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Linux kernel source SFS filtering

November 12, 2023 — BarryK

The SFS downloader and installer, SFSget, and the BootManager for choosing which SFSs to load, offer all the kernel source SFS files available online. However, there will only be one that is appropriate, that is the same kernel version as currently in use in Easy.

So, have applied filtering. Github commit:    

Tags: easy

HexChat serverlist update

November 12, 2023 — BarryK

AntonioPt posted this:

I have added it to woofQ, so it will be in the next release of EasyOS. Github commit:    

Tags: easy

EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.6.2 released

November 12, 2023 — BarryK

Version 5.6.1 has Firefox builtin, but 5.6.2 returns to Chromium. The release notes for 5.6.2:

Reproducing the release notes here, since 5.5.5:

Yes, a complete recompile in OpenEmbedded; "revision-5" and Chromium bumped from 116.0.5845.187 to 117.0.5938.132 and the kernel bumped from 5.15.135 to 5.15.137.

In SFSget (see the "pkg" icon on the desktop) there are two NVIDIA SFS files, one of which you can install if you have an NVIDIA GPU and the inbuilt 'nouveau' kernel driver isn't good enough. Note that these NVIDIA SFSs are experimental, so give us feedback on the forum if any issues. Also experimental is the automatic NVIDIA SFS updating when you update to EasyOS versions beyond 5.6.2.

If you are new to EasyOS, you will find it useful to read the EasyOS 5.5.5 announcement, that has links on how to install:

Download Easy 5.6.2, kindly hosted by

Or, if you live in Europe, there is a mirror kindly hosted by NLUUG:

Or, if already running EasyOS, just click on the "update" desktop icon, which will download a small "difference file" to achieve the update.

We welcome feedback on the forum, specifically this one for the 5.6.x releases: will see there discussion why I changed back to Chromium from Firefox. Note though, if you would prefer to run Firefox (or Vivaldi), there are download links in the "Internet" category of the menu. That will download the latest version and can also be used to update to the latest version.

If you are updating via the "update" icon, let us know on the forum if you experience any problem with running Chromium. First, check that file /usr/local/bin/defaultbrowser has "chromium" in it, secondly try to run chromium from a terminal window (see "term" icon on desktop) and report any error message -- which may already be reported to the forum. I am specifically mentioning this, as I experienced an issue with Chromium not starting due to the latest version of Chromium being linked against a later version of the 'icu' package. I will report my fix to the forum.

For anyone who wants the in-depth technical details about the latest release of Easy, here are the github commits:

Have fun!       

Tags: easy

Chromium 117.0.5938.132 compiled in OE

November 11, 2023 — BarryK

Github commits:

The meta-browser project is here:    

Tags: easy

Fix for depth limit detection

November 11, 2023 — BarryK

EasyOS keeps a history of past versions, so that the user can rollback to earlier versions, if perhaps they don't like the latest. The depth has a limit, default of 5, that can be changed in the Easy Version Control GUI.

There have been reports that this is not working. Which has puzzled me, as it works for me. TerryH and Caramel have been discussing this problem:

Yes, the code starting about line 1490 is where the problem is. I have identified what could be the cause of trouble. Here is the code, extracted to a test script:


...see that highlighted grep -vF '*', I added that later.

At depth-5 I created /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.2 folder, with nothing in it. That means the line with the highlighted text, realpath will not find any .sfs files. What happens then, is it doesn't return nothing as you would expect, it returns the literal text string /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.2/*.sfs and assigns it to variable aSL.

Whether that is bad or not depends on the code in the do-loop. Anyway, that highlighted text I have inserted will filter out that situation, so for easy-5.5.2 folder no .sfs files are found. The result, for me, where easy-5.5.3 does have .sfs files:

# ./test2
  Warning, deleting old version: easy-5.5.2
EXEC: rm -rf /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.2
  Warning, deleting old version: easy-5.5.3
EXEC: rm -f /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/sfs/easyos/oe/kirkstone/devx_5.5.3_amd64.sfs
EXEC: rm -f /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/sfs/easyos/oe/kirkstone/easy_5.5.3_amd64.sfs
EXEC: rm -f /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.3/rw-5.5.3.sfs
EXEC: rm -rf /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.3

What will happen if the user has manually deleted a .sfs file, resulting in folder easy-5.5.2 having a broken symlink, say easy-5.5.2/easy.sfs? The code works, it just tries to delete a non-existent .sfs:

# ./test2
  Warning, deleting old version: easy-5.5.2
EXEC: rm -f /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.2/easy_5.5.2_amd64.sfs
EXEC: rm -rf /mnt/sdb3/easyos-kirkstone/releases/easy-5.5.2

I have inserted that highlighted code in the 'init' script; however, the code should still work without it. Leaving me still puzzled why some users are reporting deleting of old versions is failing.   

Tags: easy

EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.6.1 released

November 10, 2023 — BarryK

See announcement:


We were discussing Firefox versus Chromium on the forum:

...and Firefox won.

So Easy 5.6.1 has been released with Firefox builtin. I updated from 5.6 on my Lenovo PC, am using  it now, and have made a most unfortunate discovery.

The Firefox window flickers periodically. If I am entering text in a text-entry box, such as posting to the forum, the flicker causes the text-entry box to lose focus, and as I continue typing, the characters no longer go into the text-entry box. Where they go I don't know.

This is a showstopper!!!!

How can FF release their browser which such a serious fault?

If you want to update to 5.6.1 and try FF, by all means do so. I'm typing this post with SeaMonkey Composer, and can see the FF window has flickered a few times. Very sad.

My PC hardware is very stock-standard "VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation CoffeeLake-S GT2". Not a trail-blazing recent GPU. I have used previous version of FF without this problem.

Maybe FF is OK on other hardware, but it is essential that it works for me. So goodbye FF. The version is 119.0 and I see 119.0.1 has been released. Release notes: mention of my flickering problem.

Tonight I intend to compile the latest Chromium, and Easy 5.6.2 will be back onto Chromium builtin.    

Tags: easy

Fixed waiting for kernel video drivers to load

November 10, 2023 — BarryK

Have implemented various fixes, including this. See commit:

Fix startup tab in Firefox:

and various nvidia sfs handling fixes.   

Tags: easy

Automatic NVIDIA SFS updating

November 08, 2023 — BarryK

Continuing from the previous post:

An NVIDIA SFS is compiled for a particular kernel version. So, if EasyOS is updated and the kernel has changed, then the NVIDIA SFS will no longer work.

While studying the code, I realised that there is a fundamental bug with SFSs when there is a EasyOS version update. SFSs that loaded in the previous version, no longer load in the new version. They are forgotten, and have to be reselected.

The code has been fixed so that previously-loaded SFS will carry-over to the new version. Subject to compatibility. The devx SFS will get dropped, as that is specific to the previous EasyOS version.

For the NVIDIA SFS, there are two scripts involved, the 'init' script in the initrd, and /usr/local/easy_version/easy-update. The latter is what runs when you click on the "update" icon on the desktop.

'easy-update' checks if you currently have the NVIDIA SFS loaded, and if the new EasyOS version is using a different kernel, then looks online to see if there is an SFS available for that kernel. If so, offers to download it.

The 'init' script in the initrd will recognise existence of either the previous NVIDIA SFS if it is still the same kernel, or the downloaded new SFS, and load it. The effect is seamless updating of NVIDIA SFS.

As mentioned in the previous post, when a kernel is compiled, a new NVIDIA SFS is also compiled. This will be uploaded and available when the user clicks the "update" icon.

The 'easy-update' script will detect if you are currently usiing an NVIDIA SFS, and if there is going to be a kernel version change will offer to download the new NVIDIA SFS. It is big, about 480MB -- hmmm, could greatly reduce that size by taking out the 'lib32' library -- do you need that? I haven't implemented a delta-difference file download mechanism for it.

Note, the new NVIDIA SFS can be downloaded manually. Download to /mnt/wkg/sfs/easyos/oe/kirkstone, then at next bootup after updating EasyOS, the 'init' script will recognise it's existence and use it.

However, that is putting the "cart before the horse". When running Easy 5.6.1, which will have 5.15.137 kernel, you will have to download the 'nvidia_5.15.137-525.125.06_amd64.sfs' and load it. SFSget will do that, via clicking on the "pkg" icon.

The automatic updating of NVIDIA SFS will apply after that, when you update to Easy 5.6.2 and beyond.

The relevant github commits:

I am only aware of two EasyOS users who would want this. I currently don't have a PC with NVIDIA GPU, so it is untested. Hopefully, there is no logic-error, typo or syntax error in the code and it will work. If you already have NVIDIA GPU driver installed, you will need to get rid of it, the kernel modules, X11 driver and the GL libraries, get back to before it was installed.    

Tags: easy