Installing LyX on the XO-1 laptop

LyX is a document authoring system. It is well suited for the production of scientific publications. LyX on the XO-1 might be used by university students or advanced school students who wish to create scientific publications.

The steps to install LyX are:

  1. Make sure there are no activities running on the laptop apart from the journal. If there are any other activities running the install process may run out of memory and fail.
  2. Open a terminal activity.
  3. Become super user by typing in the command su and pressing the enter key.
  4. Install LyX by by typing in the command yum install lyx and pressing the enter key.
  5. Wait. The install process will download and install 109 megabytes of programs. This will take time (an hour in my case). During installation you will get warnings of the form "install-info: No such file or directory for /usr/share/info/..." These are of no consequence, being caused by the XO-1 not creating documentation directories to conserve flash memory.
  6. Wait until the screen displays "Complete!"
  7. Return to being a normal user by typing in the command exit and pressing the enter key inside a terminal activity.
  8. You can now start by typing "lyx" then pressing the enter key. It will take a while to start the first time as it completes its installation but it will be faster on subsequent starts.
  9. Enjoy!

Note: my XO-1 has build 653 of the OLPC software installed.

LxY on the screen of an XO-1

Further Notes

Disk Space Used

The disk free (df) command was executed both before and after installation. The results before installation were 354,224kB used and after installation 500,312kB used. This means LyX and its dependencies occupy 146,088kB of disk space, or a little under 15% of the XO-1's 1GB disk.

DVI and PDF Viewing

LyX itself appears to work well on the XO-1. It is possible to open, edit and save a file. DVI and PDF preview, which rely on external programs, don't seem to work. Preview seems to require the ImageMagick package in order to generate DVI or PDF and the full version of evince to display the DVI or PDF. I have installed both ImageMagick and evince (using yum). ImageMagick seems to work in that a DVI or PDF file is successfully generated. Previewing fails though, with an error of the form "xdg-open no method available for opening 'tmp/lyx_tmpdir.../lyx_tmpbuf0/....dvi". The xdg-open program appears to be an abstraction layer that is supposed to be aware of the default DVI viewer and handles the task of opening a file in the default viewer. For some reason xdg-open has not picked up that evince is installed. Possibly there is a conflict with the cut down version of evince which was already installed on the XO-1? (I believe the OLPC "read activity" is based on evince.) In theory it might be possible to get PDF preview going with just ImageMagick and the existing read activity, but I have not experimented with this past finding out that it does not work by default.

Packages Installed

Executing the command yum install lyx installs 44 packages as detailed in the following except from the installation process.

 Package                 Arch       Version          Repository        Size 
 lyx                     i386       1.5.2-1.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   8.8 M
Installing for dependencies:
 aiksaurus               i386       1:1.2.1-15.fc6   olpc_koji-ship2   350 k
 audit-libs-python       i386       1.5.6-2.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2    72 k
 checkpolicy             i386       2.0.3-1.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   256 k
 chkfontpath             i386       1.10.1-1.1       olpc_koji-ship2    15 k
 desktop-file-utils      i386       0.12-4.fc7       olpc_koji-ship2    51 k
 dialog                  i386       1.1-1.20070227svn.fc7  olpc_koji-ship2   202 k
 diffutils               i386       2.8.1-16.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   211 k
 ed                      i386       0.7-1.fc7        olpc_koji-ship2    63 k
 gd                      i386       2.0.35-1.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   158 k
 ghostscript             i386       8.15.4-3.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   5.9 M
 ghostscript-fonts       noarch     5.50-16.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   802 k
 lcms                    i386       1.16-3           olpc_koji-ship2   172 k
 libFS                   i386       1.0.0-3.1        olpc_koji-ship2    30 k
 libdrm                  i386       2.3.0-5.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2    24 k
 libmng                  i386       1.0.9-5.1        olpc_koji-ship2   167 k
 libselinux-python       i386       2.0.14-10.fc7    olpc_koji-ship2    75 k
 libsemanage             i386       2.0.3-4.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   137 k
 mathml-fonts            noarch     1.0-21.fc6       olpc_koji-ship2   190 k
 mesa-libGL              i386       6.5.2-13.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2    11 M
 mesa-libGLU             i386       6.5.2-13.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   204 k
 nas                     i386       1.9-2.fc7        olpc_koji-ship2   647 k
 netpbm                  i386       10.35-12.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   147 k
 netpbm-progs            i386       10.35-12.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   2.0 M
 perl                    i386       4:5.8.8-25.fc7   olpc_koji-ship2    10 M
 perl-libs               i386       4:5.8.8-25.fc7   olpc_koji-ship2   567 k
 policycoreutils         i386       2.0.16-11.fc7    olpc_koji-ship2   617 k
 psutils                 i386       1.17-26.1        olpc_koji-ship2    85 k
 qt4                     i386       4.3.2-1.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   2.0 M
 qt4-x11                 i386       4.3.2-1.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   6.0 M
 redhat-rpm-config       noarch     8.0.45-16        olpc_koji-ship2    53 k
 tetex                   i386       3.0-40.1.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2    13 M
 tetex-IEEEtran          noarch     1.7.1-1.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2   1.0 M
 tetex-dvipost           i386       1.1-7.fc7        olpc_koji-ship2    31 k
 tetex-dvips             i386       3.0-40.1.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   586 k
 tetex-fonts             i386       3.0-40.1.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2    29 M
 tetex-latex             i386       3.0-40.1.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2   5.4 M
 tetex-preview           noarch     11.84-3.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2    52 k
 tmpwatch                i386       2.9.11-1         olpc_koji-ship2    19 k
 ttmkfdir                i386       3.0.9-24.fc7     olpc_koji-ship2    45 k
 urw-fonts               noarch     2.3-6.1.1        olpc_koji-ship2   4.5 M
 xdg-utils               noarch     1.0.2-2.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2    51 k
 xorg-x11-font-utils     i386       1:7.1-5.fc7      olpc_koji-ship2    75 k
 xorg-x11-xfs            i386       1:1.0.2-3.1      olpc_koji-ship2    68 k

Transaction Summary
Install     44 Package(s)         
Update       0 Package(s)         
Remove       0 Package(s)         

Total download size: 106 M

Copyright John Dalton <> 2008

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