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esbeeb
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:50 pm

Raspberry Pi newbies might get frustrated if they keep installing and trying available apps which aren't lightweight enough to run with decent performance.  How can they easily know if an app is lightweight enough before even installing?  Where can they see an ongoing, evolving-with-the-zeitgiest list of the well-known-to-the-elite, recommended, lightweight apps to try first?

I propose that experienced users vet the apps they know to be lightweight-enough by adding a tag, at the Fedora Package Database, called "lite4raspberrypi".  For example, I've already added that tag to two of my favorite apps which I know to be lightweight: "htop", and "grsync".

Then any newbie can visit this permalink for the "lite4raspberrypi" tag, to see all apps that have been vetted in this way.

If anyone also knows of other lightweight apps which they consider to be "gems" (that they'd like to recommend to newbies), please feel to also add the tag "lite4raspberrypi" (preferably already owning a Raspberry Pi, and having verified "lightweightness").  If you're unsure of "lightweightness," since you don't own a Raspberry Pi yet, then perhaps hold off on vetting a given app until you get a chance to verify it for yourself.

And let's perhaps more carefully define "lightweightness" to mean "you aren't left waiting, twiddling your thumbs, while the machine bogs down, for more than 20% of the time, under normal usage."  That is to say, the app should yield >= 80% "responsiveness", during times of user interaction (and some big batch process isn't underway).  Does that sound reasonable?

BTW: It's easy to set up a free account at the Fedora Package Database, which is needed in order to add tags.

Chris.Rowland
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:04 pm

My background is Windows where it isn't usual to load sources and compile it yourself.

Wouldn't the Pi compatible applications be identified by having been compiled for the Pi? If they haven't they aren't in the list - or in in a different way?

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Jessie
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:26 am

They are identified by being compatible with arm in the repositories, but it mentions nothing about performance or compatibility with this particular device.  I'm sure once the device is out in the wild someone will put up a good list of software on the wiki.  There are so many varieties of ARM processors though it is feasable to assume that many packages listed as compiled and tested will not work.

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esbeeb
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:55 pm

Interestingly, someone on Slashdot suggested that "Damn Small Linux" and "Puppy Linux" have already taken great pains to seek out and assemble their own "software stacks" including all the best lightweight open source software (in their opinion).

They both list the software they bundle, and recommend, online:

-- Featured Desktop applications used in Damn Small Linux

-- PuppyLinux Software Index

So the question that naturally arises is this: how many of their software recommendations are already made into easily-installable software packages for both Fedora and Debian (included in their "main" package repositories)?

And if they aren't, I wonder if there are any willing package maintainers out there who might be willing to package these missing-from-Fedora-or-Debian applications, to eventually bring them within easy range of RPi newbies?  Note: in the case of Puppy, it seems they have made several custom tools that are very Puppy-specific, which might make them harder to package up, especially since they might awkwardly overlap with many underlying OS subsystems of both Fedora and Debian.

Does anyone want to check this out?  I can't, at the moment.

mjtessmer
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:57 pm

The developer of Puppy Linux is working on a port

to the RaspberryPi.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:13 pm

Yes. Puppy keeps coming up in discussions. The Pi is mentioned on their web site and there does seem a clear intention.

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PARM

Perhaps it is time they had their own heading under Distributions.

Puppy is very light and I am quite taken with it. I have a decrepit old 700Mhz PIII which takes it very nicely and is, I assume, in the same power league as the Pi.

R4V3N0U5
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:37 pm

Personally, what I would like to see is a distro designed just for the Raspberry Pi, with it's own corresponding repositories and software builds. Since it's pretty much a controlled hardware base it sounds to me like a very good option. Common applications could be compiled to better support the Pi.

It would also be a good place to keep all the educational resources they release later on.

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esbeeb
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:02 pm

Patrick, I beg to differ with you.  I think there should be fewer Linux distros out there, not more.  The more distros there are, the more fragmented the community becomes, and the more duplication of effort ensues.  Think of it: each distro has it's own separate website, documentation, mirrors, repositories, bug database, etc.  And it takes a huge amount of manpower to maintain those all properly.

There's a very finite amount of volunteer labour available in the Open Source world, and if it gets too "watered down", then overall stability will drastically suffer, as experienced by the end user.  QA ("Quality Assurance") volunteer labour, is especially precious (particularly those who actually fix software bugs).

Want proof?  Witness how Ubuntu, the currently most popular linux distro ever, had a terribly unstable latest release (where 26% of polled users experienced "upgrades that failed big time", and "had to reinstall"), despite having over 20,000,000 users (at least that's the claim).  If the Open Source World doesn't learn to "stand together," I feel it's future will be dubious indeed.

No doubt I will get roasted for saying this, but I feel that the Open Source world would progress in huge leaps and bounds if all the lone-wolf hackers out there would checkity-check their egos and admit to themselves that they are probably not going to be the next Linus Torvalds, and instead contribute their volunteer efforts to already-existing, well organized, reputable Open Source development and support communities.  You know, "working as a team".

The existing popular distros (such as Debian and Fedora) provide well-thought-out means to have nicely organized, ummm, "sub-projects," while avoiding said fragmentation of effort.  Check out Debian's concept of "Tasks", and in the Fedora world, you can make a "Remix".  The Raspberry Pi community would do well to learn more about these organizational structures, and make use of them.  There will be an initial learning curve to get over, but they will save lots of volunteer labour in the longer term.

For example, I, for one, would love to see, in the future, a Debian "task" package called, say, "raspi-edu-programming-python", which, when installed, would automagically install all packages developed by the Raspberry Pi community, pertaining to the teaching of programming in Python.

In summary, I feel we don't need whole new distros, we just need all the newly developed RPi-relevant software packaged properly (into .deb or .rpm, being eventually accepted into the official respective software repositories), and then using "task" packages to easily install coherent groupings of them (or the equivalents thereof in the Fedora world).

In summary, when it comes to keeping the enormous, tangled mess of open source software organized, it's all about package management, not forking a new distro. Witness, for example, how Debian already pulls off the mind boggling feat of keeping over 30,000 software packages well organized.  It would be a shame to duplicate such efforts again.

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esbeeb
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:38 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


Puppy is very light and I am quite taken with it. I have a decrepit old 700Mhz PIII which takes it very nicely and is, I assume, in the same power league as the Pi.


I applaud you for checking out Puppy.  I think you're "ahead of the curve" for investigating this.  I think any other Raspberry Pi fans (who might feel anxious to get their pre-ordered units) would do also well to similarily "get a feel," ahead of time, for what it's like to use some currently-available, realistic, lightweight Open Source software.

Note: The FAQ states that the Raspberry Pi will behave, overall, more like a 300 MHz PII (not like a 700Mhz PIII, despite the Raspberry Pi's 700MHz ARM processor).

Myself, I'm not interested in using Puppy long term, however.  Puppy is just sort of a novelty to me.  It has its own home-brewed package management system (called "PPM", containing, at present, only 170 "official" packages), which, to me, does not bode well for a longer-term, stable, easily-maintainable system.  Myself, I trust Debian's APT package management system above all.  It has over 30,000 packages, currently.

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esbeeb
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:22 pm

esbeeb said:

Check out Debian's concept of "Tasks".
Oops, here are much better links to what I was meaning to say about Debian "Tasks":

Here's a list of the "Tasks" in the "Debian Science Project".  For example, a new "Task" for the education of Python programming could be added to this list.  Note: I also should have mentioned the Debian terminology "Debian Pure Blends."

SoloDev
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:41 am

So the purpose of this was list apps "lite" enough to run nder 256 MB Ram and a (more or less) PC Equivalent of a 300Mhz processor?

Ok.

Windowmanager :  Openbox.  Thats all that you really need, honestly.

Internet: Most likley Midori for graphics , or lynx most likley.  All text, no graphics.  Or you can see if you can find a port of Arachne.

Text Editing: Nano/vi/etc...  pick your poison.  Graphical: scite.  small, lite, syntax highlighting.

Compilers: your choice, but gcc is assumed thats what your using.

And there is more apps to choose from, but those are what i suggest.

Oh, and just FYI: Been using Fedora since Redhat 3, then Fedora Core, etc....  But I am an ArchLinux man now.

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cnxsoft
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:39 am

That's a complicated talk to assemble such list because whether an application runs fine on the Raspberry Pi might be subjective and even if we have some distributions released now they are not yet optimized for Raspberry Pi hardware, at least for the graphics intensive parts. I don't think there is a distribution that uses hard-float either, apart from gentoo.

If such a list is made by the community, it might be simpler to get a list of apps that are known not to work on r-pi, since I assume most apps will work just fine.

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lobster
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:14 pm

Hi fellow Raspberrians,

Lobster here.

I very much initiated the interest in the Rpi, created and updated the PARM wiki page and got developers and users to commit to supporting the Rpi as our first ARM platform for Puppy.
Our initial Puppy attempts (we don't yet have hardware) will be no more efficient than Fedora, Arch or Debian.
That will change rapidly.
By default we have intimate knowledge of the most streamlined applications, including command line 'barebone' programs. For example, we may have to instigate Midori, Dillo or other browsers that bigger distros no longer have mainstream interest in. We have cooperated with the development of JWM (Joe's Window Manager) encouraging it to be smaller, faster and an optimised desktop option. We also have unique programs written very often in bashscript, that are tweakable as part of a geeks education. We are small and efficient by design, not by compromise.
We champion compiled Python like languages such as Vala/Genie or BaCon
a BASIC to C compiler written in bashscript, when others are barely aware of their existence. Puppy is a Penguin education.
Python is considered too inefficient for mainstream Puppy releases but is available to our programming colleagues and is certainly a Puppy on ARM option.

Just started a combined Rpi blog here
Glad to be here Woof Woof

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:30 pm

Ha Ha! I see that you have been to Poundland too. The hub and the card reader work fine though I have a suspicion that there might be some USB1 in there somewhere as my card reads are slower than reported elsewhere.

Is it not time you had your own topic in the distribution section?

I tried the Arch Linux Arm release yesterday and just could not get on with it. So much hassle to get a front end, to then find virtually no applications pre-installed. By comparison, your standard Puppy installation has a good spread of applications already there. I do hope you continue that into your Arm release.

R4V3N0U5
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Re: Listing of Fedora apps are "lite enough" for the RPi?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:46 pm

For the record, I really do not think that any linux distro is safe from upgrade woes.

I am not a linux expert, but I know my way around and have tried many, many distros.

I have had my OS bricked by both Debian upgrades and Arch Linux upgrades.

Edit: Let's also not forget Android. It is basically Linux, and has had what I would consider quite a bit of success, although that is probably due to the fact that it is backed by a corporate giant such as Google (Sometimes just the community isn't enough.)

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