Opie-sh for Making and Using GUIs

Many applications for the Zaurus, as well as some of my scripts, won't run without opie-sh, so consider it an essential piece of software.

If you are not a command-line person, it still is a must-have, just the same as some Zaurus libraries, as it is essential to many GUI applications that rely on it.

For those of you can who write your own scripts, it can be used to easily make popups and dropdown menus. Well, not all that easily. You do not have to figure out how to program Qtopia applications, but it still isn't all that straightforward to learn. The original opie-sh how-to ipk includes instructions and some basic examples, but I still had a difficult time figuring out how to use it for anything other than the most basic popups.

So, although I use opie-sh commands frequently in my scripts, since I very rarely write new opie-sh commands, I am not feeling very inclined to write a complete detailed tutorial on opie-sh myself.

For now, I will say that the basic idea is you have to write your code so that the results of opie-sh, whether they be answers to a simple yes/no question, choices in a drop-down menu, or text input, are fed to the calling command or next command in your script.

You also can use it to display either text or html files, which can make it kind of cool if you want to have either a long message, or some instructions, pop up at certain points or under certain conditions in your script.

Opie-sh's author's home page for opie-sh seems to have moved from where it was, and I have been unable to locate it's new home, but here is a link to the most recent cache of the old page at archive.org:


Opie-sh is available on many feeds, and the official opie feed is the preferred source for the most up-to-date version. However, here's a few more sources, just in case you get as lost as I did trying to figure out where it is on the official feed:

Menaie's feed: http://zaurus.daemons.gr/menaie/feed/opie-sh_0.5.1-20020527_arm.ipk
Quickening's sl5500 feed: http://quickening.zapto.org/ZaurusFeed/opie-sh_0.5.1-20020527_arm.ipk
Another feed: http://www.ossh.com/zaurus/feed/opie-sh_0.5-20020923_arm.ipk
OESF feed: http://www.oesf.org/howto/feed/opie-sh_0.5-20020923_arm.ipk

Here is Opie-sh's author's how-to page for opie-sh, showing how to use it's features:


When the above suggested how-to page had moved, and I found a link to a 2007 cache of the old page at archive.org. Here it is, in case you need it:


In addition to the above how-to by the author, if anyone has links for more opie-sh how-to's, with clear, short examples for the use of opie-sh, please send them to me so I can share the links on this page.

* * * UPDATE * * *

I thought I had finally found the official opie-sh page through sourceforge. To get the URLs for the most recent versions of opie-sh, check out the Official opie-sh Feed but the link is now DEAD. However, the following links function:

OpenZaurus Feed: http://www.openzaurus.org/download/
OpenZaurus Feed: http://www.openzaurus.org/download/

I was concerned about being able to run opie-sh on my ROM 2.38, in part because I needed to track down and install any missing required libraries. My vanilla ROM for sure did not have the libopiecore or libgcc1. Anyhow, the official dependencies are:

libqpe1 (>= 1.2.1)
libopiecore2-1 (>= 1.2.1)
libqte2 (>= 2.3.10)
libgcc1 (>= 3.4.4),
libc6 (>= 2.3.5+cvs20050627)

However, when I run the ldd command, libopiecore2 does not appear as a dependency, and the libraries that are required and work on my Collie are different from the ones that work on the Tosa, so each installation is a little different. libopiecore2 may contain the libraries which, because I am running original Sharp ROMs instead of Opie, are listed separately when I run ldd The best ways to be certain about the dependencies for your particular Opie-Sh, are to read the Packages page on the feed you obtained the IPK from, and to run the ldd command, which I have explained on my ldd command page.

I also saw that there are some excellent opie-sh-based utilities, and maybe more documentation about opie-sh in those, at a sourceforge mirror, but this link also is dead:

http://openzaurus.linuxtogo.org/feed-browser/?name=opie-sh&action=search DEAD

I had not been able to take the time to check out all the links there when the link did work. However, I now am a very pleased opie-sh user. I have several scripts I have written using opie-sh, that work quite well on both my Sharp Collie ROM 2.38 and Tosa ROM 1.12.

One of these is a dialer script, that was tailored to use on my sl5500, but also works with a little tweaking on my sl6000. It keeps trying to reach my ISP, and gives me popups informing me of any ongoing or fatal issues, asking me what action I want to take next. I think that is pretty cool! And it would have been much too difficult to write without opie-sh.

I have tried finding more feeds and how-to's, if anyone would like to share opie-sh resources I have not listed above, report a broken link, or ask a question (maybe we can start a thread about using opie-sh), please contact me at oesf.


This Page Was Revised December 6, 2012