Latest Obarun installation/live images released (base, JWM, KDE Plasma)

Since the Fall of 2018 Obarun has committed to publish a new base iso-image (Obarun_x86_64-2019-05.iso) every month. The current installer updates itself from the obarun git repository when it starts.   The installer allows you the ability to select desktops and software during installation or install a base system, boot and customize on your own.   2-3 times a year a new live-desktop image using JWM is also published.  This is the latest iso with JWM published mid-April (Obarun-JWM_x86_64-2019-04-2.iso).
Since the major new release and change of repositories in April 2019, along with the introduction of Obarun’s own 66 management system over Skarnet’s S6 init, there have been minor refinements reflected in the new iso.  So if you have last month’s images there is no need to download the newer one. 
Although I never liked anything KDE myself I tested it and it works flawlessly.  For those who want to install plasma, although possible with the installer from other isos, it might be helpful to have the live image handy to see how user services are employed and handled by 66 and required for plasma.
Older images (before mid-April 2019) may require some attention and manual intervention to incorporate the changes in repositories, although the installer may take care of the change.

Distrowatch entry for Obarun is outdated and incorrect.  Although Obarun is lean and light, fast and effective, it is not as lean as portrayed in Distrowatch.  All efforts to alert Distrowatch of changes and introduction of 66 have not resulted even to the courtesy of an email response.  They should be responsible for the accuracy of their own reporting.
If there is something available in arch-linux (apart from its init system and libraries) that you can not install in Obarun, Obarun developers will like to know.  The current installer has presets of software groups for xfce, openbox, jwm, and kde-plasma.  This doesn’t mean that after installation you can’t install LXDE or LXQT, i3, awesome, for example.  Gnome and Cinnamon may not work, or not work completely because they are made by the same people who make systemd and they are interdependent with the init system.  I don’t think Obarun has an interest in developing substitute libraries and subsystems to accommodate software based heavily on systemd and I don’t think they should.  If gui-functionality is more important to the user than the corporate choke-hold on linux, and their own system,  then the user doesn’t deserve any such functionality.
Some users report that tty1 and tty2 take time to appear in the recent live system, but eventually they appear. To see it quicker, switch a couple of times between tty1 and tty2 with CTRL+ALT+F1 and CTRL+ALT+F2.  on VM, or right-ctrl-F2/F1 on VBox.  No matter what happens there is always a tty12 in Obarun.  As far as I have seen in the forum there is only reference to this delay happening with Virtual machines and while on linux5.0x

Obarun-JWM_x86_64-2019-04-2.iso JWM live image mid-April 2019
More information here

There has also been, an otherwise unnoticed, change,where all the service scripts developed by Obarun for s6/66 have moved to a specific repository for scripts labeled [observice], so currently there are 4 Obarun repositories over the Arch repositories.
Here is the list of the new repositories (with testing commented out):
## this repository will be removed in June as s6opts/s6boot are removed together with all deprecated services.
SigLevel = Required
Server =

#SigLevel = Required
#Server =

SigLevel = Required
Server =

#SigLevel = Required
#Server =

SigLevel = Required
Server =

SigLevel = Required
Server =
Adding the above  to the top of the list (/etc/pacman.conf) on any arch or arch-linux based distribution’s /etc/pacman.conf is the first step in switching from any other init system to s6/66
The [66] repository will be deprecated as its use was temporary to provide time for the users of its predecessor to make the shift.  It will be eliminated in about a month together with s6-opts, s6-boot, and all {service-name}-s6serv packages.

6 thoughts on “Latest Obarun installation/live images released (base, JWM, KDE Plasma)

  1. about incorrect info on distrowatch, AFAIK it is self-service. For each distribution that has its own page on distrowatch, one or multiple “principals” are invited to register and those folks are welcome to (are responsible for) filling in the details for itemized packages etc. Optionally, a principal can upload a full package list for each release and it gets linked to the page. Can a principal edit the “description” content? I don’t know. Jessie Smith is user account “slicer69” on github. During the past yr or so I have contacted him twice and he replied both times. Maybe try that as a contact method.

    about the article, okay i get that you’re excited and enthusiastic about 66 and whatnot, but from the description here, obarun is still in “a toy for tinkerers” stage. Toggle tty1 and tty2 and … and they will eventually show up? Seriously, that sounds like duct tape and baling wire big red flag. So thanks for the report, and I hope you’ll have fun tinkering, but I pass on trying it any time soon.


  2. All the contacting you suggest for nearly a month has been done, the only thing changed was the logo. The introduction of 66 is as much of a major release as it was 3 years ago when Obarun changed from runit to s6. For some of us using it, it has been like a Swiss watch. The only information that can be submitted to distrowatch about a distro is through email to distro@distrowatch. I haven’t seen an introduction on Distrowatch saying xxx-ix-OS has released a new version 2-3 months ago introducing yyy software.

    About the tty thing, those are the words of the chief developer of obarun, I have not experienced such a thing myself. It may be based on a single user’s complain due to hw responding slowly (Irq conflicts between nvidia and network cards are common). If you are used to booting systemd, openrc, sysv, even runit, you see pages and pages of output before you get to a login prompt at console or transferred to a DM. S6 doesn’t do this unless you really want to see all this output. Some people get anxious and think that something is wrong. That is all. If you want to see output logged during boot it is always at /run/66/log/0/current.

    Try it and you will see what it means. If you make an installation throw it off intentionally to see if you can lock yourself out. Like put an intentionally erroneous entry on fstab, a partition that doesn’t exist for example. You will not get a tty1 (stage 2 can’t complete) but tty12 is still working so you can revert the situation. On tty12 root can’t login, only a user (a security measure, everyone can guess root, how do you guess a username?). Other systems either hang, or get to a read-only emergency cell, or you have to reboot to a previous bootable image, which is not always bootable.

    In any case, Obarun is not a system for patting new users in the back like Ubuntu. As you say, it is a system for those who like to tinker and customize the whole system, not just the desktop, for what they need it to do. It is a display case for s6. The people that make s6 are not appealing to users to try their software, they don’t even list on their page who is using it and for what. Basically they have made a system that resembles all the advantages of runit and have gone beyond the limits of runit to make something bullet-proof. Most of the people on the Skarnet’s lists are not using any particular known distro, they have built systems from the bottom up. No marketing what so ever. It is a well kept secret from publicity. 66 just takes this marvel and makes it simple for users/admins with medium or less experience in managing systems.

    I am leaking out the secret in a way. If you can locate freenet’s logs look up void and s6 and see for how long has its use been debated and what the arguments for/against are.

    PS I do agree that this recent message of tty1/2 sends the wrong message out and I find it unnecessary, but you can’t penalize someone for being honest.


  3. The bug with delayed tty appearance in very specific hw is related to recent changes in the 5.0.x kernel and urandom – creating some entropy bottleneck. It has been identified and rectified. It appeared as a problem by “1” user and it was fixed.

    Still a delay is not really breakage but how many distributions run the latest stable kernel within days.

    Most by far are not even on lts, but the previous lts (4.9), current lts is 4.19, and 5.1 is out now as stable. In a couple of years this might be stable in debian/mint/ubuntu etc. When it becomes stable there it would be due to thousands among thousands of void, arch (and arch based), users and sys-admins testing the stuff for the “stability prima-donnas”.


  4. Hi tony.

    I would like to respond and develop your comment when you say “Toggle tty1 and tty2 and … and they will eventually show up? Seriously, that sounds like duct tape and baling wire big red flag.”

    There is no doubt, and I can not blame you that you have no idea how the linux kernel works and I will not answer you to read the source code to understand how it works. Of course free software offers you this possibility, and I would come back to this point near the end of my comment.

    I have what we can call a sixth sense and I was expecting this kind of “attack”. So yesterday, at the end of our conversation, I asked Eric to explain to our users in a few simple words what was happening. Here is an excerpt extracted from Obarun forum, I quote:

    “We can’t call this issue a bug, to be precise this is a behaviour change into the kernel about random features. Without entering in deeply explanations, /dev/random is populated by the kernel itself with entropy. Old kernel have a different behaviour concerning this pseudorandom number generators. Kernel should block until this file is not populated entirely. To populate it events on the machine is used to have random numbers, events such a keyboard use, plugin a devices,disk access etc. This is why when we switch between tty, the tty appear more quickly. Is not the fact to switch between them but the use of the keyboard which create more entropy. […] ”

    Now, like our users, you’ve learned a little bit more about the kernel which permit you to understand part of our problem.

    Now I’m going to talk about free/libre and open source software. I discovered and installed my first gnulinux distro ( mandrake ) in 2003. At the same time I also discovered the IRC network, and it did not take me more than a few days to understand that I was going to be totally alone in my learning.

    I must say that I drooled, some days I hated gnulinux and his “community”, I really thought to stop everything and reinstall windows.

    16 years later I’m still there, and I learned a lot. I understood what was the strength of the free/libre opens source software, but I felt his greatest weakness. Which brings us to the present situation, and what will cause the loss of free/libre open source software in a short time, because now it is only a matter of time, since the changes operates within microsoft company.

    During all these years, obtuse, bound, condescending the warnings were ignored, Something as simple as it had been forgotten in all this mathematical calculation of experts, your users.

    It was forgotten that free/libre open source software was not only about the code but also and in my point of view most important about free/libre and open source education.


  5. Obarun KDE-Plasma 2019-05 is back with last update and available for download.


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