Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
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Author Topic: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros  (Read 2498 times)

Offline lcRONOS

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Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« on: September 14, 2018, 01:41:25 PM »
If you ever need some filler videos, have you considered doing a Distro Spotlight on some of the smaller systemd-free distros? Since you like Arch based distros two you could consider are Obarun Linux and Artix Linux. Like Arch systems, they are minimal from the get go, but the more interesting thing with them is the init system. Obarun uses s6-init (I don't know of any other distros that use this actually), and Artix lets users pick between runit (like Void) and openrc (like Gentoo, but without the pain - or drag as the case may be....).
Obarun uses a CLI installer so it's pretty easy to install and can install a GUI that way to save some time. Artix does things more like Arch, but still has some tools to help you along the way. Neither install takes particularly long.
There are a ton of interesting distros on this page if you want to review something else instead. Alpine Linux is a really interesting system (though not really intended for desktop use).
http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/Linux_distributions_without_systemd
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 01:54:49 PM »
Technically... I am not doing distribution reviews anymore... the ISO-Watch disclaimer states the following:
Quote
THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. YOU ARE WATCHING A USABILITY
EXPERIMENT IN A VIRTUAL MACHINE. YOU ARE GETTING MY
INITIAL IMPRESSION OF THE SOFTWARE. I WILL MISS ANY
ELEMENTS WHICH ARE TRANSPARENT TO END USERS ON FIRST
GLANCE. I DO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO RESEARCH FEATURES.
THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. I WILL NOT SPEND ENOUGH
TIME WITH THIS DISTRIBUTION TO FORM A VALID OPINION.
VIEWERS WHO ARE OFFENDED BY THIS POLICY ARE ADVISED
TO PERUSE ALTERNATIVE VENUES FOR THEIR EDIFICATION.

I am downloading Obarun Linux now for such a usability experiment.
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!

Offline lcRONOS

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 02:04:00 PM »
Yeah, the intent wouldn't necessarily be to do a review, so much as to bring attention to a small community of Linux distros with some unique ideas.
Obarun would definitely be the more interesting one for this I think. Some key things about the distro to know in advance is that it actually still uses the Arch repos, but blocks systemd and libsystemd. It adds an additional repo that has packages to replace systemd specific things (such as consolekit-s6serv).
Some usability quirks are (and this is on the Arch package maintainers) some packages are built against systemd and need systemd at run time, however they do not have systemd as a dependency. The end result is that packages may install and not work. These packages can be downloaded and built with the ABS (a similar process to using the AUR) with the systemd requirement removed. A few examples of this are flatpak and emacs.
Packages like Chromium depend on systemd (and this dependency is actually listed), but you could try to force install it, or do the above process (of course this does mean compiling chromium...).
There is currently only one dev, but if they had a few more devs I suspect some of these packages could be built in advance and added to the Obarun repo.


EDIT: I originally posted this in the wrong spot lol. It's definitely been a while. I moved it to the right spot. Sorry about that.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 04:23:55 PM »
when you move a topic please UNCHECK the post redirection topic... I do not want the database to be loaded with redirects... especially when the moved topic still retains it's original address...
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!

Offline lcRONOS

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 04:46:19 PM »
Wow, I did not even notice the URL was the same.
Sorry about that, I'll keep that in mind in the future.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 05:23:42 PM »
That one is easy to overlook... there is so much MESS in the Staff Lounge! Anyway... ignorance is no excuse! We are all here to help each other... in other words....
YOU'RE FIRED!
<sigh> now that the board is getting busy again, I suppose I will be firing someone DAILY!
ROFLMAO! Dirty Helga, You are NEXT!
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!

Offline lcRONOS

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 05:35:39 PM »
Awww, a special welcome back from Spatry ROFL.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 01:59:49 PM »
I spent the last 2 hours trying to get Obarun and Artix installed and running properly... I cannot put either of these on the show because:

1. Obarun installation is BORKED! I tried 3 times and while I was able to get it installed it would not behave properly and user creation is screwed up... no files in etc/skel for setting up a home a user can boot into... I had to login as root and startx from there... If I want to go through all of that hassle, I will build Arch myself...
2. Artix live images will not even let me get into a login shell to initiate an installation I tried the lxqt and i3 iso images. Would have been nice to see a live environment.

From now on... anyone wanting me to "run usability tests" on a complicated distro needs to send me an OVA I can load into virtualbox! I only have a limited time to spend on these projects and it should not take me more than 30 minutes to install a distribution and that includes adding guest additions! I am on a SSD drive and installations should only take 10 minutes now!

Cup of Linux focuses on EASE OF USE. Live images need to boot into a GUI desktop and at LEAST have a NCURSES installer.
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!

Offline farevildee

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 04:28:56 PM »
hey spat this might help there website says theres a issues with a certain server not syncing and requires manual intervention Artix
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Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 04:47:05 PM »
While I can appreciate you are trying to help, the point I am making is that my time in preparing these videos is limited... I do not have time to jump through a bunch of hoops to get a presentation show-worthy... if I cannot install using the ISO as-is... IT IS NOT READY and it needs to bake in the oven a little longer... I do not have the time to fix other people's work.
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!

Offline farevildee

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 04:57:19 PM »
no no thats perfectly understandable was just saying when u had a few extra hrs lol "yeah right". u could give it a shot i had issues with it too thats why i deleted it from my hard drive lol.
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Offline lcRONOS

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Re: Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 05:03:02 PM »
I spent the last 2 hours trying to get Obarun and Artix installed and running properly... I cannot put either of these on the show because:

1. Obarun installation is BORKED! I tried 3 times and while I was able to get it installed it would not behave properly and user creation is screwed up... no files in etc/skel for setting up a home a user can boot into... I had to login as root and startx from there... If I want to go through all of that hassle, I will build Arch myself...
2. Artix live images will not even let me get into a login shell to initiate an installation I tried the lxqt and i3 iso images. Would have been nice to see a live environment.

From now on... anyone wanting me to "run usability tests" on a complicated distro needs to send me an OVA I can load into virtualbox! I only have a limited time to spend on these projects and it should not take me more than 30 minutes to install a distribution and that includes adding guest additions! I am on a SSD drive and installations should only take 10 minutes now!

Cup of Linux focuses on EASE OF USE. Live images need to boot into a GUI desktop and at LEAST have a NCURSES installer.

Huh, strange. I'm not sure what's up with the Obarun image. I'll give that a shot in a little bit and if I can replicate I'll file a bug on their forums. If not, I can send you an OVA if you are interested in playing with it beyond there.

As for Artix, if you look at the sourceforge files page the i3 and lxqt installation isos are 4 and 5 months behind the base image which is a really long time for Arch based distros. Because you seemed particularly interested in Artix, I'd be happy to send you an image for it to. It is a little odd that the GUI installers are behind since one of the developers maintained Manjaro-OpenRC back when that project still existed (it got merged into Artix).

Is there a specific DE you'd like to see in use on either of these?
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 05:58:23 PM »
lcRONOS, I will put this one on the backburner... I would prefer to install the distros myself ONCE they are actually ready for someone like me to use... as stated I do not want to spend more time than necessary to get a distribution running and updated enough to present it... this usually does not take more than 30 minutes to do. I draw the line when I must spend more time than that to set it up. It is not fair to the viewers if I present a distribution which has broken installers or some component in the final installation makes it unusable which was the case with Obarun. The installer gave me an option to setup a user but it did not work... I still had to login as root because the user account did not exist.
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!

Offline lcRONOS

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 06:02:59 PM »
That's fair.
I'm still going to play with Obarun's installer to see what's going on so I can make a meaningful bug report for the Obarun dev.
Do you mind sending me the options you used when you have some time so I can try and replicated what you did? No rush on it, I won't have time to look at it for a little while. I'm sure I'll be able to replicate it anyway, since it's a user creation bug, but just in case something else is related (you know how technology is lol)...
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline Spatry

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Re: Distro Spotlight on Smaller Distros
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 06:25:54 PM »
I like the idea of doing a "Linux Underdogs" segment where I can cover distributions which are not well known... I will try to pick out a distro which does not have systemD on Monday...
Windows assumes the user is an idiot... Linux DEMANDS Proof!