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XKB Configuration Manager bug

June 19, 2024 — BarryK

Forum members FeodorF and BologneChe reported errors with this keyboard configuration tool:

It works for me, except for the "Layout Variants" button, the bug that BologneChe reported.

I found that a symlink is missing. Do this in a terminal to fix it:

# ln -s base.lst /stc/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.lst

...that "l" is the letter, not numeric one.

I checked, that symlink does exist in EasyOS Kirkstone.

Note, "XKB Configuration Manager" is script /usr/bin/xkbconfigmanager, and is in the menu, via "Setup -> Date and Time Setup". Or, can find it via the "setup" desktop icon, in the "Hardware" tab.

I don't know about the error FeodorF has reported. Perhaps it is a problem with non-English locale?

The fix will of course be in the next release of Easy.    

Tags: easy

EasyOS Scarthgap-series version 6.0 released

June 18, 2024 — BarryK

EasyOS Scarthgap-series version 6.0 is released. This is the first of the Scarthgap-series; a whole new ball game! There is also a new desktop theme:


...the wallpaper is a photo taken with my phone, south of Perth in Western Australia.

The packages in 6.0 were compiled in OpenEmbedded (OE) Scarthgap-release, with my "meta-quirky" layer. The Scarthgap release of OE/Yocto is a new LTS series, supported until April 2028. See their announcement.

My meta-quirky layer adds an additional approximately 240 package build recipes, not in the official OE/Yocto project, as well as many patches for the official build recipes.

EasyOS 6.0 continues the practice of including a very large number of packages built-in, including Celluloid, Chromium, Dia, Flowblade, Geany, Gimp, Gparted, Grisbi, Inkscape, LibreOffice, NoteCase, Osmo, Planner, SolveSpace, Symphytum, as well as myriad smaller applications and utilites.

A complete list of built-in packages is here.

As this is a new series, the base packages are all recent versions. This includes gcc 13.2.0, glibc 2.39, llvm/clang 18.1.5, mesa 24.0.3 and python 3.12.3. The Linux kernel is 6.6.32, 6.6 being LTS.

Release notes for 6.0:

The EasyOS Kirkstone-series will continue to receive maintenance updates, though I can't say for how long; probably until end of 2024.

If you have a Kirkstone installation, this may be updated to the Scarthgap-series. However, not via the "update" desktop icon, as that is only for updating within the same series. Instead, there is a simple manual method to jump to a dfferent series. See HOWTO here.

Easy 6.0 is available as a drive-image file. Download courtesy of

Also, there is a fast mirror in Europe, kindly hosted by NLUUG:

If you are new to EasyOS and unfamiliar with how to install a drive-image file; in a nutshell, it can be written to a USB flash drive and booted from that, or opened up and the files copied out for a direct install to internal drive. Some HOWTOs are here, here and here.

And if you have stumbled upon this announcement and haven't got a clue what EasyOS is all about, read the "How and why EasyOS is different" page, here.

For those interested in the development side of things:

The kernel is 6.6.32. Source, patches and build scripts here.

The online repository for "oe-qky-scarthgap" based on OE, here.

The online repository for woofQ, the build system for EasyOS, here.

You are most welcome to be involved in our forum discussion, in this thread for Scarthgap 6.0:

Have fun!   

Tags: easy

How to update Kirkstone to Scarthgap 6.0

June 17, 2024 — BarryK

This information is for after EasyOS Scarthga-series 6.0 is released. Don't try it with 5.93 (6.0-RC1).

It currently works, just a problem with the theme. Intend to fix it before releasing 6.0. Right now it is 2.30am, so posting this how-to and will investigate how to fix tomorrow afternoon.

Transitioning from the Kirkstone-series to Scarthgap-series cannot be done via the desktop "update" icon; it has to be done manually. Very simple; all that you have to do is copy those three files.

I wrote the 'easy-6.0-amd64.img' file to a USB flash drive, then plugged it into my laptop running EasyOS 5.6.5. Then just selected and dragged the three files 'vmlinuz', 'initrd' and 'easy.sfs' from the flash drive to my installation:


That's all you have to do to update. Then reboot, and you will see it reporting "EasyOS Scarthgap64, version 6.0" when the initrd loads:


Update to Scarthgap has happened, I get a working desktop except for theme issues. If you find the update has caused a serious problem, you can rollback. Which is what I have done, rebooted, then in the initrd menu have chosen "Rollback to previous version", item-5:


So I did that, powered-off then started up again, and I was back in version 5.6.5.

Now I need to figure out the theme problems. There now exists folder /mnt/wkg/releases/easy-6.0, so it should be possible to roll forward, and back, using Easy Version Control (in menu, Filesystem category). I need to edit /mnt/wkg/releases/easy-6.0/initrd to get it to properly update the theme.

Anyway, after 6.0 is released, it will be easy-peasy for you guys to update your Kirkstone, or probably earlier, EasyOS installation.

I have performed another update, of a 5.8.3 Kirkstone installation.

In the previous desktop snapshot, it is shown copying 'vmlinuz', 'initrd' and 'easy.sfs'. That was from a USB flash drive that I had just prior written 'easy-6.0-amd64.img' to (using EasyDD). The thing to be aware of, is that if boot from that USB drive, folders get created in the working-partition and 'easy.sfs' gets moved and renamed to 'easy_6.0_amd64.sfs' -- that file is what has to be copied, and renamed back to 'easy.sfs'. Snapshot showing this situation:


...same result, have updated and just reboot.

One thing I did differently this time, that you might like to consider also. Easy 5.8.3 is installed in folder /mnt/nvme0n1p6/easyos5. What I did is make a copy of the entire folder:

# cp -a /mnt/nvme0n1p6/easyos5 /mnt/nvme0n1p6/scarthgap
# sync

It is that latter, '/mnt/nvme0n1p6/scarthgap', that I updated to 6.0. I then created a new entry in the Limine boot-loader.

The great thing about doing this is that the original Kirkstone 5.8.3 installation is left alone. It is in the boot-loader menu and I can go back and boot it any time want to.

But now have the new Scarthgap 6.0, which has inherited everything from the Kirkstone installation; all installed apps, browser bookmarks, well, everything. Of course the partition has to be big enough, or the copy could have been to a different partition.

And, if don't like the update, can just delete the 'scarthgap' folder.

HOWEVER: there is a downside to this method of copying the entire Kirkstone installation folder; you lose folder encryption. If you aren't using folder encryption, or aren't bothered about losing it, then OK. At bootup, of 6.0, you won't be asked for a password.

Maybe your strategy could be to use this method to evaluate that the update to 6.0 works OK, then perform an update of the original, in my case, folder 'easyos5'. Note that it is possible to keep encryption; however, the steps are a lot more complicated.

EDIT 2024-06-18:
There were buglets in the transition from kirkstone to scarthgap, but I think that I chased them all down. Except for one:


...close enough! Right-click on that bad "kirkstone" icon and choose to delete it.

This transition is a one-off operation that you will perform, and time was dragging on trying to chase down the little buglets. So decided, enough.

If you had previously used the "kirkstone" containerized-desktop, after the update the "scarthgap" desktop will be pristine, nothing installed in the kirkstone desktop will carry-over, nor any app history. Also, if you rollback, the kirkstone desktop will be pristine.
There were so many issues in the transition, had to make this compromise.

On the main desktop, everything carried over OK. Still had "firefox" icon on the desktop and it works, all history retained.      

Tags: easy

Scarthgap 6.0 pending

June 16, 2024 — BarryK

A quick update; almost ready to release EasyOS Scarthgap-series 6.0. There won't be an RC2.

There was a bug in EasyShare, when sshfs is used for network sharing.

Bumped ETP's Global TV Panel to latest. See his forum thread:

Tested updating an Easy 5.6.5 Kirkstone installation to Scarthgap 6.0. It worked, just a few issues, that think have fixed. So will test again. Was able to rollback to 5.6.5.   

Tags: easy

Motrike 320 rear shock mounted with ordinary bolts

June 16, 2024 — BarryK

I posted a few days ago about the poor construction of the rear fork:

...which is strange, as I thought they would have used a jig to hold the pieces of the fork in place while welding. Maybe they did and the jig itself is wrong.

Thanks for the feedback guys, for recommendations how to go about bending the forks slightly closer. Yes, I have decided to do that. Here is a photo of the fork:

img1 is the black part that I have removed and will bend.

That's when I made another unpleasant discovery. The shock absorber is mounted with ordinary threaded bolts:


...this is really bad, as it will cause premature wear of the mounting.

Proper shock-absorber mounting bolts should have been used, such as these:


I don't want to make any further comment about this, but to put it mildly, I am unimpressed.    

Tags: light

Chosen theme for Scarthgap 6.0

June 16, 2024 — BarryK

I posted a proposed theme yesterday:

Wasn't entirely happy with it. Instead, decided to resurrect a blue theme, except new wallpaper. Snapshot:


Here is the 'default-theme' file:

#script 3buildeasydistro will read this when building EasyOS.
#gtk, jwm, wallpaper: names of pet pkgs, which may actually have more than one
# theme inside, hence the : separator with actual theme name.
DEFAULT_THEME_ROX_TEXT_FOREGROUND='#00002a2a7f7f' #dark blue
#20240118 set to one of these: blue green grey orange purple (default orange)

The wallpaper is a snapshot taken with my phone a couple of years ago. It is a beach scene south of Perth, in Western Australia.

That DEFAULT_THEME_BASE_COLOR chooses the colour of the EasyOS logo. This decision is when building EasyOS in woofQ.   

Tags: easy

Various fixes for Scarthgap 6.0-RC1

June 15, 2024 — BarryK

I have been fixing things and not reporting here. Well, here are a couple...

Homebank failed to start. The 'nghttp2' package was missing.

I have changed the builtin home finance program from Homebank to Grisbi, as the latter seems to have the edge with features. Let me know if you think otherwise.

Forum member nnriyer reported that "Limine Installer" is broken:

This is because I bumped Limine to v5; some file name changes have happened.

I am not so keen on Limine anymore, after support for ext2/3/4 was dropped from v6 onwards. The thing is, v4 works OK, haven't had any feedback about it not working, so have rolled back to v4.    

Tags: easy

Flatpak 1.15.6 compiled in OE

June 15, 2024 — BarryK

The Scarthgap-series is a whole new ball game. Version 6.0-RC1 was recently released:

Lots of updated packages; however, I left 'flatpak' at version 1.12.8, same as in Kirkstone.

In Kirkstone, there was a reason for staying with 1.12.x, as 1.13 and later moved from 'appstream-glib' dependency to 'appstream', and I was unable to compile the latter.

OE Scarthgap has now included a recipe for appstream that works, and have compiled flatpack 1.15.6.

It does mean there will have to be a 6.0-RC2, to test this.     

Tags: easy