In other words, dropping the X-based system in favor of a framebuffer-based arrangement, and removing X altogether.
I have the luxury of doing that with ConnochaetOS, much like I did with archlinux-i586.org, because — for reasons I don’t altogether understand — these Arch-based systems can get the framebuffer working with the tridentfb module, and a few parameters.
I’ll be darned if I can get it working on my own, with the systems I build manually. My best efforts look like … well, they don’t look like anything, and that’s the problem.
Regardless, with halfway proper framebuffer support, I can get not only a decent Terminus font working, but also fbterm with the PKGBUILDs in AUR and elsewhere. The end result is something that looks like this, and runs on about 21Mb of RAM.
Do not adjust your TV set. That screenshot looks like crap because what the framebuffer shows on the screen and what the framebuffer grabber reports are two very different things. Why? Again, for reasons I may never know.
But it’s always like that, no matter which system I use or which screen grabber. I have accepted it as fate, and moved on in life.
Ripping X out of ConnochaetOS is a little more complicated than in Arch. Arch uses groups, but ConnochaetOS either hasn’t implemented them yet, or might not.
No problem either way. A couple of simple loops will pull everything out, simply by screening for package names and prompting you to yank them. Try …
for i in `pacman -Q | grep xf86` ; do pacman -Rcsn $i ; done
to start with, and get a list of what you’ve still got with just
pacman -Q. Look for libx11, pixman, xorg-fonts-alias, and some others.
I also made a point of pulling our four of the standard six tty screens (on a machine with only 32Mb, that eats a lot of memory), adding
"tridentfb mode=800x600-16@60" and
snd-es18xx to the rc.conf modules, backgrounding the net service (it will connect with my wireless automagically, but it takes a while), installing fbterm and fbv, and so forth and so on.
Probably most importantly, I put together PKGBUILDs for sudo and nfs-utils, because those are useful on my day-to-day systems. I know, I know, real geeks don’t use sudo, but I can rely on that for a quick shutdown at a key press.
And nfs-utils is kind of useful to me, since I have a string of three or four computers and like to trade files between them.
The final product of all this offhanded geekery is this lumpy tarball. Binaries, PKGBUILDs, sourcecode and patches are all in here, for all these applications.
(And no, I do not take requests. It’s Arch-based; you can build it yourself in less time, probably.)
Keep in mind that most of what you see there is a dependency of scrot, or musca, or nfs-utils (what a rat’s nest that is … ). The single console programs that are actually usable are generally independent and don’t need libraries and whatnot.
(I should also mention that elinks as built there doesn’t include spidermonkey.) If you want a rundown on what those programs do, take a look here.
That’s about all for now. I want to spend a little time working with a couple other distros, so I’m going to mirror this drive and try something different.
If you’ve got an old i586 lying around and want to see what trouble you can get into with it, please feel free to try out the stuff I posted. I strongly recommend dumping the binaries I gave you, and rebuilding them yourself.
That’s a backhanded reminder not to install random software posted by some stranger on the Internet. Not everything in life is sunshine and happy puppies.
P.S.: Yes, Mediafire is not cool, etc., etc. …