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Kernel 5.15.79 compiled with vmd.ko builtin

November 26, 2022 — BarryK

Sometime ago, Ramachandra Iyer purchased a new HP laptop, but found that EasyOS and some of the pups would not recognize the NVME SSD at early bootup. This meant that unable to install any of these distros to the internal drive.

He is able to boot from a USB-stick, and the NVME SSD is recognized after bootup, which does seem to indicate that a kernel module is required to be loaded. I searched online and found some posts that indicate the culprit is the 'vmd.ko' module, for example:

I posted to the forum, asking him to test if vmd.ko gets loaded:

Other linux distributions are able to copy a kernel module into the initrd, and it will be loaded at early bootup. EasyOS does not load modules in the initrd, and relies on a big kernel with all required drivers to detect the drives being builtin to the kernel.

I have compiled the 5.15.79 kernel with vmd.ko builtin. This does not guarantee to fix Ramachandra Iyer's problem, but from online reading it does seem likely. Keeping the fingers crossed that it does.

Device Drivers > PCI support > PCI controller drivers
<*> Intel Volume Management Device Driver CONFIG_VMD

Easy 4.5.2 will be released very soon.  

Tags: easy

Tor browser 11.5.8 SFS created

November 25, 2022 — BarryK

There is a thread in the forum discussing how to get the Tor browser working in EasyOS. I succeeded and posted some notes here:

That 'shim.c' was obtained from here:

I setup a folder 'tor_11.5.8-en_amd64' with opt/tor-browser and some other folders and files, and ran 'dir2sfs'. However, Tor browser required some extra manual modifications to get it to work.

I want to run it non-root, but that is complicated. The mainline distributions do not provide Tor browser as a package; instead they provide an installer, that downloads the tarball from the Tor browser website.

One reason for doing this is that everything under the 'tor-browser' folder has to have user:group the same as the current running user. I got around this problem by running "chown -R spot:spot tor-browser", and then manually edited tor_11.5.8-en_amd64/usr/bin to run Tor browser as user spot, instead of the usual "tor" user.

I also created files under tor_11.5.8-en_amd64/opt/tor-browser/Browser/.config to get audio to work. Tor-browser changes the $HOME variable from /home/spot to /opt/tor-browser/Browser, which broke pulseaudio.

After manual changes to folder 'tor_11.5.8-en_amd64', ran 'mksquashfs' to rebuild the SFS. Oh, sorry, it is only en_US.

It is uploaded, so click on the "sfs" icon to download and install. You may install to the main filesystem or to a container.

In both cases, Tor browser runs as user spot. Yes, user spot even in the container, so inside a container even if an intruded got out of spot, they would still be in "crippled root".

I tested YouTube on both of them, just a modest test playing at 720p. Both played OK, sound worked, but I noticed loading of the web page slower in the container.

Reckon it will be pretty safe to run on the main filesystem, as it is running as spot, and it is based in Firefox and uses Firefox's sandbox.  

Tags: easy

Fix top-level /.config and /.local at startup

November 23, 2022 — BarryK

In EasyOS 4.5.1 (and earlier), after bootup you will see top-level folders /.config and /.local, with folders and files inside them. This should not be happening; they should be created under /root

There is a misconfiguration somehow, HOME='/' when enter /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit, whereas it should be HOME='/root'

Login has not yet happened when execute /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit. At login, /etc/profile will run, as well as files in /etc/profile.d, which will set many variables, and as Easy logs in a the root user, it will set HOME='/root'. However, it is required to be set to "/root" before that, when /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit runs.

A fix has been committed:

The fix has worked.   

Tags: easy

pFind right-click on a folder

November 23, 2022 — BarryK

EasyOS 4.5.1 introduced right-click on a folder in ROX-Filer to run pFIND file-search app:

However, that only runs pFind via the "Exec=" line in /usr/share/applications/pfind.desktop.

It is required to run pfind with "-d $1", so I have modified /usr/sbin/build-rox-sendto script to handle this: it works properly.    

Tags: easy

arp-scan 1.9.8 compiled in OE

November 21, 2022 — BarryK

It was a long time ago that I added a recipe to build arp-scan in OpenEmbedded. That was version 1.9:

What we found is that it doesn't work anymore:

I think also, rcrsn51's PeasyScan uses arp-scan.

For EasyOS 4.5.1, arp-scan 1.9.8 was compiled in a running Easy and a PET created. Now, however, I have compiled it in OE, and checked that it does work:

# arp-scan --localnet
Interface: eth0, type: EN10MB, MAC: a4:ae:11:16:23:58, IPv4:
Starting arp-scan 1.9.8 with 256 hosts ( f4:28:53:78:bd:20 Zioncom Electronics (Shenzhen) Ltd. 00:24:21:5c:b2:af MICRO-STAR INT'L CO., LTD.

New recipe in OE:

Project page:

Have changed the package-list in woofQ so now will build with the arp-scan from OE.   

Tags: easy

Arch Linux wiki page for Limine boot-loader

November 21, 2022 — BarryK

Limine is catching on! The Arch Linux guys have created a wiki page:

A very good overview.   

Tags: easy

EasyOS Dunfell-series 64-bit version 4.5.1 released

November 19, 2022 — BarryK

This is, mostly, a bug-fix release of version 4.5, that was released on November 12, 2022. If you are new to Easy, please read that announcement, as it has more introductory descriptions:

If you already have Easy 4.5, booting either from a USB-stick, other external drive such as SD-card, or from an internal drive, you will be able to click on the "update" icon on the desktop to download a small "difference file", which, in the case of 4.5-to-4.5.1 is only 2.8MB.

However, this difference-file mechanism (that we also call "delta files"), requires the full image file of the current release. If you haven't updated before and this is the first time you will be doing an update, copy the 'easy-4.5-amd64.img' file to /mnt/wkg. That's it, then you can update.

After updating, /mnt/wkg/easy-4.5.1-amd64.img will exist and you can leave it there, ready for the next update.

After releasing 4.5, it turned out that there was a lot wrong with EasyShare, that is launched via the "share" icon on the desktop. I have done some testing and it is now working properly and touch-wood will also be working for you. There are some more changes and a couple of package updates, see the release notes:

Download English, French and German builds courtesy of ibiblio:

And kindly mirrored by NLUUG:

You are most welcome to join the discussion on the forum, continuing the 4.5 thread on page-3:

We have been playing with ideas for a new logo, and you will find one that looks nice in the bootup screen -- in the initrd, where you are asked for a password. if you would like to contribute feedback on the logo, see this forum thread:

Have fun!    

Tags: easy

SCSI mpt3sas kernel module added

November 18, 2022 — BarryK

A lot of kernel SCSI modules are removed when building EasyOS, to save space. Forum member wdt wants mpt3sas.ko, discussed in forum thread:

The module is 500KB, but ok, have included it, see commit:

Note, missing modules are in the PET:  

Tags: easy