Trisquel + Devuan Unstable - I did a thing

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andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

We've been talking about ways to get newer packages into a Trisquel base. I read the other day about BedrockLinux - a script that you can use on various distros to get them to coexist with the package manager and packages from a different distro. So I tried it out and installed Trisquel, and added the Devuan Unstable repo on top of Trisquel.

Bedrock is not a Linux distro, but a script that gets different package managers to work together in layers called "strata" on your system.

Here's how it works:
1. Install fresh Trisquel system. I did not use the XFS file system, as Bedrock does not work well with some file systems and I did not want to take the chance of running into errors with XFS - I used one large partition with ext4, which worked well for me.
2. Update the system with apt update and apt upgrade
3. Downloaded the BedrockLinux script for x86-64 architecture from here: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/bedrocklinux/bedrocklinux-userland/0.7/releases
3. Run the script as root: sh ./bedrock-linux-release-arch.sh --hijack
4. Reboot
5. Add the Devuan unstable version (which Devuan calls "ceres") "strata" to the system, with the name "ceres" (or pick your own preferred name):
$ sudo brl fetch -n ceres -r ceres devuan
6. Try adding a package from Devuan to the system, in this case I'll install the 'galculator' desktop calculator program:
[as root] $ strat ceres apt install galculator
7. Add galculator to the Trisquel Mate menu:
a. right click the Mate Menu button and select "Edit Menu"
b. select the "Accessories" category, and select "New Item"
c. give the new menu item the name "galculator", and on the 'Command' line navigate to /bedrock/strata/ceres/usr/bin/galculator

The one error I am getting, which doesn't stop anything from functoning but does look ominous, is a warning each time I log in that says: "Error found when loading /etc/profile: /bin/sh: 2: [: xmate: unexpected operator. As a result the session will not be configured correctly. You should fix the problem as soon as feasible." I've searched but can't find any info about this error message. If anyone has an idea what I should do to fix the error, please let me know. I don't know what "xmate" refers to here, and am not finding any clues online. The only change to /etc/profile is a line has been added at the bottom ". /bedrock/run/profile".

I don't think I added any non-free software at all by doing this. I ran the vrms program which searches the system for non-free programs and non-free firmware, and it didn't find anything. The Devuan parts that are downloaded are kind of a "minimal install" of Devuan, and shouldn't have used any firmware at all.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

If users know how to avoid non-free firmware in Debian/Devuan installation, they can make it (almost) as free/libre as Trisquel.

I respect the efforts made by Trisquel community. The problem (in my opinion) is that Ubuntu LTS isn't a good base. The result is that Trisquel is only suitable for archeological use.

Ubuntu advertises "user experience", but actually its user experience is disastrous. Many users can't install it on recent UEFI systems at all. (This is why Canonical suddenly re-activated its community maintenance team and desperately wanted a new installer).

I have been complaining about Ubuntu's ubiquity installer for many years. On many UEFI systems, after a "successful" installation, the ESP was still blank. On some systems, repeating the same installation process worked, but on some other systems not.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

> "If users know how to avoid non-free firmware in Debian/Devuan installation, they can make it (almost) as free/libre as Trisquel."

True, it's what I do, and you as well. Debian does have some freedom problems though. I'm surprised that Debian doesn't move to using abrowser, which is actually a better browser than firefox in my testing. Or LibreWolf.

> "I respect the efforts made by Trisquel community. The problem (in my opinion) is that Ubuntu LTS isn't a good base."

Agreed. But the problem that I was trying to solve was getting newer packages for people who do want to use Trisquel. Guix is one option, Appimages are an option in some cases, and this BedrockLinux might be an option, as long as it doesn't lead someone into using non-free software.

Bedrock would also work to install Debian on top of Trisquel, but I use Devuan instead of Debian, so that's the one I tried.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

> for people who do want to use Trisquel.

Do you mean, archeologists?

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Well, I'm an archeologist, and I don't know any non-archeologists who use Trisquel. So I think that goes without saying.

Are you saying you are not an archeologist? Are you some kind of spy? What are you doing here, spying on all of us and our archeological work and our archeological tools and our other archeological stuff? You know who else spied on archeologists? Nazis, in the acclaimed documentary "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

I thought you were suggesting that some archeologists might be using other systems, which would be an abomination.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

> I don't think I added any non-free software at all by doing this.
> Guix is one option

A recent thread mentioned something about Guix possibly leading users to eventually installing proprietary software. I wonder what the SFS thinks about that.

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/plasma-cannot-start-all-shell-packages-missing#comment-158816

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Guix doesn't have firefox and it doesn't have pip3. I don't know what that poster is referring to, which, in the poster's words would, "install software that allows you to install non-libre software without any warning." I doubt that is true, or it would not be an FSF approved distro. The poster doesn't give any examples, so I must assume that the poster may not know what they are talking about.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

I have found nothing to support their claim, but I might have missed something.

I am not overly preoccupied, but I'd like to make sure whether this is FUD or some serious caveat.

Not sure either what they mean by "without a warning". The FSF endorsement procedure does not mention anything about "warning", but about "not steering":

"A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so. The system should have no repositories for nonfree software and no specific recipes for installation of particular nonfree programs. Nor should the distribution refer to third-party repositories that are not committed to only including free software; even if they only have free software today, that may not be true tomorrow. Programs in the system should not suggest installing nonfree plugins, documentation, and so on."

There seem to be several repos with possibly nonfree software packaged for Guix, but they heavily warn against promoting them or even referring to them on Guix official channels. This is beyond the reach of the Guix maintainers anyway. I also doubt it is possible to install any of this crap without knowing what you are doing.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

Nor should the distribution refer to third-party repositories that are not committed to only including free software

The presence of Pip among the packages (and maybe other such packages easing the search and installation of possible nonfree software) may be the reason for the claim: https://guix.gnu.org/packages/python-pip-20.2.4/

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

Actually, the FSF has been known to make oversights. From time to time.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Oh, I see - I was looking for pip3, not for the python-pip package.

I disagree with the idea that pip installs non-free software that the user is totally unaware of though.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

That is not what the sentence I quoted says.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

I wasn't disagreeing with you - I was disagreeing with an earlier poster whose post was linked that said that Guix installed software which installed non-free software without the user's knowledge. I do not think that is true. My experience with pip is that I have control over what it installs.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

I also think that if there is a problem with pip, it has nothing to do with "installing non-free software without a warning".

I am not sure how this precise sentence in the FSF guidelines is supposed to be interpreted, but "not referring to" is certainly not the same thing as "not making it possible to install from". Maybe having python-pip in the Guix repo might not be enough to be called "referring to" it?

If Guix is in breach of the guidelines because it has python-pip in its repo, then anyone here recommending Guix is in breach, which would be curious given that the Guix System is in the list of endorsed distros. I could find zero discussion about this potential problem elsewhere.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

Is this a similar situation to having the 'pypibrowser' or the 'pipsi' packages in the Trisquel repo?

(I updated the main thread so we can leave this out of the Troll Lounge https://trisquel.info/en/forum/plasma-cannot-start-all-shell-packages-missing#comment-159137).

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

Sorry for answering with another question (I am not on a Trisquel system): does pispi really work on Trisquel? Beside saying that "pipsi is no longer maintained", https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mitsuhiko/pipsi/master/README.md says that "pipsi is a wrapper around virtualenv and pip", but pip is out of Trisquel's repository.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

> does pispi really work on Trisquel?

No idea. I just noticed that it is available in Synaptic, and says it is a wrapper around pip.

I was more intrigued by 'pypibrowser'. Hosting a package for browsing a repository from which one can install non-free packages does not sound much more remote from "referring to" than hosting an installer for that repository.

So my question remains: is hosting any of these two packages so different from hosting a package that installs pip? Also, given that Guix does have pip in its repository, maybe Trisquel is being stricter than the FSF requires.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

I never use pipsi - too many calories. I use diet pipsi.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

SFS recommends no pipsi at all, only wata.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

Another idea...

I have found that Calamares is available in Debian buster. Do you have any interest in developing a new installer based on it? (To replace the broken-beyond-repair ubiquity installer.)

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

No need for that, the socialist revolution will come and produce perfect, free installers for archeologists.

amuza
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2018

Thank you Banana.

Yes, I got pip from Guix and, as far as I remember, I could also install Flatpak from Guix.

I cannot remember about Snap.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Update - a couple of points about my Trisquel + Devuan Unstable thing -
a. this should all work just as well with Debian Unstable on top of Trisquel, or even with the latest Ubuntu on top of Trisquel. I use Devuan because that's the other distro with which I'm most familiar.
b. by default, only the main repo is enabled for the Devuan Unstable "strata", so this would avoid obvious proprietary software or firmware just like the Debian main repo does not include proprietary software or firmware. The contrib and non-free repos are disabled.
c. Updating software takes twice as long, since you have to update both the Trisquel software and the Devuan software.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

I like this option.

Time permitting, I might be tempted to try a similar, but reverse approach: start with Debian/Devuan and add Trisquel's repo. You mentioned Abrowser, I think I would very much like to have it, and maybe a few other Trisquel peculiarities. I hope this makes sense. I am more into gardening these days.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

> Time permitting, I might be tempted to try a similar, but reverse approach: start with Debian/Devuan and add Trisquel's repo.

Not so easy. There are pre-built Bedrock Linux "strata" that the Bedrock script knows how to import for Devuan and Debian. If you want to create your own "strata" from Trisquel, it would probably take a good bit of work.

However, if all you want is abrowser, it's very easy to add the Trisquel repo to Devuan (or Debian) and keep an updated copy of abrowser running on it. I think I may have written a how-to on doing that - if not, let me know and I'll write it. You need to use apt pinning to use abrowser but not use the Trisquel system packages, but the apt pinning instructions are super easy.

> I am more into gardening these days.

That's what all the people say that are spying on us archeologists. "Don't mind me, I'm just a gardener".

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

I see. I think you mentioned adding the Trisquel repo to Devuan in an earlier thread. I guess I would just need to level up to apt pinning, which does not sound too overwhelming. The main thing is that I am now so much used to the Trisquel feel that I am not sure what I would miss on Debian/Devuan for my daily routines, and how to get some of it back.

> "Don't mind me, I'm just a gardener"

Needless to say, I am an archeologist gardener. I dig to unearth antique gardens. I grow new specimens from various seeds found in old strata. Beware the looming invasion of giant fox-eating eggplants we just found in that Assyrian henhouse.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

I can't find where I posted the how-to, so I'll do that today. I might have posted it earlier, but I have trouble finding old posts on the Trisquel forum. The forum search function gives strange results.

The apt pinning is very easy. In fact, the whole process of adding abrowser to Devuan via the repo is very simple.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

This is probably the post I was referring to: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/build-debiantrisquel-desktop-too#comment-157879

It appears you gave the outline there, and announced your general intention to give more details, which you have now done, and for which I am grateful. Are you in fact an archeologist marketer? You skillfully teased the crowd through gradual unveiling of how to use that archaic Trisquel repo on Devuan. We are hearing news about mass migration to Devuan+Trisquel.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

> "We are hearing news about mass migration to Devuan+Trisquel."

As you know, news travels very slowly in the world of archeology. I'm chiseling "Devuan+Trisquel" into a stone tablet in Egypt as we speak, hoping that some day thousands of years from now it is found by other archeologists. I'm thinking that Trisquel 10 may be available for them to try by then.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

> in Egypt as we speak

Lucky you. I am currently stuck in what used to be a wonderful mountain place. This year it has turned into a moisture nightmare. Everything is damp because of the accumulated heavy rains of spring and summer combined, and temperatures so far have been too mild to dry the place. People usually come here to escape the summer heat waves. I think this year everybody fled to escape the swamp.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

In fact, I think I am slowly morphing into a toad, my voice especially is changing. I have also noticed that flying insects are markedly staying clear from me. I am wondering what an archeologist toad might do for a living, especially if insects keep escaping him. Some people say I should consider myself lucky, because my house has not been flooded. But I am a toad, people!

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

I added the Devuan unstable version of the mpv multimedia player to the Trisquel system today. Trisquel had version 0.27.2-1 available, but with Devuan unstable I got version 0.32.0-3.

Adding mpv to the Trisquel Mate menu was more complicated than adding something simple like galculator. If you just try to directly link to /bedrock/strata/ceres/usr/bin/mpv, you get a "shared libraries" error when trying to start mpv. Here are the steps to add it to the Mate menu:
1. Bedrock Linux will have created an "mpv.desktop" file in /bedrock/strata/ceres/usr/share/applications. Copy this file to ~/.local/share/applications/

$ cp /bedrock/strata/ceres/usr/share/applications/mpv.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/mpv.desktop

2. Open the mpv.desktop file and copy the command on the Exec line:

$ pluma ~/.local/share/applications/mpv.desktop
copy "mpv --player-operation-mode=pseudo-gui -- %U" from the Exec: line

3. Right click on the Mate menu, select "Edit Menus", and go to "Sound & Video" and select "New Item". Name the new menu item "mpv", paste the Exec: line from mpv.desktop into the "Command" spot: "mpv --player-operation-mode=pseudo-gui -- %U".

4. Pick an icon - I chose the icon for mpv at /bedrock/strata/ceres/usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps/mpv.png. Close the "New Item" box and the "Edit Menus" box. You should be able to launch the Devuan unstable version of mpv from the Mate menu now.

5. Because you've copied mpv.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications/, typing the "mpv" command in your terminal should start up an instance of the Devuan unstable mpv. All done.

lanun
Conectado
se unió: 04/01/2021

This is much more than fine tuning Trisquel with Devuan's base, this is tulle chiseling at its finest.

I was met with suspicious eyes by Beowulf when I tried to throw in the trisquel-app-install in the middle our friendly discussion. I know, I know, this was a silly idea but I wanted to try nonetheless. I was reminded of a story of someone who tried to feed a carrot to a dog. Yes, a carrot. Not a parrot.