First information for new Pyra owners (FAQ)


matzesu

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If this was the right Flash Image, something nobody cut tell me the last few days, it’s about 1 gb


Not send from my Pyra, but my Pyra is also here whit me ^^
 

worzyl

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Has anyone tried playing any 2 player games on this? I could never get it to work on the Pandora machines and I'm hoping that's it's easier to set up here with various external controllers.
 

levi

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If this was the right Flash Image, something nobody cut tell me the last few days, it’s about 1 gb
Okay, that's promising. I'd need to have a good look at the script that reflashes the eMMC, but potentially if it only looks at the first partition, it might be possible to format it to have two partitions, the first being about 1.5GB and the rest as your home partition. You'd certainly need to do that by booting from an SD card first, and I don't even know if the eMMC can take partitions from fdisk or any tool like that.
 

TrashyMG

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Has anyone tried playing any 2 player games on this? I could never get it to work on the Pandora machines and I'm hoping that's it's easier to set up here with various external controllers.
The Wifi is pretty strong on the Pyra, a ton better than the Pandora, so I have no issues with web browsing and file transfers, but I haven't tried any multiplayer games yet.


That said I didn't have too much trouble on my Pandoras either:

 

levi

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I also seem to remember the explus emulators also allowed you to configure bluetooth joysticks and keyboard keys for different players, but I can't confirm that at present.
 

docbroke

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Okay, that's promising. I'd need to have a good look at the script that reflashes the eMMC, but potentially if it only looks at the first partition, it might be possible to format it to have two partitions, the first being about 1.5GB and the rest as your home partition. You'd certainly need to do that by booting from an SD card first, and I don't even know if the eMMC can take partitions from fdisk or any tool like that.
I think it will be easier to have /home on sdcard. Once eMMC is flashed only /etc/fstab will need to modified. That way user data will be safe even if eMMC fails, and with sdcard being removable it will be easy to keep backup of /home partition.
 

Bosbeetle

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I think it will be easier to have /home on sdcard. Once eMMC is flashed only /etc/fstab will need to modified. That way user data will be safe even if eMMC fails, and with sdcard being removable it will be easy to keep backup of /home partition.
These are the linux tips I like :)

Also it would be nice if there would be a very simple overview in a thead here what the current linux organisation is, I have read some linux manuals and "for dummy" type things but the linux world moves fast.
So an overview of what is in /etc /var /bin /home /user/bin /user/etc and so forth would be nice ... Also and especially for where to find pyra specific things and where they live and what they do.

I am also willing to help documenting this (with help) when my pyra arrives.
 
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docbroke

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I agree that linux may be intimidating for newcomers but it is much better compared to windows or mac. Let me try to answer some of this.

1. Linux Filesystem:
This may be a surprise for a windows users but in linux everything is a file under "/" . So / is the root of entire filesystem if you run "sudo rm -rf /" everything in your system is gone. ( rm is command for deletion and option -r means recursive -f gives force ).
Let us take an example of "/dev" directory, which has all the devices. Your HDD drive is usually /dev/sda /dev/sdb etc., with partitions /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 etc. This numbers are decided at boot, so the hdd which is detected first becomes sda, so sometime sda may become sdb. USB drives also appears here as /dev/sdb /dev/sdc etc. However you can not see anything in your Pen drive using /dev/sdc. This folder only lists the devices, to access files in the devices like HDD you need to mount them at some place in filesystem. For example with Pyra, eMMC will be mounted at the root "/", and we may choose to have sdcard mounted at "/home". ( Note: you may backup your entire hdd mounted ate /dev/sdb to another hdd mounted at /dev/sdc using "dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc" which will copy even filesystem, so if your /dev/sda is 120 gb hdd, now /dev/sdb will have 120 gb only even if it is 2 Tb hdd )
/home , this is directory for all user data, like your documents, movies, pictures and anything else. Linux being designed as multiuser system, every user may have his own directory under /home. So if your username is bosbeetle,, your directory shall be /home/bosbeetle.
One important thing to note is names of hidden files in linux starts with ".", and usually dotfiles in home directory are user level config files. Most standard linux applications can be configured using a config file in /home/<username>/.config/<appname>/<configfile>.
Another important difference from windows is linux filesystem uses permissions for all files/directories. So usually normal user have full read/write access to his own directory in addition to few other spaces in filesystem. While root user can do anything. In linux filesystem every directory/file have sets of permission to give fine grained control, usually described in the form of (rwx, read/write/execute) for different users (ugo, u=user or file owner, g=group, o=other). Commands like "chown" and "chmod" allows changing the file ownership and permissions.
/etc, this directory has all system wide configuration files. When you install new application, it may add default config file here, which you can copy to your $HOME/.config and edit, so as that application behaves as you desire without changing anything for other users. /etc/fstab is a file which keep information about where to mount which hdd. So this is the config file which tells the system to mount eMMC at / and your sdcard at /home. Note: this file is not for removable devices.
/bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, /usr/local/bin, all these directories are for executable binaries. Different distributions use them differently. In arch all of these (excluding /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin) are symlinks of /usr/bin. So all the application installed with package manager goes into /usr/bin, e.g., /usr/bin/firefox. Note: All files in this locations can be executed by name without using full path, so you can type firefox on command line without needing to type /usr/bin/firefox. The reason is environment variable called PATH. You can type "echo $PATH" in your terminal to see which paths are in the PATH. You can also add more folders to your PATH using config files like .bashrc. I add /home/docbroke/bin to the path and keep all my shell scripts there, so I can execute them without needing to type full path.
/var, var is for variables that keeps changing. For example /var/log contains different log files.
/sys, this directory contains information about devices, drivers, kernel status etc. For example, /sys/class/power_supply/<battery_name>/capacity file will have battery charge status, which can be read using cat or echo commands.
/tmp, contains temporary files, which gets deleted after reboot. I sometimes use it to store screenshots, recordings for temporary use.
/media, /mnt, these directories are for mounting (mainly temporary) drives. On my system I use /media to manually mount usb drives, but when I use automouning scripts they may go to /media or /run/media etc.

2. Ok I am tired now, so I will only tell this
--- Most linux utilities comes with a manual, you can read them using man command, for example "man man" for the manual of man command. So now you know when someone says RTFM, what does he/she means.
--- Most command line utilites have inbuilt help, for help with cat command "cat --help", this is usually short compared to man
--- Some commands have info, try "info info" for info on info
--- For go to guides for most linux applications try archwiki at wiki.archlinux.org
 
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levi

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I'm not sure most application can be configured via ~/.config. On my system I have 83 plain dot files (including ~/.config) and only 60 things in ~/.config. Perhaps some of them would be happy if I moved their dotfile inside ~/.config but I'm not going to try that now. For completeness, it's not always ~/.config it's whatever you've got set as your XDG_CONFIG_HOME, because it's all part of the freedesktop.org settings which used to be known as the X Desktop Group.
 

Djoga'Ro

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I wonder why GoboLinux' fs hierarchy solution isn't adopted anywhere else. ? I'd use it already, if I where more crafty.
 

docbroke

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I'm not sure most application can be configured via ~/.config. On my system I have 83 plain dot files (including ~/.config) and only 60 things in ~/.config. Perhaps some of them would be happy if I moved their dotfile inside ~/.config but I'm not going to try that now. For completeness, it's not always ~/.config it's whatever you've got set as your XDG_CONFIG_HOME, because it's all part of the freedesktop.org settings which used to be known as the X Desktop Group.
Yes, many programs just use it's own dot-file or dot-directory in $HOME and that makes your $HOME cluttered and taking backups becomes difficult. Based on suggestion in this very forum I am now using stow to keep all my important dotfiles in $HOME/dotfiles directory with actual .config or .vim just being symlink to $HOME/dotfiles/config/.config or $HOME/dotfiles/config/vim/.vim . So I only need to backup $HOME/dotfiles directory and not care about all the dotfiles scattered everywhere.

(Note: HOME is environmental variable for user's home directory. You can use $HOME on command line, at it will expand to /home/<user>. As suggested previously more details of environmental variable can be found in arch wiki, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Environment_variables
Note: symlinks = symbolic links, are better version of windows shortcuts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link
Note2: I am writing this notes to help new linux users and obviously not for levi)
 

docbroke

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I wonder why GoboLinux' fs hierarchy solution isn't adopted anywhere else. ? I'd use it already, if I where more crafty.
I am settled on archlinux for my personal computer and debian on family computer. The reason is a lesson I learned that, it is best to stick to a distribution with good wiki and community. There are many good modern distributions with nice ideas like alpine/void/gobo etc., but the problem is when you can't find the application you need or you have some trouble, it is difficult to get help. I still have gentoo and freebsd on my wishlist to try when I get freetime and a spare computer, as I try to avoid disturbing my stable setup.
 

liveunderwater

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Looks like I popped into this conversation at the right time to ask some Linux related questions. I've been getting back into using and progressing with C but have been using Windows 10 with minGW. That, and the promise of developing for the Pyra, has led me to yearn for a Linux/GNU type environment again. I've been test driving Debian Buster Live images mostly and I think I'm settled on Cinnamon. I'm also considering Mint with Cinnamon, especially because they have Little Debbie variant that relies on the Debian packager rather than Ubuntu.

Anyhow, stable Buster kernel is 4.19, driver support for my built-in laptop WiFi comes in somewhere around 4.22. Do I update the kernel? I only just learned about backporting, perhaps that's my solution? Mint 20.1 comes with kernel 5.4 IIRC but I have only tried that in a VM. Meaning I'm not sure about WiFi driver there, but it looks like the right one is included.

Windows has just finished resizing a partition to make room for hopefully a happy new Linux distribution. As a future Pyra owner looking to get a head start on learning a Linux environment as close to the Pyra's as possible I have to reach out here for a twist in the arm.
 

docbroke

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Yes backports is one option, you may also consider debian testing repos, or try mint or ubuntu using kernel 5.4 ( mint is based on ubuntu). I must note that I haven't used debian extensively, I prefer arch on my personal computers, but recommend debian to others for it's comparative user friendliness.
The version of mint based on debian may actually be using older kernel (same as debian buster, I am not sure though)
 

liveunderwater

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Noting that sebt3 has largely based his pyra cross compiler on Debian I'll probably start there. However, seeing that LMDE4 (Mint based on Debian) image comes with backport repository I'm now curious enough to burn a copy to try it out live before committing anything further to my main drive.

I also have some new plans for my beaglebone black. I was thinking it might help me realize using the ppu on the pyra. So, I'll probably be in Debian there as well.

Ok, I think I have my answer. Test LMDE4 live to see if WiFi works out of the box, ditto with Mint 20.1. Install Debian Buster and attempt to get WiFi up without much hassle. If fail, Install a Mint variant (if it worked).

@docbroke Where on these forums are we gathering for general Linux questions? At least up until the point that I have Linux up with IRC.
 

NetBLOKS

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Noting that sebt3 has largely based his pyra cross compiler on Debian I'll probably start there. However, seeing that LMDE4 (Mint based on Debian) image comes with backport repository I'm now curious enough to burn a copy to try it out live before committing anything further to my main drive.

I also have some new plans for my beaglebone black. I was thinking it might help me realize using the ppu on the pyra. So, I'll probably be in Debian there as well.

Ok, I think I have my answer. Test LMDE4 live to see if WiFi works out of the box, ditto with Mint 20.1. Install Debian Buster and attempt to get WiFi up without much hassle. If fail, Install a Mint variant (if it worked).

@docbroke Where on these forums are we gathering for general Linux questions? At least up until the point that I have Linux up with IRC.
More ofthen than not, it's not the kernel but missing firmware files.
You can just add "non-free" and "contrib" at the end of the lines in /etc/apt/sources.list and the install the needed firmware.
It normaly tells you while booting, which firmware is missing.
there is even an install iso for Debian, including the firmware files directly.
Just google debian firmware image.
 

Djoga'Ro

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@docbroke Yes of course. That's why I'm rather wondering about adoption of Gobo's fs by other distros than adoption of Gobo by the users.

@liveunderwater While setting up a very new laptop, the missing wifi driver in the kernel didn't bother me at all ... well for moment, until I i thought of my USB eithernet adaptor lying around. After I booted into the new install I switch to the kernel from the backports repo.
I can't seem to find drivers that work with the sound device (on Devuan), though. I'm trying with Artix now, but darn, that involves a lot of jumping headfirst into the gearbox. :)
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@NetBLOKS Very good point. You might still need their versions from backports, though.
 

matzesu

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For the Professional Linux Users, this might be an Old Trick but:
ALT + Pyra Key (Home) = Terminal,
STRG(Steuerung) /CTRL(Controll) + Home (Pyra Key) = An Aplication Run Menue where you can search for Aplications, or Run one of the recend used Programm..

I was surprised when i found this out today.. ..
 
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