I continue to collaborate in the development and maintenance of Trisquel GNU/Linux, one of the most popular completely free distributions with a long history.
Trisquel GNU/Linux, trisquel for short, is based on the popular Ubuntu distribution, developed by Canonical and which in turn is based on Debian GNU/Linux, currently trisquel is only following the LTS versions also known as extended support.
With more than 12 years as a trisquel user, I have come to appreciate the work that the developers began in 2007, and now that I am collaborating on a more regular basis, I have had the opportunity to understand the challenges and objectives pursued in development, from the release of Etiona (9.0) I began to get involved little by little from the point of view that a developer has and this involvement has grown in the last versions, 10.0 and now version 11.0.
With the movement of the project development meetings from Friday to Wednesday and in order to take up a little more activism that a few years ago was something more normal in this blog (or its previous version), I am thinking of taking advantage of the time used in development meetings to open a space for trisquel users and free software users in general who would like to resolve any doubts, find out about news related to trisquel or have a pleasant talk related to free software.
These meetings will take place in my Jitsi Meet instance, which for complete transparency is sponsored by my IT business, where it will only be necessary to have a microphone since they will be mainly conversations, video is not required.
12:00 hrs – UTC -5 (Mexico City) with an approximate duration of 1 hour from its start.
While it would be great to make this a global space, I am restricted to my imperfect English and Spanish.
In the spirit of making these conversations enjoyable and productive, it is appreciated to follow the netiquette in these meetings.
We continue with the development of Trisquel 11.0, codenamed Aramo, as I mentioned there are many new challenges with Aramo which makes Trisquel a more design independent distribution from its upstream, Ubuntu.
Aramo is an ambitious release as it makes a number of key changes,
Keep Abrowser web browser as DEB package
Restore installation via netinstaller based on debian-installer, deprecated as of Ubuntu 22.04
Add support for arm64 and ppc64el
It is planned to bring back support for i386 (32 bits)
among the most important
It seems incredible to me everything that has been achieved since the official announcement of the start of development in February,
The infrastructure has been redesigned and expanded with support from the FSF as far as ppc64el is concerned, while the continuous integration (CI) system through Jenkins makes better use of resources through package build nodes and this has speeded up and facilitated the work to a great extent.
From my personal perspective, I consider that the first phase of building “conventional” repositories and packages is virtually ready, which allows to start with alpha tests of updates¹ from nabia to aramo on amd64, known bugs that generate a minimum lack of packages can be consulted in the issues section: package-helpers issues.
The testing stage will identify the aesthetic changes, functionality and possible errors between the different versions of the different desktop environments available for Trisquel GNU/Linux, which refers to a second phase of testing the repository and packages..
Detailed reports of errors or incidents are invited in advance, and thanks to all users who have already done so, through the system Trisquel Gitlab.
¹Warning: Aramo, at the time of writing this post , should not be used on production computers, due to its early development stage.
I believe that the next stage will focus on restoring the installation system through netinstaller, and the restoration of the udeb packages necessary for this process, which will allow having a light and practical installation medium for automated installations.
Fortunately, we can rely on the development that the great Debian community carries out, where many of its original packages will be essential to achieve this goal.
If all the above points were resolved, it would be virtually possible that we would have a release very similar to Nabia, but as I mentioned Aramo intends / plans to bring back support for 32 bits (i386), which from the first weeks of development remains Of course it will be “an uphill battle”.
There are still many development and planning decisions pending on i386, so this should be taken with reservation and not ahead of the eve.
So even though it might seem static, like Galileo Galilei, I can say, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Aramo, “eppur si muove” (and yet it moves .).
Wow, the situation has become complicated with Ubuntu 22.04
Since February, the development of Trisquel 11.0, code name Aramo, began officially, and to tell the truth, since we were developing version 10.0, we were already beginning to see the future challenges that Jammy would bring.
In the case of Firefox, Canonical, the company behind the commercial development of Ubuntu, is betting more and more on the use of its snap packages, in the same way I assume that Mozilla is trying to unify the distribution of its browser: Firefox due to the great loss of market share, and I assume they’d rather save themselves the trouble of maintaining debian binary compatibility in all versions of Ubuntu and derivatives, so when hunger meets the urge to eat, well this happens, we lose support for debian binaries from Firefox on Ubuntu 22.04
And well, the release of Ubuntu 22.04 made the threat valid, now in 22.04 we only have support for the snap version.
Despite several advantages that a unified package system can have, snap is a system that gives little control over the sources and packages that are distributed, this makes autonomous community development difficult, to say the least, I think Flatpak has a better future in this type of categories, however returning to the subject.
I have currently started working on compiling Firefox ESR on Ubuntu as a base for our Abrowser, however boy has this gotten messy. Debian and Trisquel have a second-degree relationship, which even though they are very similar, both the versions and the structure of some packages change evidently.
This has been a bit of a headache, as it would be the first time that I take the development of a helper from scratch from a package of this size, just to put in context Firefox ESR weighs around 450MB and its compilation can take several hours using multiple cores before crashing and finding the bug where it might be crashing.
After a couple of weeks, this project has helped me to learn little by little the different factors that come into play in the compilation of this browser and why not, meet the developers behind Firefox in Debian and some alternative projects such as LibreWolf is, for which I have learned a couple of things in those projects.
And despite all the headaches that Firefox has given me these weeks, as well as the understanding that I need a more powerful machine to compile large packages, it is not time to give up since there are other more interesting challenges to solve with all the changes Ubuntu has made to Jammy, such as the development of the debian installer for Trisquel.
There is a long and challenging stage of development ahead on the way to Trisquel 11.0, Aramo.
By the way, the ISOs of the first maintenance revision of Trisquel 10 will be published soon, version: 10.0.1
Impatient? Before reaching the official repositories, it can be downloaded here:
We are back once again, to comment on the release of 0ad A25.
From a gamer’s point of view, this is a much more stylized version of the past A24, it improves its playability and its visual art in a big way.
From a better order in the movement of large groups of units, to the implementation of new functions such as the launch of “flares”, which reminds us a lot of AoE.
0ad is a visual delight because of its landscapes, detail of objects and units, which is very gratifying to see that level of detail in a creative project of free software and open source.
I do not want to extend myself in praise and compliments, since the game does it very well by itself, from a technical point of view in its installation I have not found many changes on the part of the developers.
The official PPA repository of 0ad still shows no signs of wanting to update the game and even when A24 was kind of a calibration release, so it could be understood that it was not updated to that version, A25 should not be the case in its update process.
However, here are the instructions to compile A25 from Ubuntu 20.04 / Trisquel 10.0
As in the previous version we will rely on the PPA repository of 0ad, to obtain the dependencies for the construction of the binaries,
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys E4FA953A
echo "#0ad PPA repository
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/wfg/0ad/ubuntu bionic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/wfg/0ad/ubuntu bionic main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update