This repository contains distri, a linux distribution research project.
The contents form a proof-of-concept implementation of the simplest¹ linux distribution I can think of that is still useful². Interestingly enough, in some cases the simple solution has inherent advantages, which I explore and contrast in the articles released at https://michael.stapelberg.ch/posts/tags/distri/
simple: while all the typical building blocks for a Linux distribution are present (a package builder, installer, tooling for creating patches, preparing package download mirrors, etc.), they all leave out many features. For example, the package format intentionally leaves out triggers and hooks, but can parallelize installation as a result.
useful: I have successfully booted and used distri images on qemu, Google Cloud, a Dell XPS 13 notebook. This includes booting from an encrypted root file system and running Google Chrome on Xorg to watch Netflix, which I consider a proxy for having a useful system.
Note that due to its research project status, it is NOT RECOMMENDED to use distri in ANY CAPACITY except for research. Specifically, do not expect any support.
distri is published in the hope that other, more established distributions, will find some parts of it interesting and decide to integrate those.
For more details, please see my blog article “introducing distri”. You can subscribe to all distri-related posts by subscribing to https://michael.stapelberg.ch/posts/tags/distri/feed.xml.
Please send feedback to the distri mailing list so that everyone can participate!
You can also talk to us by connecting to https://robustirc.net/ and joining the
#distri channel. Please stick around for a while, not everyone is at their keyboard all the time :)
Find current images of the
jackherer release branch at https://repo.distr1.org/distri/jackherer/img/.
With all images, use the
root account, password
peace, to log in.
TIP: If you can, use BitTorrent—repo.distr1.org is located in Europe, so transfers to other continents may be slow.
The easiest way to run distri on real hardware is to install it onto a spare USB memory stick.
Obtain a stable path to your USB memory stick by watching /dev/disk/by-id while inserting the stick:
% watch -dg ls '/dev/disk/by-id/*'
Then, copy the
distri-disk.img image onto the memory stick:
dd if=distri-disk.img of=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-SanDisk_Extreme_Pro_D99B-0:0 bs=1M status=progress oflag=direct
Insert the memory stick into a computer and select the memory stick as boot device.
NOTE: As a heads-up, the docker container image is pretty large
distri pack -docker | docker import - distri).
docker run \ --privileged \ --entrypoint /entrypoint \ -ti \ -e TERM=$TERM \ distr1/distri:jackherer
Depending on what you want to test, the text-only serial interface might be a bit more convenient: it side-steps keyboard configuration mismatches and makes it easily to run distri remotely via an SSH session:
make qemu-serial DISKIMG=distri-qemu-serial.img
(You can exit by pressing
If you want or need a graphical interface, use the
qemu-graphic target with the standard
make qemu-graphic DISKIMG=distri-disk.img
Convert the distri disk image into a VDI disk image so that virtualbox can use it as a root disk:
vbox-img convert \ --srcfilename distri-disk.img \ --dstfilename vbox-distri.vdi \ --srcformat RAW \ --dstformat VDI
Create a new VM:
TIP: The instructions below create a VM in the US so that it qualifies for GCP’s Free Tier. If you’re willing to pay the cost, creating the VM in Europe will result in faster installation.
distri-gce.tar.gzimage into your Google Cloud Storage:
gsutil cp distri-gce.tar.gz gs://distri-gce.)
gcloud compute images create distri0 --source-uri gs://distri-gce/distri-gce.tar.gz
gcloud compute instances create instance-1 --zone us-east1-b --machine-type=f1-micro --image=distri0
See https://linuxcontainers.org/ for details on LXD, the latest LXC experience.
udisksctl loop-setup -f distri-disk.img mount /dev/loop0p4 /mnt/distri
tar -C /mnt/distri -caf distri-rootfs.tar . umount /mnt/distri udisksctl loop-delete -b /dev/loop0
metadata.yamlfile for LXC:
cat > metadata.yaml << EOF architecture: x86_64 creation_date: 1566894155 properties: description: distri os: distri release: distri jackherer templates: EOF tar -caf metadata.yaml.tar metadata.yaml
lxc image import metadata.yaml.tar distri-rootfs.tar --alias distri
lxc init distri distri-01 lxc config set distri-01 raw.lxc lxc.init.cmd=/init
lxc start distri-01 lxc exec distri-01 bash
i3statusis not yet installed:
distri install i3status
i3statusis now installed:
Find out which package a file belongs to:
readlink -f /bin/i3
If we are unhappy with the path that the exchange directory references, we can side-step it and make a specific selection:
% i3 --version % /ro/i3-amd64-4.15*/bin/i3 --version % /ro/i3-amd64-4.17*/bin/i3 --version
/bindirectory contains all executables:
/usr/includeas a symbolic link to an exchange directory:
ls -l /usr/include
ls -l /usr/include/
distri install autoconf automake make gcc libxcb xorgproto
% git clone https://github.com/i3/i3lock % cd i3lock % autoreconf -fi % mkdir build && cd build % ../configure % make -j8