[crux-devel] CRUX next

Fredrik Rinnestam fredrik at rinnestam.se
Sun Jul 8 14:29:40 UTC 2012

On Sun, Jul 08, 2012 at 10:28:57AM +0200, Juergen Daubert wrote:
> Hello,
> now that glibc 2.16 is available a new version of CRUX seems to be 
> doable. But before we start working, we should consider some important, 
> upcoming changes besides the usual small updates and improvements [1].
> a) Switch our main development platform to the x86_64 architecture [2], 
>    the first version should be called CRUX 3.0.
> At the time Per Liden had created CRUX, the i686 processor on base of 
> the 32-bit Intel IA-32 architecture was state of the art and therefore 
> chosen by him as the default optimization for CRUX. But nowadays, over 
> 10 years later [2], the i686 arch is more or less obsolete, at least 
> for desktop machines. The 64-bit extension to the x86 instruction set,
> mostly called x86_64, is the the new standard now.  
> We had extensive discussions on IRC about the type of system we want,
> a pure 64-bit or a multilib system. 
> The main consensus is that we ship a "multilib ready" system, but 
> without the 32-bit compatibility libraries except for glibc-32. The 
> reason for this exceptions is the gcc compiler, which needs the
> glibc-32 at build- but not at run-time.

Unsurprising I fully support a change in direction towards x86_64. I
also would prefer to ship a stripped down x86_64 only version on the ISO
but with the option to simply add multilib binaries if one chooses to do
so. shipping glibc-32 is a good compromise.

> b) Keep our repository layout as simple as possible
> At the moment we have official repos for i686 and overlay repos for 
> x86_64 and multilib on top of those. That's ok and the best way to do 
> it at the moment, but not really neat for the final solution.
> I'd suggest to merge everything needed by a) into our core/opt/xorg
> repos and add only _one_ additional repo, probably called 'lib32', 
> for the compatibility libraries.

Yes. Keeping only one "compatibility overlay" repo would simplify things
a lot. Currently mesa3d is the only xorg port that needs a specific
x86_64 .footprint. I've been reluctant to do anything about this since
it would require a new repo for just one port, with the current setup.

> c) Create a final CRUX 2.7.2 for i686  
> TBH I'm unsure if we should do that, but it would be a nice service 
> for all people using CRUX on older hardware and might be the basis 
> for contributed i686 ISOs in the future. IMO updated xorg stuff is
> a must-have for such a version, however, as the version number 2.7.2
> suggests, I wouldn't change the toolchain. 
> The main idea behind is to have a final mostly up-to-date system with 
> a very solid toolchain for the 'old' architecture.

Hmm. I do think i686 deserves a new and up to date release (2.8 or 3.0,
whatever). I'm not sure it's fair to all the i686 users to just drop a
"sorry, no longer supported" bombshell without prior warning. As it has
been for a couple of years now, x86_64 has been "unofficial" and
"experimental", possibly scaring people away from x86_64 and to i686.

Atleast we should ask around on the mailinglist if people are ready and
ok with us "dropping" i686 in favor of x86_64.

> d) Device management
> As outlined in another mail [4], the udev sources has been merged 
> into systemd and it's no longer possible to build a standalone udev 
> with minimal dependencies. It is foreseeable that systemd will become
> a hard dependency for udev soon. What can we do?
> - stick with udev 182 or try to extract newer versions from systemd
>   even if we had to add stuff like dbus and intltools to our core
>   ports. How long will this work?
> - switch our init system to systemd
> - use devtmpfs together with mdev for device managment
> IMO going with mdev is the most clear and CRUX-ish way [5], but we 
> might run in greater problems in the future, because more stuff will 
> depend on udev/systemd. This is especially true for all kind of 
> "desktop" software and everything that depends on dbus, *kit and the 
> like.
I think the future of udev is a bit uncertain at the moment. We are not
the only ones that dislike systemd. Staying with a "stable" (182?) udev version
might be the best bet for now. If major issues would appear (security
etc.) it should be not too hard finding patches since few distros are as
up to date with upstream as we are.

Switch to systemd? over my dead body! :)

mdev could work. But you do lose features that one's gotten used to over
the years (autoload of modules, xorg, etc). I currently use mdev on my desktop
and, although it does the job it's supposed to do, it did feel like
stepping backwards in time. It is also possible packages might break
during the lifetime of 2.8 (or 3.0). xorg-xf86-input-evdev breaks in
recent versions without udev. Perhaps being a bit conservative here and
stick with a working udev version is the safest bet?
> What do you think?

I think it's time for a new release! :)

> best regards
> Juergen
> [1] http://crux.nu/Wiki/TODO28
> [2] One may ask why not doing both alongside, but that is too much
>     work for our little team, at least as a official version.
> [3] http://crux.nu/Main/History
> [4] http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.distributions.crux.devel/2284
> [5] From my personal point of view I was never really happy with 
>     udev. The whole development is unpredictable and udev is doing 
>     all kind of "magic" behind my back.


Fredrik Rinnestam

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