About me

I'm a web and software developer from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
I design and implement user interfaces, also contribute to open source projects.

2009年4月4日 星期六

xPUD 0.8.9 - Streamlines Your Desktop

Download: xpud-0.8.9.iso (49MB)
Website: http://www.xpud.org

It's been a while since our last update, and we are really excited about this new version of xPUD, a fundamentally improved release with lots of new features, including:

Linux Kernel 2.6.28 applied with fast boot patch from Moblin, full set of tools for network configuration, a totally rewritten build system mkxpud, and our experimental user interface plate is now shipped as XUL application.

New Features:

Better hardware support

By carefully setting up udev, hotplug and ALSA, we achieved the goal to easily runs on Netbooks/MIDs. The boot up speed is even faster, and screen resolution is now auto-detected, too.

You can download the kernel modules to get full support, here's the built-in hardware list:
Audio: Intel HD Audio
Graphic: Integrated Intel Graphic
LAN/Wired: RealTek 8139/8169, Broadcom ATL1/ATL2
Wireless/WiFi: Atheros 5K/9K, RealTek 8180/8187
Tested Platform: Acer AspireOne 101, Asus EeePC 900

Much More Powerful Plate UI

The whole UI is now packed into XUL application, and we squashed in some rich client applications like transmission, mplayer and a full-featured browser that using firefox nightly build (3.6a1pre). The bitmap version of Uming font is replaced with Droid fonts, the best fonts for mobile device from Android. Also SCIM-Chewing input method is added, we can now provide multi-language support in these kind of small image.

Bunch of handy Tools

xPUD 0.8.9 comes with some network tools like ifconfig, iwconfig, wpa_supplicant for WiFi setting, wvdial for 3G connection, and ppp, dhclient for Ethernet. There is also a web-based interface that helps you getting on the Internet.

Some important tools are also included, too. For example GRUB and kexec that can boot directly from xPUD into other OS. Matchbox window manager is replaced by Openbox for better hotkey setting. You can press ALT-F2 to bring up the xterm at any time for easier debugging.

Efficient Build System: mkxpud

mkxpud is an open source project hosted on Github, it's still in the early stage of developing, and feedback are all welcomed. This is a tool wrote from scratch for xPUD project. mkxpud is an image generator, and a binary-level build system very similar to Woof of Puppy Linux.

We don't want to handle the package dependencies, so we just leverage APT/dpkg. When running mkxpud, it reads project config (called cookbook), parse it into package settings (called recipe), strips directly from a working Debian/Ubuntu Linux, extracts them into root filesystem and finally generates image.

It's very flexible, the whole rootfs can be configured by single file, also can be extended with multiple recipes. It's very efficient, too. Making an image is less then 50 seconds on my laptop, and the result is very small, as you can see, the xPUD release.


  • xpud-0.8.9-mod.tgz
    This is the complete modules compiled against the same kernel config, and can be put onto USB flash drive then use after booting.

  • xpud-0.8.9.zip
    Besides the default LiveCD version, here's the LiveUSB format that comes with the same boot menu.

  • xpud-0.8.9-rootfs.gz
    If you want to customize xPUD with your own kernel, here's the root filesystem, it's a CPIO archive and GZIP compressed.

  • mkxpud-0.8.9.tgz
    This is an export from the Git repository, contains exactly the same
    configuration files that builds this version of xPUD. It's been tested on Ubuntu 8.10, you can run it with ./tools/mkxpud all.

  • linux-source-2.6.28.tar.bz2
    The kernel source with patches.

Known Issue

  • Kernel not build automatically

    mkxpud is not finished, so the kernel image generating and module copying function is still not yet implemented.

  • Increased memory consumption

    The system requirement is about 384MB of RAM. Because at this stage we are focused on features, haven't start optimizing on footprint and memory usage. So this issue will be addressed in the next version (0.9).

Contact Us

This project is under heavy development, and we're looking forward to any kind of feedback, please post on our Developers Forum, or contact me directly. :-)

Ping-Hsun Chen (penk) <penkia@gmail.com>

8 則留言:

匿名 提到...

There are still a lot of menus/options not working yet. The loading kinda takes too long for some reason.

Do you think you can implement a multi-client instant messenger into xPUD? Something like pidgin would be useful.

There is one thing that really bothers me though, the internet connection is not automatically connected and needs to be manually connected in. Its not a show stopper issue but its just kind of off.

Hermen 提到...

cool man~ :) well done. great job on this.

what 提到...

I believe in what you're doing, so keep up the good work :) I suggest integrating skype and testing on a touchscreen laptop.

匿名 提到...

Well done! This is really great, I really like the fast boot.
I think it is a pity to use GTK+ instead of native XUL. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with GTK+, but using XUL-GTK+ makes the actual drawing slower, increases boot time (to load libraries), increases boot-image and adds much more complexity to xPUD. I think focusing on small image, fast boot time and core features is the most important part, isn't it?

Will Fuqua 提到...

xPUD sounds really cool, but xpud.org is down (Bandwidth limit exceeded)! Is there a torrent or mirror for 0.8.9 anywhere?

icycandle 提到...


molezz 提到...


Lawliet 提到...