site  contact  subhomenews

EasyOS x86_64 version 1.0.11 released

March 08, 2019 — BarryK

This is a very exciting release! Well, they are all exciting, but this one even more so. There is currently a process of "fundamental rethinking" of the basics of a Linux distribution, which started with a move to Alex Suykov's minibase network utilities in Easy 1.0.8:

The single biggest feature of 1.0.11 is a rethink of the initrd, with chroot into a layered filesystem built on easy.sfs -- what this means is that programs in the main Easy filesystem can be run inside the initrd, for example Xorg. This capability brings with it some powerful new features.

More very interesting new things have happened in the initrd. Itemising the new features of 1.0.11, in no particular order;

  1. UUID disk identification: No longer using disk-identifier (also known as disk-signature) to find boot-partition and working-partition. Now looking for their UUIDs. This means that variables in the BOOT_SPECS file (inside the initrd, see here for further explanation) have now changed.  1 
  2. Big utilities removed: In previous releases, there were resize2fs, e2fsck, make2fs and tune2fs utilities in the initrd, compiled statically. They are rather large. Now, easy.sfs is mounted as a layered filesystem within the initrd, and a chroot performed onto it to execute those utilities. Which means roughly 1.5MB (uncompressed) space saving (to understand what a layered filesystem with easy.sfs is, read here).  1 
  3. Non-English text: A serious limitation of the Linux console is inability to handle complex characters such as Chinese and Hindi. There are various solutions, and that adopted by Easy 1.0.11 is to run Xorg inside the initrd, and GTK apps for entering locale/keyboard-layout and password. No other distribution does this. At time of writing, tested on 3 PCs and works OK, but even if it doesn't, there is fallback to text-mode entry.  1 
  4. Xorg GUI: Adding to item-1, regarding new variables in the BOOT_SPECS file, there is now INITRD_X_GUI, which can be set to "yes" or "no". So, even if the Xorg GTK GUI apps work, you can disable them if you prefer the simple text-mode entry. 
  5. Splash logo: There is a splash logo at bootup. Linux distributions have had these for ages of course, but it is new for Easy. The idump utility is used to write an image to the framebuffer, the idea being that the logo will display top-right and the bootup text along the left side.  1 
  6. Integrity checking: There is now a lot more integrity-checking in the init script in the initrd. Easy no longer creates a working-partition if it doesn't exist, as this messing around with the partition table is a concern, even if it is unlikely that anything will go wrong. Now, the only operation performed is to resize the (pre-existing) working-partition to fill the drive (and it only does so if the working-partition is 640MB, the case on the USB-stick image). There are more checks, to greatly reduce the likelihood of anything going wrong -- no guarantees of course, but it is reassuring that I have put in extra effort here.
  7. PETs fixed: A bug reported for 1.0.8 was that dependencies were missing from the Gnome-MPV and VLC media player PET packages (see "petget" icon at top of screen to install PET packages). This should now be fixed.
  8. Kernel: Kernel bumped to 4.14.105

It is all very well making these changes, but it does mean that some of the online documentation needs to be updated. Bear with me, I hope to do this over the next few days.

Download and install

Download from here:

This is an image file, to be written to a USB-stick. If you don't know how to do this, see here: describes a Windows utility to write images to USB-stick, but note that there is another that is very popular, named Etcher, and recommended by the Raspberry Pi guys, see here:

One thing that you will see is absent from the download URL is an ISO file. I am no longer providing this. I provided it up to version 1.0.8, for people who have PCs that will not boot from USB. Yet despite the instructions not to, some people were downloading the ISO and writing it to a USB-stick. This is a third-rate way of booting Easy!

Optical media should be considered deprecated. The ISO format should be considered deprecated.

If you are one of those people with an old PC that will not boot from USB, you can do a direct (frugal) install to hard drive.


If you need help with anything, or want to contribute in any way, or just read what others have posted, you are most welcome. There is the official EasyOS forum here:

There is also a thread in the Puppy Forum, which is quite active, 1.0.11 discussion starts here:

International builds

One more thing: In previous releases, there have been German, French, etc. builds. These are completely pre-configured for a particular language, with heaps of translations, dictionaries, etc. At the time of writing, I have not built these for 1.0.11, however, intend to do so very soon. When it is done, you will find an "international" folder at the download URL. Hopefully this will be done in a couple of days.

Have fun! 

Tags: easy