What is Bedrock Linux?
From their website:
Bedrock Linux is a meta Linux distribution which allows users to utilize features from other, typically mutually exclusive distributions. Essentially, users can mix-and-match components as desired. For example, one could have:
- The bulk of the system from an old/stable distribution such as CentOS or Debian.
- Access to cutting-edge packages from Arch Linux.
- Access to Arch’s AUR.
- The ability to automate compiling packages with Gentoo’s portage
- Library compatibility with Ubuntu, such as for desktop-oriented proprietary software.
- Library compatibility with CentOS, such as for workstation/server oriented proprietary software.
All at the same time, all working together like one, largely cohesive operating system.
So, what is this thing? Bedrock Linux is a package manager compatibility overlay. Ever wanted to use CentOS or Arch packages on your Debian system? Bedrock Linux will let you do that.
A stratos in Bedrock Linux is a package management overlay. For example, if you want to add a CentOS Strata, you run:
$ sudo brl fetch centos
The BRL app will then download yum and it’s required apps and libraries into the overlay. Once it’s done you can then yum install whatever you want.
Have multiple versions of the same package? Use:
$ strat [stratus name] [packagename]
For example with the Nano editor:
tux@debian:~$ strat arch nano -V GNU nano, version 4.2 (C) 1999-2011, 2013-2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc. (C) 2014-2019 the contributors to nano Email: email@example.com Web: https://nano-editor.org/ Compiled options: --enable-utf8 tux@debian:~$ strat debian nano -V GNU nano, version 2.7.4 (C) 1999..2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc. (C) 2014..2016 the contributors to nano Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: https://nano-editor.org/ Compiled options: --disable-libmagic --disable-wrapping-as-root --enable-utf8 tux@debian:~$ strat centos nano -V GNU nano version 2.3.1 (compiled 04:47:52, Jun 10 2014) (C) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc. Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.nano-editor.org/ Compiled options: --enable-color --enable-extra --enable-multibuffer --enable-nanorc --enable-utf8
There are problems
It’s not as easy as it sounds. In order to install Bedrock Linux, you must have a compatible base OS. Here is the list that’s currently on the website:
|Clear Linux||Mixed reports||Experimental support||N/A|
|Elementary OS||Yes, but limited testing||No||N/A|
|Exherbo||Yes||In development||Wulf C. Krueger|
|Manjaro||Yes, but pamac/octopi broken||No||N/A|
|MX Linux||Known issues||No||N/A|
|OpenWRT||Needs investigation||Experimental support||N/A|
|Slackware Linux||Known issues||Experimental support||N/A|
Hijack-able distros are suitable base installations. Fetch-able distros can be used as overlays.
However this isn’t entirely true or at least not up to date. My first attempt was with OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. After installing, it failed to boot. My second attempt was with Fedora 30. Same resume. It worked on the third try with vanilla Debian. Finally, while Fedora is listed as fetch-able, I couldn’t install it because the brl application couldn’t find a suitable mirror.
Should I give it a try?
Yes! It’s a very interesting project, but don’t do it on any machine where you need your data to be protected. A spare VM is the ideal platform until it becomes more stable.