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Botspot
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Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm

Once in a while, I find a cool application that is not in Raspbian's repositories, but compiles and runs well on the Pi.
Now I'd like to start a collection of these, since it seems like a lot of new beginners would be interested in these too.

So if you know of a cool piece of software that runs well on a Pi, but isn't in the official repositories, feel free to reply with compiling/installation instructions!
A few restrictions, though:
  • OS'es don't count. Things like PINN, FydeOS, Ubuntu, that sort of thing - I don't consider those a piece of software.
  • I'd like we not post a bunch of very well-known applications (like raspbian-nspawn-64). The point of this topic is discovery, that is, someone sees this, and goes "Hey! I didn't know that could run on a Pi!"
  • If possible, please post the commands to install/compile the widget, and a screenshot of what the software looks like. Don't just post a github link and make everyone else try to figure it out.
Not sure what I mean? OK, here's an example:
Cool-Retro-Term: it's a fully-functional terminal, but it looks like an old CRT screen.
maxresdefault.jpg
maxresdefault.jpg (109.35 KiB) Viewed 3598 times
The compiling guide is here, or you can use these commands to compile and install:

Code: Select all

# Get dependencies
sudo apt install build-essential qmlscene qt5-qmake qt5-default qtdeclarative5-dev qml-module-qtquick-controls qml-module-qtgraphicaleffects qml-module-qtquick-dialogs qml-module-qtquick-localstorage qml-module-qtquick-window2 qml-module-qt-labs-settings qml-module-qt-labs-folderlistmodel

# Get CRT from github
git clone --recursive https://github.com/Swordfish90/cool-retro-term.git

# Compile
cd cool-retro-term
qmake && make

# Run
./cool-retro-term
There's also a RPi tutorial pdf here, but you'll have to download it first before you can copy any of the commands. :|
And I like to add a button to the menu like this:

Code: Select all

echo "[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Use the command line the old way
Exec=/home/pi/cool-retro-term/cool-retro-term
GenericName=Terminal emulator
Icon=/home/pi/cool-retro-term/app/icons/64x64/cool-retro-term.png
Name=Cool Retro Term
Categories=GTK;System;TerminalEmulator;
StartupNotify=true
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Keywords=shell;prompt;command;commandline;console;command line;execute;" >> /home/pi/.local/share/applications/crt.desktop
Edit: change title
Last edited by Botspot on Fri May 01, 2020 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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trejan
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Re: Let's make a list of cool applications that compile on RPi

Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:11 pm

Botspot wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm
So if you know of a cool piece of software that runs well on a Pi, but isn't in the official repositories, feel free to reply with compiling/installation instructions!
I think embedding detailed instructions is a bad idea. Instead of trusting the developer to maintain the installation instructions, you're making people dig through a long thread that 99% of the time talks about other apps to find a frozen in time set of commands. We already have enough problems with people finding ancient guides posted on a blog somewhere and then wondering why it doesn't work.

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Botspot
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:26 pm

trejan wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:11 pm
I think embedding detailed instructions is a bad idea. Instead of trusting the developer to maintain the installation instructions, you're making people dig through a long thread that 99% of the time talks about other apps to find a frozen in time set of commands. We already have enough problems with people finding ancient guides posted on a blog somewhere and then wondering why it doesn't work.
Good point. On the other hand, if everyone only provides a link, that causes its own problems, the biggest one being a confusion factor for beginners. Also, there's cases when the official install instructions don't work on a Pi but need to be modified first.

To conclude, I don't see any "perfect solution", except redundancy. In my example, I put two links: the official one and the RPi one. Also I included the compile commands for everyone's convenience.
Hopefully others will follow and make sure theirs are redundant as well.
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Moonmarch
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Tue May 05, 2020 8:46 pm

You are asking people to write guides that show you how to compile a software on the RPI computer. I'm not complaining about the overall idea. How do you know if a program is usable or not? Are you going to compile all of the programs yourself, then test out the software? If someone asked me to install a software from the Raspbian repository, then test out the software. For me, this will requires hours to complete. I would tell those people this request will take a while, give at least 3 days. I prefer to see several separate topics about compiling software, instead of a list of programs that compile on the RPI computer.

When people compile a program, you don't know what the process involves. I'm talking about software that was forked from the original source code, and the forked software does not receive additional updates. No one maintains the software. I would say software that does not receive updates should be avoided. Use different software instead. Well since I'm here I'm going to say NetSurf is a great, lightweight web browser that you can use on the RPI0 computer. The program used to be in the Raspbian repositories, you will need to compile the program on your computer to use the software. Here is a link to the NetSurf website:

NetSurf
https://www.netsurf-browser.org/

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scruss
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Tue May 05, 2020 9:22 pm

A couple for folks who use BBC BASIC:
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Tue May 05, 2020 9:27 pm

What about outdated programs in the repo?

I use Ren'Py a lot and the version in the repos is outdated and not optimised for use with the Pi.
Compiling from source gets you a more stable and more efficient version that has been made with Pi specific support. (even if it does take three hours)
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

Rose coloured glasses are difficult to see through.

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Botspot
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 2:35 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 9:27 pm
What about outdated programs in the repo?
Thanks for bringing that up. Yes, feel free to post those.
Want to run Minecraft Java on your RPi? Easiest way is with Pi-Apps - just click Install.
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pagenotfound
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 2:43 pm

Moonmarch wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 8:46 pm
[...]NetSurf is a great, lightweight web browser that you can use on the RPI0 computer. The program used to be in the Raspbian repositories, you will need to compile the program on your computer to use the software. Here is a link to the NetSurf website:

NetSurf
https://www.netsurf-browser.org/
You can snatch a build from NetSurf 's CI system. It's meant only for testing but I've had no problems so far.
https://ci.netsurf-browser.org/debian/b ... /?C=M;O=D

hippy
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 3:10 pm

Botspot wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:26 pm
trejan wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:11 pm
I think embedding detailed instructions is a bad idea. Instead of trusting the developer to maintain the installation instructions, you're making people dig through a long thread that 99% of the time talks about other apps to find a frozen in time set of commands. We already have enough problems with people finding ancient guides posted on a blog somewhere and then wondering why it doesn't work.
Good point. On the other hand, if everyone only provides a link, that causes its own problems, the biggest one being a confusion factor for beginners. Also, there's cases when the official install instructions don't work on a Pi but need to be modified first.
I agree with Botspot. What a set of instructions does is saves everyone the time, effort and frustrations of trying to get something to work, trying to figure out what an author's instructions mean. A "this is what to do, and it worked for me at the time" fast-track which I think a lot of people would be grateful for.

Visual Studio Code - Headmelted's code-oss package

Code: Select all

sudo wget -qO - https://packagecloud.io/headmelted/codebuilds/gpgkey | sudo apt-key add -;
wget --content-disposition https://packagecloud.io/headmelted/codebuilds/packages/debian/stretch/code-oss_1.45.0-1586135927_armhf.deb/download.deb
sudo apt install ./code-oss_1.45.0-1586135927_armhf.deb
Arduino IDE - Raspbian repository version is ancient

Code: Select all

wget https://downloads.arduino.cc/arduino-1.8.12-linuxarm.tar.xz
tar -xvf arduino-1.8.12-linuxarm.tar.xz
cd arduino-1.8.12
sudo ./install.sh
Something like below for DietPi would be great. I believe it could be better done than one long thread but would probably need to be an RPT / RPF Initiative -

https://dietpi.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=5

Heater
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 4:14 pm

hippy wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 3:10 pm
A "this is what to do, and it worked for me at the time" fast-track which I think a lot of people would be grateful for.
It's a fine idea.

I suspect both you and I have been around the internet long enough to know that it is totally full of "this is what to do, and it worked for me at the time" posts to forums, blogs, stack overflows etc, etc, that don't work and can waste a lot of time when you try them.

There are so many things that go wrong when you find such a solution: Software versions have changed, the operating system has changed, hardware has changed, the instructions are somehow incomplete or wrong, etc, etc.

Headmeleted contributions are a case in point. I never did get his Qt 5 libraries to work back in the day. Others had problems also.

Not to bash on headmelted, it's just how things go.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

epoch1970
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 5:40 pm

Botspot wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm
Once in a while, I find a cool application that is not in Raspbian's repositories, but compiles and runs well on the Pi.
Now I'd like to start a collection of these, since it seems like a lot of new beginners would be interested in these too.
Makes me think of an Awesome list, in a way?
e.g. https://github.com/thibmaek/awesome-raspberry-pi
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

timrowledge
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 5:58 pm

Squeak Smalltalk of course. Www.squeak.org to download. Runs bit identical on Raspbian, Widows, MacOS , x86 & x64 Linux.
It’s what Scratch (the real one, not 2 or 3) is written in, so you already have an example of it on your Pi.
Making Smalltalk on ARM since 1986; making your Scratch better since 2012

hippy
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed May 06, 2020 7:16 pm

Heater wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 4:14 pm
I suspect both you and I have been around the internet long enough to know that it is totally full of "this is what to do, and it worked for me at the time" posts to forums, blogs, stack overflows etc, etc, that don't work and can waste a lot of time when you try them.
Absolutely, I even started a "why does nothing ever seem to work on Linux" thread after passing through numerous circles of hell some time back. I've spent months struggling to get USB DisplayLink 2.0 working using a recipe which I previously used which worked just fine.

But something which did work is often better than nothing. It either does or it doesn't and can still be better, and a lot quicker, than leaving everyone to figure it out themselves.

I've always favoured trying to help people over not helping them. If it doesn't help them it's not through lack of trying.

Of course there is an argument that it's better not to help people, leave them to sink or swim. I just don't agree with that. Nor do I believe in the notion that people must be able to build a car before they can drive a car. I believe it's better to get them to where they would like to be, rather than watch them struggle getting there and throwing in the towel before they do.

"Every little helps" as someone said. And if it doesn't; c'est la vie.

Heater
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu May 07, 2020 2:53 am

hippy wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:16 pm
But something which did work is often better than nothing. It either does or it doesn't and can still be better, and a lot quicker, than leaving everyone to figure it out themselves.

I've always favoured trying to help people over not helping them. If it doesn't help them it's not through lack of trying.
I agree.

What is really annoying is the huge number of blog posts, stack overflows, etc, etc, that offer some instruction to do whatever, but miss out vital information: Date of publication, exact versions of software used, exact hardware specification, similar for software and hardware the thing interacts with and so on. Importantly not linking to any documentation the solution was derived from.

It's a shame because often these posts are otherwise well written. But you can end up in a situation where you have no idea if the solution will work for you or is suitable, you can waste hours trying and when it fails you have no idea why or what to do about it.

So you end up on asking on a forum, where another solution is offered by someone, which only works for your exact situation and lies there waiting for someone to find it in the future and repeat the whole process.

I don't know what the solution to that is. Everything should come with a warning attached: "These directions only known to work in my time-space coordinates, good luck if you are anywhere else".

The late Joe Armstrong, creator of Erlang, has a great presentation about this problem: "The Mess We're In" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKXe3HUG2l4&t=3s
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

n2kra
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu May 07, 2020 12:31 pm

Scratch uses Squeak (v5?) viewtopic.php?f=77&t=264919

Monochrome Pterm connections are Orange. viewtopic.php?f=91&t=218285
Saw an Orange terminal at an ARPA net connected school.

Risc OS - googled a VNC server.Works! On the RAM fs disc, Trying to see if / how merge into !Boot on RAM.
http://phlamethrower.co.uk/riscos/vnc_serv.php
Not tested yet http://www.orac2.demon.co.uk/software/r ... lient.html RDP client.
RDP via VNC ? !Omni sees the Lan Man server samba linux.

Brandy Basic is avail via Rasbian apt, Maybe !charm and Action! can get additional OSes
Pi 3B+ - Ham, Tech Net, Linux / Mac / PC, Programmer (for IF author).

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scruss
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Sun May 24, 2020 1:29 pm

n2kra wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:31 pm
Brandy Basic is avail via Rasbian apt
But that's an ancient, terrible version. See here for better alternatives. None of them are quite as fast as BASIC VI on RISC OS, but they run on Raspbian.
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WolfgangBlack
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:40 am

Botspot wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm
Once in a while, I find a cool application that is not in Raspbian's repositories, but compiles and runs well on the Pi.
Now I'd like to start a collection of these, since it seems like a lot of new beginners would be interested in these too.
I've tried to install this software on a Pi3 and a Zero W with the newest OS and older one.
Can't get it to run even doing the OpenGL thing and other stuff I've seen online and I really want to run
this stuff as I use the Pi with SiMH....
Anyone know a trick?

hippy
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:34 pm

WolfgangBlack wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:40 am
I've tried to install this software ...
Assuming it's not just a first post to get through moderation; what exactly is "this software" ?

You might be better off posting under one of the Troubleshooting sections of the forum detailing what you are having problems with.

WolfgangBlack
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:13 am

Uh, cool-retro-term of course.
Looking around there are others who have been unable to install cool-retro-term on their Pi's
and there are a few instructions out there showing how to install it a few different ways yet none of them work....

hippy
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:30 am

WolfgangBlack wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:13 am
Uh, cool-retro-term of course.
Looking around there are others who have been unable to install cool-retro-term on their Pi's
and there are a few instructions out there showing how to install it a few different ways yet none of them work....
The instructions in the OP for building and installing cool-retro-term did not work for me either.

Which does raise the issue of the utility of having such a catalogue of software. It's fine when the instructions work but near useless when they don't for people who don't have a clue as to how to make them work.

That 'this works' but now doesn't is one of the reasons some software developers are reluctant to embrace Linux; it can be an endless and tiresome battle keeping up with shifting sand.

bjtheone
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:01 pm

There are ways to ensure your software works. In a former life, my team deployed a hardware development environment across multiple platforms (SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, Domain OS) at multiple sites. Environment included asic, fpga, schematic capture, simulation, board layout and mechanical design, complete with appropriate design libraries, and including access to world wide floating licensing for some tools. It was capable of bringing up the required design environment (version controlled list of tools, design libraries, design data) for any project at any site.

The only per site customization required was the setting of a single environmental variable that pointed at the root of the entire environment.

The problem with a lot of software is it is written targeted at a specific version of a specific library, with lots of assumptions. Unsurprisingly said software is not particularly portable to different distros, with different version of required libraries, or with missing libraries.

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dividuum
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:47 pm

Botspot wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm
Once in a while, I find a cool application that is not in Raspbian's repositories, but compiles and runs well on the Pi.
Now I'd like to start a collection of these, since it seems like a lot of new beginners would be interested in these too.
I built info-beamer pi. It's a tool to create visual content for the Pi (main use case is digital signage, so images, videos, text, animations, etc) using Lua. It's a commercial software though, but for purely private use it can be used for free. Download here. The program itself is a single binary, so not installation is required. All dependencies can be install with apt.
info-beamer hosted - A user and programmer friendly digital signage platform for the Pi: https://info-beamer.com/hosted

Heater
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:56 pm

bjtheone wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:01 pm
There are ways to ensure your software works.
If you know the secret please do tell. All the world want's to know how.

I'm pretty confident in saying it would take you a month of Sundays to get the development environment you describe working on Mac, Win 10 and/or Linux.

You are right. Currently we build our software on the ever shifting sands of libraries, operating systems and the endless version changes they go through. If your software restricts itself to only using well standardized languages like C/C++, Ada, Javascript, Verilog etc and only uses standard libraries then you do stand some chance of longevity. As it happens most useful programs need more than that.

Ultimately you need to carry around the exact versions of compilers and tools used to build your code. You also need to carry around the exact versions of all the libraries your code uses. And ultimately that requires you have the exact same computer hardware architecture.

Which is why people end up using emulators to get old software working. Which in turn have their dependencies...

All summed up nicely by the late great Joe Armstrong, creator of Erlang, in "The Mess We're In" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKXe3HUG2l4&t=9s
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Heater
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:57 pm

dividuum wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:47 pm
...so not installation is required. All dependencies can be install with apt.
That is a contradiction in terms.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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dividuum
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Re: Best RPI software that isn't in the Repos?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:06 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:57 pm
dividuum wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:47 pm
...so not installation is required. All dependencies can be install with apt.
That is a contradiction in terms.
Agreed. What I meant with the first part is: You can place the single binary anywhere you want. It doesn't require a specific location within the file system and does not require other files in fixed paths. The runtime dependencies can be installed using apt. In summary:

Code: Select all

tar xfvz info-beamer-pi.tar.gz
apt-get install [some dependencies depending on Raspbian version]
cd info-beamer-pi && ./info-beamer
info-beamer hosted - A user and programmer friendly digital signage platform for the Pi: https://info-beamer.com/hosted

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