It was January 1st 2006 that I made the initial announcement regarding the nuXleus project. Over the last three months I have been on both a personal and professional push to release the initial public bits before the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2007.
While there is still plenty of work to do before things are ready for PrimeTime, things are FINALLY in a state where I feel comfortable pushing out a preview release, and as you will see by the time-stamp on this entry, not a moment too soon!
In fact, while I am going to push the publish button here in a second to ensure I make the 11:59 cut-off, the bits themselves are still being uploaded, and if the estimated time of completion is even close to how long it actually takes, they won’t be ready for download until a few minutes after midnight. None-the-less… I’m pushing play, and will update this post when things are ready to go.
Back in a bit :)
Update: The first of several planned formats is now accessible [Download Size: ~54megs]. This is a raw hard disk image that can be written to the desired media using `dd` and then launched inside of your favorite virtualization engine.
More details to follow, including a complete feature list of all that is available [You might be shocked to discover just how much power and functionality can fit inside of 54megs of compressed hard disk space. In fact, currently things are a bit bloated — there is still more that can be stripped out, though to do so means extensive testing to ensure that nothing breaks, so for the time being somewhere around 50 megs will be the size of the various file formats.]
Update: A bz2 archive of the root file system can now be accessed [Download Size: ~47megs].
At the moment, I am putting the finishing touches on a batch file for Windows installations that I am wrapping together into a package download that includes QEMU and a script for accessing, downloading, installing, and starting the KQEMU accelerator module. It then creates a system overlay (which leaves the original image untouched) and starts up QEMU with a second data.img file that is mounted as your /home directory (which allows nicely for data portability and ease of backup.) It also redirects requests to port 80 of http://localhost to the onboard instance of Apache/XSP (via mod_mono) as well as requests for the standard BitTorrent ports (yes, there’s built in support for BitTorrent :) All other web requests (e.g. http://www.oreillynet.com/ ) go through the standard route (in other words, this will only catch and redirect requests to http://localhost), whatever that might be.
Just putting the finishing touches on this and will update when complete, at which point I will go into greater depth as to what all is a part of this release and how you can start to use nuXleus as both a personal and application messaging tool as well as a way of super charging your web browsing experience like none-other.
Back in a bit…
Update: As promised.
- Download and unpack the above linked archive. (link: “As promised”)
- Enter the “nuXleus” directory.
- Double-Click “nuXleus.bat”
- Kick back for a few while the necessary files are accessed, downloaded, unpacked, installed, and readied for launch.
- When the above has successfully completed, you will be prompted to continue. When you are ready to do just that, hit the “Enter” key and watch as your new nuXleus Messaging Appliance launches into its own self-contained virtualized environment, completely safe from the rest of your system. ( < This is setup to run in user mode, so there is no need for access to system level resources = SAFE COMPUTING! Add to this the fact that ClamAV is installed onto the system, and is ready to ensure that whatever files come into the system are completely scanned, if necessary, scrubbed, and if REALLY necessary, quarantined — and what you have as a result >> Even SAFER COMPUTING! :D)
A few areas to make extended note of,
- Once the system is up and running (this applies to the mentioned automatic QEMU install on Windows. Other virtualized environments (including QEMU if its launched outside the scope of the above script) will need to be configured to act in the same capacity.), access http://localhost/ (currently the same page as that found on @ http://nuxleus.com, though this will be changing to a completely customizable, personalized portal/startpage/whatever else you might want it to be), http://localhost/MyPlanet/ (still needs to be configured, so for now all you will see is the root directory for PlanetVenus), and from within IE7, http://localhost/Applications/VistaSmalltalk/Vsb.xbap. The entire Web directory (including web applications such as the VST XBAP application) is linked to the main nuXleus SVN repository, so keeping things up-to-date with all of the latest updates is (currently) as easy as “> svn up /srv/Web”, and will become even easier (well, that depends if you consider auto updates and/or browser-based control of system-wide settings and maintenance easier than the same tasks run via their commandline equivalent.)
- There is support for both Java and .NET via IKVM.NET and Mono. The Mono support is limited to those libraries that can be considered useful in a web-hosted environment. In other words, because the UI for nuXleus is web-based (no X11, no Desktop GUI, no nothing even closely related. nuXleus is not intended to be used anywhere outside of the scope of a guest OS on a host environment) libraries such as System.Windows.Forms don’t make a lot of sense when you are attempting to shave as much size off the total distribution as you possibly can.
The Java support is (currently) limited to the support provided via the Classpath 0.93 release + the extended functionality provided by Jeroen, though the 0.93 release is pretty sweet (as are Jeroen’s extensions), and with the JSE Standard Libraries well on their way to release under the GPL+Classpath exception, this will be changing, and changing quite fast.
- There is support for both Python 2.5 (> python) as well as IronPython Community Edition r5 (> ipy).
- The latest releases of Ruby+Rails+Gem are included, though rails needs some attention (missing library. Will get this fixed ASAP.)
- CherryPy 3.0.0, 4Suite (1.0.2), Amara (latest release), and Amplee (0.3.6 (provides full support for APP (rev.11))
- The latest SVN snapshot of Saxon on .NET-B can be accessed from the command line (> transform; > query) as well as included in your C# applications without need to include IKVM.NET (installed in the GAC) or saxon8.dll (installed in the GAC). **
- FXSL 2.0 functionality is built into the commandline. “x.fxsl <URI_of_data_file> <name_of_fxsl_function> (more detailed info to follow with this)
- libxml2 and libxslt (latest release of both) are accessible in both runtime and library format, with the “lxml” python bindings.
- Full access to Mono’s System.Xml functionality is made available via the commandline using “> mono-xmltool”
- Subversion 1.4.2 is available in all of its commandline glory.
- s3sync, s3cmd, pussh. Try all three from the commandline and see what happens. ;)
- clamscan. Again, try it and see what happens, then edit /etc/clamd.conf to your liking.
- When using the Windows installation, “> cd /home; monotorrent”. Again, see what happens. :)
More to come (we’ve only scratched the surface. :) including the integration of a completely self contained, self hosted blogging system (this isn’t finished out yet, so is not a part of this release) — need to attend to some other items of business this morning, but will provide more details with links to extended documentation, etc… as the day continues.
Until then… Enjoy! :)
** Saxon.Api.dll needs to be recompiled with mcs instead of gmcs such that I can Ahead-of-Time compile it for better performance (Mono’s AOT compilation isn’t quite finished for 2.0 (gmcs is Mono’s .NET 2.0 compiler)), and as soon as I have a chance, will update the recipe and provide a patch for updating your system.