Devs on Acid

Random rants of a linux distro developer

Welcome to DevsOnACID, a blog dedicated to random outbursts about the perils of open source developments in the age of systemd, rust and cmake. There's a lot happening in the open-source world (just as in the real world) that goes in a very destructive direction, mostly due to fanboi-ism and hipster culture. I hope to raise awareness of these issues from a standpoint of people that want to compile their entire system from source, and understand the components it consists of.

About the author and his distribution

John Spencer, who goes by rofl0r online, is the primary author of sabotage linux, a linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox, with a focus on hackability, efficiency and simplicity.

Hackability means that the user compiles all components from source, so he is empowered to study their code and change/improve the parts that do not work to his liking. Doing so should be made easy, and it should be possible to crosscompile for all sorts of hardware architectures without emulating them.

An efficient operating system can only be composed of efficient components, that means components that are both simple in nature and written in a language and using frameworks that compile to efficient machine code and use only small amounts of resources. Therefore, the majority of components in sabotage linux is implemented in the C language, and a small rest in C++. No base system components are implemented in resource-hungry scripting languages such as perl or python.

Bloated components like systemd or hard-to-impossible to bootstrap-from-source programming languages like rust or java are not really compatible with this design. Having half a dozen different GUI toolkits installed and loaded into RAM neither, therefore the default sabotage desktop tries to restrict itself to components using GTK+2 only.