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EasyOS version 2.2.5 released

January 22, 2020 — BarryK

The previous official release was 2.2. What is new is mostly work on the infrastructure.

This includes hardware-profiling for video and sound, to automatically handle booting of a USB-stick on different computers, or plugging in different cards on the same computer.

There has also been a lot of work on Bluetooth, in particular to support sound, such as Bluetooth speakers and earbuds.

Download host, by kind courtesy of Ibiblio: will also find there the detailed release notes and an installation guide.

There is also a mirror at NLUUG, at the time of writing not yet there:

For forum feedback please go here: 

Have fun! 

Tags: easy

Various observations before releasing EasyOS 2.2.5

January 22, 2020 — BarryK

I built Easy 2.2.5, booted it from a USB-stick on my desktop PC, and after the desktop was up for about one minute, got a "hard crash" -- the PC spontaneously rebooted. There was a report from one of the Puppy developers of this happening when they moved up to the 5.4.x kernel.

Kernel 5.4.x

With Easy, since progressing to the 5.4.x kernel, there have been occasional screen freezes. More than I am accustomed to with earlier kernels. These freezes have required to press the power button to reboot.

Then there is the issue with the 5.4.13 kernel, reported earlier today:

So, my confidence-level in the Linux kernel is quite low. I feel that Linux kernel development is like a train being driven too fast for the tracks it is running on. I will release 2.2.5 with the 5.4.12 kernel, and if anyone experiences freezes or crashes, let me know.

What I might do, is experiment with another build, with the 4.19.x kernel. This will be a little side project, but might upload it if anyone is interested. Will lose the kernel "lockdown" feature though.

Bluetooth audio

Then there is Bluetooth. My new Bluetooth earbuds work with Easy 2.2.5, see ordering details here:

Fine, but setting up Bluetooth audio is a pain, and reconnecting is a pain, compared with Android. In Blueman, the tray management GUI, after pairing, the extra step of choosing "audio sink" is required. I also have to run Multiple Sound Card Wizard (see Setup menu) to choose it as the default output. Then, if I turn off the earbuds, then on again, there is the voice message in the earbuds "connected" -- however, I then have to reselect "audio sink" in Blueman!

I would rather just use the wired earbuds.

A very negative post! 

Tags: easy

Backed off from the 5.4.13 kernel

January 22, 2020 — BarryK

This morning I compiled the 5.4.13 Linux kernel. Unfortunately, it has assigned the drive letters of my internal drives differently. I have three internal drives on my HP midi-tower desktop PC. sda was OK, but sdb and sdc are swapped. This is happening because the kernel is discovering them in a different order, which is annoying -- from the beginning of the installation of these three drives, years ago, they have always been discovered by the kernel in the same order.

Yeah annoying. We need to find what commit is the culprit, and contact the chap who has done it.

Anyway, I don't want to deal with it now, so for the next release of EasyOS, likely to be 2.2.5, staying with the 5.4.12 kernel. 

Tags: easy

Report on Bluetooth audio goodies from eBay

January 22, 2020 — BarryK

This post to see some Bluetooth audio goodies purchased from eBay:

The Bluetooth USB dongles did not work with Linux. So, I hunted on eBay and found one that claims to work with Linux, AU$8.99, also labelled "CSR 4.0":


...and it does "work" with EasyOS. However, pairing was hit-and-miss. Very oddly, it did pair with my Audiosonic Bluetooth speaker, but would not pair with my Bluetooth mouse, nor keyboard. So, it is one of those cheap Chinese clone chips, pretending to be a "CSR" chip.

Having purchased three USB Bluetooth dongles, with only one partially working, have given up.

The earbuds that I purchased, see top link, do work, however mono only! Same when paired with my Android phone, only mono. That is disappointing. It was cheap, AU$7.59, but gee, to lack stereo is pathetic.

So, took another punt. Purchased this, AU$9.75:


...yes, have got stereo! (tested on my Android phone only so far). Warning, you need a magnifying glass for the user manual!

Looking at the feedback on those earbuds, someone claimed the voice messages where in Chinese, but mine is English -- when it paired, got "connected" spoken in English. Pleased with this purchase, and those little spurs are nice, hold the buds in the ears, should be useful when jogging (not that I do any jogging). 

Tags: easy

French langpack updated

January 22, 2020 — BarryK

I recently wrote a tutorial how anyone can translate EasyOS to their language:

The French (fr) translation was created and is maintained by JJ Moulinier ('esmourguit' in the Puppy Forum) and yesterday he sent me an update. A language translation maintainer does not have to create an entirely new PET, it is fine to just send me a PET or tarball containing whatever files have been updated, and I will add them to the PET.

In this case, the PET was '', and after adding the updated translation files, it is now ''. I have not yet uploaded it to, however, it will be used in the next French build of EasyOS -- likely to be version 2.2.5. 

Tags: easy

Audio hw profiling supports USB cards

January 21, 2020 — BarryK

I posted about audio hardware-profiling:

Today one of the USB audio "cards" arrived, purchased from eBay. It works great, and hardware-profiling has been extended to include USB devices. Here is how the hardware-profile is computed in /usr/sbin/mscw:

 #200113 hardware-profile... 200115 improve...
AUDIO_IDS="$(lspci -d ::0403 -n | cut -f 1,3 -d ' ' | tr ' ' '|')" #ex: 00:1b.0|8086:1c20
CARD_PATH="$(readlink /sys/class/sound/card${card})"
#...ex: ../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1b.0/sound/card0
echo "$CARD_PATH" > /tmp/10alsa-CARD_PATH
#200121 detect usb audio device...
USB_SUBPATH="$(grep -o '/usb[0-9]/[0-9.:-]*/[0-9.:-]*/' /tmp/10alsa-CARD_PATH)" #ex: /usb3/3-2/3-2:1.0/
#...ex: ../../devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.1/0000:03:00.0/usb3/3-2/3-2:1.0/sound/card1
if [ -e /sys/bus/usb/devices${USB_SUBPATH}modalias ];then
aID="$(cut -c 6-14 /sys/bus/usb/devices${USB_SUBPATH}modalias)" #ex: 8086p0808
for aAID in $AUDIO_IDS
aPTH=":${aAID/|*/}/sound" #ex: :00:1b.0/sound
aID="${aAID/*|/}" #ex: 8086:1c20
if grep -q "${aPTH}" /tmp/10alsa-CARD_PATH;then
echo "#SND_HW_PROFILE='${SND_HW_PROFILE}'" >> /etc/asound.conf
cp -a -f /etc/asound.conf /etc/asound.conf.${SND_HW_PROFILE}

An example profile for a USB card is "1+usb+8086:0808".  Also, /etc/init.d/10alsa has been edited. 

Tags: easy

ddcprobe removed from XorgWizard

January 21, 2020 — BarryK

I have posted about removing ddcprobe:

It has now been removed from XorgWizard, scripts /usr/sbin/xorgwizard-cli and xorgwizard-automatic. 

Tags: easy

IFS versus live-axle 4wd

January 19, 2020 — BarryK

Having owned a Suzuki 4wd a very long time ago, with live-axle front suspension and mediocre handling on the road, I have an interest as to why the on-road driving experience was less than optimal. I posted about these early experiences:

...I must add though, I really don't know much about the mechanics of vehicle suspension and steering. Just some fairly superficial reading here and there, so possibly some details in that post are not completely accurate.

Wanting to understand a bit more, I found this great comparison between live-axle front suspension, which the Suzuki has, and Independent Front Suspension (IFS) that just about every 4wd has these days:


In fact, what 4wd's are still made with live-axle, apart from the Suzuki Jimny? A search found this (2017):


With the recent demise of the GU Patrol and Land Rover Defender, the only four vehicles left on the [Australian] market with live axles front and rear are the 70 Series Land Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the tiny Suzuki Jimny

Another point raised by the above link is monocoque construction versus separate chassis. The Jimny has a separate chassis. 

Tags: nomad