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EasyOS Dunfell-series version 3.4.5 released

April 08, 2022 — BarryK

EasyOS 3.4.4 was released on March 26:

The last version announced on Distrowatch is version 3.2, on January 9:

A lot of "water under the bridge" since then!

How to summarize the intense pace of development since January 9, in a few paragraphs? Well, it doesn't cover everything, but here goes, a short announcement:

EasyOS is an experimental distribution, compiled almost entirely from source using OpenEmbedded/Yocto (OE). The binary packages generated by OE are imported into woofQ, which builds EasyOS. The current OE compile is "revision 8" -- each revision is a recompile with many package upgrades. Revision-8 is based on the Dunfell release of OE, but with many later packages backported from the latest release of OE. Also, there are a couple of hundred custom package build recipes not in the official OE repository.

Structurally, EasyOS is very different from other Linux distributions -- one example is support for containers baked in as an integral element of the design. EasyOS has its roots in Puppy Linux, and inherits features from Puppy such as the ROX-JWM desktop and AUFS layered filesystem. See here for more details on how EasyOS differs from other Linux distributions.

EasyOS continues the Puppy tradition of including just about every application a user would want in the build, yet still keeping the download size fairly small -- 3.4.5 download file is 631MB. New packages since 3.2 include Pitivi video editor, JWMDesk UI manager, and EasyCast screen recorder. There are many updated packages, including Firefox 99.0, and the kernel is now 5.15.16.

The User Interface has undergone a minor revolution, now supporting an "icon free" desktop, in which all icons are in the tray. The traditional desktop UI, with icons on desktop, is still available, and it is very easy to flip between them.

Version 3.4.5 has a stark jet-black theme. This is continuing an experiment with themes that are a bit more radical than expected with an official distro release. Easy 3.4.4 has a vivid orange-red theme.

Easy continues to ship with two web browsers, Firefox and the SeaMonkey suite. The latter is retained as some users like the Mail & News module and/or the WYSIWYG HTML editor.

An attempt has been made to improve compatibility with fairly recent Ryzen-based computers, with upgraded Xorg and mesa packages, and more firmware. The kernel has been upgraded from the 5.10.x series used prior to Easy 3.4.4.

Detailed release notes are here:

Download English, French and German builds here:

If you live in Europe, mirrored thanks to NLUUG:

If you are unfamiliar with a drive ".img" file, this page has some guidance how to install:

Basically, it is just a matter of writing the .img.gz file to a drive, such as USB-stick, using an appropriate tool, then booting from it.

Or, you can open up the .img.gz file and do a direct "frugal" install to a drive partition. Which reminds me of this forum thread.

The desktop

I booted 3.4.5 on a USB-stick, on an older PC with a Radeon video card and 1024x768 monitor. Here is the default desktop:


...very stark! You can flip over to icons-on-desktop by editing /etc/uimanager and restarting X, or do it via the JWMDesk GUI UI manager:


There are three menus in the tray: application menu, as shown above, drives menu, and containers menu. This blog post elaborates:

Here is the traditional icons-on-desktop:


Let me know which UI you prefer. If most users prefer the icons-on-desktop, I will make that the default for the next release.

If the default black wallpaper is too stark for you, there are alternatives builtin, such as this, on a 1920x1080 monitor:


Personally, I have not yet decided which I like best, icons-in-tray or icons-on-desktop.


A great feature of Easy is ease of updating. See the logo with the green thumb in above snapshot. Click on that to update to the latest version of EasyOS.

I upgraded from 3.4.4 to 3.4.5, and one thing I found is that some elements of the desktop UI needed tweaking. They are just minor layout issues, and I do hope to fix in the future. For now, here are my notes:

JWM-mode (icons in tray), tray RHS has nothing to the right of the clock.
Erase /root/.jwm/tray-extra, then restart X (via Shutdown menu).

In ROX-mode (icons on desktop), partition icons are too close to the tray.
TWO ways to fix:
1: lower height of tray.
Edit /root/.jwmrc-tray, in "Tray" tag, change the "height"
value to "30". Then restart X. OR:
2: Move partition icons up.
Edit file /etc/eventmanager, increase variable ICON_PLACE_EDGE_GAP value up a couple of pixels, save, exit editor, then right-click on any partition icon and run "Desktop Drive Icon Manager", tick checkbox "Erase then redraw and realign existing icons", click "OK", then restart X.


Feedback is welcome in the EasyOS section of the Puppy Forum:

Yes, although Easy has roots in Puppy from a long time ago, there are still many common factors, and Easy is considered to be under the umbrella of the "extended Puppy family". The forum, very generously, is home to all the Puppy derivatives and variants, even those with tenuous links to their Puppy heritage.

EDIT 2022-04-17:
EasyOS version 3.4.6 has been released, see announcement:

Monitor my blog for announcements of future releases!   

Tags: easy