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Wallpaper corruption in containers maybe fixed

April 07, 2021 — BarryK

When you bootup EasyOS, on the desktop there is an icon labelled "dunfell", clicking which will launch the entire Dunfell 2.6.2 desktop in a container. The key combination ALT-F6 flips back to the main desktop. Other puppies can also be run in a container.

A problem we have had right from the start, is wallpaper corruption in the container. It is ROX-Filer that manages the desktop wallpaper and icons, and the instance of ROX that runs in the container is not completely isolated from the ROX on the main desktop. I have not been able to understand exactly what the cause of the problem is, but a "sleep 4" after starting JWM and before running ROX results in OK wallpaper -- but not always, it seems some PCs require longer sleep.

What this means is that when you click on "dunfell" the first time, which sets up and starts the container and switches into it, there is a delay where you will see the JWM tray along the bottom, the rest of the screen white, for about 4 seconds, then the desktop icons and wallpaper appear.

I was extremely interested in the overhaul of the /proc filesystem in the 5.8+ kernel, and I thought this might be the fix. Phoronix have explained:

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-5.8-Modernizes-Procfs

Running the 5.10.26 kernel, I have reduced that startup delay from 4 to 0.5, and not getting wallpaper corruption. I tested on three different PCs, including my old Compaq Presario, and consistently got a non-corrupted desktop.

I didn't do anything different when mounting /proc, it seems the overhaul has made each mount of /proc more of an independent proper filesystem, so /proc in the container is more independent. So it seems.

Of course, if someone posts that they are getting wallpaper corruption with EasyOS 2.6.2 Dunfell-series, that will shoot down my theory that the 5.10 kernel has fixed the problem. Anyway, the delay is now 0.5 seconds, so startup of the container will be much faster.  




Tags: easy

Osmo crash fixed

April 06, 2021 — BarryK

Testers of EasyOS 2.6.2 Dunfell-series have reported that Osmo personal information manager crashes when try to create a new contact:

https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2562

As I posted in that thread, this is an old problem, that applies to all pups:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=115567

I also posted that 'wdlkmpx' has applied some patches to the 0.2.10 version of osmo:

https://github.com/wdlkmpx/osmo

Note that we use version 0.2.10 of osmo, as that is the last that uses libhtml2 for markup. Later versions of osmo require webkitgtk, which is an enormous package.

libhtml2 is small and is used in a couple of other apps in EasyOS and the pups. One of them is Notecase, the other is Surfer (the small html file viewer used in EasyOS for viewing local help documents).

So please don't recommend that we upgrade osmo! We will keep patching it for as long as we can.

It is suggested in the Murga Forum thread linked-to above, that libxml2 version is to blame. I found that 2.8.0 is too old, a required function is missing. However, 2.9.0 works.

What I have done is build the osmo executable by linking it statically with libxml2.a from the 2.9.0 package. This results in a somewhat larger 'osmo' binary, that works in EasyOS and there is no conflict with the later version libxml2 shared libraries in Easy.

This will be in the next release of easyOS, but you can grab it now if you want:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/packages/pet/pet_packages-dunfell/osmo-0.2.10-dunfell64.pet

...you don't necessarily have to install the PET, you could just open it up and copy the 'osmo' binary to /usr/bin.

This might work in other recent pups, you will have to try it and see.

Oh, should mention: I have given with one hand and taken with the other. Accidentally left out libical support.
If someone figures out a patch to fix the crash, that would be the best solution, what I have done is just a workaround. Whatever, plan to put a fix into the OpenEmbedded recipe and rebuild, and include libical support.

EDIT 2021-04-7:
We have a fix! 'wdlkmpx' determined that it is libgtkhml2 that is causing the crash. It requires a patch for libxml2 2.9.5+. See his patches here:

https://github.com/wdlkmpx/libgtkhtml2/commits/master

I have put this patch into the recipe for libgtkhtml2 in OpenEmbedded, and will rebuild that library.  

Tags: easy

Serious Xorg Wizard bug fixed

April 05, 2021 — BarryK

The Xorg Wizard is script /usr/sbin/xorgwizard-cli. If exit from X via the Shutdown menu, type "xorgwizard" at the prompt, and the wizard will run, in text-mode. Note that /usr/sbin/xorgwizard will just run xorgwizard-cli.

The wizard detects "hybrid" video systems, that is, those with two video hardware interfaces. This could be a plugin card, or in some cases there are two video interfaces on the motherboard. An example is the video interface builtin to the Intel CPU chip, and a second one, perhaps an Nvidia GPU.

The script was getting confused, thinking that the 'modesetting' driver is a second GPU. The details are difficult to explain, but the point is, it is fixed.

The confusion caused Xorg to no longer work. My PC has Intel video, no second GPU, and when chose Xorg 'modesetting' driver, the script wrote "options i915 modeset=0" to /etc/modprobe.d/i915.conf, and Xorg failed.

Both the Xorg 'intel' and 'modesetting' drivers require kernel modesetting to be on, that is "options i915 modeset=1" which passes the parameter "modeset=1" when the kernel 'i915' module loads. That is the default anyway.

it is working nice now, can flip between using the Xorg 'intel' and 'modesetting' drivers, desktop loads, no issues.   

Tags: easy

EasyOS Dunfell-series version 2.6.2 released

April 03, 2021 — BarryK

Not many changes since 2.6.1, as I have mostly been in "hiking mode". Announcement and release notes:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/dunfell/2.6.2/release-notes-2.6.2.htm

Download English, French, German and Norwegian builds:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/dunfell/2.6.2/

Feedback welcome here:

https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewforum.php?f=63

I do have a lot planned for the next release.  

Tags: easy

SeaMonkey 2.53.7 compiled for EasyOS Dunfell x86_64

April 02, 2021 — BarryK

I posted notes how to compiled in earlier blog posts:

https://bkhome.org/news/202101/seamonkey-25351-compiled-on-raspberry-pi4.html

https://bkhome.org/news/202009/compiling-seamonkey-in-oe-dunfell.html

Same thing this time, except the 'mozconfig' file changed slightly:

ac_add_options --enable-application=comm/suite
ac_add_options --enable-system-hunspell
ac_add_options --prefix=/usr
ac_add_options --host=x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
ac_add_options --disable-dbus
ac_add_options --disable-accessibility
ac_add_options --with-system-bz2
ac_add_options --disable-updater
ac_add_options --disable-parental-controls
ac_add_options --enable-system-cairo
ac_add_options --enable-strip
ac_add_options --with-system-jpeg
ac_add_options --with-system-zlib
ac_add_options --disable-tests
ac_add_options --disable-crashreporter
ac_add_options --with-system-libvpx
ac_add_options --disable-necko-wifi
ac_add_options --with-system-nspr
ac_add_options --with-system-nss
ac_add_options --with-system-icu
ac_add_options --disable-pulseaudio
ac_add_options --enable-alsa
ac_add_options --enable-system-ffi
ac_add_options --enable-system-pixman
ac_add_options --disable-debug
ac_add_options --with-system-libevent
ac_add_options --enable-optimize='-O2'
ac_add_options --enable-ffmpeg
ac_add_options --disable-stylo
ac_add_options --disable-webrtc
ac_add_options --enable-printing
ac_add_options --disable-jack
ac_add_options --enable-irc
ac_add_options --enable-js-shell
ac_add_options --enable-dominspector
ac_add_options --enable-calendar
ac_add_options --with-system-webp

The changes are, added those last two lines.

Planning to release EasyOS 2.6.2 Dunfell series soon, which will have this SM.  

Tags: easy

Maybe will close down the EasyOS Forum

March 29, 2021 — BarryK

Still thinking about it, but it is likely to happen, that I will close down the EasyOS Forum:

https://easyos.org/forum/

Instead, discussion will take place in a special EasyOS section of the Puppy Forum:

https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewforum.php?f=63

The fundamental problem for me is that EasyOS is a stop-start project. I go off onto other things, then do not watch over the forum as perhaps should happen. It may be that hiatuses will become longer duration in the future.

It is simpler to piggy-back on the Puppy Forum, as do all the *Dog distributions. It takes advantage of the guys such as 'rockedge' who maintain and safeguard the forum.

Another factor is that I visit the Puppy Forum regularly, and continue to find it to be a valuable resource for sharing of ideas within the extended "Puppy family". This cross-pollination is, I think, invaluable.

There is an argument that housing all the *Dogs and EasyOS, as well as some other "out there" derivatives of Puppy, on the Puppy Forum, dilutes attention-to and awareness of the "pure breed" Puppies, those that are built with woof-CE.

Yes, but the forum has always been open to any distribution claiming Puppy heritage, even if that heritage is from many years ago and now a bit tenuous. This "melting pot" is a very rich experience.

Anyway, will think about it a bit more before deciding.

EDIT 2021-04-01:
It has been done, the EasyOS Forum is now read-only!
  

Tags: easy

Kernel 5.10.26 compiled for EasyOS Dunfell series

March 28, 2021 — BarryK

There has been a hiatus in EasyOS development, as I have been in "hiking mode". Still am, but interest is rising to do some more things with Easy.

Firstly, Feodor has been testing Samba in the Dunfell series, and reported that CUPS printing was broken.

Almost all of the packages in the Dunfell series are compiled in OpenEmbedded, Samba included, and I discovered that the 'cups' package was not included as a dependency in the 'samba' build recipe. I recompiled samba in OE, and Feodor tested it, with success.

That's great, so I should bring out a new release of EasyOS Dunfell series. Latest is 2.6.1. With that in mind, there are a few thing on the to-do list, one of which is the Linux kernel...

There was a request to enable "CONFIG_MOUSE_ELAN_I2C" in the kernel config. Due to the hiatus and my mind going onto other things, I forget who requested this, just saw the note on a piece of paper on my desk.

OK, have compiled kernel 5.10.26, with these changes:

Device Drivers
Input Device Support
Mice
<*> Elan I2C touchpad support CONFIG_MOUSE_ELAN_I2C
[*] Enable I2C support CONFIG_MOUSE_ELAN_I2C_I2C
[*] Enable SMBus support CONFIG_MOUSE_ELAN_I2C_SMBUS
<*> Synaptics I2C touchpad support CONFIG_MOUSE_SYNAPTICS_I2C
<*> Synaptics USB device support CONFIG_MOUSE_SYNAPTICS_USB

...those last two were previously modules, now builtin.

The reason that I want touchpad support builtin, is we may want to run GUI apps in the initrd. Currently this is done with the non-English builds of EasyOS -- a framebuffer Xorg is run and a gtkdialog-based app is run to ask for password input, and also keyboard layout on the first bootup.

A note about this: the English build of EasyOS boots in text-mode. I considered running Xorg and a GUI app from within the initrd to be a bit experimental, also choosing keyboard layout with Xorg running is good for non-English users, more choices.

The kernel source, patches and build scripts are here:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/source/kernel/5.10.26/

Next up, want to do some work on PETget, the package manager.   

Tags: easy

EasyOS Buster 2.6.1 released for x86_64 PC

January 30, 2021 — BarryK

EasyOS Buster-series 2.5.5 was released on December 24, 2020:

https://bkhome.org/news/202012/easyos-buster-255.html

Here are the release notes for 2.6.1:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/buster/2.6.1/release-notes-2.6.1.htm

Download English, French, German and Norwegian (nb and nn) builds of 2.6.1:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/buster/2.6.1/

Thanks to Jostein, we have Norwegian builds:

https://bkhome.org/news/202101/norwegian-language-pets-for-easyos.html

..they are completely untested, I haven't even booted them. So feedback is welcome. We should create a thread for this on the forum.

The jump from version 2.5.5 is misleading, as there haven't been many changes. The version number has been bumped up to match the Dunfell-series, as explained in the Dunfell 2.6.1 announcement here:

https://bkhome.org/news/202101/easyos-dunfell-261-released-for-x8664-pc.html

Installation

A little note about EasyOS image files. I have been communicating with someone who was having difficulty installing to hard drive, and found all the documentation confusing. Emails went to and fro, until I finally realised the fundamental problem. The person has a lot of Linux experience, but it has all been with ISO files. He thinks that booting up from a USB-stick is just like with an ISO, it is not installed, and an installer has to be run.

He was making statements like "It booted on the USB-stick, but it seems to have installed itself to the USB-stick and deleted the installer. How do I get the installer back?" -- which didn't make any sense to me. This is the ISO-centric mindset, that you have to wean yourself off.

An Easy image file, 'easy *.img.gz', is a hard drive image, for a complete drive, and when written to the drive, it will be already installed. No "installer" is required. The drive image file could be written to any drive, such as HDD or SSD, not only a USB-stick. The Easy drive image even has it's own boot manager, Refind for UEFI and Syslinux for BIOS.

Or, you can follow the simple instructions for a "frugal" install to a partition in HDD or SSD, documented online. You don't even have to be running EasyOS to do that, though it is simpler if you boot Easy first on a USB-stick, then do the frugal install.

Page with links to install tutorials:

https://easyos.org/tag_install.html 

feedback is welcome on the forum:

https://easyos.org/forum/ 

Tags: easy