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EasyOS Pyro64  version 0.7 released

January 17, 2018 — BarryK

Version 0.6.6 of the Pyro64 series of Easy was released on January 2, 2018:

That was followed by the Xerus64 series of Easy, version 0.6.8, on january 4:

Back onto Pyro, version 0.7 is now out:

The big news for 0.7 is inclusion of EasyShare, which is introduced here:

Forum feedback here:

Note that I have future plans for EasyShare. I am thinking of adding NFS as an alternative to Samba, for Linux-to-Linux file sharing. EasyShare will offer the choice of either.

Tags: easy

Easy network printing with CUPS

January 11, 2018 — BarryK

I have been trying all day to setup printing over a small network, just two PCs running Easy 0.6.6, connected to an ethernet router (and to the Internet via wi-fi wan, to my mobile phone hotspot).

One PC, my "midi-tower", has a Brother HL-2040 laser printer connected via USB port. Local printing works fine. The other PC is my Mele "mini-pc", and I want to be able to print from it.

The problem is, I cannot get the "ipp" protocol to work. I have studied online documentation, and can get the client machine, my mini-pc, to see the remote printer, however when do an actual print, get the dreaded "Filter failed".

As stated, I have messed around all day, trying different things. Then, I found something that "just works", very simple. I would like to acknowledge "paulkerry" for this info:

Just a comment: there is a lot of outdated, vague, ambiguous and misleading documentation about CUPS online. For example, one "very official" site explained the format of the ipp protocol as:


...without explaining that only "hostname" and "printername" must be substituted, and the text "printers" must be left as-is. There wasn't even an example, nor was it properly explained how to find the printername.

Anyway, I did learn how to specify ipp properly, but got stuck at "Filter failed".

The method described by paulkerry works, so here is a little tutorial to explain how to set it up. Note, I plan to semi-automate this, by extending QuickSamba, which I plan to rename to EasyShare. Anyway, the tut...

1: Firewall

I ran the firewall setup on both client (my mini-pc) and server (my midi-tower) PCs, so that the CUPS port (631) is enabled. In this snapshot, I have also enabled Samba ports, but that isn't necessary for just printing with CUPS:


On the server-PC, just setup the local printer as you normally would, but tick some extra boxes...

2: Server PC

You need to have the cupsd daemon running and point the web browser at http://localhost:631. In Puppy/Quirky/Easy, you do this by running the "CUPS Printer Wizard":


A window will popup asking if you want to add a new printer, and you click "Yes", then you will get the CUPS web interface:

image on "Adding Printers and Classes", then the next window:

images each of those, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Do not miss "Change Settings". Probably "Allow remote administration" is optional, but I enabled it, as I was then able to bring up the CUPS web interface of the server-PC on my client-PC. Next window...

...well, anyone who has setup a local printer will be familiar with this. Continuing, as per usual, except an important checkbox to tick...

...the first two boxes are pre-filled. It is not essential, but useful, to fill "Location". And, you must tick "Share This Printer".

In the next window, you choose a driver...


And set some printer options...


That's it, the server-PC is setup. Before setting up the client, you will need to know the IP-address of the server. A few ways of doing that. Open a terminal and type "ifconfig", and you will see it -- in my case it is "":


In Puppy/Easy/Quirky, there is no need to edit the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf main configuration file, as it is pre-configured OK. Note, for this tutorial, I am running pristine EasyOS Pyro64 version 0.6.6.

Now for the client-PC...

3: Client PC

Over on my Mele mini-pc, setup is easy-peasy. I created file /etc/cups/client.conf...


...with content just one line, "ServerName <ip address of server>"

Finally, restart the cupsd daemon...


...and run "lpstat -t" to verify that the remote printer is found.

That's it, nothing more to do. If you ran an application and choose "Print...", the remote printer will be offered, in my case, my Brother HL-2040.

Also, the CUPS web interface of the server can be accessed from the client, by going to "" in the client web browser.

As stated, I have thoughts how this setup can be semi-automated, including automatic creation and update (if the ip-address changes) of /etc/cups/client.conf. Stay tuned.

Tags: linux, easy, quirky

EasyOS Xerus64 0.6.8 released

January 04, 2018 — BarryK

The last couple of releases of EasyOS have been the "Pyro" series, built with packages compiled from source in OpenEmbedded. The latest of these is 0.6.6.

Earlier, I was building EasyOS with Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) DEBs, the "Xerus" series, the most recent being 0.6 on October 18 2017:

Some of the testers prefer the Xerus series, due to the large Ubuntu repositories. But also, a couple of testers of the Pyro series have reported system hanging, and I would like to find out if we have the same problem building with Ubuntu DEBs.

So, here it is, a new release of EasyOS Xerus64 (for x86_64 CPUs) version 0.6.8.


Instructions for writing to a USB-drive and booting:

This build has all of the latest features, such as QuickSamba, ready for testing!

If you are a newcomer and want an overview of Easy, go here:

To join in the discussion on the Puppy Forum, go here:

Extra notes, for the specialist:

0.6.8 is built with the 4.14.11 kernel, source, patches and build scripts here:

Easy and Quirky are built with woofQ, a fork of woof2 (from which woof-CE also forked). Here is a tarball of the lastest, used to build Easy 0.6.8:

Have fun!

Tags: easy

EasyOS Pyro64 0.6.6 released

January 02, 2018 — BarryK

Easy 0.6.4 was released on December 18, 2017:

I kept at it through Christmas, fixing and improving, and now 0.6.6 is released.


The download is an image file for writing to a USB-drive, of 2GB or greater (8GB minimum is preferred). Instructions to write file to drive:

QuickSamba is a new feature introduced in 0.6.4, now with some tweaks.
QuickSetup has improvements.
Now have OpenGL hardware rendering.

There are lots of little improvements that have not been documented.

Forum feedback here:

Have fun!

Tags: easy

Retrovol replaced with Aumix and Pnmixer

December 31, 2017 — BarryK

Retrovol is a combination audio mixer and tray applet. It has been working fine for me, until today.

Now that I am using a Radeon HD 6780 video card, suddenly Retrovol is broken. The icon is sometimes in the tray, sometimes not. When not displaying anything, there is still a space that responds to clicks. Sometimes though, it dies completely. Even though it may respond to clicks, the volume slider does not work.

A quick search on the Puppy Forum reveals that I am not alone;

What these people have not identified, is what video card they are using. Given that I have been using retrovol for years on different PCs and laptops without any problem, always Intel video, and suddenly broken when I have changed to a AMD card, well, it is too much of a coincidence.

So, Easy and Quirky have changed over to 'aumix' and 'pnmixer'. The former is a audio mixer, the latter a tray applet.

Which reminds me, my build of Quirky for the RPi had the same problem, retrovol was broken, and I used aumix and pnmixer.

Tags: easy, quirky

OpenGL hardware acceleration for AMD video card

December 30, 2017 — BarryK

I have posted that only had software rendering for OpenGL, for my AMD/ATI BART Radeon HD 6870 video card:

I compiled 'mesa' in OpenEmbedded without 'llvm'. I wanted to avoid llvm, due to it's size, as have done in some earlier pups. The problem is that some of the AMD/ATI mesa drivers require llvm.

The mesa drivers that require llvm are: r300, r600, radeonsi

However, I did read that r600 can be compiled without llvm, by the configure options:

--with-gallium-drivers=r600 --disable-gallium-llvm

Not so r300 and radeonsi, they need llvm, apparently.

I determined that my video card needs the 'r600' driver. I decided to include llvm, for the sake of others who might need the r300 and radeonsi drivers.

llvm can be compiled in OE, however, it is not configured properly, nor is mesa in OE configured properly -- for example, won't build the r600 driver.

So, I have built llvm and mesa in a running Quirky Pyro64 (0.6.2). The package 'elfutils' is required, can be installed from the PPM.

Here is how I compiled llvm, version 3.9.1 (with hints from LFS):

# mkdir build
# cd build
# CC=gcc
# CXX=g++
 -DLLVM_TARGETS_TO_BUILD="host;AMDGPU;X86" -Wno-dev ..
# make
# new2dir make install

Then mesa 17.0.2:

# ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu \
 --enable-shared-dricore --enable-osmesa --enable-xa --enable-gallium-llvm --enable-shared-glapi \
 --enable-glx-tls --enable-dri --with-dri-drivers=i915,i965,nouveau,r200,radeon,swrast \
 --with-gallium-drivers=r600,r300,radeonsi --enable-dri3 --enable-gles1 --enable-gles2 \
 --enable-egl --enable-llvm-shared-libs --disable-omx-bellagio --enable-vdpau \
 --with-egl-platforms='drm x11'
# make
# new2dir make install

There was some uncertainty here, what drivers to put into "--with-dri-drivers" and "--with-gallium-drivers". I did what seemed sensible, though it did seem that some, for example "i965", could be moved to the latter. Some online examples have the drivers in both, which seems odd.

Some of the options are auto-detected, however, putting them in explicitly is good to check that the host has the required packages.

Yay, running 'glxinfo':

OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on AMD BARTS (DRM 2.50.0 / 4.14.1, LLVM 3.9.1)

...that is, not using the "software rasterizing" anymore. I haven't been able to give any TLC for NVIDIA video, will have to get hold of an NVIDIA card to play with.

Tags: easy, quirky

Intel and AMD video conflict

December 30, 2017 — BarryK

I reported yesterday about the result of plugging in my AMD Radeon HD6870 card:


Booting Easy Pyro64 0.6.4 from USB-drive, get a desktop. Fine, but 'glxinfo' reported software rasterising. Also, exit from X to commandline results in a blank screen. Also, under certain conditions, that I have not yet narrowed down, there is a hang at bootup.

My midi-tower PC also has on-board Intel video. There is a file, /etc/modeprobe.d/i915.conf containing this:

options i915 modeset=1

And /etc/modeprobe.d/radeon.conf, both with this:

options radeon modeset=1

I simply removed the i915.conf file, rebooted, and that fixed the exit-from-X-to-commandline, also bootup-to-commandline-no-X., but then I restored i915.conf, and exit-from-X-to-commandline, also bootup-to-commandline-no-X, are still fixed. Hmmm. The UEFI-Setup is showing on-board video as disabled ...the UEFI must have done that automatically? I don't know. There's too much that I don't know here.

This needs more testing, and rerwin's thoughts on this are also very helpful:

I will append to this post as I discover more.

Tags: easy, quirky, linux

AMD/ATI BARTS XT Radeon HD 6870 card

December 29, 2017 — BarryK

I purchased a second-hand midi-tower PC in May of this year:

It has on-board Intel video, but also came with an enormous AMD PCI-bus video card, model BARTS XT, also known as Radeon HD 6870.

I removed the AMD card before first power-on, and never put it back. However, testers of Easy/Quirky Pyro64 have reported issues with NVIDIA and AMD video, so I decided to plug in my AMD card and test it.

Booting Easy Pyro64 0.6.4 from USB-drive, get a desktop. Fine, but 'glxinfo' reported software rasterising. Also, exit from X to commandline results in a blank screen. Also, under certain conditions, that I have not yet narrowed down, there is a hang at bootup.

This is actually "good news", as I am getting problems that testers have reported, so I have something to work with.


More info:

Yet another fan! Note, the HD 6870 was released late in 2010. Note also, I am using the HDMI output, not those big DVI sockets (I have never used DVI, know nothing about it).

Tags: easy, quirky