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A review written by jihedovsky from

EasyOS Teaches an Old Dog New Tricks

EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution that both will renew your ardour for utilizing one thing completely different or go away you disillusioned in its oddball method to computing.

EasyOS is a mix of the most effective concepts from Puppy Linux and the now discontinued Quirky Linux. I’ve used a number of of the favored Puppy Linux variants over time. I adopted Quirky Linux a couple of years in the past as my go-to Linux distro on a USB stick, to be used on different individuals’s computer systems whereas within the subject.

Software developer Barry Kauler developed all three. He retired from main the Puppy Linux venture in 2013. He shut down his Quirky Linux venture on the finish of final yr. He created EasyOS in January 2017 and continues to develop it.

This illustration shows the desktop features forEasyOS at a glance.

This illustration reveals the desktop options for EasyOS at a look.

EasyOS growth could be very a lot only a passion, Kauler famous in a latest submit — as was his work with Quirky Linux. He has little curiosity in seeing EasyOS grow to be mainline or broadly adopted.

That saddens me. I’ve loved the barking quirkiness of Kauler’s Linux creations since first stumbling on Puppy Linux in its early days. I nonetheless stay up for improvements which may take EasyOS many paw steps past Puppy Linux.

The Makings of EasyOS

EasyOS, up to date final month, represents a brand new paradigm for a way an working system handles safety, maintainability and ease-of-use. Several issues make EasyOS uncommon, regardless of its heavy resemblance to Puppy and Quirky Linux.

It is deployed as an picture file which may be written to a USB flash drive, SD card, or USB strong state disk (SSD). You do that along with your laptop’s USB image-writing instrument. The USB drive then boots with none adjustments to the arduous drive.

Unlike different iterations in Puppy Linux-type design, EasyOS requires creation of a person password when establishing the USB set up to entry encrypted elements of the OS. The file “easy.sfs” is your complete EasyOS in a single file.

The “working-partition” has folders that will optionally be encrypted. These folders retailer all of your work, downloads and historical past. Encryption, which is by fscrypt, makes use of AES-256 and requires {that a} password should be entered at bootup.

The loading course of copies this file into RAM. That takes a couple of minutes. The wait is value it. Applications load lightning-fast.

If you need to run EasyOS from an optical drive, you need to obtain the ISO file as an alternative of the picture file. You then burn the ISO contents to the CD or DVD disc utilizing your laptop’s media creation instrument.

This course of creates a extra conventional reside session loading of EasyOS. The ISO file is beneficial for a fast have a look at how EasyOS performs in your laptop’s {hardware}.

Some of the options accessible from the picture file set up will not be current within the CD/DVD model, nevertheless. Plus, the reside session requires the pc to learn from the optical drive when loading purposes and executing processes. The reside session doesn’t leap into RAM for sooner operation.

Many Small Differences

One of probably the most spectacular improvements in EasyOS is its container-friendly nature. It is designed from scratch to assist containers. You can run any app and even an complete different OS in a container.

A easy GUI (graphical person interface), referred to as “Easy Containers,” handles container administration. Easy Containers are environment friendly and eat almost no overhead.

A key design component is the way in which EasyOS is constructed. All packages in Easy are compiled from supply with no reliance on another distro. This optimizes the software program packages for quick efficiency.

 EasyOS GUI-based configuration panel

EasyOS makes use of a GUI-based configuration panel for all system configuration choices. – click on picture to enlarge –

A considerably controversial function is the run-as-root design. The person runs the OS as root. Apps that run in containers run as a crippled root or person “zeus.” The sensible consequence is rarely having to sort “sudo” or “su” to run something, and never getting hung up with file permissions, in accordance with Kauler.

Installation can also be completely different. EasyOS doesn’t have a full set up that locations the filesystem in an complete partition. Instead, EasyOS installs to a tough drive in “frugal” mode. This occupies a single folder in a partition. This means that you can hold no matter else you might have put in in that partition. You can overlook about dual-boot eventualities.

Other Big Differences

The roll-back-roll-forward function is actually cool. You can take a snapshot and afterward roll-back to it. Then, you’ll be able to roll-forward to the place you had been earlier than. This course of can work throughout model and kernel adjustments. It applies to the principle filesystem in addition to the containers.

SFS mega-packages is an enchancment over how SFS packages work in Puppy Linux. SFS mega-packages are a group of packages bundled into one file with the “.sfs” extension.

These by no means get extracted. When in use they’re mounted within the overlay layered filesystem. You can uninstall an SFS mega-package just by eradicating it.

A very nice change from working with configuration processes in different distros is the GUI-for-everything mentality. Everything in EasyOS is configured by easy GUIs. No extra messing round with the command line.

Different Kind of Desktop

EasyOS makes use of Joe’s Window Manager-ROX desktop. ROX is the ROX-Filer file-manager and desktop handler. They work extraordinarily properly collectively.

It is completely completely different from Gnome, KDE, Mate, XFCE and LXDE or Cinnamon desktops. This sort of desktop is a carryover from Puppy Linux. It is an extraordinarily light-weight, quick and highly effective desktop.

EasyOS classic Linux desktop with an experimental twist.

EasyOS makes use of the JWN window supervisor and the ROX-Filer file-manager and desktop handler together to create a basic Linux desktop with an experimental twist. – click on picture to enlarge –

I discovered this mixture straightforward to be taught and simpler to make use of years in the past after I first began utilizing Puppy and Quirky Linux. The desktop is a pleasant atmosphere.

It resembles the Microsoft Windows XP look however has the essential performance of Xfce or LXDE. You can right-click wherever on the desktop to get a full menu show proper there.

Look and Feel

You can also click on on the Menu button on the excessive left of the normal taskbar throughout the underside of the display. It holds the configurable office switcher app to the appropriate of the menu button. It holds the minimized home windows within the middle portion. The conventional notification icons are close to the appropriate fringe of the taskbar.

You cannot place launcher icons on the desktop. The default configuration shows some 20 commonplace icons on the desktop. These are system menu-related. They present fast entry to configuration instruments that you’ll find in the principle menu as properly.

The Apps icon opens the Easy Apps panel. It offers fast entry to dozens of purposes in seven classes. The MyApps classes allow you to configure as much as eight titles to launch as a Favorites record.

The Petget icon launches the Pet package deal supervisor. SFSget offers related entry to the SFS package deal installer. The Easy thumb-up icon launches the container atmosphere.

Across the underside simply above the panel bar is a row of buttons for every partition on the pc’s arduous drive. This is a extremely handy function for accessing recordsdata in any put in OS on the host laptop.

Personal Workaround

I examined EasyOS on a backup check laptop that twin boots into six completely different Linux and BSD distributions. I didn’t do a frugal set up. Rather, I booted from the USB drive.

The activity of taking quite a few screenshots was hindered by having to retailer them within the encrypted SFS file. I solely have two USB ports on that growing older laptop. One held the EasyOS drive. The different held the wi-fi plug for the keyboard.

I didn’t have an exterior USB dock helpful, so I had no method to save the screenshots to a different USB drive. I used to be pressed for time and didn’t need to arrange a Web browser session to add the photographs to the cloud so I might entry them on my important Linux manufacturing desktop.

There was a fast and simple resolution. I opened one of many Linux partitions displayed on the backside of the EasyOS desktop. Using the ROX file supervisor, I copied the screenshots from the EasyOS folder to the Dropbox folder within the partition holding one of many Linux distros.

Later after I exited EasyOS, I rebooted that laptop into the Linux distro holding the copied screenshot photographs. Once I used to be on that desktop, the Dropbox folder mechanically synced. I watched the photographs fall into place on the native Dropbox folder on my important desktop laptop. Easy peasy.

Software Sufficiency

EasyOS is a light-weight computing system, nevertheless it shoehorns a lot of heavyweight efficiency. It comes with a group of typical purposes and the total vary of excellent system instruments Kauler first developed for Puppy Linux.

Kauler doesn’t skimp on purposes. He features a full suite of top-rated applications. EasyOS comes full with a full set of kernel, printing, scanning and digital camera drivers. It has an ample provide of multimedia libraries.

Applications embody the SeaMonkey Web suite, Gnumeric spreadsheet and LibreOffice suite, plus Leafpad textual content editor and Geany IDE/editor. Other commonplace apps are ROX-filer file supervisor, the default Xine media participant and CUPS assist for printing.

Bottom Line

Do not let the truth that EasyOS is an experimental Linux distro deter you from attempting it out. It is much from being dumbed down. The developer offers quite a few assist recordsdata and easy instructions linked to the EasyOS web site on tips on how to obtain, create the set up media, and use the distro.

Whether you’re aware of Puppy Linux variants or different Linux distros, EasyOS has a lot to supply. If you’re new to Linux, be assured that the detailed directions and ample illustrations will make attempting out EasyOS a less-frustrating expertise.

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