EasyOS Dunfell-series 4.2

EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.

Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.

EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.

The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.

The page that you are reading now has the release notes for EasyOS Dunfell-series on x86_64 PCs, also debuting in 2021.

Ongoing development is now focused on the x86_64 Dunfell-series. The last version in the x86_64 Buster-series is 2.6.2, on June 29, 2021, and that is likely to be the end of that series. Releases for the Pi4 Dunfell-series are still planned but very intermittent.

The version number is for EasyOS itself, independent of the target hardware; that is, the infrastructure, support-glue, system scripts and system management and configuration applications.

The latest version is becoming mature, though Easy is an experimental distribution and some parts are under development and are still considered as beta-quality. However, you will find this distro to be a very pleasant surprise, or so we hope.

2.6.1 release notes

Here are blog posts relevant to EasyOS Dunfell-series:

Some extra notes: the kernel is 5.10.11, SeaMonkey is 2.53.6. For those who need the 'wl' kernel wifi driver, it is available as a PET package -- click "petget" on the desktop. EasyOS is available as English, French, German, and Norwegian (nb and nn) builds. Norwegian is brand new and untested.

2.6.2 release notes

Not much different from 2.6.1, have just bumped the kernel and SeaMonkey. Release notes:

Most of the packages in the Dunfell series are compiled in OpenEmbedded, including Samba. However, Feodor discovered that CUPS support was broken. This was fixed by adding the 'cups' package as a dependency in the 'samba' OpenEmbedded  build recipe. The binary package is now "revision 3", samba-4.10.17-r3-nocona-64.tar.xz.

Regarding the last item, as explained, EasyOS has rejoined the Puppy Linux Forum, at https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewforum.php?f=63

2.7 release notes

Source packages have been recompiled in OpenEmbedded/Yocto, this time adding ModemManager, Inkscape and pngoverlay-cairo. ModemManager GUI has also been added to the build. A couple of significant bugs fixed. Release notes:

When click "dunfell" on the desktop, first startup of EasyOS desktop in container is faster. The bug getting corrupted wallpaper seems to be fixed, but feedback welcome if you still get it.

2.7.1 release notes

Thanks guys, for the feedback! This release has many incremental improvements and fixes, and two new packages, 'brightness control' and 'flsynclient'. Release notes:

2.7.2 release notes

Some small, but important bug fixes and tweaks, and one new application:

2.7.3 release notes

More small but important fixes and improvements:

2.8.1 release notes

The main news item for this release is that all packages have been recompiled in OpenEmbedded with glibc 2.33, up from 2.31. Also, some bug fixes, package upgrades and the kernel now has the Paragon ntfs3 driver builtin. Release notes:

Hmmm, after listing them, realise quite a lot has happened since version 2.7.3.

There was consideration of moving to a "save file" instead of a "save folder", here and here, but that got aborted.

2.8.3 release notes

Not many changes, but significant. Release notes:

The package selection has changed a little bit. The 'jack', 'modemmanager' and 'modem-manager-gui' packages are no longer compiled in OpenEmbedded and not included in the release of EasyOS.

2.8.4 release notes

Just one change:

Noticed a new bug introduced with 2.53.8: At youtube.com, 1080p video, "Cinema mode" button does not work, have to manually resize the window. Full-screen button works.

2.9 release notes

There has been a complete recompile in OpenEmbedded, with some package version upgrades. Also, SeaMonkey has been upgraded to 2.53.9 and the kernel to 5.10.61. Release notes:

Note, when I do a complete rebuild in OE, I bump the "revision number", in this case from "r3" to "r4" -- this is in the package names, for example 'alsa-plugins-1.2.1-r4-nocona-64.tar.xz' -- note also, "nocona" is the earliest x86_64 instruction set.

Changes that usually go unannounced, is sometimes replace busybox applets with the full versions, from 'coreutils' or 'util-linux', when encounter an error due to the busybox applet not supporting the required commandline options. For EasyOS 2.9, have changed the 'mktemp' utility to the full version from 'coreutils'.

3.0 release notes

There have been two major structural changes, hence the version bump to 3.0. These are: applications can now be run non-root each as its own user and group, and the folder hierarchy has become more conventional, with /clients becoming /home and /home becoming /files. Release notes:

Regarding Chromium, I have been compiling it and creating SFSs, however there are issues, and have only uploaded an official compiled Chromium. Click on "sfsget" and you can download and install it -- choose to install to the main desktop, not in a container, as Chromium has its own sandbox. Chromium will run as user 'chromium' and group 'chromium' and you will find an entry in the "Internet" menu.

Another busybox utility has been dropped. The full 'killall' from the 'psmisc' package is now being used.

Usage note:
The first time you boot EasyOS, you will be asked for a password. Please do enter a password, do not just press ENTER. The password will cause folders in the working-partition to be encrypted, but also changes the 'root' user to the same password. If you don't do this, the root password is "woofwoof", that everyone knows.
You only get this choice whether to have a password at first bootup, as it only works on empty folders in the working-partition -- once folders are populated, it is too late to turn on encryption.

3.1 release notes

As well as fixing issues in 3.0 due to the changes in directory hierarchy, version 3.1 has greatly enhanced video configurability and hardware profiling. Also, there are new RDP, VNC and SSH servers and clients available via the package manager. Release notes:

A lot of attention has been given to booting EasyOS from a USB-stick on different computers. Hardware profiling means that any video and audio configuration on one computer is remembered and automatically selected next time bootup on that same computer.

Attention has also been given to the situation where bootup and video is broken, such as black screen. There is a new "Fix broken video" boot menu entry -- see above link to a tutorial how to use this.

3.1.9 release notes

Two very significant changes this time: firstly, both SeaMonkey and Firefox in the build, and secondly, have moved from an ALSA-only system to Pulseaudio, with Pipewire included in the build, but Pulseaudio set as the default.

I would have liked to bump the version to 3.2, but the move to Pulseaudio is bound to have issues that I have not yet discovered. So, we need one or two releases to find and fix these. Release notes:

Firefox can be run on the main desktop or in a container -- you will find "www" icons on the desktop for both of these. They are both very secure, as on the main desktop Firefox runs in its own sandbox.

Firefox supports automatic updating, but I have set it to ask first. You can do it manually: if you go to "Settings" and scroll down, there is a button to update.
A very curious thing: Firefox running on the main desktop, requires the "Restart to update Firefox" button to be clicked-on twice -- after the first restart, scroll down in "Settings" and you have to click that button again.
However, running in a container, the restart button only has to be clicked-on once. Very odd.

Anyway, it is great news that users can keep up with the latest version of Firefox.

3.1.10 release notes

Version 3.1.9 was withdrawn a few hours after uploading, due to various issues. Version 3.1.10 is all of the above, plus these extra release notes:

Note: Firefox updating has been disabled.

3.1.11 release notes

A lovely experience on my computers, the continuing process of refinement is showing! Release notes:

The redshift GUI tray app works well, thanks to the original creator fredx181.

Booting from USB-stick on my old workhorse PC, with Radeon HD6870 video card, got straight to the desktop, running with the 'radeon' kernel module. Nothing to fix, it just works, except sound was muted -- at first bootup, the Multiple Sound Card Wizard runs, enabling fixing sound, and it was a simple matter of bringing up the master volume.

Playing /usr/share/audio/2barks.au with 'aplay' and 'paplay', both gave two barks. This is good, as on many previous occasions small sound files have played truncated, so the second bark got cutoff.

3.1.13 release notes

Yet more refinements, simplifying and streamlining the user experience. Major new tools in the devx for coders and developers. This time, SeaMonkey has been left out, replaced with BlueGriffon for HTML editing and Balsa email client. Release notes:

3.1.15 release notes

Two big news items for this release; a complete recompile in OpenEmbedded and a return to SeaMonkey. Release notes:

Claws Mail was compiled and is available as a PET package; however, the complete SeaMonkey suite has made a return. Firefox, Balsa and BlueGriffon have been taken out of the build.

3.1.17 release notes

Two huge news items this time; Qt5 libraries are now in EasyOS, and three powerful media applications. This release has transformed Easy into a multmedia powerhouse! Release notes:

It may also interest the reader to see this, a rationale for the abandonment of the ISO format:

These 3.1.x releases are building toward 3.2 final, expected very early in the new year.

3.1.19 release notes

Note that VLC is not built-in, it is installable via the package manager.

3.2 release notes

Oh man, massive improvements since 3.1! Release notes:

The download is only 581MB, yet an incredible collection of apps builtin. EasyOS has become a multimedia powerhouse distro.

3.2.1 release notes

The big news is changed the video editor. Release notes:

3.3 release notes

The big news is changed the video editor, again. Flowblade does not work properly, Pitivi does, or at least does after very limited testing. Release notes:

The second item, whether to ship as an uncompressed image, is just a thought for now. Maybe for the next release.

The 5.10.94 kernel actually caused filesystem corruption. 5.10.95 also crashed at bootup. Went back to 5.10.90 and fixed the filesystem at bootup. It has been good since then.

This release contains both Firefox and SeaMonkey, with FF set as the default web browser. Scribus and OBS Studio are no longer builtin, but available via the package manager.

3.4 release notes

The huge news with this release is the icon-free desktop. Though, you can switch back to desktop-with-icons if you wish. Release notes:

Unfortunately, the kernel from 5.10.94 onward has been bad news, so staying with 5.10.90.

The wallpaper in icon-free desktop might not fill the screen with certain screen ratios. That will be tackled soon.

3.4.1 release notes

There were some annoying bugs in 3.4, hence 3.4.1 is essentially a bug-fix release. The kernel has been bumped to 5.10.93, see links describing the sad situation with kernel versions January 27+.

JWMDesk, the GUI for configuring JWM window manager, is still left out. We hope to fix it soon.

Flipping between desktop with or without icons can be done by editing /etc/uimanager. No GUI for that yet.

Recent AMD GPUs may need to blacklist the 'radeon' kernel driver, so that the 'amdgpu' driver will work. Currently this has to be done manually.

3.4.3 release notes

A complete recompile in OpenEmbedded, "revision-8". Firefox is now 98.0.1, kernel is 5.15.16. Three new apps: JWMDesk, EasyCast and recordMyDesktop. Release notes:

One significant improvement is support for "recent" AMD GPUs. This is due to the kernel version bump and much more firmware.

3.4.4 release notes

The focus has been on fixing issues discovered in 3.4.3, rather than making changes. Release notes:

Switching between ROX-mode icons-on-desktop and JWM-mode icons-in-tray has been refined, and hopefully should be an experience without unexpected side-effects.

3.4.5 release notes

Again, the focus has been on fixing issues discovered in 3.4.4, rather then making changes. Release notes:

The kernel is still 5.15.16, but Firefox is bumped to 99.0 and youtube-dl updated.

3.4.6 release notes

Again, the focus has been on fixing issues discovered in 3.4.5; in particular, refinement of the UI. One significant change is to a more "mainstream" theme. Release notes:

Oomox theme designer is an SFS, installable via the "sfsget" icon. Firefox has been bumped to 99.0.1. The kernel is still 5.15.16.

3.4.7 release notes

Some little bug fixes. Introducing Droidcam and GUVCView included in the build, Meld and scrcpy available via the package manager. Release notes:

As stated in the link, 'droidcam-cli' is in the build. It is a CLI executable, that we plan to experiment with, with a view to creating a GUI wrapper.

4.0 release notes

Wow, what a great experience -- right now I am running EasyOS 4.0 on a Compaq Presario, with only 2GB RAM and Core2 CPU, and performance is so snappy. A major structural change has resulted in noticeably faster app startup and responsiveness. Also, there are no writes to the drive during normal app usage, so expect when running off a cheap flash stick, it will last "forever". These fundamental improvements have justified a major-number version bump. Release notes, in reverse-chronological order:

Containers are also working great, very fast. The kernel is 5.15.44.

A bit of advice: when choosing a flash-stick to test EasyOS, read this first:

First test WD Elements SE SSD 480GB and comparisons May 14, 2022

...a cheap flash-stick from the bargain-bin at the local supermarket may not be a good choice to run Linux!

4.1 release notes

The main news is faster first-time bootup and a redesign of the image file format. Also SeaMonkey has returned, builtin to 'easy.sfs'.

SeaMonkey is now version 2.53.12.

4.2 release notes

A major structural change in the image-file, new menu in the initrd, dumping rEFInd and Syslinux in favour of Limine, dumping of LibreOffice in favour of Freeoffice.

The change to Limine bootloader is a big move. It remains to be seen whether Easy will still boot on all the PCs out there.


About EasyOS

Why would you choose EasyOS instead of some other Linux distribution?

For a quick overview of how EasyOS is different from other Linux distributions, read this:

https://easyos.org/about/how-and-why-easyos-is-different.html

You will notice that the download is quite small, only about 600MB, yet contains just about every application you would ever need, such as Firefox browser, LibreOffice, Gimp, Dia, Inkscape, Planner, Grisbi, Osmo, NoteCase, Celluloid, Scribus, LiVES, OBS Studio and Audacious. There are powerful system managers, such as NetworkManager, EasyContainers, EasyVersionControl and BluePup.

BluePup for example, is a bluetooth manager, unique to EasyOS. Another unique tool is 'easydd', a GUI or CLI tool for writing an image file to SD-card or USB-stick.

Links

Website: https://easyos.org/

News: https://bkhome.org/news

Forum: https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewforum.php?f=63

We are very grateful to Ibiblio for hosting EasyOS, right from the start:

https://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/dunfell/

EasyOS has one mirror of ibiblio.org, thanks to NLUUG, here:

https://ftp.nluug.nl/os/Linux/distr/easyos/


Legal statement:  https://easyos.org/about/legal-disclaimers-miscellania.html