Easy Buster version 2.1.3

EasyOS versions 1.x are the "Pyro" series, the latest is 1.2. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using 'oe-qky-src', a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.

The "Buster" series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1, followed soon after by 2.1.1.

The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).

The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.

On the other hand, DEB packages have many dependencies, and the end result is a release considerably larger than Pyro with similar app selection. For example, the download file of Pyro 1.2 is 418MB, Buster is 504MB -- despite the Buster build having less apps (Pyro has Qt5 and big Qt5-based apps such as Scribus, this is all missing from the Buster build, but can be installed).

Another problem with Buster, potential problem anyway, is the choice of underlying infrastructure. For example, Debian uses systemd, pam, avahi and policykit -- EasyOS does not use these, but as they are dependencies of many apps, they have to be installed, yet inactive.

EasyOS is an experimental distribution, and some features are a work-in-progress, and likely to be so for the foreseeable future. So bare that in mind, that the operation might not be "just works" in every respect as you might expect from an official release of one of the major distributions such as Debian or Ubuntu.

2.1 release notes

Here are links to the development, as posted on Barry's blog, in no particular order:

  1. Optical media read/write errors and ejection problems fixed 1 2 
  2. Xorg framebuffer in initrd workaround 1 
  3. Fixes when SFS layers change 1 
  4. Copy session to RAM & disable drives 1 2 
  5. Network handled by NetworkManager 1 2 
  6. SFSget SFS management improved 1 
  7. Kernel 5.2.7 with cap_sys_mount patch 1 
  8. Staying with ntmui GUI rather than network-manager-applet 1 2 
  9. Lovely new dark theme, based on contribution by Argolance 1 
  10. Various extra technical fixes and improvements 1 2 3 4 

Regarding point-8, network-manager-applet provides a nice GUI in the system tray, however it also has some annoying issues, and a significant limitation that the full configuration capability (such as wi-fi scanning) cannot be launched standalone -- therefore, it was decided to use the simple 'nmtui' GUI, which is a text-mode GUI and somewhat more primitive to use.

The situation with network management GUI will be re-evaluated for the next release. You can install 'network-manager-applet' yourself, to play with -- click on "petget" at top of screen, then click on the "pet-buster" radiobutton, then type "network-manager-applet" into the search-box and hit the "Go" button.

Buster includes the "kitchen sink", a huge collection of apps, including Audacious, Libreoffice, Gimp, Inkscape, Dia, Planner, Grisbi, SeaMonkey and Gnome-MPV. Here is a list of all apps builtin to this release:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/buster/2.1/pkg-list.txt

These packages are only in the "devx" SFS:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/buster/2.1/pkg-list-devx-only.txt

2.1.1 release notes

Thanks to the testers of 2.1, many little bugs were found and fixed, and some improvements implemented. In addition to the release notes for 2.1, these are added for 2.1.1, in no particular order:

  1. "Home" folder is now /home 1 2 
  2. Linux kernel bumped to 5.2.10
  3. Fixed dependency order when uninstall packages 1 
  4. Removed check for Internet before run SeaMonkey in container
  5. Fix for hanging at bootup 1 
  6. Easy Containers new Simple security options 1 
  7. PETget (PPM) database update fixed 1 
  8. EasyDD now has two-stage verification 1 2 
  9. Prevent "Copy session to RAM & disable drives" at first bootup 1 

Important bug fixes, but also significant improvements, more than would be expected for a 0.0.1 version increment!

In particular, note point-1, the /home folder. This will be very odd to those familiar with Linux, no problem at all for those not.

2.1.3 release notes

Thanks again to the testers, yet more little bugs have been found! Also, there are some significant package upgrades. These release notes are added for 2.1.3, in no particular order:

  1. Built from Debian 10.1 binary packages (up from 10.0).
  2. SeaMonkey version 2.49.5 1  
  3. Bug fixes 1 2 3 4  

There are items on the to-do list, and this blog post lists a few of them intended to be tackled soon.


To follow future progress, please see Barry's blog:

http://bkhome.org/news/tag_easy.html


Written August 25, updated September 15, 2019