Package Management Systems for Space Constraint Environments

01.10.2007 at 19:39

So I am actually playing with the idea of building a tiny embedded like distribution with my most used apps for daily desktop use.

My goal is to use as less space as possible and therefore I was looking for a suitable package management system. Dpkg and APT are too bloated for my sense, use separate meta data and on top of that apt is written in c++ which means it will require libstdc++ (it may be possible to compile it against uclibc++ don't know). So I found ipkg which looks like a suitable replacement for both dpkg and apt, it is already in use by the OpenMoko and Free/OpenWRT folks.

Unfortunately documentation is a bit sparse and outdated. Also I think it could still be a bit smaller, ipkg-cl + libipkg compiled from cvs are together about 170K. Ipkg uses some parts of libbb and there may be some plans to integrate it into upstream busybox which would save some space, I guess.

If time permits I will take a closer look at it, also there is a ipkg-utils package with various scripts to build and publish self created ipk's.


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Programm Execution Tracing with GDB

27.09.2007 at 13:03

Ok found another problem in tinycc, the __attribute__ handling code gets confused by parentheses, sent a fix to tinycc-devel.

The next issue I faced is a bit more complex, there seams to be a bug with nested struct/union initialization.

While debugging this I looked for a way to get an exact trace of the lines which are executed. So I ended up writing this little shell script, which makes gdb looping over every program step by sending the appropriate command to its stdin.


gdb --args $* <<EOF
    break main
    while 1

Don't know how useful this will be because the amount of generated data is quite large. Anyway the GNU GDB Online Documentation is a good place to search for information about gdb commands (what a surprise ;).


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Hacking TinyCC

24.09.2007 at 21:23

The last few days I played a bit with tinycc an extremely small and fast C compiler.

I submitted a patch which enables tcc to handle the restrict keyword within an array context. This allowed me to build dwm with tcc. While trying to compile st I found a bug in the preprocessor, so I submitted another patch.

Unfortunately my C knowledge is rather limited and the tinycc source is not that easy to understand (at least for me) otherwise I could fix more serious bugs.

Anyway, I will continue to play around with it and throw random code at it.


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Linux Tiny Project Revival

20.09.2007 at 23:02

While reading through the Linux Kernel Mailing List Archive I found this Linux Tiny Project revival announcement. I find it great that they try to make the Linux kernel as small as possible and want to integrate all the changes into mainline.

Personally I would be interested in a bloat free mini Linux distribution which focus on size. This should be based on busybox and uclibc with kdrive as xserver and dwm as windowmanager plus a few other console based applications.

If I had more time I would probably start one myself or at least offer my help on an existing project.


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Code Signing in Visual Studio .NET

20.09.2007 at 22:45

Okay today I had to sign a .NET assembly within Visual Studio. First problem was that I became only a pvk and a spc key files but Visual Studio want's a pfx. So I converted the files with pvk2pfx and tried it, but this failed with the message "Cannot find the certificate and private key for decryption".

A google search turned up the solution you have to import the key into the cert store and then export it as described in the above link. The newly exported pfx key should work (at least it did for me).


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