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Author Topic: Igelle  (Read 4924 times)

Offline danielibarnes

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Igelle
« on: March 29, 2010, 10:27:08 AM »
Igelle is a new Linux distribution. In particular:

DW: How does Igelle handle packages and updates? Does it have its own package manager?

MK: Igelle's software management philosophy is quite different from what people may be used to with traditional Linux distributions. First of all, Igelle itself is installed as a read-only Squashfs file system that in itself is not modified at all before or after installation. So when adding additional applications, and when removing them, they too are installed as read-only file system images that are copied to a certain folder on the storage drive. This makes software management really fun and easy; it involves just copying the application file (we use the extension .sjapp) to the /apps directory on the hard drive; and uninstalling includes removing this file.

We have also included an easy-to-use compiler tool within Igelle that allows anyone to make their own sjapp application packages. This is, of course, a sort of a technical task, but does not require the user to be deeply technical and experienced with details of making and using build systems. So we're sort of trying to lower the bar to compiling software from source code and helping more people to make their own favourite packages. I also hope that this will help people to be able to keep up to the latest versions of their favourite applications, something that has been a little bit of a challenge with Linux distributions in the past. There is documentation on the Igelle web site for using sjapp to make your own packages so that those who are interested in this can get started.

So yes, Igelle has its own software that manages all these things. It can be considered the Igelle "package manager", although probably "application manager" is a term that hits closer to what it is.

Offline alu

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 01:50:46 PM »
i have seen it today on dww, it makes me curious about the promises, especially to make it run on arm architectures which is not current; currently, there is little software available, but i shall look for that when it comes to arm with network services available

Offline danielibarnes

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 04:09:59 PM »
I see it as a hybrid of the T2 Project and Tiny Core. T2 supports many architectures, including ARM, and Tiny Core is very modular.

Offline SamK

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 03:18:14 AM »
Igelle is a new Linux distribution. In particular:

DW: How does Igelle handle packages and updates? Does it have its own package manager?
[...]
This seems to dovetail with this thread opened by roberts:
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php?topic=5558.0


Many of the responses to the LWN article are technical arguments relating to the efficiency of using the approach adopted by Igelle.  The majority of computer users are not technical users, but users of a tool which allows them to achieve their goal.  They are more interested in how effectively the computer helps them to do this.

From the perspective of a non technical end user, the Igelle method has the attractions of simplicity and reliability in use.

If Core were to adopt this method it will broaden its user base by appealing to this large group of non-technical users.

[^thehatsrule^: url]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 12:41:51 PM by ^thehatsrule^ »

Offline Jason W

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 02:22:33 PM »
I downloaded and ran Igelle and it is indeed a very nice and polished distro.  

The package management is essentially the same as the .uci approach used for a long time with another distro.  With a 600MB base iso, one would not have to bundle gtk2, qt, gnome libs, sound system (alsa, OSS) or a lot of other stuff that would have to be bundled if a totally self contained app was used on TC.  Of course, those libs could be simply installed as deps and an app itself could be installed into it's own directory.  There is a time and place for self contained apps, it does allow for multiple versions of an app to be installed at the same time.  But self contained packages are more tedious to build against if using them as dependencies.

Gobolinux installs each package into it's own directory, then symlinks the libs, headers, and binaries into /System/Links/libraries, /System/Links/headers, and /System/links/executalbes - I may have the naming wrong.  Kernel modules are similar.  That makes for a single $PATH for each one of them and makes building against installed packages easier than with a totally self contained approach.  Then to uninstall a package, I think their approach is to delete the application directory and clear the system of dangling symlinks.  


« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 02:26:02 PM by Jason W »

Offline efgee

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 12:27:24 PM »
I downloaded Igelle last week and liked the way they implemented SquashFS having all dependencies inside one file and having the assurance that when an application is deleted it's really gone (and so it's dependencies).
What I didn't like is that during my test I had to reinstall Igelle twice because switching different options in Desktop Properties made the system unusable in different ways (posted it on the Igelle forum). Also wifi didn't work and many things are still missing...

Anyhow I was so intrigued by their solution for dependency hell (it's not only a Windows desease as anybody knows...) that I thought there must be more Linux distros that are capable of doing that.

So after doing some search I found Tinycore and downloaded it.
The minimalistic approach reminded me of the early days of Linux (in a good way) so I decided to join this forum and give it a spin.

Now I have some questions:
1.) Is the "On Demand" option actually utilizing SquashFS the same way Igelle does with the difference that dependencies are not inside the tgz file but installed/downloaded during activation of the tgz file?
2.) Can the programs be mounted and unmounted if needed (ad hoc)?
If so security would be very high because programs could be normally invisible but could be mounted when needed and unmounted after the app is closed (maybe automated...)
3.) How can automated (and successful) hardware detection be implemented (after installing) Tinycore? Asking because I found out that Wifi (broadcom) is not detected automatically (well there is only so much you can pack into 10megabytes...)

I'm asking these things because heavy distros like Linux Mint are very nice, but I dislike that I have to uninstall undesired programs in order to have a running Linux system to my liking (Mint is pretty heavy - as other major distros...).

So I thought why not going the other direction; start with a lightweight Linux core system like Tinycore and add what you need.

Doing that would also bring the benefit in having SquashFS files at my disposal with "On Demand".
This brings me to my 4th question:
4.) Could the dependencies be built into the Tinycore SquashFS files?
If so overtime Tinycore could be the basis of a Linux system that works like Igelle.

I hope I'm not going overboard sharing my thoughts and questioning these questions...

Thanks for your time reading this.


Offline alu

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 03:06:01 AM »

1. "on demand" let you download (not install) an application and its dependencies; you can then install the app. and its dependencies when you want to use the app.;

2. once mounted, the apps can be unmounted, but libs, symlinks and other related files (docs, lang support etc.) remains installed in the system; there are some scripts in the forum in order to unmount apps and remove related files like deps, but they can make your system unstable; at this point, the igelle approach differs from the TC approach; TC lets you install apps and deps for one session, and the system returns to pristine state when you shutdown your computer; you can build scripts in order to have everything you want mounted and installed at boot and you can use a backup file in order to restore preferences; as well, you can decide to boot at the pristine state and mount what you want while using TC;

3. hardware detection: you can remaster TC to fit your hardware specs with drivers and firmwares you would need, or you can use TC with scripts built to mount everything your hardware needs at boot; so yes, there are multiple ways to automate hardware detection, but it depends on your knowledge of your hardware; now, as stated in the introduction to TC, TC is not suitable for every hardware; here, too, igelle differs because they want to have a cross-hardware os;

4. there is something similar with TC regarding the use of deps files which are txt files listing deps for an application; once you want to load an application, TC reads the related dep file and mount the needed dependencies;

In my view, there a lots of similarities between igelle and TC, the point where igelle would go further is its capacity to be used in several architectures; i would hope for a similar developpment for TC which would be (given its size and small footprint) the best bet for arm processor and other mobile devices.

Offline tclfan

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2010, 10:52:57 AM »
I see it as a hybrid of the T2 Project and Tiny Core. T2 supports many architectures, including ARM, and Tiny Core is very modular.
If I can add my two cents, Igelle appears to me quite different than TC in architecture although appears to be similar to the user.
Applications are self-contained modules with included all dependencies needed to run them included. This is very similar to VMware ThinApp technology (acquired Thinstall) which packages any application in its own 'application virtualized world'.  The same as Xenocode. ThinApp and xenocode are revolutionary breakthrough, defeating application hell, where applications pollute the system with files all over the place and cause all kinds of conflicts. Using this technology it is common now to package even complex applications as Office 2007 into self-contained files, which run perfectly in their 'application-virtualized' container, making them 'portable', so they are just files that can be put on USB stick and run from any computer. This concept is different from virtualizing the entire system via VMplayer or VirtualBox.
Igelle is not going this far as to virtualize applications but idea is the same - to make applications portable, self contained modules. To install you just copy this module to your disk. No install necessary, which is similar to TC extensions, but extensions are not self-contained modules - they pull dependencies behind them...
Taking from here, Igelle is not meant for old systems as tested in some reviews and will not match TC in performance, but for newer PCs and going forward, where memory and CPU is not deficient, it appears a breakthrough to bring back simplicity and defeat mess and dependency hell on installed systems.

Offline nateblasted32

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Re: Igelle
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 08:41:57 PM »
I may not know much about most of what you guys are talking about... but there is one thing i do know that Tiny Core has that Igelle cannot hope to ever match. That is sheer hardware/electric efficiency. I say this because regardless of how "messy" y'all think a TC instance might get... bit for bit, i still believe that TC is still the far superior offering, in that the general overhead for a mass network boot would be much smaller than igelle, or the general act of copying the pre created  TC build to x number of computers within a network by even a cheap USB stick would also be a much smaller footprint. In both, Tiny Core would allow for great reductions in the IT and utility expenditure of company and corporation alike due to the ability to get most of the same stuff done on a linux system as lightweight as TC as on a much bigger windows machine, on cheaper, smaller hardware as well.