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Turtle Kevux Distribution
Dragonfly Kevux Distribution
Featureless Linux Library
2012 / 03 / 01
Turtle Kevux 0.9.5

While fixing the installer problems with turtle kevux 0.9.4, I kept finding more problems until an entire month passed.
I did manage to fix a whole lot of problems and so I release turtle kevux 0.9.5 with a functional installer.
I also stumbled apon other problems and even managed to solve some really old known issues.
Claws-mail now works, the latest series of xorg and mesa are now being used, and even the 64-bit cdrom boot issue is resolved.

Now for the bad parts.
Modesetting is functional and enabled by default, but I find that my old ati radeon card that worked wonderfully with mesa 7.8 does not perform as well with 7.11. With modesetting enabled, its performance is barely acceptable and with modesetting off it is only acceptable performance. However, the newer video cards work wonderful with modesetting. If you have any trouble with desktop performance, try booting with the option: nomodeset.


2011 / 12 / 17
Fail!

It has come to my attention that the installer (kiwi) on turtle-0.9.4 has problems and does not properly boot.
The mistake was simple and the solution is simple and I will make another release in January to fix this.

The live-cds can still be used and the system can still be manually installed, but the automated installer will not function in turtle 0.9.4.


2011 / 12 / 16
Turtle Kevux 0.9.4 Released.

The highlights of this release are:

  1. DNS Extension Support
  2. DNS Private Ports
  3. Kevux Undernet
  4. Kit, the Kevux (Git) Package Manager
  5. HTTPS is now the default protocol, for better and worse
  6. New Problems


DNS Extension Support

/etc/resolv.conf (which on kevux is /etc/network/resolution) defines how to talk to domain name authorities in order to resolve a domain name such as www.google.com to its appropriate ip address.
The standard way in which this happens is via the nameserver settings, such as: nameserver 8.8.8.8.
DNS extension support provides a way to specify a nameserver based on the extension being looked up.
That is to say, one could provide their own private dns server with their own extension, such as 'computer', and only the private dns server will be used for all domain names that end in '.computer'.
If the private dns server was 192.168.0.1, then the extension line for this would be: extension computer 192.168.0.1.
A complete /etc/network/resolution file using the mentioned extension and nameserver would be:

extension computer 192.168.0.1
nameserver 8.8.8.8


DNS Private Ports

Just like with DNS Extension Support, DNS private ports alters how the dns resolution process works.
Traditionally port 53 is used for dns and no other port is supported.
DNS private ports alters this behavior such that any port may be used, thus allowing a single server to host dozens of separate dns servers.
To utilize this, one need only add ':port_number" where 'port_number' is replaced with the desired port number.
Lets use the example /etc/network/resolution example file specified in DNS Extension Support.
The '.computer' domain name server at 192.168.0.1 for whatever reason wants to run its dns on port 80, the resulting /etc/network/resolution file would look like:

extension computer 192.168.0.1:80
nameserver 8.8.8.8
At this time only ipv4 addresses are supported.


Kevux Undernet

The first stage of the kevux undernet utilizes the DNS Extension Support and DNS Private Ports to provide the kevux domain name authority.
To utilize the kevux undernet domain name server, simply add: extension kevux 76.76.104.234:1 to the top of your /etc/network/resolution file.
The standard kevux /etc/network/resolution file looks like:

extension kevux 76.76.104.234:1
nameserver 8.8.8.8
options timeout:2 attempts:2

The kevux undernet provides the following services:
At this time the SSL authority and certificates are experimental and will be changed once a better understanding of the process is achieved.
DNS Security is also available, but it is even more experimental and less tested.


Kit, the Kevux (Git) Package Manager

The package manage is planned to be developed through-out the next few releases such that it turtle kevux can be slowly converted to using it.
Therefore, it is being released in stages of functionality.
This first release does practically nothing at all and currently only provides source based installation for whatever packages might that might be available.
The only package available as of the release date for turtle kevux 0.9.4 is the linux kernel.
The Turtle Kevux Installation Scripts have been promoted to version 1.0.0 as they are being replaced by Kit.

Planned Package Manager Functionality:


HTTPS is now the default protocol, for better and worse

In an attempt to push for using encrypted websites by default for security purposes, the HTTPS protocol is now used by default.
This means that typing www.google.com will get you https://www.google.com/ instead of http://www.google.com/.
The downside of this is that a large number of websites either do not listen on HTTPS or provide a completely different website on HTTPS.
For those cases, you will have to manually prepend http:// to the problematic url.


New Problems

This really isn't a good thing, but users should be aware of both good and bad things about a release.
This highlights the major problems that were introduced and have been unable to be fixed by the time of the release for one reason or another.

A handfull of applications decided they did not want to work with no obvious reasons as to why.
These applications are:


Gstreamer

I have only had bad experience with gstreamer and have never liked it (not to mention the bloat it adds to the system).
However, a lot of the newer functionality, such as HTML5 support in webkit and video conferencing in pidgin, depend on it and do not provide an alternative.
For this reason gstreamer was added, but as far as I can tell, gstreamer does not work in the slightest way.
It fails to detect that sound support exists (while every single other application and library on the system can).
It fails to report that it is capable of playing video and as such midori won't play any HTML5 video and pidgin video conferencing cannot be supported.


Qemu

Qemu recently stopped starting up.
It appears to startup and then deadlocks or gets caught an infite loop doing no apparent task but waisting cpu time.
I have no idea what or why this is happening.
This has prevented me from doing some much needed work in non-x86 architectures.


Lbreakout2

The latest version of lbreakout2 appears to have the same problem as qemu.
Fortunately, downgrading from 2.6.3 to 2.6.2 seems to get lbreakout2 working again.
Fixing this may lead to solving the qemu problem.


Claws-mail

The latest version of claws-mail at the time of this release is 3.7.10.
When claws-mail tries to read IMAP mail, it segfaults.
I have consistently had problems with claws-mail, IMAP, and uClibc in the past, so this may be caused by some uClibc bug as well.


Freedroid RPG

Like claws-mail, Freedroid RPG decided it wants to segfault.
There is no clear reason as to why and as such I can only assume its a uClibc given that freedroid rpg has not been changed since the previous release of turtle kevux (and it worked in the previous release).


There a couple of problems with cdroms:

Burning CD-Roms

When a non-root user tries to burn a cdrom, the cdrom? symbolic links disappears.
The only way to I have been able to burn to /dev/cdrom? is to do so as the root user.
This is either a bug in the kernel, udev, or both.


Booting 64-bit Live CD-Roms

The 64-bit live cdroms do not properly load grub for some reason.
This can be worked around if you have booted to the live cd and ar sitting at a grub prompt.
At the said grub prompt, type in the command: configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst.
This could be related to how I am using the 32-bit grub on the 64-bit live cdroms.



2011 / 05 / 22
Turtle Kevux 0.9.3 Released.

B.A.T.M.A.N.

Yes, Turtle Kevux now supports B.A.T.M.A.N.
In addition to adding B.A.T.M.A.N. support, there have been a number of major changes that have broken backwards compatibility.
The first of these changes is an overhauled permissions system.
The permissions system is now broken up into multiple groups:


The second of these changes is a complete renaming of the services group.
The terms "server", "service", "daemon", and "target" have all been used to reference the same thing by different systems and different people.
Unfortunately, terms such as "server" and "service" have meanings other than referring to a daemon.
This leads to a communication problem.
It was decided that the term "target" would be used to represent some service/daemon/server that is available on the system.
This change was made throughout the entire system, for example: /home/services directory is now called /home/targets.


This release also offers architecture-specific optimization where possible while still favoring portability.
In particular, there is now a new experimental 64-bit version of Turtle Kevux.
The primary problem with the 64-bit release is that grub is not available and no boot loader has yet to be made available.
For now the 32-bit version of the system will be needed to install grub.
There are a few other applications that crash only in the 64-bit version and investigation on the cause is pending.


Qemu and scummvm emulators are now available on Turtle Kevux.
The release even provides freedos 1.0, with the image being located inside of /share/freedos/


Turtle Kevux 0.9.2 had a rather major regression that probably scared away users trying Turtle Kevux for the first time.
The problem was that booting to device failed completely such that only squash and squish boot from memory would work.
This rather major problem has been resolved and with any luck no new boot regressons have been introduced with this release.


2011 / 03 / 06
Status of Turtle Kevux 0.9.3.

I intend to get back on track with my release schedule.
This version will be released within the next month or two and will therefore contain mostly bug fixes for 0.9.2.
There were a few serious bugs that got through, such as squish/squash booting from device.
This mistake will have probably given a lot of users a bad experience when trying out 0.9.2.

I am also working on a new package manager I am calling "kit".
With any luck this package manager will be present with the 0.9.3.
However, I will not be utilizing kit until the 0.9.4 release.
I will release 0.9.3 on schedule regardless of whether or not kit is ready.

2011 / 02 / 14
At long last Turtle Kevux 0.9.2 has been released.

There are a lot of new features, such as KiWI (Kevux Weird Installer), ldap support, initial floating root support, and initial subroot support.
On the other hand, the package manager was not implemented and has been pushed back to be added in version 0.9.3.
There is now support for the ALIX-2D3 such that Turtle Kevux can now be used as a router.
The router build will be made available sometime this month.

2010 / 06 / 03
Website has been further simplified and should be easier to use and navigate.

Considering the sheer number of distributions out there I have decided that there is little reason to be completely generalized.
From this point forward I will be spending time and effort on giving the system a specific look and feel.
This means that only certain applications will be supported.
Doing this will also simplify management.
Once there is a package management system in place, other flavors of kevux can be supported in the same way ubuntu has different flavors.

2010 / 03 / 02
After experimenting with uClibc-nptl branch I discovered that it is overall more stable than any of their stable releases.
I have now switched to the uClibc-nptl branch.
A large number of random crashes vanished and even some performance improvements have been noticed.
However, there have been regressions (though very few).
With such wonderful overall improvements, I decided to make an early release.
I will be releasing version 0.9.0 very soon.

2009 / 12 / 31
Happy New Years.
This year will begin with the release of Turtle Kevux 0.8.12 (at long last).
The files will be uploaded shortly, but they will take a few hours and so by next year the files will be ready.

2009 / 11 / 16
I have recently been pondering about a common issue that seems to affect many open source projects.
The issue is one of versioning, releases, and communication.
There are simply too many projects out there that have rarely had normal releases.
For example, grub never got to 1.0 and a 2.0 was being worked on which also never happened.
The community has been using a grub 0.9.whatever for so long that many consider 0.9.whatever a stable version.
The same goes for the grub 1.9.whatever.

I see this problem happening to my projects as well, so I intend to change that.
I have fallen behind my development of the Featureless Linux Library on numerous occasions.
I am currently updating my FLL code and will include this code in my next Turtle Kevux Distribution release.
The versioning system of the Featureless Linux Library has seemingly scared away potential users so that will also change.
The overall goals will remain the same, but the major versions will happen more often.
This means a FLL-1.0 is much more likely to appear in the next 6 months.
This versioning system will be drafted following my next Turtle Kevux release.

These plan changes have pushed my Turtle Kevux release slightly behind schedule.
I currently have a decently stable release all but ready to go out the door that has only a small number of observed bugs and regressions.
I intend to attempt to fix these bugs, but will not let them prevent me from making a release.
When I finish writing my FLL code, and the small number of programs that will utilize the library, I intend to release the Turtle Kevux 0.8.12.
Along with this I will attempt to provide an OLPC optimized version.

After Turtle Kevux 0.8.12 is released, I will begin working on Turtle Kevux 0.9.0.
Turtle Kevux 0.9.0 should be a very short release whose entire focus is on adding a package manager support.
Shortly following this, hopefully no later than a 0.9.2 release, I will release Turtle Kevux 1.0.0.

I have to admit that the Ubuntu distribution release numbering system is a good idea and so I shall incorporate their release versioning concept into my own.
When a distribution is released as a stable version (aka: 1.0.0), I will then append two version numbers that represent the year and the month of the release.
This means that a stable Turtle Kevux release that happens in March of 2014 will be: Turtle Kevux 1.0.0 14.03. (Major.Minor.Micro Year.Month)

The release early and release often is a good concept and I will attempt to stay as close to the idea as I can.
To this end, I am releasing all of my website and documentation changes now even though the Turtle Kevux release has not been finalized.
Once I finish my documentation and make my release, this website and documentation will be updated again.

2009 / 06 / 10
The kevux website has been updated to a more simplified and static design.
The reason behind this is due to how busy I am and how little time I have to maintaining the website.
This should be an easier and more secure website to maintain.