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EasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.6.4 released

November 27, 2023 — BarryK

Another one! They are coming out fast; version 5.6.3 was released only 10 days ago:

Here are the release notes for 5.6.4:

Extracting the highlights:

Download the drive-image file, courtesy of ibiblio:

A fast mirror if you live in Europe, courtesy of NLUUG:

If you don't know what to do with a drive-image file, this page explains how to write it to a USB flash-drive:

Or, if you want to install direct to an internal hard drive:

Of course, if you already have EasyOS running, just click on the "update" icon on the desktop. Updating from 5.6.3 is only a 1.5MB download.

Feedback is welcome at the forum:

For anyone interested in the technical side of things, here are the recent github commits:

Have fun!      

Tags: easy

NVIDIA SFS filtering fixed in SFSget

November 26, 2023 — BarryK

I have posted recently about NVIDIA SFS:

SFSget, the SFS manager, lists NVIDIA SFS files that can be downloaded and installed. Running Easy 5.6.4RC, SFSget listed nvidia_5.15.137-*.sfs as well as nvidia_5.15.138-*.sfs. The kernel is 5.15.138, so only the latter should be listed.

I have fixed that filtering. Commit:   

Tags: easy

Chromium hardware acceleration disabled

November 26, 2023 — BarryK

On one of my laptops, Chromium freezes for several seconds at startup, due to GPU hardware acceleration being enabled. Firefox GPU acceleration is awful; however, Chromium GPU acceleration is OK on a most of my computers, just this one laptop is a problem.

I have changed the default to hardware acceleration disabled. This will be for a new installation of Easy; if you update to Easy 5.6.4, then you will have to go into "Settings" to manually disable it, that's if you want to.

Here are the commits:    

Tags: easy

Set Chromium default startup page

November 26, 2023 — BarryK

Back when Firefox was builtin to Easy, it would start with the "EasyOS jumping off page", which is at /usr/share/doc/home.htm

I have now set Chromium to be the same:


...this default only applies to new installs of EasyOS 5.6.4. Updates will have to go into the Chromium "Settings" to change the default page.

If "chromium" is run in a terminal, there is a message

# chromium
Unable to revert mtime: /usr/share/fonts/Type1
[12515:12515:1126/] :components/enterprise/browser/controller/ \
Cloud management controller initialization aborted as CBCM is not enabled. starting chromium with "--enable-chrome-browser-cloud-management=no", which avoids that message about "CBCM is not enabled".

Here are the github commits:   

Tags: easy

New keyboard hardware profiling

November 25, 2023 — BarryK

Today I posted about a fix for keyboard layout:

After doing that, remembered a problem that someone reported, a long time ago; probably at least a year ago...

They were booting Easy on a USB-stick, on different computers. One computer had a "us" layout keyboard, so they configured Easy for that. But then booted up on a computer with "fr" layout; however, Easy is not aware of the change and still thinks it is "us" layout. This will cause a problem if have to enter a password at bootup, and after bootup an app will have to be run to change the keyboard layout to "fr".

I have posted about hardware profiling support in Easy; scoll down this page:

I have now added keyboard hardware detection. It cannot detect if a keyboard layout has changed. It just detects if there is a different keyboard, and if so will ask for keyboard layout at early bootup in the initrd.

When you update to Easy 5.6.4, after bootup you will see these files:


...that last one is just an example. The "LenovoLenovoCalliopeUSBKeyboard" part is the keyboard hardware profile.

If you bootup on a computer with that profile, then that keymap will be used. If the file doesn't exist, then you will be asked for keyboard layout, then the keymap.profile file will get created.

It isn't perfect, as there could be two computers with different layouts but identifying themselves with the same keyboard name. But, it is a big step in the right direction. You should be able to bootup the USB-stick on different computers and the correct keyboard layout will be automatically loaded.

Here are the github commits:

There is a small downside; if you bootup on a different computer with the same keyboard layout, you are still going to be asked for the layout. But that will be once-only, then it will be remembered. Same if you change the keyboard; say, plug in a USB keyboard on a laptop; the change will cause to ask for layout.       

Tags: easy

Trying to fix console keymap stuck on us

November 25, 2023 — BarryK

Forum member vVerve reported a problem with the virtual keyboard app xvkbd; he wanted French, but it was something else. Trying to figure out the cause of the problem, I asked what is in /etc/keymap:

...he replied that it has "us".

There are various places where the keyboard layout is asked for. In the initrd at pristine very first bootup, in the QuickSetup window after have the desktop in very first bootup. And, anytime after, can run QuickSetup from the menu "Setup -> QuickSetup", or from the menu "Setup -> Mouse/Keyboard setup" -- or via the "setup" icon on the desktop; "Hardware -> HID".

Whatever route is taken to choose keyboard layout, it results in writing to /etc/keymap

There is, however, a potential conflict. When keyboard layout is asked for at first bootup in the initrd, the choice gets saved in /mnt/wkg/sfs/settings/initrd/CONFIG

These two should remain synced, but they can get out of sync, causing a problem, including perhaps /etc/keymap getting reset to "us".

I have made some changes to keep them sync'ed:   

Tags: easy

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