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#1 2013-05-12 15:17:29

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

First I like to express that Crunchbang is awesome linux distribution. I'm very pleased with it's performance. The only drawback I noticed, is the lack of certain applications related to electronics and design. Also it seams there is no meta-package for this category electronics which would install all in one swoop.

I like to install: FreeCAD, Piclab, ktechlab. Piclab is the most important for me.

I was able to find: xcircuit, pcb, gnucap, magic, electric, alliance, gEDA, kicad, sdcc, librecad, tkgate, gpsim and oregano.

Is there a repository especially that I could use for electronics? How can I install Piclab, FreeCAD and ktechlab?
Any help would be welcome.

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#2 2013-05-12 15:33:00

xaos52
The Good Doctor
From: Planet of the @s
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 4,595

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

#! uses the debian package repositories.
All three packages are available in one or the other repo.
piclab has been renamed to piklab.
Use this page to search for packages.

PS: mixing of repos is normally discouraged unless you know very well what you are doing.
Upgrading to wheezy, then to sid should be considered, or use a sid based distro like VSIDO or aptosid.

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#3 2013-05-13 14:55:08

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Thank you! Yes I'm aware that mixing repos can be something negative on Debian based systems. I have twice managed to get my Debian based system to literally dissemble itself. I found Gentoo and Fedora more manageable when adding repos or portages from 2nd and 3rd parties.

However, my laptop is old and slow so Gentoo is out of question, and to be honest, I wouldn't know how to get it so well perform as Crunchbang does. Fedora has a spinof for electronics but it comes with Gnome 3 and it did slow down my Laptop to much. And I was never much of a fan of Gnome 3. It deprived me of too many things.

I would appreciate some tips of avoiding the corruption to the Debian bases Curnchbang system when adding other repos. Are the any tutorials or howto's? 

I have no experience how to manage Debian repos in the way that doesn't end up to complete corrupt. Any tips and trick would be welcome.

Last edited by toonman (2013-05-13 15:01:50)

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#4 2013-05-13 15:33:41

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,496

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

I probably have a lot less experience with electronics design, and my needs (rather simple analog audio circuits) are most likely different from yours, but in my humble opinion gEDA works well for my needs.

Looking at the Piklab page at Sourceforge, I'd expect it to pull in a lot of KDE dependencies, but if it does what you need...

I also notice the only Debian binaries available for i386 and amd64 architectures are in the Squeeze/Oldstable repo...odd...this suggests loss of upstream development.


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#5 2013-05-13 19:19:15

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Yes, pvsage ... the development seemed to have slowed down end 2012 as it looks like. Not that grave in fact to drop package support in more reasoned repositories. I hope someone will keep developing this great application. Piklab is a great tool for microprocessor programming. I like it since it supports quite well sdcc and most of the modern programmer and debuggers. I work with mixed signal electronics. The only software I use on windows, which is proprietary software, is Proteus. All the other applications are open-source based. I have not seen any application that comes close or matches Proteus in simplicity and device variety in the open-source world. That is the only reason why I have not buried Windows for good.

Also you right, Piklab is an KDE application and should pull some dependencies and it seams not to be in the Crunchbang repositories. You also right about the repository http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/piklab.
There is version 0.15.7-1 available. It's not the most reasoned version. On Sourceforgethere is the version 0.16.3.

If I use the squeeze repository to install this application, what precautions should I take? Is it a good idea to do that or do I play to break the system?

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#6 2013-05-14 00:26:49

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,496

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

I think it might be a better idea to download the .deb from the Squeeze repo and use gdebi (should open as the default GUI) to install; gdebi will let you know if there are any dependency issues.  I wouldn't expect any problems...hopefully the newer packages in Wheezy will be backward-compatible with software built against Squeeze.


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#7 2013-05-14 02:37:28

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Looks like I run out of luck... sad

I get >> Error: Package dependency can't be satisfied. kdelibs4c2a (>= 4:3.5.9)
Any suggestions?

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#8 2013-05-14 06:07:19

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,496

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

OK, just shooting in the dark here, so make sure you've backed up any data that you'd miss just in case your computer goes Crunch! Bang!

1.  Add the Debian Squeeze repo to your /etc/apt/sources.list.
2.  `sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -t squeeze piklab`
3.  (If all goes well) remove the Squeeze repo from sources.list.

Keep an eye out for package downgrades. glasses

EDIT:  It might be better to try building from the source available at the Piklab Sourceforge page.

Last edited by pvsage (2013-05-14 06:09:43)


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#9 2013-05-14 20:25:49

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

I get the funny feeling I play Russian Roulette with my system here... or better said I get Deja Vu feeling.

Could I create the deb package by myself of the current version of 0.16.3? Or just use make ... make install which would be without the package manager!? That would require me to install all the dependencies manually, right?

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#10 2013-05-15 08:29:47

xaos52
The Good Doctor
From: Planet of the @s
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 4,595

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

The dependencies are there for a reason. Trying to circumvent them you will probably find out why.

The package not being included in wheezy means there were problems upgrading it and the maintainer did not step up to resolve them.

You can try installing the package from squeeze with

dpkg -i path-to-downloaded deb file

Then run

sudo apt-get install -f

to install dependencies. But, as pvsage said, it might break your system, so take any necessary precautions.

The 'right' way to do this would be for someone to step up and adopt the package and debianize the most recent version.

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#11 2013-05-15 13:53:34

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,496

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Until/unless someone adopts Piklab and Debianizes the latest version, it may be best to dual-boot with another distro like Arch that has a recent version in its repo.


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#12 2013-05-17 02:04:20

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Can someone like me Debianize? Is it difficult do do? There would be alien to convert from rpm to deb packages. Would that work?

Last edited by toonman (2013-05-17 02:16:09)

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#13 2013-05-17 09:01:02

xaos52
The Good Doctor
From: Planet of the @s
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 4,595

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Can someone like me Debianize?

Not on your own, no.
Policy is to first try to contact the package maintainer.
If you are not successful at that you have to 'adopt' the package and find a 'sponsor'.
Plus you need to be comfortable with the debian packaging tools.

You can find all this info on the debian website.

There would be alien to convert from rpm to deb packages. Would that work?

Worth a try.
The package is a very specialized one. I presume it does not have many users in the #! community.
Perhaps searching for help on the debian or ubuntu site will yield more usable results.

Switching to ARch is a possibility too, but that is an entirely different beast.

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#14 2013-05-17 09:08:06

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,496

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Looks like there is a Piklab forum at Sourceforge; might be the best place to ask.  Seems the last post with any mention of Debian was over a year ago though.


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#15 2013-05-18 18:53:19

toonman
New Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 7

Re: Installing unsupported software related to electronics and design

Thank you very much pvsage and xaos52 for your input and guidance. I will give alien a shot before I post something in the Piklab forum. I don't have much hope that this will be solved very quickly. If that should fail, I will see if I can set up a cross-compilation for my laptop and run it with Gentoo after all. That should take enough workload away to be manageable.

Thank you both!

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