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EasyOS Dunfell-series 0.95 alpha release

October 24, 2020 — BarryK

Here is another iteration of EasyOS Dunfell-series, version 0.95.

Significant improvement this release is bluetooth support. I did a quick test with my Audiosonic BT speaker, a very nice experience connecting it. Basically, click on the Blueman applet in the tray, select "Search...", turn on my BT speaker, it gets found, choose "Connect" and it connects, and MSCW (Multiple Sound Card Wizard) pops up and allowed me to choose the BT speaker as default audio output.

I haven't tested whether the speaker reconnects after a reboot. One thing I recall from before, turning the speaker off then on again stuffs things up -- don't know if that has improved.

What should be fixed with 0.95 is transferring files from PC to phone using bluetooth. Running Blueman, search and find the phone, then can pair. Blueman has a "Send file..." choice, there is also a utility 'bluetooth-sendto' -- which is supposed to be in the menu, but isn't.

I haven't tested BT file transfer in 0.95 yet. I was playing with 0.94 and had it working, so hopefully still ok in the 0.95 build. Needs more development, want to make it very simple to send and receive files.

Download:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/dunfell/0.95/

Here are earlier blog posts since 0.93:

Also, I have fixed Zarfy. The folder /usr/share/zarfy was missing. Zarfy is in the menu "Setup" category.

If you need it, how to write an image file to a USB-stick:

https://easyos.org/install/how-to-write-easyos-to-a-flash-drive.html

Feedback welcome at the forum:

https://easyos.org/forum/ 

Tags: easy

Success sending a file from PC to phone

October 22, 2020 — BarryK

There has been discussion on the forum about this not working in Easy Dunfell:

https://easyos.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=190

I found out why it was failing: the 'obexd' daemon, in the bluez package, must be running. Which can be done:

# /usr/libexec/bluetooth/obexd

There should have been a script in /etc/init.d to start it. I wondered why the bluez5 package did not install such a script, and found a patch for OE to do that:

https://www.openembedded.org/pipermail/openembedded-core/2015-May/222919.html

...odd, it isn't in the latest bluez5 recipe in OE Dunfell release.

11pm, want to relax in front of the TV for awhile, will look at this again tomorrow. Well no, visiting relatives tomorrow, but will get onto it in the afternoon. Good that there is progress.

EDIT 2020-10-23:
Got it figured out! The above link has a patch to create /etc/init.d/bluez-obexd, to explicitly start 'obexd' at bootup. However, from online reading I got to understand that it is supposed to start automatically, via dbus.

This was not happening. When ran 'bluetooth-sendto' to send a file to my phone, got this error message:

# bluetooth-sendto
Acquiring proxy failed: Error calling StartServiceByName for org.bluez.obex: Failed to execute program org.bluez.obex: No such file or directory

I got a hint how to fix it here:

https://sources.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewvc.cgi/gentoo-x86/net-wireless/bluez/files/0001-Allow-using-obexd-without-systemd-in-the-user-sessio.patch?revision=1.1&view=markup

So much online information is about systemd, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find out to configure without systemd. Anyway, the solution is two files:

/etc/dbus-1/system.d/obexd.conf
/usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.bluez.obex.service

obex.conf:

<!-- This configuration file specifies the required security policies
for Obex core daemon to work. -->

<!DOCTYPE busconfig PUBLIC "-//freedesktop/DTD D-BUS Configuration 1.0//EN"
"http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/dbus/1.0/busconfig.dtd">
<busconfig>
<policy user="root">
<allow own="org.bluez.obex"/>
<allow send_destination="org.bluez.obex"/>
<allow send_interface="org.bluez.obex"/>
</policy>
</busconfig>

org.bluez.obex.service:

[D-BUS Service]
Name=org.bluez.obex
Exec=/usr/sbin/obexd
SystemdService=dbus-org.bluez.obex.service

Note, 'obexd' is actually at /usr/libexec/bluetooth/obexd, and /usr/sbin/obexd is a symlink to it. The actual location of 'obexd' differ on other distros.

Now, 'bluetooth-sendto' automatically starts 'obexd' -- actually, I think that it is 'bluetoothd' that starts 'obexd' -- whatever, it now starts and file transfer successful. Expect fix in 0.94 coming soon.   

Tags: easy

Workaround for HelpSurfer crash

October 22, 2020 — BarryK

EasyOS has a HTML viewer for local help files. Very small and don't have to bring up the main browser to view these local files. Except that it has been somewhat unstable, much improved awhile back thanks to James (jamesbond):

https://bkhome.org/news/202002/helpsurfer-crash-fixed.html

Yesterday, it was reported that Surfer crashed when viewing a local HTML file, testing EasyOS 0.93:

https://easyos.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=192&pid=984#pid984

This does work:

# surfer /usr/share/doc/easy/welcome_en.htm

This crashes:

# surfer /usr/share/doc/easy/help_en.htm

The reason is that the file must not have a carriage-return on the last line. I have known about this for sometime. 'welcome_en.htm' does not have a carriage-return on last line, 'help_en.htm' does.

It seems that when I was looking at 'help_en.htm' at some stage, forgot about that problem with Surfer and stuck a carriage-return on the last line.

Anyway, fixed. We really should look at the source code and figure out why it is doing that:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/source/alphabetical/h/helpsurfer-0.6.tar.gz

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/source/alphabetical/l/libgtkhtml-2.12.tar.gz 

Tags: easy

Blueberry, OpenOBEX, ObexFTP and obexfs

October 22, 2020 — BarryK

Blueberry is a GUI app similar to Blueman, for connecting over bluetooth. Two dependencies are 'libcanberra' and 'gnome-bluetooth', that I have compiled in OE and they will be in the next release of Easy Dunfell. Then we will be able to experiment with Blueberry, available here:

https://github.com/linuxmint/blueberry

...it is a python script and I don't know if all python modules are present -- it might be necessary to load the 'devx' SFS to get all of python3.

Hey, "blueberry" is an appropriate name, given this recent post:

https://bkhome.org/news/202010/yummy-blueberries.html

As I understand the situation, Blueman can only send files to a device such as a phone, not receive, though I could be wrong. Obex is required for sending and receiving.

In OE I have compiled 'openobex', 'obexftp' and 'obexfs' and these will be in the next Easy release, for experimenting. Openobex has a utility named 'obex-check-device', Obexftp has utilities 'obexftp' and 'obexftpd', and obexfs has utilities 'obexautofs' and 'obexfs'.

Note also, gnome-bluetooth has GUI utility 'bluetooth-sendto'.

If we can pair with a phone, these utilities will be interesting to experiment with, to see if can transfer files. In am very interested in 'obexfs' and 'obexautofs', as these will enable the phone to be mounted and files viewed in a file manager such as ROX.

Obexfs is described here:

http://dev.zuckschwerdt.org/openobex/wiki/ObexFs/

Obexftp is decribed here:

http://dev.zuckschwerdt.org/openobex/wiki/ObexFtp/

And openobex:

http://dev.zuckschwerdt.org/openobex/wiki/ObexIntroduction/

Very interesting, but actually doing something useful with these tools could be a challenge!

And for something totally different, here is another way to transfer files with a phone, using QR-codes, over wifi:

https://ostechnix.com/transfer-files-between-computers-and-mobile-devices-by-scanning-qr-codes/

...fascinating!   

Tags: easy

Feijoa growth progress

October 22, 2020 — BarryK

Fascinating to watch. On the 5th October, I posted a picture of the Feijoa just starting to grow:

https://bkhome.org/news/202010/the-feijoa-has-started-budding.html

Took another photo yesterday, 16 days later:

img1

It is Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere, the plants are enjoying the sun and warm weather!  

Tags: general

wmctrl now in Easy Dunfell

October 21, 2020 — BarryK

Forum member "banned" mentioned that the 'wmctrl' utility is in Easy Buster, not in Easy Dunfell.

I have compiled it in OE, and it will be in the next release of EasyOS Dunfell-series.

wmctrl homepage:

http://tripie.sweb.cz/utils/wmctrl/

Version 1.07 and I got a couple of patches from Debian.

I thought back, why was it included in the Buster-series? In 2016 I was working on a GUI for the CLI VLC media player, and this is to be found in /usr/local/SimpleVP. I had forgotten all about it ...I am sometimes surprised to find stuff that I did years ago, that I have no or little recollection of.

Anyway, 'wmctrl' is used in /usr/local/SimpleVP/simplevp, and is mentioned in /usr/local/SimpleVP/docs/simplevp.htm 

Tags: easy

Googled has tightened restrictions for login

October 21, 2020 — BarryK

I discovered this a couple of days ago, went to login to my Gmail account, and got a message that my browser does not have javascript enabled or is an incompatible browser.

This is on my laptop, which has SeaMonkey 2.53.3. I just checked, The latest EasyOS has SM 2.53.4, and can login to Gmail OK.

What I did with SM 2.53.3, is go to "about:config" then search for "useragent", then there is this parameter:

general.useragent.compatMode.strict-firefox

Which is set to "false". Right-click on it and choose "toggle", so it then becomes "true". Then login to Google works.

I think that it is really dumb that some companies will bar a browser based on the user agent string, given how easy it is to change it.

You can check your browser user agent string here:

https://www.whatismybrowser.com/detect/what-is-my-user-agent

Running 2.53.4 right now, and without the above parameter toggled to "true", this is what I get:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0 SeaMonkey/2.53.4

If I were to toggle that parameter to true, the user agent is the same except doesn't have the "SeaMonkey/2.53.4" on the end.

I am wondering whether I should set that parameter as "true" by default? It is simply an entry in /root/.mozilla/*/prefs.js:

user_pref("general.useragent.compatMode.strict-firefox", true);

If anyone reports this login problem with latest SM, then will do.

EDIT 2020-10-22:
How about that, yesterday was able to login to Google with my 2.53.4 SM, this morning can't. Setting "strict-firefox"  user agent has fixed it, so that will be the default for next release of EasyOS.
 

Tags: tech

Automatic launch of MSCW when BT audio device connected

October 21, 2020 — BarryK

When you click on the Blueman tray applet, then search for and connect a bluetooth audio device, another step still remains, to choose it as the default output (or input).

The default audio device is chosen by the Multiple Sound Card Wizard (MSCW), script /usr/sbin/mscw.

What I have been working on, is to get MSCW to launch automatically after Blueman (or any other BT connection utility) has made a connection to an audio device.

I have achieved this by adding a rule to /etc/udev/rules.d/91-pup_event.rules, to run a script when a bluetooth device is added: /usr/local/pup_event/bluetooth-add

Script 'bluetooth-add' will detect a newly-connected BT audio device, and run MSCW.

Everything seems OK, it works, however, there is one big fatal problem: 'bluetoothd' keeps crashing. Here is what 'dmesg' reports:

[ 8577.554723] bluetoothd[3559]: segfault at 3c00000020 ip 00007fdda6a59df5 sp 00007ffc111ea2a0 error 6 in libglib-2.0.so.0.6200.6[7fdda6a36000+76000]

I compiled the latest Bluez, version 5.55, same problem. The challenge now is to avoid the crashing. 

Tags: easy