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The RULE project: efficient computing for all GNU/Linux users
 

The RULE project: efficient computing for all GNU/Linux users

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The RULE (Run Up to date Linux Everywhere, http://rule.zona-m.net) was an attempt to fight the waste of computer equipment with properly chosen Free Software. Since some of those needs are still valid ...

The RULE (Run Up to date Linux Everywhere, http://rule.zona-m.net) was an attempt to fight the waste of computer equipment with properly chosen Free Software. Since some of those needs are still valid today, here is how I presented RULE at the Rome Linux Day 2004.

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    The RULE project: efficient computing for all GNU/Linux users The RULE project: efficient computing for all GNU/Linux users Presentation Transcript

    • The RULE project: efficient computing for all Gnu/Linux users Run Up to date Linux Everywhere www.rule-project.org by Marco Fioretti/ RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Agenda The limits of Free SW for new users which cannot afford new HW What is the RULE project? What can RULE offer to all Gnu/Linux users? How can we cooperate? RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Limits of the latest Free SW for new users without new HW ● Too heavy, do-it-all monolithic desktop environments or applications ● manual package selection does not (cannot) solve the problem ● the installer itself can be too heavy ● the net result: ● current Free Software desktops require too frequent HW upgrades.... ...just like some proprietary operating systems... RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • The problems that RULE wants to solve ● ● Hardware is NOT cheap, but many non technical users need computers for work and study Any not up to date software is useless, dangerous or both ● ● No updates and security fixes and support No essential functionality: ● ● ● ● ● Online banking OpenOffice compatibility Voice/Video conferencing Digital signatures These problems above do not depend from the choice of Gnu/Linux distribution Isolated computers or laptops cannot be thin clients RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Today Gnu/Linux users are not necessarily programmers ● Can a non programmer user, by only changing distro: ● have “small apps” not forcing him to install 30-40 megs of mostly unused libs? ● get native packages of only the latest Koffice, Konqueror, Kmail? ● make sure that unwanted themes or locales won't fill his drive? ● have the latest stable kernel optimally tuned for low memory? ● ● ● ● use modern printing (latest CUPS) without filling the drive with parameters of hundred drivers we'll never touch? avoid to install hundreds of unneeded locales, printer drivers and themes and icons? select only the applications (not whole desktops) they need? run a lighter graphic server? RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • “Limited HW” does NOT always mean “old computer”! ● More efficient up to date SW is an excellent solution for ● End users which can only afford old or donated hardware ● All system administrators ● ● less modern software means higher performance with less maintenance Developers and companies that want to use or sell new desktops: ● ● ● ● ● single board fully functional very compact energy efficient really silent RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • The RULE solution ● ● Do NOT create another Gnu/Linux distribution!! Use an existing distribution (Red Hat/Fedora Core) which is ● ● ● ● ● ● Only develop, provide or change: ● ● ● ● ● an installer (slinky) running in less memory (DONE!) minimal package lists for server and desktop use instructions and support for their optimal configuration easy customization procedures by 3rd parties The advantages: ● ● ● ● ● all GPL software updated frequently (in CD-rom format, best suited for low-bandwidth users) relatively friendly very well supported many precompiled packages minimum development effort... ...focused where the real bottlenecks are others give maximum support (docs, mailing list, bugfixes, updates, HW detection) for end users only the installer part is distribution specific! “the beauty and power of NOT being another Gnu/Linux distribution!” we call this RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Current status and credits ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Installers for Red Hat 9 are working Bootable ISO Image available for RH9, including pre-packaged Kdrive Web site completely restructured for easier use last June Install guide updated Beta installer for Fedora Core 3 already available! Credits: Michael Fratoni C.D. Rigby Franz Zahaurek Ingo Lantschner and VUM Richard Kweskin Rodolfo Paiz J. Balvanz all the other RULE list members! RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 author of slinky and miniconda web site tester and all-around hacker localized keyboards and FC2 testing the vum:BOX and its manual documentation and testing Fedora-minimal Automatic update documentation Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Examples: Home banking with Firefox on a PI 133 Mhz, 32 MB RAM, Red Hat 9! RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • A success story: RULE for Congo schools The Austrian NGO VUM (www.vum.at) customized RH9/RULE in 4 Congo schools ● ● ● SW Localization in French and Lingala a detailed customization manual is available 6-year-plan, including RULE, for secondary school, proposed to Education Ministry Latest news from Congo: ● ● ● ● very satisfied users first successful experiments of video conference with GnomeMeeting from Ingo Lantschner of VUM, 2004/09/15: “due to our successful presentation..[of a localized RULE version] the ministry started to be more interested than ever before” More information: ● Initial report: www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_article=57 ● Manual: www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_breve=6 RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • RULE and RULE-related projects of general interest ● The vum:BOX (see previous slide) ● Rule installer ● Slinkydetect ● DAN, the Distribution ANalyzer ● Small net server ● Automatic updates ● Fedora on MicroClient ● Kdrive/X.org ● Mini-Kde ● Suggestions are welcome! RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Slinky, the current RULE installer ● series of scripts relying on busybox and a statically linked rpm ● runs in as little as 8 MB of RAM!! (not recommended...) ● version 0.3.97 works with Red Hat Linux 7.x, 8.0 e 9 ● not harder to use than Red Hat text install ● support for cdrom or network install ● same hw detection as Red Hat/Fedora (kudzu) after install ● Can be set to not install documentation ● Beta version for Fedora Core 3 available! RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Slinkydetect: bootable HW detection floppy ● detects all HW components in the PC ● saves their data on file with unique name on the same floppy ● Full floppies can be copied, shipped or emailed to remote office ● Centralized inventory with distributed data collection ● No skilled operators needed in the field ● Home page: www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_article=22 RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • ● DAN, the Distribution ANalyzer ● There are many Linux tools for package dependency resolution ● They do nothing to find problems, they just hide them ● End users do not care about libraries, toolkits daemons and such ● They only care about functionality ● If you have 20 email clients, 15 browser, 12 text editors, 20 news clients and many more end user applications, how do you find: ● ● ● ● The smallest and fastest possible combination of packages with the needed functionality (IMAP, HTML4...)? The package with the highest number of unused files? From a general collection of packages (custom RPMs/debs/tgz, stock distro Cds,online repositories...) Without/before installing anything (including Linux!!) RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • ● ● With this information it would be possible: ● ● ● ● Minimize HW requirements Package common libraries and application in the most efficient way Sensibly improve the quality of all Gnu/Linux distributions The RULE Distribution Analyzer is a series of scripts trying to do just this: ● ● ● ● DAN, the Distribution Analyzer (2) Can be generalized to any distribution Can be run online as CGI script Still alpha! DAN home page: www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_article=32 RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • ● ● Small net-server Fedora based server ● Using the smallest possible number of packages ● Independently developed by a RULE project member ● Based on a customized list of standard Fedora packages ● Latest reports for Fedora Core 3 version: ... current disk usage is around 420MB...[Now] I will make just a few more efforts ... such that overall disk space used is around 390MB with docs and 360MB without docs ● Home page: www.simpaticus.com/linux/small-netserver-fc3howto.php RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • ● ● Automatic online updates Red Hat/Fedora systems installed with RULE can be updated with standard procedures: (thanks to J. Balvanz for this information!) “ The following instructions will use Slinky to install Red Hat 9 on a machine, set it up so that you can install updated software from Fedora Legacy with a single command, get the current version of Abiword for word processing, and install the Firefox browser” ● http://tech.ait.iastate.edu/jbalvanz/RH9RULEFedoraLegacy.html RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • ● Fedora on MicroClient (summary from private email, November 2004) Marco, I have bought a Norhtec Microclient to have a small, standalone, lightweight desktop, because it: ● ● ● ● ● ● Runs on Both AC and DC Draws only 3.8 to 6 Watts x86 compatible processor No cooling fan required Regular expansion ports - USB/Serial/LAN etc. Can use either FLASH or standard 2.5 inch hard disks I'm going to use Slinky to install Fedora Core 3 on it. When done, I will post the result on the mailing list Congratulations for the project! RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Kdrive and X.org ● The graphic server is one of the heaviest pieces of any Gnu/Linux desktop ● Binary packages optimized for performances would make a sensible difference ● ● ● ● ● RULE started packaging Kdrive: ● formerly known as TinyX ● trimmed down X server written by Keith Packard ● more than enough features for lightweight desktops ● much smaller memory (~16MB) and disk (~35 MB) footprint Now Kdrive is being used as basis for X.org Packaging for performance should be easier... ...and useful on all Gnu/Linux distributions therefore RULE hopes to develop it together with all Gnu/Linux hackers Kdrive resource page: www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_article=51 RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • MINI KDE ● Many end users with limited hardware need only a few, but very up to date functionalities: ● GUI, integrated office suite: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● text, spreadsheet, presentation fully compatible with the OASIS file format ● same used in OpenOffice.org ● soon ISO standard endorsed by EU and other countries ● that is, really closing the digital divide between Free SW users Web browsing Email (digital signature, IMAP...) Newsgroup access Instant Messaging.. And (almost) nothing else, thank you! RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • MINI KDE (2) ● The most promising solution seems to be a mini KDE/KOffice environment: ● ● ● Koffice is officially and deliberately moving to the OASIS file format as its internal default file format KDE clients (Koffice, Konqueror, Kmail etc...) ● are Free SW well integrated with Gnu/Linux platforms ● already have almost all the needed features ● share the same basis (toolkit etc): this should minimize disk and memory requirements ● support internationalization A possible exception/addition might be the Firefox web browser RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • MINI KDE (3) ● How to proceed: ● Start from latest official and stable KDE/KOffice sources ● Find and document all the compilation options to: ● ● ● ● Not use/install sound daemon Use the smallest possible amount of menu fonts, themes... Install ONLY the wanted end user programs Other optimizations (suggestions welcome!) (all Gnu/Linux users can do the above together, just once!!!! Please come and help us!) ● Port all the patches above to existing binary packages for each distro ● Possibility for further optimization: recompile Qt?? ● ● More effort No compatibility with other Qt-based packages RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • MINI KDE (4): Why KDE/KOffice? Why not AbiWord, Gnome sw, etc...? RULE aims to reduce the digital divide and provide efficient desktops for students, NGOs and small businesses ● RULE does NOT prefer KDE over Gnome (they are both bloated...) ●If there are other solutions ● ● really ligthweight, that is fully functional without lots of extra components ● with complete and integrated office suites (text, spreadsheet, presentation) ● OASIS compatible ● faster and smaller Please tell us! RULE is very willing to host other developments similar to miniKDE! ● The RULE Mini KDE page: www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_article=59 ● RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved
    • Resources and contacts ● ● Web site: www.rule-project.org Other slideshows:www.rule-project.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=1 ● General information: Marco Fioretti, marco@rule-project.org ● Technical support: only on RULE mailing list, please! www.rule-project.org/article.php3?id_article=35 RULE at Italian Linux Day Roma 2004 Copyright 2004 The RULE Project. All rights reserved