Linked by Simone Rota on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 19:39 UTC
Linux CRUX Linux (simply CRUX for now on) is a source-based Linux distribution created by Per Liden, targeting advanced and intermediate users. As reported on CRUX Website, the main philosophy behind the distribution is to "keep it simple". Update: Screenshots added.
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v screenshot
by Martin Schultz on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:27 UTC
v RE: screenshot
by Eugenia on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:35 UTC
v YALD
by Phuqker on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:44 UTC
RE: YALD
by contrasutra on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:49 UTC

How is it possibly a bane? There is no such thing as 'too many distros'.

Distributions are compatable. You can probably only name 2-3 programs that dont run on almost all distributions (not 'official' support, but actually run).

If you dont like choices,use Windows. If you dont want to have to research 100 distributions, just use one of the major ones,they're fine.

Hmmm...
by Koala on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:54 UTC

what's the difference between Crux and Gentoo (my sweet gentoo ;) ) ?

Re: YALD
by RevAaron on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:54 UTC

I agree with Phuqker- it is both a blessing and a bane.

How is it a bane? There are a multitude of Linux distros, the vast majority of which inhabit the same niche, making the distro somewhat pointless. That's a bane because the amount of working being put in to duplicate work that has already been done, or is being done by someone else, could be used for creating something new. Adding something Linux and distros based on it don't already have.

Yes, most programs can work on any distro- after the user put in some time figuring out how to get it to work. A lot of commercial apps provide a rpm and a tgz- RPM for the majority of their customers, and a tarball for everyone else. I won't go into why- it's been covered here and elsewhere a million times- but tarballs make poor packages by themselves. If there was a standard, things would be a lot easier, there would a lot less work being wasted, etc etc. It's not about having choices- when it comes down to it, you have almost as few real choices in the world of Linux as you have with Windows. There may be 100x more labels and names, but what is that other than presentation?

That said, I'm never one to say to anyone working on a new hobby OS, gui toolkit or distro that they are wasting their time. A project is often its own reward.

Crux
by ThanatosNL on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:55 UTC

I don't use a distribution anymore (I build from scratch), but when I need a distro, CRUX is my favorite. If you are experienced enough to manage your own system without frontends then CRUX is a godsend...it doesn't lock you into it's own complicated 6-runlevel boot system (my systems generally have two bootscripts, rc.start, and rc.shutdown, and rc.reboot as a symlink to rc.shutdown). Building your own packages is really easy too.

I suggest all you die-hard Gentoo zealots out there give CRUX a try...much more hardcore, I must say.

One more thing
by ThanatosNL on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 20:59 UTC

There is one problem with the ports system in crux, however. A lot of packages (I noticed them when trying to install Gnome) have post install scripts to get them to work right. Gtk2 and pango are two that come to mind. I think the package system only records which files get installed with the /bin/install program, and not by other methods. Gtk2, for example, creates an immodules file in <prefix>/etc/gtk2 with it's own program, and the command that creates that file doesn't get run automatically.

prt-get lets you know when you've installed packages that contain post-install scripts, but I think that it doesn't run them automagically due to security reasons.

I think the package system needs to handle more than just the copying of files, and deal with make install properly.

Re: Koala
by ThanatosNL on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:04 UTC

what's the difference between Crux and Gentoo (my sweet gentoo ;) ) ?

Crux isn't entirely source-based. It's got a basic working system's worth of i686-optimized slackware-style packages, plus a simple, elegant ports system on top of it to build off of (not without it's own problems, but portage ain't perfect either).

Crux is also more flexible. You'll have to try it to understand how simple and extensible it is.

v Re: YALD
by Phuqker on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:04 UTC
CRUX and ArchLinux
by marin_linuxer on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:07 UTC

I love the CRUX concept. It led me to my current favorite distro, based on CRUX, ArchLinux. www.archlinux.org

Love CRUX, ... want more packages, ... try ArchLinux !!

RE: Hmmm...
by Anonymous on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:08 UTC

I like Crux and have been using it on one of my PCs for a couple of weeks now. It's basically a really minimal distro and isn't as focused on configuring and compiling everything like Gentoo. It takes very little time to set up a usuable Crux system from what I've heard it can take quite a while to build a Gentoo system (I haven't used Gentoo so I can't really compare).

RE: RevAaron
by contrasutra on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:09 UTC

//
How is it a bane? There are a multitude of Linux distros, the vast majority of which inhabit the same niche, making the distro somewhat pointless. That's a bane because the amount of working being put in to duplicate work that has already been done, or is being done by someone else, could be used for creating something new. Adding something Linux and distros based on it don't already have.
//

What do you mean? People created a distribution because they didnt like the current ones, so they are NOT the same. They may be similar, but there are always differences.

With that argument, Pepsi and Coke should consolidate, BurgerKing and McDonalds, Vanilla and Chocolate (hey,they're both icecream)....

What's the difference?
by Aris-T on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:10 UTC

Choice is a good thing, but is it really choice when there are oodles of versions of practically the same OS? Really what is the difference? This CRUX sounds like it's been stripped of hand-holding so that the user can install it however they want at the get go by compiling the kernel. Yet it still looks and I bet it operates the same as any other distro.

So what does CRUX have that the big distros (Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, etc.) don't?

RE: What's the difference?
by contrasutra on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:14 UTC

The obvious answer is that it isn't commercial.

While im not opposed to Commercial Linux distros, you get ACTUAL (and free) support from the community driven distros.

Plus, you know the developers motives aren't all about money.

What about Arch Linux?
by Kritoke on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:20 UTC

You might want to check out Arch Linux, its kind of a mix of Crux and Slackware. You install the i686-optimized slackware-like packages, and then you can use stuff from it's ports-like system called ABS. Everything is very simplistic based and there aren't any configuration utilities to get in the way, I switched Linux distros for what seems like an eternity until I found Arch Linux. They tend to keep most things quite up to date and if a package isn't updated yet, you modify one line in a text file(the version number) in it's dir in ABS and type makepkg, and then it compiles and then packages it all for you to install with it's awesome package manager, Pacman.

LiveCD to Check it Out: http://amlug.org/new-projects/live-cd/al-amlug-live-cd.html

Official Site:
http://www.archlinux.org

Yesh
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 21:47 UTC

Why would a big IT manager bother looking at CRUX? He wouldn't. If an IT manager wants to run Linux, he goes and buys SuSE or RedHat. These other distros exist because the Linux userbase isn't as homogenous as the Windows one, and the little differences (that some say are just a matter of taste) really matter to some people.

I'm all fine and dandy with having button-down commercial distros for the professional crowd, but *somebody* has to cater to Linux's very large geek contingent.

Its also retarded to bitch about something that will probably have 0% impact in the mainstream. If there isn't enough interest in Crux to maintain it, then it will go away. If there is enough to keep it around, are you going to begrudge its users the choice to use whatever OS they want?

You can compare this sort of thing to the numerous varieties of wine or home-brewed beer. The bohemian masses may think, "What's the difference, its all just liquor!" but thankfully, the masses don't get to decide what everybody else does with their time.

PS> This "divided developer effort" thing is baloney. Developers choose fringe projects because they have no interest in working on existing projects. If they weren't doing this distro, it would be highly unlikely they'd be working on RedHat instead.

Re: contrasutra
by jbett on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 22:55 UTC

Sorry bud, but that's a bad analogy. Now if say McDonald's sold franchises with different names and different colors. Packaged with different management systems but sharing similar products. That taste.. wow similar. I like my Crux packaged burger better than the Red Hat Mac!

CURX burger
by Anonymous Coward on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 03:00 UTC

jbett> Get analogy but would you really eat at a restaurant called CRUX? 8P

v It is not worth the time
by Stu Davis on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 03:00 UTC
v Distro choice vs. Microsoft
by CooCooCaChoo on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 03:03 UTC
:)
by lo-nrg on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 06:55 UTC

My first impression when I was this was 'ohh nice!'.. It reminds me of Slackware, and gentoo, my 2 favourite distros.. It seems to be kinda 'in-between' them..

I'm definately gonna go try it out ;)

Hmmm... Looks like FreeBSD
by Maxamoto on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 07:21 UTC

Yet another distro treading the well beaten path. And who said OSS was [i]innovative<i/>?

Review update
by sip on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 07:46 UTC

Hi everybody,

It seems I missed JFS dupport has been available since CRUX 1.0. My mistake, sorry!

Another correction: the default package management system is called pkgutils, not pkgtools.

Have anice day,
Simone

RE:mm... Looks like FreeBSD
by Anonymous on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 10:49 UTC

Yep, anything wrong with that? ;)

Seriously: Smaller footprint, better hw-support, running native linux apps without massive installation of related linux rpms, less complicated setup (in my utterly personal opinion). That said, I've been through a LOT of distros and systems but so far the only ones that has been workable for me is FreeBSD, NetBSD and CRUX. Since I <em>really</em> don't like dependencies, althoug they may have their charms, CRUX it is.

Monolithic Kernel
by Smartpatrol on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 12:36 UTC

Does crux make it easier to build a monolithic kernel? Loadable kernel modules are nice but why have added complexity with ver little benefit.

source based distros, what's the point?
by dr_gonzo on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 12:41 UTC

honestly, i don't see the point in these distributions, setting them up seems longer and more complicated and for what? so you can have a linux system with the same apps, settings and speed (more or less) as binary distros?

i have a debian system and i have only ever built a kernel, lame and mplayer from source, for more customisation reasons than anything else.

i'm not trying to start a flame war here, i just don't see the point in installing and maintaining a linux box way more complicated than it has to be.

each to his/her own i guess...

RE: source based distros, what's the point?
by Morrus on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 13:37 UTC

The idea of crux is to KISS (keep it simple, stupid).
CRUX isn't a source based ditro, it has pre-compiled binaries for the i686 system on the CD meaning you must have i686 CPU (PPro/P2 or higher). The CD allows you to install with just the need for a compile of the kernel.

You get a very small system when CRUX is installed with just the packages you want. My CRUX install is just under 400mb and it does everthing I need it to with out the extra fluff and its all optimized for my system. I need it, as the system is only a dual P2/300.

RE:source based distros, what's the point?
by Anonymous on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 14:10 UTC

If you fx try to "apt-get install mplayer" I'm not 100% sure what would happen (got fed up with debian before that point) but when I tried to install it through the ports system in freebsd it wanted to download and compile qt, among many other things wich add some functionality but really isn't necessary. I suppose apt-get would do something similar. This adds bloat, or extra work since I manually would have to track down what just got installed and remove it or alternatively force the installation (that pretty much defeats the purpose, right?), and risk that the app doesn't start at all claiming som lib is missing or such. And RPM's aren't any better..

The piont of source based distros from _my_ point of view is that you don't get trapped in various dependencies problem, at least not as much as in various binary dists. RPM-hell someone? Besides on this box debian is slow as hell compared to CRUX.

Both approches has their pros and cons, however, I prefer to be the one who decides what get installed, and I don't want to fight the system about it. If you think it's alright to have your basic install to include everything AND the bathtub I suppose distros like debian/redhat will do.

One final point though... The more apps, the greater the risk of beeing compromized.

Windowmaker ?
by chemicalscum on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 15:46 UTC

Hey that screenshot looks more like IceWM than Windowmaker to me. since when did Windowmaker have a panel?

Screenshots?
by marc the pirate on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 15:53 UTC

Ok, so we've got Yet Another Source-Based Distro, touting the mantra "keep it simple" (rings true enough, to be sure), which probably means that there isn't all that much to offer that couldn't be sought in other distributions. While I'm not going to question the existance of said Linux distributions, I will ponder aloud: "What is the point of 'screenshots' if the source for the windowing system and window manager are the same as any other distribution currently available"? With the "lightweight" theme in mind, it doesn't sound like he's rewritten XFree86, nor Blackbox, Sawfish, Afterstep, et al. So..what's the point?

RE: Windowmaker ?
by Sip on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 16:09 UTC

Hey that screenshot looks more like IceWM than Windowmaker to me. since when did Windowmaker have a panel?

I submitted 3 screenshots for the review: Setup, WindowMaker and another one with IceWM + ROX + SciTE + Mozilla, just to show up you some of the apps available in contibuted repositories.

Re: Windowmaker?
by chemicalscum on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 16:21 UTC

"I submitted 3 screenshots for the review: Setup, WindowMaker and another one with IceWM + ROX + SciTE + Mozilla, just to show up you some of the apps available in contibuted repositories."

Looks like the middle screenshoot was omitted from the articles.

re: What's the difference
by Steve W on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 16:40 UTC

<quote>
The obvious answer is that it isn't commercial.

While im not opposed to Commercial Linux distros, you get ACTUAL (and free) support from the community driven distros.

Plus, you know the developers motives aren't all about money.
</quote.

That doesn't say one single thing about how the actual product is different.

Re: Windowmaker?
by Sip on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 16:50 UTC

Looks like the middle screenshoot was omitted from the articles.

Yes, it was just the default WindoWmaker desktop. (see moderated comments). I wasn't sure if I had to send some screenshot for the review (after all CRUX ships the default packages without customizations)
The I thought there would certainly be someone screaming "No screenshots?!?" and added some ;-)

gentoo
by bender30000 on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 18:39 UTC

Anyone with gentoo experience, tried this? comparisons?

mplayer and freebsd
by mp on Fri 3rd Oct 2003 20:10 UTC

Anonymous (IP: ---.015-55-74686e1.cust.bredbandsbolaget.se)
I have no idea what you have been trying to install but definitely not mplayer if it was qt dependent. I dont think that you will get this type of dependency anywhere (except you was trying to install KDE or so)

Installing Crux now
by Paul Eggleton on Sat 4th Oct 2003 12:13 UTC

Well, I'm a Gentoo user, and on a whim I thought I'd try installing it. I'm looking for a nice simple binary distro to put on my entertainment system, and who knows, this might just be it.

The initial installation procedure was similar to Gentoo at least (by that I mean do-it-yourself), and the package selector reminded me of Slackware. The kernel is compiling right now, so I'll post again once I've had a chance to play with the ports system.

What file manager is that?
by Victor on Sat 4th Oct 2003 17:29 UTC

What file manager is that on this screenshot: http://img.osnews.com/img/4720/crux2.jpg ?

Victor.

RE: What file manager is that?
by sip on Sat 4th Oct 2003 21:13 UTC

The file manager (and desktop icons too) in the screenshot is ROX-Filer, see http://rox.sourceforge.net for info.
ROX is a tiny desktop environment based on ROX-Filer; a brillant concept, everything makes sense. (ok, I'll stop with the propaganda). Oh, and it's also very, very fast.

CRUX installed
by Paul Eggleton on Sun 5th Oct 2003 05:43 UTC

I've finished installing CRUX and I've had a look at the ports system. Comments about CRUX being about halfway between Slackware and Gentoo are pretty accurate, though it does less "hand-holding" than either of them. It's very simple - Slackware style package management, no dependency checking, and it uses cvsup to download updates to the ports database. I presume it is very similar to the *BSD ports - I didn't use the prt-get utility, just the included tools. Installing a package from ports using pkgmk -i first builds a binary package file and then installs it.

There's no question - this is not a newbie distribution. The CD starts up with a logo, then it boots and leaves you at the prompt. However, that's where the docs on the website come in, which tell you what to do to get it installed. A few hints there in the docs on dependencies might be useful though (eg. ports requires cvsup).

All in all I have to say I'm very impressed with CRUX. It's lightweight, simple, fast (fastest booting Linux system I have ever seen!), and it works. It won't displace Gentoo on my main desktop system, but I might keep it installed on one of my other machines.

I will not use CRUX
by daan on Sun 5th Oct 2003 11:12 UTC

Remove Junk Files
(...)
* Files related to NLS (national language support), always use --disable-nls when available.

I live in the Netherlands and have Dutch as my mother language. Now many programs are available in that language, but it seems that CRUX does not want to take advantage of that. So no CRUX for me.

NLS support
by daan on Sun 5th Oct 2003 11:35 UTC

Actually, maybe then I am not the kind of person Crux targets.

However, why did they choose to make a source-based distribution? I simply don't believe it adds so much extra speed to a system; the switch from XFree 4.2 to 4.3 delivers more speed increase than any compiler options, I believe.

What I would like is a p2p-based compile system. Something like Debian has, but than that everyone who wants can participate in compiling packages, for example in this way:
* Have a binary package, p2pcomp. Anyone who likes it, installs it.
* p2pcomp installs a cron job, that does this:
- query the master server and get a task
- compile the package
- upload the resulting binary back to the server.
* p2pcomp integrates into pkgmk, so that after pkgmk compiles a source package, p2pcomp automatically packs and uploads it to the server.
* The server gives 3 clients the same task. One would expect the results being identical. The server throws away any malicious package.
This system has these advantages:
- People can still compile from source
- People can also install precompiled binaries
- The precompiled binaries will be almost as up to date as the sources
- When one person compiles from source, anybody can save the time he/she spent compiling it.

RE: I will not use CRUX, NLS support
by DV on Mon 6th Oct 2003 10:38 UTC

No one is forcing you to disable nls. Crux tries to minimise useless crap being installed, so as a general rule ports will disable nls by default. Customising your installations is a simple as editing Pkginfo and modifying the ./configure line to suit your needs before compiling. It's as simple as that.

And generally, any Linux distro should be more customisable than Windows, which is why I made the transition!