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Chrome 95.0.4638.54 SFS created

October 22, 2021 — BarryK

Whatever you might think about Google's data mining, the official Google Chrome browser sure does run nice. So much so, that I might make it my regular daily browser.

I have created an SFS for EasyOS 3.x. This can be installed in a container or on the main desktop. In the latter case, it runs as user 'chrome', with home folder /home/chrome -- and in there you will see /home/chrome/Downloads, which is the default path for downloading.

Chrome can be run from the menu, in category "Internet", or click on /home/chrome/chrome, or even run "chrome" in a terminal.

To run on the main desktop requires EasyOS version 3.0 or later. I have tested on the pre-release of 3.1, and it runs real great.

Chrome can also be installed in a container, and that also works great, except that it runs with "--no-sandbox" commandline option, which causes a warning message to popup at startup. That is just an annoyance.
In theory, Chrome can run in a container in any version of EasyOS, as it will download it's dependency 'easy-3.*.sfs' from the Internet and use that in a layered filesystem.

HD videos at YouTube play nicely, sound works, both on main desktop and in a container. I tested with this "Boogie Woogie" video:

...running on my Lenovo PC with i3 CPU and Intel GPU.

I haven't tested, but should work in EasyOS 3.0. Just click on the "sfsget" icon on the desktop to download an install it.

Alternatively, it can be downloaded and manually placed at /mnt/wkg/sfs/easyos/oe/dunfell, get from here (all three chrome* files):

...then click on "sfsget" to install it.

What motivated me to create this SFS is, firstly, it can do automatic updates, which I haven't tried, just read about it. Secondly, it has a 'Zoom' extension. You go to here and the extension can be installed (must be running Chrome):

...there is also a Zoom client for Linux, which is a standalone executable that should work with any browser, however it didn't work for me -- just got a black window.

I haven't tried the Zoom extension for Chrome, hopefully it will work.

What started this desire to get Zoom working, is a couple of people have requested it. There is discussion here:

Note, I expect to release EasyOS 3.1 in a few days.    

Tags: easy

A look at old desktop themes

October 20, 2021 — BarryK

I am planning a new theme for EasyOS 3.1. The theme in 3.0 and earlier has been in use for a long time, really do need a change.

Not sure what version started the current theme, probably most, maybe all, of the EasyOS Dunfell-series. A snapshot:


Rather than design a new theme for 3.1, I am thinking of recycling an old theme. So, what do we have to choose from...

EasyOS Buster64 2.3


EasyPup Buster64 2.3.3


Quirky April64 7.0.4, Quirky Tahr 6.0.5


Quirky Beaver64 8.7.1, Quirky Xerus64 8.5


Quirky Pyro64 0.2, Quirky Unicorn 6.2


Quirky Slaq64 8.1.6


Quirky Werewolf64 7.4


Quirky Xerus64 8.1.6


Fascinating! Could one of these be used as the basis for EasyOS 3.1?

I'm thinking that rather than go for one of the "safe" themes, muted-blue or grey, might choose something a bit less common, such as the peach-red or the brown themes shown above. If you have a preference, let me know, I will start a thread on the forum.

That brown theme is interesting, but I don't have the original without the "Quirky Xerus" text.     

Tags: easy

OpenEmbedded Dunfell complete recompile

October 20, 2021 — BarryK

I posted a couple of days ago about recompiling the 'mesa' package with gallium drivers:

But then I wondered if there might be any repercussions with other packages. Not sure, but decided to do a complete recompile in OpenEmbedded, the Dunfell release with my 'meta-quirky' layer.

Very interesting how long it took this time. Started at 9.30am yesterday, and it finished about 2.00am this morning, that is circa 16 hours. This is on my Lenovo with i3 CPU, 32GB RAM and swap partition on an internal SSD. The build has taken place on an external usb3 SSD, which would probably be the main bottleneck.

The external SSD is 1TB, and the build has consumed almost 280GB. That is just for the x86_64 build. I also have the aarch64 build on the SSD, which has consumed almost as much. That is why I need a 1TB drive!

The build has taken longer due to more packages compiled. I have posted about the gradual addition of more packages, and this latest build is 839 packages. That is original packages, not split up into several smaller packages like Debian does.

The latest OpenEmbedded project tarball is 'dunfell-20211020.tar.gz' available here: has everything to do a complete build, but only a small number of source packages. The OE build script will download sources as needed, so you need a fast Internet connection during the build. There is help in folder 'docs'. Only tested on EasyOS, but should be capable of building on other recent Linux distributions. EasyOS 2.9+ has glibc 2.33 and python3. OE-Dunfell will not work with a later glibc.

While I am mentioning host build requirements, one more thing. It requires a fixed path to the build. If, as in my case, the build is on an external drive, it must always be mounted on the same path -- you cannot mount it as /mnt/sdb1 and then later /mnt/sdc1 --and I think from memory, there is trouble if use a symlink in the path.   

Tags: easy

More python3 modules in devx SFS

October 19, 2021 — BarryK

In OpenEmbedded, there are some python3 modules used during the build, but not packaged for the target system. I have added these to be built for the target system. So these binary packages will be built for possible inclusion in EasyOS.

These are the modules that are now planned to be in the 'devx' SFS:


The modules that will be in the main 'easy.sfs' are as before:


Also, easy.sfs has 'python3-tiny', which is a cut-down 'python3', whereas the 'devx' has the full 'python3' package.
The recipe used to create python3-tiny is in woofQ, in easy-code/packages-templates/python3-tiny

The intention of having more python3 modules in the 'devx' SFS, is to make it more ready-to-go for compiling source packages in a running EasyOS.     

Tags: easy

AMD Radeon R5 230 video card ordered

October 18, 2021 — BarryK

Having recently purchased a Nvidia GT218 GPU GeForce 210 video card and experiencing how useful it is to have the actual hardware to experiment with, I decided a cheap AMD card would also be nice to have.

Here are recent posts about the Nvidia card, the nouveau kernel driver, and getting it to work:

I looked at Aliexpress, and found this one, that, apparently, has AU stock:

Here is information on the AMD Radeon R5 230 GPU:

While browsing on Aliexpress, I read the description and specifications very carefully, as I know many vendors can be sneaky. I found some cards without any identification label affixed and advertised as AMD, yet in the specs the GPU is given as "gm107", which is an Nvidia GPU.

The one I have ordered does have a label affixed, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. But I see also in the photos, "AMD" printed on the printed circuit board. So, seems OK.

Just an extra note, I also found this, almost same GPU, but has a passive heatsink:


...looks nice, but I have already ordered the other one.   

Tags: tech

Grey saltbush Atriplex cinerea

October 18, 2021 — BarryK

There is a little bare patch in my garden, where thought would buy a ground cover plant, something drought tolerant. Bought "Atriplex cinerea" seedling from Bunnings, and Australian native coastal plant.

When I got it home, I looked closely, and it has little bumps all over the leaves and stems. I wondered whether that was an infestation, however, a bit of online research showed that's how it is. See this photo:


Photo is from the wikipedia:

My garden is sandy soil, not coastal, so it will be interesting to see how this plant fares.

It was very interesting to learn that Atriplex cinerea is edible. The wikipedia mentions it being used as feed for cattle, and I found this link:

...edible for humans also. As the article states, it is easy to identify, with those little globules all over it, so probably easy not to confuse it with some other poisonous plant -- don't  quote me on that, just guessing.

Always interested in growing edible plants, so looking forward to this one thriving.

Ah, the ocean! I regularly drive to the ocean, where there are rugged limestone cliffs, and walk the pathways:


...see that hunk of limestone standing alone, undercut by the waves. It is home to various sea birds.    

Tags: ethos

mesa recompiled with gallium drivers

October 18, 2021 — BarryK

The guys have been reporting slow Nvidia performance, for example a report from forum member Keef here:

I had compiled all of the packages in OpenEmbedded without libllvm, as it is a huge library, about 60MB. However, it meant had to leave out some drivers in the 'mesa' package. The mesa package, in EasyOS 3.0, has these drivers in /usr/lib/dri:

I have now recompiled the 'mesa' package in OpenEmbedded, enabling the gallium drivers, which requires the libllvm dependency. Now have these in /usr/lib/dri:

Each of these is 13MB -- I wonder why they are all the same size? Have still left out the and drivers.

This will be in EasyOS version 3.1, along with libllvm package. I still like to achieve the smallest size, even though these days we have more memory available. Increasingly, libllvm is being required, so I suppose will stop fighting against it.     

Tags: easy

New tutorial to fix broken video

October 17, 2021 — BarryK

Here it is:

However, it is written for EasyOS version 3.1, not yet released.

There is a to-do short-list, but hope to get 3.1 out in a couple of weeks, maybe sooner.   

Tags: easy