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Abort load NVIDIA SFS if GPU missing

November 24, 2023 — BarryK

Federico posted that loads an NVIDIA SFS with Easy booted on a USB-stick on one computer, but when boot on another computer that does not have NVIDIA GPU, openGL is broken:

I posted recently that an NVIDIA SFS is now provided for Easy, installable via SFSget:

I have modified the 'init' script in the initrd, so that if boot on a computer without NVIDIA GPU, then the SFS won't load:

The new code is at line 1899:

    #20231124 for nvidia.sfs check that nvidia gpu exists...
case "$ANAME" in
lspci | grep -qF 'Class 10de:' #note, requires busybox lspci
if [ $? -ne 0 ];then
echo -e "\\033[1;31m${S400}\\033[0;39m" #red 'No NVIDIA GPU detected, so will not load NVIDIA SFS'

So, if boot up on another computer without NVIDIA GPU, the SFS will not load, and the situation will be as if the SFS was never ever loaded.

As long as you haven't made any manual changes, such as blacklisting the 'i915' kernel driver. Blacklisting is taken care of by /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia.conf in the SFS, so if the SFS is not loaded then also the backlisting of i915 and nouveau won't happen.   

Tags: easy

EasyOS frugal install tutorial page updated

November 22, 2023 — BarryK

A couple of posts recently on the forum have made me realise that the installation pages need some improving. Example, this post, the chap cannot see how to create an entry for GRUB4DOS:

I have edited the "Easy frugal installation" page, which is primarily for legacy-BIOS computers, updated it and filled in some gaps that were missing from the explanations:   

Tags: easy

EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.6.3 released

November 16, 2023 — BarryK

Version 5.6.2 was released on November 12, see blog announcement:

The release notes for 5.6.3:

Reproducing the highlights here:


Mirror courtesy of NLUUG:

If updating from 5.6.2, the difference-file is only 41MB, so an easy update.

Feedback welcome at the forum:

Have fun!     

Tags: easy

Kernel 5.15.138 compiled and NVIDIA SFSs updated

November 16, 2023 — BarryK

Easy 5.6.2 has the 5.15.137 Linux kernel. I was intending to stay with that kernel version for sometime, as there are inconveniences when bump the kernel. However, forum member don570 reported that some NVIDIA kernel modules are missing:

Yes, when I compiled the NVIDIA driver, disabled "peermem" and "uvm". So, have bumped the kernel to 5.15.138 and modified the script that compiles NVIDIA to enable those two missing features.

So now there are NVIDIA SFSs compiled for the 5.15.138 kernel:

...which you can install via SFSget (via the "pkg" icon) when running Easy 5.6.3. Or, if you have already installed the NVIDIA SFS in Easy 5.6.2, then when update Easy (via the "update" icon) then there should, in theory, be an offer to also update the NVIDIA SFS. This mechanism was reported several days ago:

The intention now is when Easy 5.6.3 is released, with 5.15.138 kernel, to stay with that kernel version well into the future.

Here are the kernel and nvidia sources, patches and build scripts:

It looks like Easy 5.6.3 will be released soon.    

Tags: easy

Fixed path bug in Limine Installer

November 16, 2023 — BarryK

Forum member libertas reported getting grep errors when running limine-installer in a terminal. See discussion here:

Found the cause. I don't think that it affected finding of Linux installations. Fix commit:    

Tags: easy

Enable client app to run web browser

November 15, 2023 — BarryK

I installed Blender SFS to the main filesystem. Blender runs as user "blender", with home folder /home/blender.

I clicked the menu entry to view the Blender User Manual in the web browser, but nothing happened.

The problem is that Blender is running as user "blender", so cannot execute the default web browser, which is Chromium. Chromium is another client app, running as user "chromium" (with home folder /home/chromium).

The way for a non-root client app to run another non-root client app, is to bootstrap up to the root user, then run Chromium. Many apps, including Flatpaks and Appimages, use the 'xdg-open' utility to run the web browser. If you look at /usr/bin/xdg-open, which is a script, you will see that if it is called as a non-root user, it requests, via 'sudo-sh' to bump up to root. This is a little gui window that asks for the root password. More explanation of sudo-sh here:

However, Blender does not call 'xdg-open'. Instead, it queries xdg-settings, like this:

# xdg-settings get default-web-browser

Blender will then try to run /usr/bin/chromium, which will fail. Only the root user can run /usr/bin/chromium, so that it can drop down to user "chromium" then run Chromium.

This is now fixed, see github commit:

This is good, as it will also fix many other non-root client apps that try to launch the browser, or run any other client app.   

Tags: easy

Blender SFS fixed for usr-merge

November 15, 2023 — BarryK

SFSget, via the the "pkg" desktop icon, was able to download and install Blender. However, awhile back I removed it, as it was incompatible with the usr-merge folder hierarchy. That is now fixed and the Blender SFS is again available.

Bender is a very powerful 3D design tool. See the homepage:

I have only tested it installed to the main desktop, not in a container. On the main desktop, it runs as user "blender", with home folder /home/blender and of course write access into /files.

There was one thing that didn't work; when I clicked on the menu entry to open the online User Manual in the default web browser, nothing happened. Investigated why, and fixed it. That will be the next blog post.   

Tags: easy

Planner project planner compiled in OE

November 14, 2023 — BarryK

Planner was in earlier series of EasyOS, but got left out of the Kirkstone-series, as failed to compile in OpenEmbedded. However, today I fixed the recipe, see OE github commit:

This is version 0.14.6, in 2011, the last official release. See the homepage:


But no, it doesn't say on the homepage, but Gnome does have 0.14.91 source available:

It continues to be maintained by Debian devs, and in 2018 I got lots of patches (for 0.14.6) from Debian and used them in the OE build:

Planner is a nice little app. I used to include it builtin in EasyOS, Quirky and Puppy, as it rounds-out the suite of business applications very nicely. And it is fairly small. So, pleased to have it back again. Have added it to the builtin package-list.

Decided to remove BlueGriffon WYSIWG HTML editor. Partly because it is a x86_64 binary PET package that we are no longer able to compile; also it has some issues, such as cannot read https:// sites.

Back on the subject of Planner, the Debian version changes can be seen here:

Very interesting. In OE, I am still back at 0.14.6 with the 2018 patches, which, as far as I know, works fine. But, notice one thing; the Debian devs have removed the dependency on 'libgomecanvas', which is a very old gtk2 thing. Also 'libglade' dependency is gone and the source has migrated to gtk3.

So that is a to-do for the future; update the OE build to use Debian's latest. It is good that Debian devs have kept this project alive. Version, 0.14.91-3, in Debian Unstable, shows the dependencies:     

Tags: easy