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Now that I have, after much experimentation, got Links (my favorite browser) to run properly on the framebuffer, I am thinking of creating a "framebuffer desktop" for myself. This will ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    I have a gleam in my eye


    Now that I have, after much experimentation, got Links (my favorite browser) to run properly on the framebuffer, I am thinking of creating a "framebuffer desktop" for myself. This will mean first installing the directfb library, then building a version of gtk to run on top of it; I have found a blow-by-blow account of how to do this without breaking the existing X-based gtk.
    Once I have an fb-enabled gtk, I can migrate some gtk apps and run a much simpler system, independent of X. What do people think?
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast gruven's Avatar
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    I would definitely be interested in this. I have tried to do something similar before, but I just don't have the time to put into it. I had links, mplayer, and several other things going well in the framebuffer.

    Linux User #376741
    Code is Poetry

  3. #3
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I like the idea ... always good to have options

  4. #4
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    I tried it too and even got so far as getting Links working under framebuffer. I remember being disappointed at the speed with which framebuffer rendered images. There were other annoyances and I eventually gave up. I'd be interested in reading about your progress though!
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

  5. #5
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Is this anything like Is Not X which is kind of cool.
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


    The Fifth Continent

  6. #6
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    Is this anything like Is Not X which is kind of cool.
    No. I gather from the INX site that this is purely a CLI distro. I want a graphical desktop, but one which can run without the whole universe of interlinked libraries and protocols that is xorg. You know my mania for internal simplicity. Also the thought of having something that hardly anyone else has is intriguing.

    Of course it could never be a complete and self-sufficient desktop. There are some websites where I can only use Firefox. And I need LibreOffice. Both of these need X. But X could be an occasional thing that I start up when I need it, not the normal way of working.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

  7. #7
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    It sounds even cooler! Are you going to release it as a distro even as a one off for those of us who would like a look but are too lazy, inept or busy to have a go ourselves?

    I fit into at least one of those categories but I'm not going to tell you which ones
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


    The Fifth Continent

  8. #8
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Here is a preliminary specification:

    API:
    1. Directfb - available from Crux repositories
    2. Cairo, pango and gtk2 for directfb - need to be built locally.

    Apps that run on directfb:
    1. Links browser
    2. fbida image and pdf viewers (formerly fbi)

    Apps that would require fb-enabled gtk2
    1. My barbarella buttonbar - acts as launcher
    2. My mount-tool and trashcan
    3. Sylpheed for email (could use mutt but then I'd need a MTA. Sylpheed is stand-alone)

    "CLI is simpler"
    1. Virtual console instead of xterm
    2. vim as editor instead of gvim
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

  9. #9
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    OK, update on this. I installed directfb yesterday and fbida today. fbida is cool: you get an image viewer called fbi, which can handle most formats (but not xpm), and a pdf viewer called fbgs. fbgs is fine for small pdfs, not so good for big ones like manuals, because it insists on loading the entire document before it displays anything. Both have nice clear displays and good zoom facilities.
    The next step will be to build my new gtk, but I mean to do this in a leisurely manner, step by step, as that way I am less likely to do something stupid and break my system.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

  10. #10
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Well, I have gtk-fb compiled and have been experimenting with the gtk-demo program. At the moment it only displays with root access, because of problems in accessing /dev/tty0 (why I don't know because fbi and fbgs, which run directly on top of directfb, don't have this problem). I could get around it by adding myself to the tty group but I'm not sure about the security aspects of doing that.
    The display is very basic, much less sophisticated than gtk in X, but it will take a lot of experiments to see what I can and can't do with it.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

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