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Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:45:19 -0600
From: Garry Roseman <>
Subject: Sabotage Linux "Just Works"

After playing with my own internal fork of Archlinux to create a
simpler, built from source linux system, I finally hit a brick wall some
months ago.  My build script allowed me to do some neat things, like set
general or per package "features" for the system in /etc/features (like
Gentoo USE flags) and automatically build sets of packages that had
cyclic dependencies.  Finally I defined a very small core set of about a
dozen packages from which I could build everything else.  I built an LFS
and a Cross LFS system and learned a bit more.  When I tried to script
the process of building everything (using PKGBUILDs) starting from a
bare chroot I hit that brick wall.  Along the way I decided that a
minimalist package manager was necessary, probably using package
directories (DESTDIRS) and symlinks in the target directory (like
stow).  I also became fond of the idea of getting away from some of the
GNU software so I looked at linux systems built on musl and busybox and
at FreeBSD (which is still very attractive in many ways).

Of course I read about Sabotage but installed CRUX and Alpine at that
point in my adventure.  Yesterday I decided to take time to play with
either FreeBSD or a minimalist Linux system.  Luckily I decided to learn
more about Sabotage.  What a joy!  Clean scripts and deceptively simple
engineering!  I put a clean ext4 filesystem on a partition as though I
were about to install Funtoo or Arch.  I'm quite familiar with
installing those; but, Sabotage was faster and easier to install.  MUCH
faster and easier.  I executed your three scripts
   ./build-stage 0
   butch install stage1 && butch install kernel
(that last one makes me smile -- installing a stage with that damned
simple package manager as if I were installing a single package).

In a very short time, mostly with the computer at the command prompt
waiting for me to return from the kitchen, I had a bootable linux system.

Well there was a small glitch.  The root filesystem was mounted
read-only.  Is that an artifact of the init system being different from
what I'm used to?  Anyway, I added "rw" to root filesystem options in
/etc/fstab and "rw" to the kernel command line in my grub.cfg and
rebooted and all was well.  In short order I was able to install xorg
and today I'm figuring out the init system (busybox init plus runit
services).  I like the init design.  Butch is great. 

In between other things in the next week or so I'll try to replicate my
Funtoo desktop, fluxbox, rox-filer, mpv, and other things requiring gtk2
(and python).  I would be interested in hearing if anyone has been able
to build kde applications on Sabotage(?). On Funtoo I build okular,
kate, kile, gwenview and calligra without avahi, consolekit, dbus,
policykit, or pulseaudio. It would be nice to do that on Sabotage.


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