EasyOS 6.0 “Scarthgap” Review: Surprisingly Good Release

3 min


A new major release of the lightweight Linux distribution EasyOS 6.0 Scarthgap” is now available for general use (with a point release). I did a quick rundown and here’s what I found.

EasyOS is an experimental and standalone Linux distribution, comes from a small team of devs and contributors. It is one of the best lightweight distributions which is a complete system that runs from a USB stick with a persistent file system.

This recent release, version 6.0 was in the development for quite some time, and it is an impressive one. Let’s find out the new features and checkout the performance.

EasyOS 6 Desktop
EasyOS 6 Desktop

EasyOS 6: A Review

Core updates & Kernel

The major upgrade on this release is all the software packages are compiled in OpenEmbedded (OE) framework “Scarthgap” release. For those who are unaware, the OpenEmbedded is a build framework for embedded Linux and provides a cross-compile environment. It gives you flexibility to create your own Linux distribution for edge cases and helps you to run on a low-end hardware.

That said, the packages, around 240+ are not compiled with a custom “meta-quirky” layer, created by the lead developer Barry. This additional layer provides more apps for EasyOS 6 with custom patches tailored for EasyOS. The “Scarthgap” release of the Yokto project is supported until April 2028, making it a LTS version.

At the core, this release uses mainline Kernel 6.6.

EasyOS 6 is based on Kernel 6.6
EasyOS 6 is based on Kernel 6.6

Applications

EasyOS 6 brings a huge number of software and apps by default. The primary reason is the use case of EasyOS which runs off the USB stick. Although, you have option to install it on a USB stick, but the greatest plus point is a lightweight Linux distribution runs from RAM with option to save session!

That said, this release brings many key apps such as –

  • Chromium web browser
  • LibreOffice office suite
  • GParted disk partition editor
  • Geany editor
  • Gimp raster image editor
  • Inkscape vector image editor
  • Dia – diagramming tool
  • Sakura terminal
  • Flowblade
  • Grisbi
  • Celluloid
  • SolveSpace
  • Planner
First time setup
First time setup
Various apps
Various apps

Window manager and themes

Like earlier releases, EasyOS 6 is very lightweight and fast, thanks to the JWM window manager. This release brings the latest EasyJWM (JWM 2.4.2) with a custom theme, “EasyBlue”. It looks great with “time-tested” legacy menu and widgets. The desktop is preloaded with important shortcuts such as text editor, terminal, updates, browser and saving the session to get you started in no time.

Apart from EasyBlue, you get to customize the entire desktop with JWM Theme maker, wallpaper & cursor themes and more. You can also customize the GTK/Qt apps with theme chooser.

Package managers and Flatpak

One of the best features of EasyOS is the availability of four package managers, they are PKGget, SFSget, Appi and Flappi. The usual package managers are PKGget (from Puppy) & SFget. And Appi and Flappi are for AppImages and Flatpak.

This provides you with access to thousands of Flatpak apps while running EasyOS 6 off the USB stick. You can add the custom Flathub URL to install apps.

EasyOS 6 - package managers
EasyOS 6 – package managers

Performance

EasyOS runs entirely via USB stick by loading the necessary components in RAM. Hence, its performance is excellent. You feel a fast response in standard desktop with basic apps. However, if you are planning to run it via USB, ensure to have a good quality USB for optimal performance.

While running this version as a LIVE system, I did not encounter any error or crashes. JWM is stable for a long time and the core of EasyOS is built carefully. So, unless you break anything, it should not crash.

EasyOS 6 - performance
EasyOS 6 – performance

Wrapping Up

If you are planning to use EasyOS 6, I would recommend you to try the LIVE medium first. It also provides you the option to install on disk from the LIVE medium. But, running off the USB stick is very flexible since you can save your session! You can literally move around with Linux and plugin to access your distribution on any computer.

That said, the installer file comes as .img, and it’s not .iso file. So, you can write it using GNOME Disks or any similar utility (Etcher will not work) to USB. But if you want to run it on a Virtual machine, try VirtualBox after converting the .img file to vdi image.

You can download version 6 from the official website (mirror).

Via announcement


Arindam

Creator and author of debugpoint.com. Connect with me via Telegram, 𝕏 (Twitter), or send us an email.
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