Tag Archives: freifunk

LXDE opportunities for OLPC Afghanistan and OLPC Vietnam

Faster and easier IT tools can benefit a lot of people all over the world. A goal that LXDE shares with One Laptop per Child. To bring LXDE on the XO-laptop can help to turn the XO from a tool for children only into a device for the whole family.

OLPC Afghanistan

OLPC Afghanistan

This year in April I had the chance to go to Afghanistan again continuing the cooperation with OLPC Afghanistan. The goal – to provide a drop in replacement for the Sugar desktop and to give users the choice between different desktops.

Whereas smaller kids use the laptop with all the advantages of the educational approach of Sugar, LXDE on the XO can be used by older family members as a more traditional desktop. Providing information about the local community and including projects like a collection of a local business directory makes the deployment of laptops more useful for the whole family and supports them in making a living and improving their lives.

Mario Behling in Afghanistan setting up a Freifunk Network and LXDE computer systems

Small energy saving devices like the XO offer access to knowledge and information in Afghanistan, even more so as the Afghan project deploys Freifunk Networks as part of the project implementation. A school server with thousands of books thus can serve local communities outside schools via advanced wifi mesh networks.

OLPC Vietnam

For a second cooperation with OLPC I am looking to Vietnam, that offers “all the ingredients” for a successful deployment of IT and communication technologies. The ultimate goal of OLPC Vietnam is a large scale deployment to support and foster the change of frontal teachers centralized methods to a learner and learning focused methodology in Vietnam.

Links

* http://wiki.lxde.org/en/XO
* http://olpc.af
* http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_Vietnam
* http://olpc.vn

# The OLPC Vietnam project with LXDE will be presented at the GNOME.Asia Summit in Vietnam from Nov. 20-22: http://gnome.asia

LXDE Fedora for the XO of One Laptop per Child (OLPC)

After our meet up at the Google Summit in Mountain View last week Yaakov Nemoy now published a simple Hacking Guide for LXDE/Fedora on the XO of the OLPC project. While Christoph Wickert and the LXDE team is already working on a fully supported version for the XO, this is “a bunch of quick and dirty hacks to get people started”.

Yaakov: We’ve got a few long term issues we have to look at.

  • Getting an olpc-switch-foo app for switching to LXDE Including LXDE in a build rather than gnome
  • Testing zypper as an alternative to yum. (We may just want to include both if there’s the space, i do not believe in shipping devices that are crippled if we can help it, we don’t know the true use case yet.)
  • … it seems that the os8.img has issues with ¬†WPA access points.

We are documenting the advancements of LXDE on the XO in the LXDE Wiki (http://wiki.lxde.org/en/XO) as well as in the wiki of laptop.org (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/LXDE).

Links

* http://wiki.lxde.org/en/XO
* http://wiki.laptop.org/go/LXDE
* http://olpc.vn

Recent Development Status of LXNM

LXNM (Lightweight Network Manager) is working now after a long time for development. If you often check the news of SVN, you can notice that the next generation of LXNM has already supported wireless connection setting, also it has many feature as old version of LXNM. The new implementation and protocol defination seems to work well at least there is no bug of old version of LXDE had that no Access Point was scanned always.

Here is some screenshots to show you current LXNM wireless support:

As a network manager, wireless is the basic feature, but only the feature is not enough for new internet devices. To be a full function network connection utility, it must provide most popular methods of internet connection service something’s like 3G(HSPDA), PPPoE, dial…etc. And also we can expect WiMAX will be coming soon, so supporting WiMAX maybe important and necessary in the feature as well.

So far most network connections methods need to use PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) to make connection, so we must try to focus on how’s PPP working and how to integrate PPP stuffs with our program. Fortunately, Most of operating system was using pppd to handle the ppp connections, it seems to be a standard we can consider. If we know how to get pppd immediate status, it will be easy to integrate PPP with our utility for us.

Regarding pppd implementation, it uses a tdb(samba database) to store current connection information(IP, interface, deivce, gateway, dns…etc) in system folder as root. Thus we need to read the file to get network status and the relationship between modem(eg, 3G modem, general modem) and network interface(eg, ppp0, ppp1…). Because of pppd is a user-space implementation as well as it doesn’t have library to provide serial APIs to let us be easy to operate its own stuffs, LXNM must direct open the tdb file. The problem is that pppd will update the tdb file anytime, it is possible that database be modified when LXNM is just reading the file. When it is happened, LXNM will get incorrect information or access failed to cause crazy crash. For solving this bug, we do some to check more information details which is from tdb. After some hard works, right now the issue was solved already.

Besides, the 3G support which is most important feature people concern. LXNM will try to use AT command to control 3G (HSDPA) modem to implement the connection handler, it can provide more information(ISP, Service Location, current area…etc) for your SIM Card with AT command. Some developers suggest us to research the implementation of Modem Manager Project for helping development.

Now we are working on this part which is that dialing with 3G modem, but there were also some weird problems we got. More details about those issues will be explained at blog next time. :-)

LXNM Will Bring Back to Life

So far LXNM(Network Manager of LXDE) was in prototype, LXDE team was just trying to implement a usable network utility. In the beginning, it was expected be enough to work instead of Network Manager of GNOME. But even today, most of people still uses LXDE desktop environment without LXNM due to it is so buggy and poor. Also LXNM has no more improvements in the past, it seems to die for a long time.

It is the truth that LXNM will bring back to life, LXDE team have tried to restart this project and plan on working to implement new architecture of LXNM. Here is a diagram of new structure for next version of LXNM:

LXNM Structure

In principle LXNM will keep original features and most of architecture, but for more requirements of networking device operations, it will be modified or re-designed some parts of that, For communication of Client/Server, LXNM protocol will be re-defined to support more features that something’s just like response of networking status, it means that in the future user can get more complete informations of networking in a moment, and also fixed a critical bug that netstat plugin of LXPanele cannot found out any wireless Access Point as non-root.

For easy to migrate to other platform which is other linux distribution or other Unix-like operating system, LXNM still keep script-based method to handle network device control. Considering that efficiency issue, LXNM will provide a new way to implement that direct call system call to operate network device for each operating system in C language without any scripts, this feature needs more time to be done due to it’s harder and more complicated than script-based method.

With the Google Summer of Code 2009, LXNM is restarting right now. We expect that LXNM will have a great usable version after three month in the future.

LXDE Summer of Code Projects – Apply now

The Google Summer of Code is now accepting applications from students for projects. There are a number of projects, that could accept LXDE related works. If you have an idea we are open to support you and discuss it. Please join us in the LXDE channel on irc.oftc.net. I would also like to support you and endorse any applications by talking to projects directly. Just let me know, please.

Here is a list of projects related to LXDE.

For a full list look here: http://socghop.appspot.com/program/accepted_orgs/google/gsoc2009

Did I forget any relevant project? Please leave a comment then.

As a side note, I am also the administrator of the Freifunk project in GSoC, which is an OpenWrt based firmware. Generally we are looking for any good ideas related to mesh networks. So get in touch with me if you have any ideas: Freifunk http://socghop.appspot.com/org/show/google/gsoc2009/ffopenwrt

LXDE at the 25C3 Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin

25c3

Members of the LXDE community are currently meeting at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. The 25C3 is one of the biggest hacker and developer events in the world with more than 3000 hackers gathering for 4 days just after Christmas.
LXDE at the 25c3 Chaos Communication Congress
Mario Behling, Maces, alx

It is exciting to be here and see that many people already installed LXDE or try it out at the congress after our demo.

Trying out LXDE at the 25c3

The first Chaos Communication Congress took place in 1984 and is expanding every year. This year has been another amazing milestone. The maximum of 3000 tickets was sold out on the first day. The base for the LXDE project was set up in the hackerspace in the basement in a cozy corner with our friends from OpenWRT, freifunk.net, guifi.net, OLSR and Openpattern.

Elektra (Villagetelco), Xavier Carcelle (Openpattern.org), Roger Baig (guifi.net) Mario Behling (LXDE/Freifunk.net)
elektra, Xavier Carcelle, Roger Baig, Mario

We also got some work done during the congress. Lars of OpenWRT just finished work on packages of LXDE components for OpenWRT and we got together with Xavier Carcelle of Openpattern for preparations of the OpenTechSummit 2009 in Taiwan and pushing the idea of Open Hardware.