A little new feature for you
With the new Moebius release I’d like to introduce you to Packages and Containers.
Moebius wants to be a distribution focused on specific tasks for your own personal appliance (robotics, home automation, small nas, game machine, internet radio, python devel, …) instead of trying to be a full blown distro with an huge package repository like Raspbian. This distribution uses .deb packages and apt-tools even if it’s not Debian based, packages have the same behavior of every other distro kicking around, you’re allowed to use apt-get or equivalent tools for your own daily job (package porting is also welcomed ! :) ). But, due to project focus I promote the heavy use of virtual packages instead of specific version ones, so please use for example: Continue reading →

 
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Here it is !
githubAs promised I have finally completed all the steps required for publishing a public repository on github, public key is already there as well as few test packages. I have always thought that publishing a .deb repository should be a no brainer operation or something really easy but I must admit it’s not that quick. I’m publishing everything on a public github repo so https is not an option but a requirement, I have already dealt with public keys, package signing stuff and a little bit of automation scripts required for speeding up basic tasks. Now I have learned something new and I have a new repo as well.
I won’t never have an huge package selection like Raspbian and this is not my final goal, I need to do few basic things but I need to do these well, I have started publishing: bash, python (2 and 3), nano and some few small utils. NGINX, php, amule, mediatomb, samba, spotify will follow shortly.
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No news on the Moebius core today because I’m working on the repository.
As you may know this upcoming release is not based on Debian anymore because I have built it from scratch.  I was considering to create my own package structure as well but I realized it might be an huge task and I need to concentrate my time and effort on this distribution.
I’d like to adopt a ready made package structure with a strong package manager utility. This distro is not source based but binary based, I have seen many alternatives and I finally opted to use .deb pacakges. Again: I’m not a Debian based distro but I’m using dpkg and apt-get utilities with my own created .deb files, seems to be a viable and easy solution to get a strong and stable package manager, comments welcomed.
.rpm and other package structures are fine for me but I think a .deb file might have few advantages in this particular distro. Continue reading →

 
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But it’s still minimal !!!
I have decided to pack more software into minimal image, it’s growing up a little bit but it’s still minimal.
In my future release I planned to have a really small image with autoupgrade capabilities, few basic tools and software. It’s going to be a little bit bigger than planned but it will surely be under 100Mb of disk space so minimal requirements are still a common 128Mb SD card (if you’re still able to find them :) )

root@moebius:~# df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root               106967     91085     10148  90% /
devtmpfs                219772         0    219772   0% /dev
tmpfs                   223936       152    223784   0% /run
tmpfs                   223936        52    223884   0% /var/volatile

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More progress and less space wasted !
A little bit busybox customization, just to shrink used ram memory a little bit more. I hadn’t dropped any common linux commands from filesystem because I don’t neet to save more disk space, I need to have a usable system. Just to follow the previous post I have added to the disk more utilities (~5Mb !) to have a complete shell packed with a lot of tools. Image size is still across 64Mb of disk so it perfectly fits every spare or unused SD memory card you have around.
My biggest concern is related to occupied memory because Raspberry doesn’t have a lot of it and I just want to have free memory for our own applications.
Here’s my latest screenshot:

~$ ssh root@192.168.0.141
The authenticity of host '192.168.0.141 (192.168.0.141)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 5c:34:78:10:71:ca:20:73:bd:cb:92:3a:04:d3:86:84.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '192.168.0.141' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
root@192.168.0.141's password: 
  __  __            _     _
 |  \/  | ___   ___| |__ (_)_   _ ___
 | |\/| |/ _ \ / _ \ '_ \| | | | / __|
 | |  | | (_) |  __/ |_) | | |_| \__ \
 |_|  |_|\___/ \___|_.__/|_|\__,_|___/
  v2.0.0                     (250 GTO)

root@moebius:~# free
             total         used         free       shared      buffers
Mem:        447868        20852       427016            0         1740
-/+ buffers:              19112       428756
Swap:            0            0            0
root@moebius:~# df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root               110925     67194     37792  64% /
devtmpfs                219768         0    219768   0% /dev
tmpfs                   223932       152    223780   0% /run
tmpfs                   223932        52    223880   0% /var/volatile
root@moebius:~#

As you can see I saved 2 additional Megs of RAM memory on boot Continue reading →

 
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Back again with some details !
As promised here is a little preview from this upcoming release, this barebone image has a shell (ash), ssh server (dropbear), syslog and few basic libs

~ $ ssh root@192.168.0.141
The authenticity of host '192.168.0.141 (192.168.0.141)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is d4:bc:4b:e3:e0:6b:e8:53:b9:6c:f0:f7:4d:d2:63:12.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '192.168.0.141' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
root@192.168.0.141's password: 
root@moebius:~# free
             total         used         free       shared      buffers
Mem:        447868        22040       425828            0         1632
-/+ buffers:              20408       427460
Swap:            0            0            0
root@moebius:~# df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                99033     63802     29907  68% /
devtmpfs                219768         0    219768   0% /dev
tmpfs                   223932       176    223756   0% /run
tmpfs                   223932        48    223884   0% /var/volatile

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I’m currently working on an early v2.00 release of Moebius
I’m still on alpha on it but it looks promising.
I definitively decided to use my optimized repositories and leave raspbian repos where they are, you’re still able to use them if you need but it’s not mandatory anymore.
I’m heavily relying on busybox and optimized eglibc, glibc is still there but I’m trying to keep the smallest possible footprint. With kernel, bash (or ash) and ssh server (dropbear) I’m wasting ~20Mb of RAM and ~40Mb of storage and I’m still trying to reduce it even more; that’s the reason of the newly announced major release.
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Moebius is still here.
It’s been a while since my latest post and latest updates. I stopped my job on it due to other problems and collateral activities. I also spent a lot of time planning what kind of evolution this project will have in the near future.
There’re so many linux distributions targeted to RaspberryPi and in general to different embedded appliances . The final intention is, and will always be, to create a minimal distro for covering basic tasks without wasting system resources.
I have definitively abandoned debian based distros, they’re too fat and not so minimal like in the early days.
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After few days here we are with a newly downloadable version of Moebius, now v1.1.1
It’s basically a fix of previously released v1.1.0  where SD autoresizing feature never worked with bigger SD cards (>=8Gb).
With previous v1.1.0 parted utility was dropped in favor of fdisk due to its minor dependencies and disk space size but it seems to produce a slightly different output when dealing with bigger cards. Continue reading →

 
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Here’s a new version of Moebius Linux for Raspberry Pi boards, version v1.1.0 is now marked as stable and freely available from download area. Some major improvements are now inside this new image, first of all there’s a full support for newer 512Mb boards as well as for 256Mb versions. This new release image has been shrinked a little bit more but this is not the only news, in fact here are major improvemens: Continue reading →

 
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