Dapty Installation HowTo
The document below guides you through the necessary steps for setting up and begin using the Dapty Software Environment.
You may find this instruction quite technical. Please try to follow it anyway. As a last resort, let some friendly computer guru help you.
This page describes how to set up and run Dapty as a self-contained, complete desktop environment. It is also possible to use the Dapty componets as an add-on to an already existing environment. Please see the document Using Dapty as an add-on for information on how to do this.
Prerequisites for running the full Dapty environment
- A computer with a 486 or better Intel-compatible processor. Note that the real lower limit depends heavily on the actual applications to be used. Openoffice.org can hardly be enjoyed on a 486, while e.g. the Ted text editor might be usable.
A minimal 32-bit Linux operating system, which can boot,
start an X-server and let you log on a graphical screen.
Note that any extra software which may have been installed with the
system does not matter for, or disturb, Dapty.
A technical note: The system must respect the user's .xsession file, here you may need a help of a computer guru, but for the beginning just try as below.
- An Internet connection, of ADSL quality.
- [Coda file system support]
There is no need to download anything.
Decide how adventurous you are and whether you like all the shiny new features of new programs and can tolerate the possible bugs that follow with the features. Depending on your inclination pick one of alpha (most features), beta, or gamma (less bugs). If you don't know, take gamma.
Set up a symbolic link in your home directory, possibly by issuing the following command in a terminal:
ln -s /coda/0l.se/dapty/gamma .xsession
If you want to be near the cutting edge, using "beta" or even "alpha" instead of "gamma".
NOTE: The first two characters in 0l.se are a zero plus a lowercase ell (as in Zero Locality).
Make sure that the login procedure will use your personal .xsession file. Unfortunately it is impossible to give a recipe suitable for any or even for most Linux systems out there. In a jam, ask a computer guru.
On some systems it is possible to choose "login session" before logging in and set the choice to "xsession" or "failsafe". Some of these choices may help if the default does not.
Note that virtually all bells and whistles found on login screens are irrelevant for Dapty so the best choice may be installing a simplest login manager like xdm instead of "advanced" but possibly troublesome "kdm" or "gdm". Your mileage may vary. If nothing else helps, let a computer guru take care of this and promise that it will be the last time you ask him :) - in fact, we are working hard at Aetey Global Technologies AB to make your further experience with Dapty easier than with any other technology.
Begin using Dapty
Authenticate to the service by doing the command
NOTE again: The first two characters in 0l.se are a zero plus a lowercase ell (as in Zero Locality).
The command will prompt you for the corresponding password and will give you the rights for accessing Dapty software servers.
Eventually the authentication expires and the command must be repeated. There are ways to automate that, but for the beginning let us assume you repeat the command once a day, then you will be perfectly fine.
The first time, and possibly sometimes later, you have to run that command before logging in to your graphical environment. On Linux systems you can usually use Ctrl/Alt/F1 to switch to an alphanumeric console and login to the computer there.
Otherwise in most cases you will be able to log in to your usual graphical environment and run the authentication command from there. Note that this may fail, while running the command on the alphanumerical console is safe.
Thus, normally use the DaptyAuth entry in the menu. If that wouldn't work, resort to Ctrl/Alt/F1 as above.
Return to the graphical login screen (Ctrl/Alt/F7 may suit for this purpose) and log in.
The first time you log in to your account being authenticated to Dapty, you will be prompted to make a minimal configuration of your environment - just follow the dialogue.
The first time you start a new application it may take a while before the application starts and even after that it may look frosen when you initiate new functions for the first time. That happens while the necessary files are fetched to your computer to be run. Don't worry, that delay will disappear at the second access.
Unfortunately, some applications (like Openoffice.org) are really huge and hence it takes a very long time for them to be fetched at first. Thus you may begin your first session with pressing the "Office" button on the toolbar and then take your time exploring other functions of the desktop. You will be able to see the data being fetched, on the network activity indicator. Eventually, an Openoffice.org window will appear (the time depends on your connection, don't hold your breath) and then gradually it will become responsive.
Caveats (technical bits, local setup)
Some Linux distributions omit Coda support from the kernel, this makes the
setup process quite painful and also forces you to apply your own fixes each
time the distribution decides to upgrade the kernel. Workaround: use a sane
distribution (e.g. Debian is all right).
Most Linux distributions ship with xorg/XFree86 X11 graphics, which has buggy font server support. Dapty has to use this mode of operation as a workaround for the sake of older applications, which often triggers the bugs.
- Avoid distributions which use font server themselves by default, as this makes the bugs even more likely to be triggered.
- Always fully shut down the X server at logout. Ctrl/Alt/Backspace terminates the server, then a new one is normally started automatically for the next login. If you do not do that, you may find the next time you log in that the system becomes extremely unresponsive or hangs totally.
Remove the .xsession symbolic link in your home directory, that's all.