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gtk1 and gdk-pixbuf0 compiled in OE

December 13, 2018 — BarryK

glib1 (glib version 1.2.10) got compiled in OpenEmbedded yesterday:

Have now succeeded with gtk+ 1.2.10 and gdk-pixbuf 0.22.0, see the oe-qky-src repository:

In the next release of Easy, will be able to run gtk+ 1.x applications, if desired. I have in mind one that I want to play with... 

Tags: oe

glib 1.2.10 compiled in OpenEmbedded

December 12, 2018 — BarryK

Compiled in 'oe-qky-src' that is, my fork of OpenEmbedded. I have an aim to be able to compile and run gtk+ 1.2.10 applications in EasyOS. For that, it is necessary to compile glib 1.2.10, gtk+ 1.2.10 and gdk-pixbuf 0.22.0.

These are ancient packages, released back around 2001 - 2002. Not surprisingly, there are some issues when compiling them now. I found some patches, from Arch Linux and the T2-project, and was able to compile in a x86_64 host system. Cross-compiling in OE, though, is a challenge.

So far have only done glib. There are some very old patches for compiling glib 1.2.10 in the archived "classical" OE, which were helpful.

It was a struggle, took several hours today, but finally worked:

Fixing the old autotools, etc., was achieved by hacks. 'ltconfig' insisted that it could not create shared libs, was able to override.

Next up, gtk+ 1.2.10 ... 

Tags: oe

Frugal install tutorial in UEFI computers updated

December 11, 2018 — BarryK

EasyOS tutorials were originally at, and I am gradually updating them and moving them to their new home.

Recently, the tutorial for frugal install on traditional-BIOS-firmware computers was updated and moved: 

Now, install for UEFI-firmware computers (which is all manufactured post-2012) has got the same treatment: 

The "take-2" part of the above tutorial, using an SD-card for the working-partition, will not work with EasyOS 0.9.10. The kernel needs to have the Realtek USB card reader drivers built-in to the kernel, not as modules. This will be in the next release, Easy 0.9.11.

The Mele PCG35 Apo can take a M.2 SSD, plus SATA SSD/HDD, internally, and this would offer another way to install Easy. An extremely easy way. The chap who runs CNX-Software has done a tear-down of the Mele, to show how drives can be installed:  

Tags: easy

Kernel 4.14.87 compiled

December 10, 2018 — BarryK

I was attempting to do a frugal install on the Mele PCG35 Apo mini-PC, with the boot-partition in the internal drive, and the working-partition on a plugin SD-card. However, the kernel does not recognise the Realtek card-reader at early bootup, as the drivers for it are modules. So, compiling the latest 4.14.*, with those drivers builtin. These are the changes since 4.14.81:

Device Drivers
Multifunction device drivers
<*> Realtek USB card reader CONFIG_MFD_RTXS_USB
<*> MMC/SD/SDIO card support
<*> Realtek USB SD/MMC card interface driver CONFIG_MMC_REALTEK_USB

This was enabled, disabled it:

Processor type and features
< > Avoid speculative indirect branches in kernel CONFIG_RETPOLINE

...that last one, of course, is controversial. However, I have never configured a kernel with hyperthreading enabled, except that it now is. That is, I always had CONFIG_SMP enabled, but not CONFIG_SCHED_SMT -- however, after compiling this kernel, I discovered that CONFIG_SCHED_SMT has become enabled -- huh, that is sneaky, I always use the .config file from the previous compile, so somewhere recently, the kernel developers have chosen to over-rule me.

Looked, CONFIG_SCHED_SMT was not enabled in the 4.14.81 compile. So they have done it in a more recent kernel. Cr*p, now will have to recompile it. 

Note, way back in the early days when I was first compiling the kernel for multi-core CPUs, SMT (hyperthreading), which simulates more than one core for each actual core, was causing file corruption. So, disabled it, and never trusted it after that. 

EDIT 2018-12-10
OK, I found the retpoline patch was introduced in 4.14.82, and using the .config from 4.14.81, was able to configure with retpoline disabled, and also SMT disabled. Fine, so using that kernel now.

Took another look at the 4.14.87 kernel, wondering why SMT was forced enabled. I found out why:

Processor type and features
[ ] SMT (hyperthreading) scheduler support missing!!! Yep, not there. Has it been moved? Hunted around, couldn't find it. So, for now, staying with 4.14.82. 

Tags: easy

CUPS+Gutenprint printing fixed

December 09, 2018 — BarryK

I reported yesterday that printing to my Canon MX310 printer does not work, using the CUPS+Gutenprint driver (which is what the CUPS web interface automatically selects):

The error-log showed "gs: no such file or directory", which I thought that I had fixed by creating a symlink, but no, the error is still in the log. But, ghostscript is installed, and 'gs' is there, at /usr/bin/gs.

Then a thought occurred: 'cups-filters' is compiled in 'oe-qky-src', my fork of OpenEmbedded. The 'ghostscript' package in oe-qky-src does not install 'gs', it installs 'gsc' and it is in Woof where I create a symlink, 'gs' to 'gsc'.
It could be that during configuration of the source, cups-filters cannot determine where 'gs' is and this is causing the failure to find it in the running EasyOS.

Anyway, I compiled the latest 'cups-filters', version 1.21.5, which also required 'qpdf' to be bumped to 8.2.1, and yay, printing works!

I have made both of those into PETs, which will be used in the next release, 0.9.11, but soon will have to go back to oe-qky-src and sort out what has gone wrong with configuring cups-filters.

So, good news. I am very tempted to buy ink cartridges, just so that I can see something printing! Officeworks has them:

...they are black. Duo, black and tri-colour cartridges:

Some inkjet printers won't work with only a black cartridge, which was the situation with mine 10 years go -- a nasty trick by the manufacture. Hopefully the Canon will print with just the black cartridge, so I would have to spend AU$35 ...that would be an indulgence, as I hardly ever need to print these days. 

EDIT 20181210:
Have updated and recompiled 'ghostscript', 'poppler', 'qpdf' and 'cups-filters' in oe-qky-src:

...and built a pre-release of Easy 0.9.11, printing to the Canon MX310 works.  So, no need to use the PETs. 

Tags: easy

Canon MX310 MFP rescued from road verge

December 08, 2018 — BarryK

On November 28, I posted about rescuing a HP Compaq Presario from the road verge, during local Shire annual rubbish verge pickup:

I also mentioned that I picked up two multi-function printers, an Epson XP-400 and a Canon MX310. Both are inkjet printers, the former being a bit more modern with wifi interface, the latter with USB2 interface.

The last time that I bought an inkjet printer was about 10 years ago, and I decided "never again". The reason was, if the stupid thing was left unused for a couple of months, the cartridge nozzles became clogged and I would have to buy a new set. As I only used a printer every couple of months, this was very wasteful.

My Brother HL-2040 laser printer on the other-hand, can sit unused for for 6 months and still be good-to-go.  Which it has done, and as I print only every few months, the laser toner lasts for years. can't recall when I last changed it, um, about 5 years ago I think.

The Epson XP-400 is heavily criticized for the same failing, most reviewers here giving it one star, and from their comments it seems they would have assigned zero stars if that was allowed:

Then there is the later XP-410 and XP-420:

...after reading those reviews, my enthusuasm for setting up the XP-400 waned. So, what about the Canon MX310:

...only one review, but he gave it 5 stars. Another good place to look is reviews:

Anyway, onto the main purpose of this post. I cleaned up the printer with a slightly damp cloth, and it looks good:


...rescued HP Compaq Presario PC and Dell keyboard can be seen on the right side. Purchased cheap speakers from Officeworks, for AU$11.88.

The printer works! Except for one small detail that nothing prints, due to the cartridges being completely clogged.

Testing EasyOS and Quirky

Now for some bad news. Forum member 'scsijon' reported getting the infamous "filter failure" when trying to print from the latest EasyOS, version 0.9.10. So, I tried with the MX310, same error, using a CUPS+Gutenprint driver. The error log showed this:

gs: no such file or directory
(/usr/lib/cups/filter/gstoraster) stopped with status 1

Well, /usr/bin/gs does exist, it is a symlink to /usr/bin/gsc. So, I tried this:

# ln -s /usr/bin/gsc /usr/lib/cups/filter/gs

It fixed the above error, however, still get "filter failure". So fired up Quirky Xerus 8.6 on the Compaq, now printing works ...of course, have to qualify that, it goes through all the motions of printing, but getting blank pages because of the dried-up cartridges.

So, further research is required! Note, my Brother HL-2040, for which I have a foomatic ppd driver, does print from Easy. 

EDIT 20181210:
Printing from EasyOS now fixed, see:  

Tags: tech

EasyOS version 0.9.10 released

December 06, 2018 — BarryK

A lovely new version of EasyOS, for computers with 64-bit CPU. This is what has been named the "Pyro" series and has now reached version 0.9.10.

Lots of things have happened since 0.9.9, and I recommend browse through the blog posts.

Download from here, kindly hosted by;

There is a choice, either a USB-image file for writing to a USB-stick, or an ISO live-CD file. Yes, for the first time, Easy is now provided as a live-CD, see announcements here:

There is plenty of online documentation on how to write an ISO file to CD or DVD media, if you need it. If you need help with writing the USB-image to a USB-stick, see here:

Feedback is welcome, either to the EasyOS forum, or there is a thread on the Puppy Forum: 

Note, I have updated the "How and why EasyOS is different" page:

And there is a new tutorial for frugal installation:

Have fun! 

Tags: easy

New tutorial for frugal installation

December 06, 2018 — BarryK

Here it is, a brand new tutorial, frugal installation of EasyOS, mostly targeting older traditional-BIOS computers:

The old one, at, will be removed soon, or rather, will redirect to this new one.

Still haven't formally announced Easy 0.9.10. The tutorial took all morning to write, need to go for lunch and some shopping. Hope to do the announcement this evening. 

Tags: easy