site  contact  subhomenews

How and why EasyOS is different page updated

May 29, 2023 — BarryK

Easy keeps evolving and the documentation falls behind. As the "How and why EasyOS is different" page may be the first stop for those checking out Easy, I have updated it:

Tomorrow afternoon, after returning from a family engagement, plan to do a complete recompile in OpenEmbedded, updating many packages.

After that, some sanity testing, then likely to release Easy 5.3.2. We can test that, with a view to releasing 5.3.3 that will be announced on Distrowatch. That's the plan anyway.   

Tags: easy

Kdenlive AppImage vs Flatpak

May 29, 2023 — BarryK

I recently posted that have chosen Kdenlive for creating videos:

In EasyOS 5.3.1, Kdenlive is available as an AppImage and a Flatpak, so which one to use?

Firstly, installed the AppImage, version 23.04.1, and ran it from a terminal to see startup messages. Pulling out some highlights:

mlt_repository_init: failed to dlopen /tmp/.mount_kdenli62zXlw/usr/lib/mlt-7/
( cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory)
no alsa devices available

The MLT movit plugins are consequently not available. Easy does not have -- it is available in a package, just not installed. Anyway, Kdenlive works, tested a video and sound also works.

What do the movit plugins do, are they important? Transition effects, filters, time effects -- don't have the experience to know whether they are important to have.

Uninstalled the AppImage and installed the Flatpak, also version 23.04.1. It is the nature of Flatpaks that I expect it to be more self-contained, and yes, it doesn't complain about missing and MLT movit plugins are available.

So, if install that missing, then should get the AppImage working same as the Flatpak. OK, in PKGget (the package manager), installed 'libglvnd', which has

Uninstalled the Flatpak, installed the AppImage, started from a terminal, and startup aborted:

qt.glx: qglx_findConfig: Failed to finding matching FBConfig for QSurfaceFormat(version 2.0, options QFlags<QSurfaceFormat::FormatOption>(), depthBufferSize -1, redBufferSize 1, greenBufferSize 1, blueBufferSize 1, alphaBufferSize -1, stencilBufferSize -1, samples -1, swapBehavior QSurfaceFormat::SingleBuffer, swapInterval 1, colorSpace QSurfaceFormat::DefaultColorSpace, profile  QSurfaceFormat::NoProfile)
qt.glx: qglx_findConfig: Failed to finding matching FBConfig for QSurfaceFormat(version 2.0, options QFlags<QSurfaceFormat::FormatOption>(), depthBufferSize -1, redBufferSize 1, greenBufferSize 1, blueBufferSize 1, alphaBufferSize -1, stencilBufferSize -1, samples -1, swapBehavior QSurfaceFormat::SingleBuffer, swapInterval 1, colorSpace QSurfaceFormat::DefaultColorSpace, profile QSurfaceFormat::NoProfile)
Could not initialize GLX
/usr/bin/kdenlive.bin: line 3: 31275 Aborted /mnt/wkg/appimage/kdenlive/kdenlive-23.04.1.AppImage

Oh dear.

Uninstalled the AppImage, reinstalled the Flatpak, and it starts OK.

A point about both of them: terminal output at startup reports the "avfilter", "frei0r" and "ladspa" plugins not available. The frei0r package is available via PKGget, so at least one of those can be satisfied.

I have posted before with examples of AppImages aborting at startup, for example here:

It is harsh to say it, but AppImages are "flakey by design". The main advantage of them is a smaller download; if you have a limited monthly data allowance, then you might have to use an AppImage.

Right now the Kdenlive Flatpak is installed, staying with that.     

Tags: easy

Setting up permissions under /files take-2

May 28, 2023 — BarryK

Yesterday I posted about folder permission and ownership problems for kdenlive:

In a nutshell, Kdenlive runs as user "kdenlive", but if the administrator creates folders in the Kdenlive project path /files/apps/kdenlive, they will be owner:group root:root and permissions 755, which means that Kdenlive will not be able to write into that folder.

We want the human user to be able to create folders, without any hassles such as this. So, I have had a rethink, and come up with a fix.

The fix has two parts. Firstly, /etc/profile had this line:

umask 022

That I have now changed to:

umask 002

The second part is that the setgid bit is set on all folders under /files.

The effect is that any folders or files created will have permissions 775 (and 2775 under /files) instead of 755 and will have the same group as the parent folder. The group ownership of all folders under /files is "filesgrp", and you will see in /etc/group that user "kdenlive" belongs to this group. Hence, kdenlive will have full read-write-execute in that folder.

...that may be as clear as mud. If you want to see the exact changes, see the commit:

I think that it all hangs together. We shall see. There is some consideration when update from an earlier installation, that everything under /files is correct.

The end result is what matters. If the human user can create folders and drop files into /files/apps/kdenlive, without any concerns about folder/file permission and ownership, that is what we are aiming for.

Note that /files/apps/kdenlive folder has 2700 permissions, to prevent other non-root apps from looking into it.   

Tags: easy

Fixed Kdenlive project setup

May 27, 2023 — BarryK

The intention is to create videos for YouTube. Say that I wanted to film an unboxing and assembly of a product. The way that I envisaged recording this is record a video, then in a video editor cut it into pieces and create the video as intended to be uploaded to YouTube. Then in the video editor, play the video and record my voice, giving commentary.

I looked at the free open-source video editors available for Linux, OpenShot, ShotCut, Pitivi, etc., but surprisingly only Kdenlive allowed direct audio recording from a microphone (as far as I could determine). All of the others required to use an external app, such as gWaveEdit or Audacity, to record the audio, then import the audio file into the video editor.

Here is how it is done in Kdenlive, easy-peasy:

A bit more reading, some reviewers claiming Kdenlive is superior to the others. OK, have settled on using Kdenlive.

I updated the AppImage Installer (Appi) to install the latest version of Kdenlive:

When an AppImage or Flatpak is installed, folder /files/apps/<app name> is created, a convenient place for keeping project files. Convenient, because /files is a link to /mnt/wkg/files in the working-partition, not in the current-session-in-ram, so whatever is created under /files is permanently saved.

However, encountered a couple of problems. I was following the quick-start guide here:

Kdenlive is running as user "kdenlive", with home folder /home/kdenlive, but with read-write permission under /files. The installer, Appi or Flapi, creates /files/apps/kdenlive, so this is where I created the project, or rather tried to.

For a start, the 'apps' folder is supposed to have permissions "770" and ownership "root:filesgrp", but somehow it had become "root:root" -- that is, belonged to the "root" group instead of "filesgrp". Don't know how that happened, but I do a lot of messing around. So fixed it:

# chown root:filesgrp /files/apps

I created folders and some video files for the quick-start, under /files/apps/kdenlive/quickstart-tutorial, but this is where ran into trouble. In Puppy, we usually do not have to be concerned with folder and file permissions, but now it has become a problem.

I created that "quickstart-tutorial" as the administrator (root user) and it has permissions 755, meaning that Kdenlive can see it but is unable to write into it. To get around this problem, added this check:

Which can also be done manually:

# chown -h -R kdenlive:kdenlive /files/apps/kdenlive

The fix will be automatic if create the project folder and any sub-folders before starting Kdenlive. Otherwise, have to run the above command.

It is an annoyance, but have to live with it. I suppose could create a daemon that waits for any folder changes under files/apps and runs the chown, but that is probably an overkill.

Note, the problem is only for folders created by the administrator. If the administrator copies video and audio files into /files/apps/kdenlive/quickstart-tutorial, no problem. The files have permissions 755 and Kdenlive is able to read them, which is all that is required.

Hey, I'm dumb sometimes! In Kdenlive, "File -> Open", the dialog window allows creation of folders, and those folders will have "kdenlive:kdenlive" ownership.

Problem solved. if create those project folders as the administrator, do it before starting Kdenlive, then the automatic fix will kick in. Otherwise, create whatever folders are needed from the Open dialog.

EDIT 2023-05-28:
Have had a rethink, come up with a better solution. See next blog post:     

Tags: easy

Little Flapi, Appi and pupX fixes

May 26, 2023 — BarryK

Caramel reported a problem, sometimes Flapi (the Flatpak Installer) did not detect when an app is already installed.

I found that the OpenShot AppImage can now be updated. Previously Appi installed version 3.0.0 and the next release didn't work. However, the latest, 3.1.1 does work.

Here is the commit for both of the above:

Caramel reported pupX not working properly:

The 'xset' utility had to be recompiled, see commit:    

Tags: easy

EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.3.1

May 24, 2023 — BarryK

Version 5.3 was released on May 12:

Lots of little but important improvements since then, see the release notes:


A fast mirror in Europe, courtesy of NLUUG:

Feedback is welcome at the forum:

Have fun!    

Tags: easy

EasyJWM fix when create app icon in tray

May 23, 2023 — BarryK

EasyJWM is a cutdown derivative of radky's JWMDesk, streamlined to only work in EasyOS.

Caramel reported a problem when create an app icon in the tray:

The currently running apps are in the tasklist section of the tray, and when Easy is in "rox" mode (see /etc/uimanager), these are supposed to display as icon with title text. When Easy is in "jwm" mode, which is all desktop icons in the tray, the running apps display as icon only, to save space.

However, in "rox" mode, the running apps changed to icon only. Fixed.

While in /usr/local/easyjwm, took out some more conditional testing for Puppy versus EasyOS. Radky did an admirable job getting JWMDesk to work on so many different pups, old and new, as well as EasyOS. But it resulted in so much conditional testing, complicating the code.   

Tags: easy

Multiple Sound Card Wizard improved text

May 23, 2023 — BarryK

It seems that some people are not using the Multiple Sound Card Wizard (MSCW) as intended. It is essential to test the sound, as this sets levels and unmutes for both pulseaudio and alsa. If you skip this step, sound may not work. Hence, there is now more explanation on the window:


...just a little change, but likely very helpful to newcomers.

Sometimes, although "Test Sound" attempts to set levels, for some audio hardware it doesn't work, and you have to go into "Configure..." and there is probably an extra level that can be brought up. So, "Test Sound" needs to produce an actual sound before you select it as the default device. 

Tags: easy