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EasyOS version 2.3.2 released

June 22, 2020 — BarryK

Release notes:

Install and feedback notes:

English, French and German downloads:

Have fun! 

Tags: easy

iotop to be in next release of EasyOS

June 22, 2020 — BarryK

I posted about iotop recently:

A very nice utility for anyone who wants to know what is going on when the drive is active -- that you know by the noise that a platter-type drive makes, and an activity LED. iotop will show what processes are responsible for the activity.

It is a python script, small, so has been added to the build, in the System menu. 

Tags: easy

Missing genisoimage in EasyOS

June 21, 2020 — BarryK

Easy has the 'cdrtools' package, which has  the 'mkisofs' utility. The 'cdrkit' package was a fork of cdrtools, with different names for utilities, and has 'genisoimage' instead of 'mkisofs'.

Some Debian packages expect 'genisoimage', so we could just put it as a symlink, as suggested by rcrsn51 (forum name), or a script that calls mkisofs, suggested by OscarTalks:

I went for the script. I took off the "$@" quotes around the $@, as that seems wrong syntax. 

Tags: easy

Translated image in welcome page

June 21, 2020 — BarryK

At first bootup of Easy, there is a "welcome" HTML page, at /usr/share/doc/easy/welcome.htm. This displays an image of the desktop, /usr/share/doc/easy/images/desktop1.png, which has text on it in English.

So the welcome.htm can be translated, but not the image. Not until now, that is. Lutz (L18L on the forum) has done something so clever, superimposed translated text over the image:

I have put his improved /usr/share/doc/easy/ into WoofQ, so that it will be in the next release.

What I might do is bring out EasyOS 2.3.2 very soon, and invite L18L and esmourguit to update the German and French translations. There are various apps here and there that will need updating. 

Tags: easy

Skype SFS uploaded

June 21, 2020 — BarryK

The SFS repository for EasyOS and EasyPup had Skype, however, someone reported that the microphone did not work.

Maybe it was just their particular hardware, however, I decided to make another, older, SFS available, This is version, the same one used in FossiePup.

The repo is here:

But if you are running EasyOS, all that you have to do is click on the "sfsget" icon at top of the screen.

Whether this will improve the microphone situation, I don't know. Testers welcome!

Note, install it on the main desktop, not in a container, just in case the container is the cause of the microphone problem -- that is another thing that testers can determine.   

Tags: easy

Change ext4 journal commit interval from 5 to 30

June 21, 2020 — BarryK

I have been examining why EasyOS has almost continuous writes to the hard drive, even when "doing nothing" on the desktop, and eliminated writes by pmcputemp:

The ext4 journal remains as the single biggest contributor. We could go back to not using a journal, but instead will try some other solutions to reduce writes. One possibility is to change the commit interval from the default 5 seconds.

I have modified the 'init' script in the initrd to change it to 30 seconds:

 if [ "${WKG_FS}" == "ext4" ];then #200621 change journal commit interval from 5 to 30...
#rw,relatime,data=ordered are the defaults anyway...
mount -t ${WKG_FS} -o commit=30,rw,relatime,data=ordered /dev/$WKG_DEV /mnt/$WKG_DEV
mount -t ${WKG_FS} /dev/${WKG_DEV} /mnt/${WKG_DEV}

That will also result in faster operation, though if there is a crash then you lose the last 30 seconds of your work. Hmmm, maybe we could even make that a longer time? Trying this for the next release of EasyOS, see how it goes. 

Tags: easy

Full hdparm utility in initrd

June 21, 2020 — BarryK

Earlier this year, I posted about implementing running of 'fstrim' at every 20th bootup, for SSDs that support TRIM:

However, only had the busybox 'hdparm' applet, that does not work with USB drives.

I have now compiled the full 'hdparm' utility, version 9.58, statically with musl, for x86_64, i686, and aarch64, and put the utilities into WoofQ.

Only the more advanced USB-sticks support TRIM, such as the SanDisk Extreme. Interesting, not all SSDs do either, and apparently, some that report they do, don't really -- which could be a problem if run 'fstrim' on those.

I have a couple of SSDs in USB caddies, which is a very cost-effective alternative to USB-sticks, in terms of size and long-term reliability. Installing EasyOS to one of those is a fast and portable choice, rather then bothering to install to the internal drive. So, I want EasyOS to detect if the external SSD supports TRIM. 

Tags: easy

Pmcputemp modified to remove drive writes

June 20, 2020 — BarryK

Pmcputemp is a CPU temperature tray applet, very nice, and used in EasyOS and EasyPup. In the previous post, I explored why there are frequent periodic writes to the hard drive:

I discovered that pmcputemp is the main culprit. Yes, the ext4 journal driver is a contributor, but not the main one.

I obtained the latest source from here:

Then modified the source and compiled it, these are my notes:

BK: v1.1
change, interval range 1 - 100, default 20 seconds.
icon "temp.png" causing many drive writes, move into /tmp
aarch64 fix, ref:

# cd pmcputemp-1.1
# ./configure --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib --mandir=/usr/share/man --with-help
# make
# new2dir make install

The modified source is now version 1.1, here:

And the PET is here:

The problem was, every time CPU temperature changed, read at intervals of 10 seconds (I bumped in latest PET, now 20), there would be a write to /root/.config/pmcputemp/temp.png.

It would probably be possible not to write "temp.png" to file at all, but anyway, I changed it to /tmp/pmcputemp/temp.png. Reason, is that in EasyOS, /tmp is a tmpfs (temporary filesystem, that is only in RAM).

Hey, what a change, my Lenovo PC is now mostly quiet, no little "brrps"! Ditto, there will be much less LED flashes on USB-sticks. 

Tags: easy