogether confident about its stability (yesterday's highlight: I managed to get a Zip disk and a USB floppy both pretending to be scsi1 at the same time). There will be some way from the live CD to mount existing filesystems and save work/preferences/settings, but depending on your hardware, the phase of the moon, etc, you may have to approach this with some degree of caution.

Current status: CD works and boots on my hardware. Packages created for sbcl, araneida, cl-ppcre, cliki, clx, detachtty, and split-sequence. None of them tested (some of them known to break, in fact). An optimistic timetable would be "end of November", a more realistic one would be "2004".

Oh, for the curious, I stopped using xnest after attempting to start it over a non-local connection. Now using VNC instead. This is basically for my own development purposes, but I'm very much tempted to leave it in on the finished CD (in a completely unsupported and undocumented fashion) just because I think it's kind of neat. All sotware has Easter eggs, right?