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qole's Avatar
Moderator | Posts: 7,109 | Thanked: 8,809 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Vancouver, BC, Canada
#1
This is a technical discussion thread about running Debian in a chroot. Please post questions about custom setups or technical problems here.

UPDATE, AUGUST 10 2008:

I have posted the newest versions of the chroot scripts (/sbin/debian, /sbin/closechroot, /sbin/synchroot, /usr/bin/debbie) and the chroot config file (/home/user/.chroot) in this post. You can use these scripts to set up your own custom chroot solution. If you just wish to have the applications that Debian gives you (OpenOffice, Firefox, etc) without the hassle, use the Easy Debian package.

UPDATE, JULY 3 2008:

The post with the first installable .deb files and a link to the first version of the chroot image file is here on page 9, and there is an empty 1GB image file with some cool ideas for other chroot options a few posts later, here.

I posted a smaller image file (730MB) with all of the applications installed a bit later, here.

Lastly, I posted a 1GB image file with only minimal applications installed here, so that those who want to experiment with installing lots of different apps can have more "play-space".

The rest of the thread is a bunch of hardcore Debian chroot enthusiasts trying to get stuff working and keeping each other up to date.

Oh yes, and one very cool video.

ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS:

Hi all,

I have a wiki entry, Running Debian in a chroot

This method allows you to install and run any of the thousands of applications, including things like Gimp and OpenOffice, compiled for the Debian armel port, without rebooting your tablet. Many of them run under the default OS, but you may need to use penguinbait's KDE to run some of the apps, because they are designed for a desktop OS and they have problems like dialog boxes that don't fit on the standard tablet operating system's screen.

I have posted about this in various threads, but I wanted to start a new thread so that people can discuss this in one place and propose better ways to do it. I would love to see a simple, newbie-friendly way to set this up so that anyone can install and run Debian apps with a minimum of hassle. This thread might help to make that happen.

Also, if you find Debian apps that work particularly well, apps that totally crash the system, or tricks for getting certain Debian apps to work on the tablet (eg. make sure you install esound support to get sound working on several apps), you can report your findings here.

EDIT: The "Discussion" tab on the wiki now links back to this thread. Nice.
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Last edited by qole; 2008-08-10 at 19:07. Reason: links to the important posts
 

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debernardis's Avatar
Posts: 2,142 | Thanked: 2,051 times | Joined on Dec 2006 @ Sicily
#2
Hello qole my friend,

in order to avoid fiddling with passwordless ssh, I changed the /usr/bin/debbie script as follows:

Code:
#!/bin/sh

if [ `id -u` != 0 ] ; then
#if not already root, call itself as root
        sudo gainroot <<EOF
exec $0 $*
EOF
        exit
fi

exec /home/user/MyDocs/bin/debian hilda $*
Took the code for re-executing as root elsewhere on the forums.

This seems OK BUT I haven't been able to make hildon menu items work.
If your menus do their job indeed, would you please try this modified script to see if it makes them not functional? Thanks
 

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qole's Avatar
Moderator | Posts: 7,109 | Thanked: 8,809 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Vancouver, BC, Canada
#3
I have added a bit to the wiki from Benson, he pointed me to using visudo to make it possible to run anything as root just by typing sudo <command>, so now I just make the exec line in my menu item look something like:

exec=sudo debian hilda abiword
That is a tested line. I just opened abiword with it.

You can make the "debbie" script just say "sudo debian hilda $*", that works too.

I found Personal Menu to be great for running these programs too; you don't have to mess around with a text editor and .desktop files. Also, there's a "run as root" checkbox.
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#4
Xnest won't behave, installed, and it's not there...
 
qole's Avatar
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#5
Xephyr works. Try it instead of Xnest.
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debernardis's Avatar
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#6
This is great news.
I installed xserver-xephyr on the debian chroot, then started xephyr in fullscreen as display :1.
Then in the Debian prompt exported display to :1
Then started xfce4-session.

Ta-dah! Full screen xfce4 (with abiword, openoffice and all the band) along with hildon-matchbox and those other odd things. Two worlds together! I am verrrrry happy :-)

Now I need a new 8gigs transflash. The one I had from Sandisk was fridged by the tablet and I was never able to restore it. My present 6gigs has become insufficient for that debianosaurus.
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qole's Avatar
Moderator | Posts: 7,109 | Thanked: 8,809 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Vancouver, BC, Canada
#7
Originally Posted by debernardis View Post
Ta-dah! Full screen xfce4 (with abiword, openoffice and all the band) along with hildon-matchbox and those other odd things. Two worlds together! I am verrrrry happy :-)
Don't you find two windows managers to be terribly slow? I do.

But, if you want to go the two-WM route, I suggest looking into the VNC method:

VNC METHOD
  • Install tightvncserver in Debian
  • Install VNC Viewer in OS2008
  • Run the following command in Debian: vncserver -geometry 770x770
  • Use VNC Viewer to view localhost:1
  • When you're done with xfce4, in Debian: vncserver -kill :1

This method has the following advantages:
  • Full Hildon virtual keyboard support
  • Right-click support
  • Large virtual desktop (with a convenient vertical scroll-bar)

However, for anyone interested in getting this to work with Xephyr (come on, you know you do), within Debian you'll need to:

XEPHYR METHOD

Code:
apt-get install xserver-xephyr
apt-get install wmctrl
I assume you already have xfce4 installed, since it comes as default for the current Debian install.

Then, I suggest a little script (/usr/bin/xephce4 ? ) with something like the following:
Code:
#!/bin/sh
#---------------------------------------
#Start the Xephyr server. Don't use host-cursor! There is none!

export DISPLAY=:0
Xephyr :1 -screen 800x480x16 -dpi 96 -ac &

#---------------------------------------
#Make Xephyr full screen and bring it to the front.

wmctrl -r Xephyr -b toggle,fullscreen
wmctrl -a Xephyr

#---------------------------------------
#Make a bunch of important files writable
#by the user. Maybe not needed in all setups.

chown user /home/user/.ICEauthority
chgrp users /home/user/.ICEauthority
chown user /home/user/.cache
chgrp users /home/user/.cache
chown user /home/user/.dbus/session-bus
chgrp users /home/user/.dbus/session-bus

#---------------------------------------
#run xfce4 as user.
su user -c 'export DISPLAY=:1; xfce4-session' &
As always, remember to chmod +x /usr/bin/xephce4. Also, you need to run this as root in Debian, so don't use the "hilda" script. You should just do (from OS2008):

Code:
sudo debian xephce4
You'll need to use wmctrl -a Xephyr or that kciconsbox program to get back to your xfce4 desktop when you "lose" it.

Advantages of this method:
  • Very cool.
  • It seems faster. Anyone want to do time trials?
  • Pressure sensitivity should work Nope.



Originally Posted by debernardis View Post
My present 6gigs has become insufficient for that debianosaurus.
That's a good word for it. I constantly have to free up space by looking through my installed packages and removing stuff that I tried once and haven't used again... I'm still trying to find a good media player.
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Last edited by qole; 2008-06-28 at 06:06. Reason: added headings
 
BruceL's Avatar
Posts: 305 | Thanked: 154 times | Joined on Aug 2006 @ Colorado
#8
Could one of you guys post a quick recipe for getting Abiword to work through Debian on maemo and/or KDE?

If so, thanks!
 
qole's Avatar
Moderator | Posts: 7,109 | Thanked: 8,809 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Vancouver, BC, Canada
#9
Once you have your chroot scripts set up as I describe in the wiki, you go into Debian and "apt-get install abiword", and abiword should run from the Debian prompt. Then you just have to run "sudo debian hilda abiword" from a maemo terminal or put that line into a .desktop file.

Could you be more specific as to what your problem is? I can give better help if I know what's wrong.
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debernardis's Avatar
Posts: 2,142 | Thanked: 2,051 times | Joined on Dec 2006 @ Sicily
#10
From my approximate evaluation, calling openoffice or abiword in hildon windows (the "debbie abiword" method) is much quicker than calling them under xfce4 in a Xephyr window.
At present I don't know if that depends on Xephyr or on xfce4. I'll experiment more - with JWM I presume, a very light WM.
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