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Planning move to Yocto Scarthgap

December 30, 2023 — BarryK

EasyOS 5.x is currently built with the Yocto/OpenEmbedded Kirkstone release packages; however, having to backport some dependency packages to compile later releases of some packages.

This upward movement of package versions is inexorable. It causes problems, as some packages we do need to keep updating, mainly for security reasons. Especially web browsers. I compile Chromium in OE; we had to backport libva, which saved the day for awhile. However, have now hit a brick wall:

https://github.com/OSSystems/meta-browser/issues/773

Looking at Yocto/OE release schedule, Kirkstone is an LTS release, supported until 2026. The next LTS will be Scarthgap, expected to be released in April 2024 and supported until 2028:

https://wiki.yoctoproject.org/wiki/Releases

The git repositories do not yet have scarthgap branches, so I have downloaded master branches, and now experimenting compiling. So far so good. Will see if Chromium compiles.

Looking ahead, an alternative is to build Easy from packages of another distribution, such as Debian or Void. That option is always there, always an attraction as this endless struggle with compiling packages can be done away with. There are downsides of getting locked into some other distribution though.

Another alternative is to give up compiling the web browser, and only use the official generic x86_64 binary package provided by the browser developer.    

Tags: easy

Firefox is still disappointing

December 19, 2023 — BarryK

I have been working on Firefox, fixed some things, see recent posts:

https://bkhome.org/news/202312/fix-firefox-second-instance-will-not-start.html

https://bkhome.org/news/202312/improved-firefox-user-settings-and-default-browser.html

I was considering bringing back FF as the builtin browser; however, still cannot get rid of the flicker on my Lenovo desktop PC. The content of the window flickers periodically. When this flicker occurs, it will break a text-input box if it has keyboard focus, and will wreak the menu.

What I mean by the latter, is if you click on the menu button, the three horizontal bars on the top-right of the window, then wait until the next flicker. Then the drop-down menu will disappear, and the menu button becomes greyed-out and unusable, see this photo:

img1

I reported this to the forum:

https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?p=103106#p103106

The flickering window in FF has been around for awhile, and there are many suggestions to fix it, for example:

  1. Turn off hardware acceleration
  2. Turn on hardware acceleration
  3. Turn off smooth scrolling
  4. Flickering happens only when 4+ tabs open
  5. Use Xorg modesetting driver instead of intel
  6. Disable gfx.webrender

None of these fix the problem on my computer.

In short, FF is disappointing, and it looks like I will stay with Chromium as the builtin browser.   

Tags: easy

Fix sudo-sh segfault

December 19, 2023 — BarryK

Yesterday I posted about adding a Cancel button to sudo-sh:

https://bkhome.org/news/202312/sudo-sh-cancel-button.html

Then discovered that if the DISPLAY variable is not defined, the /usr/bin/sudo-sh binary executable segfaults.

Fixed, bumped the package to version 1.3 and compiled in OE, see commit:

https://github.com/bkauler/oe-qky-kirkstone/commit/b84383cff7da10083b970aab7258d3ba7436e91d  

Tags: easy

sudo-sh Cancel button

December 18, 2023 — BarryK

In June 2023, I posted about "sudo-sh", my light-weight replacement for sudo:

https://bkhome.org/news/202306/light-weight-replacement-for-sudo.html

https://bkhome.org/news/202306/workaround-when-setuid-is-ignored.html

I have added a "Cancel" button:

img1    

Tags: easy

Improved Firefox user-settings and default browser

December 17, 2023 — BarryK

I think that it was about 9 months ago, version 112, that a new path for global setting preferences for Firefox, in /etc/firefox/default/pref. I have started to move to using this, see commit:

https://github.com/bkauler/woofq/commit/c6b11d452ed559c5aad6c8117211dd7f43b5ad6f

Reference:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1170092

There are some issues with setting and determining the default web browser, especially for apps that run non-root. The 'mimeapps.list' file has been created to help fix this:

https://github.com/bkauler/woofq/commit/1bff80f891d25d7178830628e2db8f2b27a491ad   

Tags: easy

Limine v6 has dropped support for ext4

December 17, 2023 — BarryK

Limine bootloader, up until the 5.x releases, supports ext2/3/4; however, v6 has just been released and now only supports fat12/16/32 and iso9660. Forum member 'luvr' reported this a couple of days ago:

https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?p=105931#p105931

I raised an issue at the Limine github site, to which mintsuki, the main developer, replied:

https://github.com/limine-bootloader/limine/issues/320

For the foreseeable future it doesn't really matter, I think, as v5 has become quite mature, and it has been awhile since any problem booting with Limine has been reported. So we could just go on indefinitely with v5.

Anyway, I had another look at the alternatives. There is always grub2 of course, but then I stumbled upon a new project; Easyboot and Simpleboot:

https://gitlab.com/bztsrc/easyboot

https://gitlab.com/bztsrc/simpleboot

I worked on it for several hours, but couldn't get the boot menu to display; just something flashing momentarily on the screen. Then the menu would timeout and it reported the kernel could not be found.

After trying lots of variations, did manage to get the kernel to be found, but then it crashed. But it might be 'KERNEL8.IMG' provided by Easyboot, that crashed, not the EasyOS 'vmlinuz'.

Bootloaders need a lot of development to work on a wide range of quirky computer hardware.   

Tags: easy

Download Chrome browser in menu

December 15, 2023 — BarryK

The latest release of EasyOS has Chromium browser builtin, with menu entries to download Firefox or Vivaldi, for those who would prefer not to use Chromium.

For the next release of EasyOS, I am thinking of going back to Firefox builtin, as have resolved some problems with it.

So, for those who would prefer Chrome or a Chromium-based browser, I intended to have more choices in the menu. To start the ball rolling, have created 'chrome-skel-ask-20231215.pet', a package that will create "Download latest Chrome" in the menu, as shown:

img1

...choosing that, will probe online for the latest version of Chrome available, and either perform a new install or offer to update an existing installation. After install, the entry "Chrome web browser" will appear in the menu.

The user can choose "Download latest Chrome" at any time, to check if there is a later version, and if so, download it. I decided to do it this way, manually via the menu, for consistency with the other browsers. Consequently, updating has been disabled from within the browser.

Chrome, like the others, runs as its own user; "chrome", with home /home/chrome.

I will probably add one more, a Chromium-based browser, maybe Brave.    

Tags: easy

Yocto 4.0.14 release recompile

December 15, 2023 — BarryK

Have done a complete recompile based on the Yocto/OpenEmbedded 4.0.14 kirkstone-series release. This is "revision-6" build, and here are the changed packages since 4.0.12 (revision-5):

firefox           119.0     120.0.1
libstd-rs 1.72.0 1.73.0
libxpm 1_3.5.16 1_3.5.17
linux-firmware 20230625 20230804
mbedtls 2.28.2 2.28.5
ntfs-3g-ntfsprogs 2022.5.17 2022.10.3
openldap 2.5.12 2.5.16
openssl 3.0.10 3.0.12
php 8.1.16 8.1.22
python3 3.10.12 3.10.13
python3-aiohttp 3.8.1 3.8.5
python3-git 3.1.32 3.1.37
python3-urllib3 1.26.9 1.26.17
sudo 1.9.13p3 1.9.15p2
tar 1.34 1.35
vim 9.0.1592 9.0.2068

Commits to 'oe-qky-kirkstone' project:

https://github.com/bkauler/oe-qky-kirkstone/commit/e5e624e3feaff5ea7f862744b229d8be18e8e09b

https://github.com/bkauler/oe-qky-kirkstone/commit/819925e2d12c54b6149f52bab3d04ee6e62e478a   

Tags: easy