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EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.7 released

February 04, 2024 — BarryK

It has been 7 months since the last announcement on Distrowatch; that was version 5.4. A huge amount of "water under the bridge" since then, and we are now at version 5.7. Certainly, overdue for another Distrowatch announcement.

The release notes from 5.4 to 5.7 can be found here:

Picking through those, some highlights can be listed here. First, however, a general announcement blurb:

EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution, that explores several concepts that are unique. EasyOS is standalone, that is, not based on any other distribution, and the Kirkstone-series is built with packages compiled from source in a fork of OpenEmbedded/Yocto. There is a page that itemizes how and why Easy is different from other distributions, here, but very briefly; container-friendly, runs fast in RAM, drive isolation, each app may be set to run as its own user, distributed as a drive-image file only (no ISO), frugal install, snapshot and rollback/forward, four packages managers, pup_event service manager, JWM-ROX desktop, folder encryption, hardware profiling. Also, not unique, but important; support for old computers.

EasyOS since version 5.4 was announced on Distrowatch, has undergone a myriad of changes; lots of little fixes and improvements, new applications and architectural features. Here are some highlights, in no particular order:

  • New applications KeePassXC, Symphytum, Flowblade, p7zip
  • More translations, in particular Turkish and Russian
  • Improved support for VMs, with AQEMU and QtEmu
  • Sudo replaced with "sudo-sh"
  • Login and Security Manager overhauled
  • Change folder hierachy to usr-merge, including /usr/sbin
  • PKGget support to install Void .xbps packages
  • Many system-level fixes, including network and samba
  • Many app versions bumped, including Chromium, Htop, Limine, Global-IP-TV-Panel
  • NVIDIA driver SFSs
  • Install latest Chrome, Vivaldi and Firefox in menu
  • Kernel now 5.15.148
  • Sync'ed with OpenEmbedded/Yocto release 4.0.14

...this has only picked out a few highlights; please read the release notes for a more complete list, with links to blog posts. You might also find it interesting to read the announcement for version 5.4, for comparison:

Newcomers, download the drive-image file from here, courtesy of ibiblio:

A fast mirror in Europe, courtesy of NLUUG:

Those already running EasyOS only need to click on the "update" icon on the desktop to update to 5.7.

If all that you know is ISOs and don't know how to write a drive-image file to a USB flash drive, read this:

You can also open up the drive-image file and install directly to an internal drive. There are various tutorials about this at Install in what we call "frugal mode" is extemely easy, especially if you already have a boot manager installed, such as GRUB, ReFInd, or Limine.

Feedback is welcome at the Puppy Linux Forum, in the EasyOS section:

If you browse recent posts on my blog, and in the forum, you will see a lot about a "next generation" EasyOS, that is for now codenamed "easyVoid", with a new build system named "woofV". Easy is already experimental; woofV is going to to be "experimental on steroids". It is slow going though, and cannot say when there will be an actual release.

Another parallel strain likely to emerge in 2024 will be the "Scarthgap-series", that will, maybe, supercede the Kirkstone-series. Just mentioning these projects; cannot say definitely yet what will finally materialise.

Note that despite these new projects, it is planned to keep the Kirkstone-series going, as OpenEmbedded/Yocto will be supporting it for the next couple of years. It is hoped that there will be a seamless update from Kirkstone to Scarthgap via the desktop "update" button.      

Tags: easy

woofV installing packages into the rootfs

February 02, 2024 — BarryK

Continuing developing woofV, which is a complete rewrite of "Woof". Previous post, describing splitting packages into exe|dev|doc components:

I am gradually writing the scripts that will build the complete rootfs, ready to be converted to 'easy.sfs'. These scripts get executed, in order -- '1dl-start-pkgs', '2create-start-rootfs' and '3populate-rootfs':

The heavy-lifter is the last one, '3populate-rootfs'. What it does is install all of the packages into folder 'rootfs', which includes PET, Kirkstone and Void packages -- and all done by the XBPS package management system.

'3populate-rootfs' calls 'template-fix', 'symlinks-fix' and 'pkg-split' in folder 'pkg-fix':

'3populate-rootfs' also calls 'findwoofinstalledpkgs', 'sort-dep-order' and 'pet2xbps' in folder 'support':

Only bits and pieces of these scripts have been tested. I intend to just keep coding; write the whole thing, then test it.   

Tags: easy

woofV splitting packages into exe dev doc

February 01, 2024 — BarryK

Woof, from the very early days, has script '2createpackages', that opens up each package, applying packages-templates if required, and generally getting it ready to copy into the rootfs. That last step is done by script '3builddistro'.

Another thing that '2createpackages' does is split the package up into "exe", "dev", "doc" and "nls" folders. The "dev" folders are what go into creating the devx SFS.

The splitting code is the same in WoofQ as in the early Woof v1; very slow and cumbersome. Woof-CE testing-branch has improved the script considerably:

With woofV, it has turned out that I am rewriting Woof from scratch, including how the package splitting is implemented. I have written this script that does the actual splitting:

Void .xbps packages are already split; the development packages have "-devel" appended to their name. However, kirkstone package have everything in the one package, and need to have the development files taken out -- that is primarily what the 'pkg-split' script is for.

Taking documentation files out of .xbps packages is a problem. I don't want to have to open up everyone then rebuild it; a big hassle and would slow down building the rootfs considerably. So I'm going to cheat, and just delete the documentation files in the rootfs, before it gets made into 'easy.sfs'.

It does mean that each package information file in the XBPS database, is going to be missing some files. I am hoping that does not upset XBPS management.     

Tags: easy

hostname utility missing from Void repository

February 01, 2024 — BarryK

Thanks to the guys testing EasyShare in easyVoid, they are discovering problems. Caramel has reported that the 'hostname' utility does not work. easyVoid has the busybox 'hostname' applet, that is missing the required "-I" commandline option.

Caramel discovered that the Void package repository has packages 'net-tools-hostname' and 'inetutils-hostname' have variants of hostname utility:

...neither of which have the "-I" option.

I checked the Debian package repo, at, and they have package 'hostname', which has utility 'hostname'; this is the same package as used in EasyOS Kirkstone. And it supports the all-important "-I".

So, for the next release of easyVoid, it will have the 'hostname' package from the Kirkstone repository.    

Tags: easy

EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.6.7 released

January 31, 2024 — BarryK

Just after releasing 5.6.7, forum member Caramel reported that the 'sudo-sh' utility does not work:

It was fixed, sudo-sh version 1.3; however, Easy 5.6.6 got built with the old version, sudo-sh 1.2. So Easy 5.6.7 has just this one change.

See also the 5.6.6 release announcement:


Hopefully no more showstoppers!    

Tags: easy

Package name translation OE to Void

January 31, 2024 — BarryK

easyVoid is built with many packages from EasyOS Kirkstone-series. These are packages compiled in OpenEmbedded. woofV will build easyVoid from Void .xbps, Kirkstone .tar.xz and .pet packages. The build process converts the .tar.xz and .pet packages to .xbps and then installed with the XBPS package manager. At least, that's the plan.

One important step to avoid confusing XBPS is that the .tar.xz-converted packages should have the same name as one that might already be in the Void package repository. For example, OE names all packages lower-case, such as 'libxau', whereas Void names it 'libXau'. Another example is hyphen inserted, for example 'psc-lite' and 'psclite'.

Note that mostly Kirkstone packages are used when the same does not exist in the Void repository, such as 'rox-filer', so naming is not an issue. In a few cases though, such as 'networkmanager', have chosen the Kirkstone package instead of the Void 'NetworkManager'.

I wrote a script that finds these equivalent packages but with different names, and have uploaded translation tables here:

Slowly but surely working toward woofV becoming functional. As long as no show-stopper comes along.    

Tags: easy

woofV packages-templates redesigned

January 29, 2024 — BarryK

Continuing the woofV project. Recent relevant blog posts:

Woof, right from the very early days, has a folder 'packages-templates', which, in a nutshell, has hacks to modify a package before and after installation. Back in the early days, the main reason for this mechanism was to reduce the size of packages. Another purpose was that packages could come from different distribution repositories, and might need some massaging -- for example some files kept in unexpected places.

We are not so much concerned about size reduction these days; however, 'packages-templates' is still useful. The format of information in 'packages-templates' has remained the same in WoofQ as the very early Woofs. Same as Woof-CE "legacy" branch:

This old mechanism is extremely cumbersome and slow to process. The Woof-CE developers have, over the years, simplified it. In particular, forum member dimkr has worked on it, see the "testing" branch:

The very ambitious plan for easyVoid is to have a new Woof, "woofV", and it will be builtin, available in a running easyVoid. It will be found at /usr/local/woofV. In /usr/local/woofV/pkg-fix is the folder 'packages-templates'.

The time has come for me also to redesign the format in 'packages-templates'. Here it is:

It took a couple of very intense and tedious days to convert the old format to the new one. Anyway, just now finished and uploaded.

The script that reads the information in 'packages-templates' has not been uploaded, as it is still in a state of flux. What will happen is that each package that has a matching folder name under 'packages-templates', is expanded, processed, then rebuilt into a package and then installed with the XBPS package manager into the rootfs.

easyVoid is also built with a lot of Kirkstone packages, and they will be processed the same way. Whether requiring processing via 'packages-templates' or not, they will always be opened up and rebuilt as .xbps packages, so that the XBPS package manager can install them.    

Tags: easy

EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.6.6 released

January 28, 2024 — BarryK

Online release notes:

Here are the highlights, since 5.6.5:

Download the drive-image file:

Feedback is welcome in the EasyOS section of the Puppy Forum:

Have fun!            

Tags: easy