OpenQNX has become the main news portal these days for the QNX fans. It includes some interesting news articles and also two tutorials: “QNX NC Install Without Burning a Disc” & “QNX & VMWare 4.0“.
OpenQNX: QNX News and Tutorials
2003-10-01 QNX 12 Comments
I was playing with QNX the past couple of days. Donwloaded the ISO some weeks ago and burned it on CD but never tried it.
This weekend it was about time and wow, I must admit that it totally rocked. I first run from CD but I feared that my drive will cause damage after a while so I installed it, where my SWAP partition was on my Linux system /dev/hda2. I let the installer install the bootloader and booted into QNX. Then I was setting up everything and wanted to get my NIC up and connect to the internet but that failed. After googling I found that I should install the Momentics package as well because it contains some extra drivers. Now the Momentics package was larger than the SWAP partition so I blew up my Linux box (don’t worry, I made a total backup of that system before). After booting back into QNX I set up everything, made Internet working over pppoe and added a bunch of repositories to the installer programm (again google was da friend). I quickly figured out to install Mozilla 1.4 and VIM 6.1 and played around with it more and more.
What can I say:
Well QNX is definately a cool System, it boots fast, it’s concepts are cool, it uses resources wisely (only 1/5 of my 256mb Ram is used) and it makes fun playing with it. The apps look consistent and responsive and so on. The Hardware was detected throughly, All cards, Printer, Soundcard etc.
Something I don’t like are that QNX only allows Files with maximum 42 characters which pissed me off a bit because I wasn’t able to move some of my longer named stuff on the Harddisk without renaming. The Filemanager was something one should get used to and Voyager had some issues with CSS. Something I didn’t liked too was the way it installs files on the Filesystem e.g. I had Mozilla in /opt/Mozilla and then in /usr again, then there was all these hooks like /x11 and and and e.g. a bit messy how the stuff is being installed. But maybe this was due to my ‘newish behave’ on QNX I think that some expert would manage all this far easier. The requirement of Momentics was stupid too because it ate a lot of memory on my harddisk only for testing QNX I think they should provide all drivers on the BootCD so that you can run a minimalistic system without other requirements. No one told me to install Momentics for extra drivers that I need for Internet no sign or something. Even when running from CD you are prompted with a login manager and you wasn’t told what to enter. If you install on the Harddisk then you get a message telling you to enter ‘root’ but for someone testing it as a LiveCD you first may get shocked. I also had various situations where the MediaPlayer simply locked the entire system when I liked to play some MP3’s but most of the times it worked.
Well all in all QNX is quite cool but lacks a lot of native software and you need to fall back on old ports of old software known from Linux e.g. ancient GAIM and stuff like this linked hugely with old ported libraries. I will definately keep an eye on QNX because I am really excited about it and can only hope to see it improve more and more and come with even more native applications to work with.
What I like to see in the future is better Driver support e.g. on the BootCD and on bootup rather than Momentics installation, information for users that they should enter “root” when using the LiveCD, Email client, better Voyager support and the overall bells and whistles that make people excited to try something new.
It’s good to see a new site up but bad to see the old qnxzone effort is dying out. qnxzone has been unstable for the past year and contents are becoming stale. hope they will recover soon rather than going dead like the old qnxstart.
>>>Something I don’t like are that QNX only allows Files with maximum 42 characters which pissed me off a bit because I wasn’t able to move some of my longer named stuff on the Harddisk without renaming.
QNX 6.2.1 allows names with 505 characters long (up from 48).
>>>Voyager had some issues with CSS.
Voyager is html 3.2 only. So use opera 6 or Mozilla.
>>>The requirement of Momentics was stupid too.
Agreed — but the listed requirements were based on you running the eclipse-based IDE. If you don’t run the IDE, the requirements drop down to old Pentium 1.
> QNX 6.2.1 allows names with 505 characters long (up from 48).
Strange, I used the Filemanager to copy some MP3’s from my CD to /tmp and it forced me to rename various titles due to 48 chars limitation. If this shouldn’t have happened because of the native FS supporting 505 chars then this is probably a BUG of the Filemanager.
> Voyager is html 3.2 only. So use Opera 6 or Mozilla.
Yes I did so. But actually how should a new QNX user know about this. One expects it to operate normally.
Well all in all it was a first impression that I got when using QNX. It is indeed a promising operating system and I truly keep an eye on it because it seem to be exactly what I was searching for. E.g. good Kernel+Desktop cooperation. You with QNX solved exactly the ‘problem’ due to good design from ground up what other Desktop alternatives such as GNOME and KDE currently hit problems with (HAL and stuff like that). I furthermore I would like to see a bit more NATIVE applications for QNX as a gratis bonus specially to make QNX more attractive to interested users. Using ports of applications including X11 wrapper, ported GTK and so on makes no real sense for me, in this case I could use anything else which then makes no difference. The reason for me trying QNX was to use native applications for it. Unfortunately the choice aren’t that big in that area. Regardles to the lack of native apps (and I was seriously searching for them) QNX makes a promising impression and I like to encourage everyone to try it. There are many good ideas.
“Using ports of applications including X11 wrapper, ported GTK and so on makes no real sense for me”
Check our awesome CD at http://www.qnx.com/developer/download/contrib !
Well, the name sounds great, but it’s a bit misleading, since there’s nothing about an open QNX, only a forum / software repository…
Anyway, are there any plans somewhere to provide an _Open_ QNX system, i.e. open-source?
The last time I tried QNX, I wasn’t too impressed (6.2 I think, maybe one year ago), but that mainly due to the GUI.
The system is said to be nicely responsive and have a great design/kernel, so open-sourcing it would be worth a lot, especially to people who care about openness and security.
> Why not?
I can tell you, even taking into account that you may not understand it.
I’m on Linux for a many years now. I do love Linux as plattform but I have some concerns about currently exiting Desktop solutions. The reason for me using a different plattform such as QNX is a hard decision (and only a test so far) to see if it can fully replace Linux and my current Desktop solutions. If I see all these ports for QNX (all the GTK 1 libraries and the GTK 1 apps) then it totally missed what I like to achieve. Using a different plattform which feels Unix’ish or Linux’ish from command line but with powerful native Desktop environment and applications natively written for this environment. If I need to use the substitute Programms and install all the bloat of extra non-native libraries only to get these apps running, then I need to re-think my decision to switch to QNX because I then can stay on Linux and use the most recent versions of these apps.
> Check our awesome CD at http://www.qnx.com/developer/download/contrib !
Yeah seen it. Nice work but not exactly what I was searching for.
…sounding like a troll, why not try rolling some of your own apps? From playing with QNX, it seems like they include a pretty powerful IDE, and I’d be willing to bet that it’s easier to write Photon apps than X11+GTK+Gnome or whatever. If more developers get involved with QNX, it could quickly become a viable platform.
Sounds like you want Mac OS X. Ah, but you’d have to *pay* for that I guess. Btw, Mac educational prices are excellent.
Have you tried “Advanced Search” on openqnx? for, say, “long filename”?
Now that you mentioned it – yes I did right now due to your reply. But honestly a new User to QNX shouldn’t require to do these steps of touching files and chmod’ing them even if it’s just 10 different simple commands. A new User should expect it to support this out of house.
I know you QNX people are trying to bridge the embedded area together with Desktop users catching at the same time. But there is still a bit to go. Luckely my long years of Linux practice helped me solving a lot of issues easily but tell this to someone comming from Microsoft for example.
a) Long filenames is somehow a must for Desktops and should be enabled on default.
b) Drivers should be available during Bootup or Minimal Installation process. No Momentics package should be required.
c) The ‘what should I enter in the Loginmanager’ issue when booting the LiveCD should be solved.
d) Add more Bookmarks to the Installer with repositories of Software (no matter if they are 3rd party or not) people want to install stuff and test. I was able to get a list of repositories on OpenQNX and added them myself. But people who only heard about QNX and don’t know where to search on the net are hoplessly lost.
e) Split the Momentics package up. It also installs an old Mozilla 1.0 on the Harddisk while I can get a newer one on the net (which is the prefered choice). I wasn’t able to de-install certain individual packages I didn’t wanted from the Momentics package. Or chose individual things to install myself. I was hitting a Mozilla conflict (old vs. new).
I think these are the major things that I hit so far which I would like to see solved within the next upcoming QNX versions. Otherwise it’s a nice System and I plan to test it again pretty soon.
a) Yes, it should be enabled by default.
b) They are, however, there is a bug in devn-rtl that requires you to update to 6.2.1. The CD is 6.2.0 + 6.2.1 update. You update by installing the Momentics packages.
c) root? With 6.3 this won’t be an issue since there will be a picture of root on the main login window and you can just click it and it will auto log you in.
d) This will likly happen as well – the installer will go to our site and get a list of other repositories each time you run it.
e) Not going to happen.