Author Topic: Back after many years - and finally tried Zubuntu  (Read 200 times)

MaBo

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Back after many years - and finally tried Zubuntu
« on: May 11, 2020, 11:19:47 am »
So, it has been many years since I used my Sharp Zaurus. I had a 5500 (with German keyboard), and made the jump later (2005 or so) to an SL-C3100. It was always a pleasure using it with Cacko. When work ordered upgrade of the computers from WinXP, I could not synchronize anymore, and the agenda functionality was lost. That more or less rendered the Zaurus unusable for me.

I did keep an eye on this forum and when zubuntu was introduced I was tempted. But my linux was not that good at that point in time, and I never gave it a try. The Zaurus was catching dust for many years. Now in this corona time and me recovering from illness, I thought to give it a try. First tried zubuntu 2.0 as explained on the omegamoon blog. It works, but is sloooow.

Then the jaunty updates for zubuntu. It was quite easy to install:
extract zubuntu-desktop-jaunty-rootfs_feb.2009-rev-armel.tar.bz2 and Zubuntu/spitz-root-addition.tar.gz to an SD card.
Install kexecboot.
Had to struggle to avoid the fsck running at boot because of date problems (system date was in 1970). Disconnecting AC did the trick.
Set the date (format sensitive: YYYY.MM.DD-HH:mm:ss).
Update the sources.lists to  http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu  (leave out the dists/jaunty in the url).
Connect to the internet
et voila: a working mini-laptop.

Email works ok with claws-email (a bit slow, but doable). Any recommended alternatives?
I still am looking for a workable browser. In principle dillo looks good and loads ok, but it seems impossible to connect to modern websites with security implemented. Text-based browsers also fail to connect to most websites, probably because of outdated ssl implementation on the Zaurus. Any suggestions are really welcome.

ToDo:
  • Cacko is still in NAND, I would like to be able to boot to that too. It does start booting, but fails at a kernel panick.
  • try another ROM like pdaXrom but I have a hard time finding the proper files and instructions.
  • other stuff to come
Any input from you guys is more than welcome.

Kind regards,
MaBo
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 12:16:14 pm by Varti »

Varti

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Back after many years - and finally tried Zubuntu
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2020, 12:15:44 pm »
Hi MaBo and welcome back! It's great to hear that Zauruses are still being used even today

Quote from: MaBo
I did keep an eye on this forum and when zubuntu was introduced I was tempted. But my linux was not that good at that point in time, and I never gave it a try. The Zaurus was catching dust for many years. Now in this corona time and me recovering from illness, I thought to give it a try. First tried zubuntu 2.0 as explained on the omegamoon blog. It works, but is sloooow.
Sorry to hear about the illness, I hope that you are now doing well. This virus is really a nasty one, and I would have never expected that it would affect so much the lives of everyone in the world.
I remember using Zubuntu 2.0 and it was indeed slow on my C1000, plus I had problems installing some packages since they were compiled for a newer ARM architecture than the one used in the Zaurus.

Quote
Then the jaunty updates for zubuntu. It was quite easy to install:
extract zubuntu-desktop-jaunty-rootfs_feb.2009-rev-armel.tar.bz2 and Zubuntu/spitz-root-addition.tar.gz to an SD card.
Install kexecboot.
Had to struggle to avoid the fsck running at boot because of date problems (system date was in 1970). Disconnecting AC did the trick.
Set the date (format sensitive: YYYY.MM.DD-HH:mm:ss).
Update the sources.lists to  http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu  (leave out the dists/jaunty in the url).
Connect to the internet
et voila: a working mini-laptop.

Email works ok with claws-email (a bit slow, but doable). Any recommended alternatives?
I believe pine would be the only working alternative. I wonder if the latest version have HTML-to-text conversions, older versions didn't have this feature.

Quote
I still am looking for a workable browser. In principle dillo looks good and loads ok, but it seems impossible to connect to modern websites with security implemented. Text-based browsers also fail to connect to most websites, probably because of outdated ssl implementation on the Zaurus. Any suggestions are really welcome.
Having a working browser on the Zaurus will be very hard, due to the system requirements of the latest browsers and the SSL protocol. I have seen some services helping with that, offloading the cpu load by rendering entire pages as (clickable) images, or converting https links to http ones, though the latter is not recommended for safety reasons.
There's also this:
https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=35394
which I'd recommend running under Void Linux, which is the fastest, uptodate and supported ROM for the Zaurus, though it's command-line only.

Quote
ToDo:
  • Cacko is still in NAND, I would like to be able to boot to that too. It does start booting, but fails at a kernel panick.
  • try another ROM like pdaXrom but I have a hard time finding the proper files and instructions.
  • other stuff to come
Any input from you guys is more than welcome.
For Cacko, I'd suggest to reinstall it and after that reinstall kexec on the NAND. For PdaXrom I'll search for a working feed and install instructions and post them here.

Varti
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 12:17:33 pm by Varti »
Planet Gemini PDA WiFi/LTE with Mediatek x27
SL-C1000 running Arch Linux ARM May2017, K30225 Wi-Fi CF Card, 64GB SDXC card
and many other Zauruses!