Too afraid to try Crux, too nice to forget

B B b771d90f at
Sat Dec 3 09:41:52 UTC 2016


I am searching a new Linux distribution for two years now. My short list is
Sabotage, Void and Crux. I also taught about Badrock and some docker based
ones, but I don't think Badrock has enough power, and docker isn't simple
(I always fight with it). I've also tried Alpine,, plan9. I'm using
Debian (15 years), ArchLinux (2) and Ubuntu (occasionally). I've seen
Fedora and Slack a long time ago.

There are very few simple Linux distributions. And by simple I mean how
fast can I fix something in case of a problem: (a) app not working as I
want, (b) app is missing. The frequency of the last one decreases with
time, the first one increases.

Every time I do a recheck of my list I pick Crux first, then I see some
disadvantages, I search for alternatives, I find better ones, check deeper,
find disadvantages, review the list, see Crux again, and I start the loop

The best thing about Crux is the simplicity. And I cannot emphasis this
strongly enough. The main disadvantage is the upgrade.

What do you do when you update an app that needs an updated library, which
triggers a rebuild of other apps? This could take a couple of days: build
times, build failures, big number of apps rebuilds...

Do you rebuild all and install only if all succeeded? What if you find a
problem during install? Do you use chroot/vm first? Do you build some apps
statically linked?

What if you find a problem after the upgrade? How do you rollback with all
those dependencies?

What do you do when you make some changes to a port (disable-x) but you
want to survive official upgrades? Isn't maintaining  another ports
location just for the local machine too much?

How do you go back in time? Do you upgrade the the official ports from git
for that?

I am thinking to pick a distro that doesn't stay in my way, with the
minimal list of apps installed that can be updated easily and use an
external package manager for those apps that may need rollback during
upgrades. I've tried pkgsrc (doesn't have a good dependencies list; failed
with the first package - notmuch - because bc was missing), linuxbrew
(good, but crippled by the cli-only apps policy) and nixpkg (might be
perfect because of its pure nature of its packages - doesn't depend on
outside apps beside compiler and shell).

How do you do to avoid/solve these problems?
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