An old-style distro doing new things

Distro Walk – Void Linux

© Lead Image © Stephen Rees, 123rf.com

© Lead Image © Stephen Rees, 123rf.com

Article from Issue 249/2021
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Void Linux offers a unique distribution with a lower barrier to participation that is easy to manage.

DistroWatch lists 278 active distributions, but these numbers are misleading. Many distributions are minor variations of a half dozen major distributions, distinguished by their default software selection or oriented to a particular task. A notable exception is Void Linux [1], a small project organized more like the distributions of two decades ago, with every part of its structure carefully considered. The result is one of the more original distributions available today. To learn more, I contacted Michael Aldridge, who answered my questions after consulting with other core members of the development team.

Originally released in 2008 by Juan Romero Pardines, Void Linux served as a testbed for the XBPS Package Manager. Since then, Void has changed direction several times. Currently, Void Linux is a rolling release distribution with an emphasis on making system management and contribution easy.

Aldridge describes Void as "a barely controlled anarchy" with "quasi-appointed leads spread across infrastructure, platform support, the package manager itself, and the creature comforts such as docs and debugging tools …. Because we have so few members, and all of them are volunteering their time, we simply cannot spare the clock cycles to have a stricter organization." Developers tend to control what interests them, while every core maintainer has the right to vote on decisions about the project as a whole, such as accepting new members.

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