Void-Linux reviewed by Distrowatch

distrowatch.com reviews void

After the injustices done on Antix (reviewed 5 years ago but allowing all kinds of trolls to keep posting unsubstantiated negative remarks) and Obarun, it was Void’s turn to be reminded to pay dues to Distrowatch, otherwise the review will be sloppy and negative.

While Void’s installer feels like a throwback to the 90s in its style and resembles the installers of BSDs and Slackware in its approach, it works quickly and experienced users should have no problem navigating its options

If it was some gui that kept you in the dark of what it is doing (like Calamares wiping out your entire partition table) then it would have been back from the 90s and into the 20s?  In other words, “inexperienced users” stay away from void.  If you have proven to be so inexperienced yourself why don’t you refrain from reviewing a distro or have someone more experienced do it?


“When running in VirtualBox the initial screen resolution was unusually low, but could be adjusted in the Xfce settings panel without requiring any extra modules to be installed.”

It sounds like a virtualbox, and/or the distribution’s setup and headers, problem to me, not void’s.  Is this an important issue for a distro, how does their live system run on Oracle’s software?  Maybe if you run virtualbox out of void you wouldn’t be having so many problems, because it is one of the best I have ever encountered.  But then running vbox on an old 2core AMD machine may be an issue in itself.


pressing the PrintScreen key caused an error as Xfce’s screenshot tool could not be launched. In other words, the short-cut had been defined, but the screenshot utility was not installed. These missing pieces are easy to remedy, but give a rough early impression.

Needless to mention that the late images (probably used but not ever mentioned) are not official Void live images, but those created by community members.  It would be a nice touch to specify with a link to the image used for review.


When I switched over to the desktop machine I found Void could not boot in UEFI mode and could only be started in Legacy BIOS mode. Whenever I tried to launch the distribution with UEFI enabled the system would reboot and send me back to the boot loader screen.

Let’s see.  A quick search for information reveals plenty of instructions on how to do it right.  Guessing how it should be done from previous experience with other systems is not something we can blame on Void.  If they had a lack of documentation it would have been understandable.

Installation: UEFI – Void Linux Wiki

More advanced installation methods for various specialized installs are also available on this Wiki. UEFI support is built into the current Void .

Installation on UEFI, via chroot – Void Linux Wiki

Our EFI partition must come first, and should be of type ef00. Swap is 8200, and the rest, 8300. Sometimes, we might be installing “over” …

Talk:Installation: UEFI – Void Linux Wiki

UEFI warning. New ISOs that support 32bit efi have since been released: https://alpha.de.repo.voidlinux.org/live/20171007/. Should the …

Install LVM LUKS on UEFI GPT – Void Linux Wiki

For UEFI boot, the disk needs to be GPT partitioned and an EFI System Partition (ESP) must be present. The size of the ESP must be at least …

Installation Guide – Void Linux Handbook

Note: before you begin installation, you should determine whether your machine boots using BIOS or UEFI. This will affect how you plan partitions.


When I first started using Void I noticed I could not power off the computer from the login screen. I had to sign in and then shutdown the system from the application or user menus.

Did you read Void’s purpose and goals?  The login screen is a Display Manager, not one devised by void but a popular one among the few available on the void repositories.  This is how it comes from upstream, void provides software broken down to elements as possible and as they come from upstream, without being modified and hacked by distros (like debian, or ubuntu, or mint) made to pretend they are the originals.  The void wiki is very detailed and nearly as good as gentoo’s.  One should read before they complaint about silly matters.


In short, I think Void is exploring a lot of interesting ideas, but it feels as though the project is spread thin and some issues are definitely leaking through the cracks.

I’ll tell you what is leaking, you are full of it and you are leaking through the cracks.  I am sure when those cracks are filled with dollar/euro bills then you can build up some pressure.

Trident alpha version seems to have had a better review from Distrowatch only a few days after it was announced.  Trident at that stage was minimal void with zfs software and setup.   Now why would this be I wonder?  Maybe because they pay for advertising?  This practice is beginning to take the shape of extortion:  Pay or we will write a nasty review that will keep people away from the distribution.

Now imagine that the people interested in Distrowatch and unix distros, are about the same.  It is a preset market.  Their contributions go to their distribution they like and part of that money is handed over by distros to distrowatch for advertising them.  I wonder if anyone here is catching up to this line of thinking and what it implies?

5 thoughts on “Void-Linux reviewed by Distrowatch

  1. “…it was Void’s turn to be reminded to pay dues to distrowatch, otherwise the review will be sloppy and negative.”

    Everything I have seen of distrowatch points to it being a private company, which is funded by ads.

    If you have evidence of shadowy figures from fortune 500 companies handing over brown envelopes, you should share them.

    distrowatch reviews follow a typical format – especially those of Jesse Smith and a few others. Reviewers always tend to start out from a fixed perspective and that perspective of “how things should be” is based on some ideas, some preference some preconceived notion on what constitutes a desktop or an installer or a package manager or whatever else.

    I remember some years back that Jesse Smith never really gave Debian such great reviews either. For the record, I have nothing against Jesse Smith at all – or any other reviewer – but (for the record) I don’t think their reviews of /anything at all/ matter one jot.

    What you have done here is link to a distrowatch review – immediately giving the review some credence with your outrage and critique, in creating a link here, you’re directing people there – so page hits galore and ad revenue for the company. It’s commonly called “click bait”. That’s what the distrowatch reviewers specialise in.

    I don’t think any funny handshakes or brown envelopes are involved – instead there are clearly google ads involved, as with many other sites, that’s how it makes it’s money – and if they can piss off fungalnet or some others and get the link scattered all over blogs and forums, generating some “outrage” and pulling in even more page hits – it’s money in the bank.


  2. Paying dw for getting your distribution included in their list promptly is common knowledge. Ask around if you know people that maintain a dw listed distribution. I don’ t have proof that dw ever asked for money for a favorable review but I certainly would not put it past them. They have every right to do so. Having published two extremely sloppy “reviews” (obarun and void) in the last months is problematic. Sloppy is a really kind word here. The obarun “review” was done with an older iso and installer despite the site being informed for the new release. The void “review” is unbelievably problematic…


  3. Hello whoever-you-are,

    I suggest that “common knowledge” is not proof of anything at all. It amounts to “hearsay” or “rumour” in this case.

    For example – if you look at an organisation which is getting big donations from fortune 500 companies, which has corporate reps on its board of directors and its technical committee – and which then publishes glowing press releases about how great those (previously hostile) companies or “partners” are – then you can easily see the vested interest and you can easily working out what’s going on.

    The same with other “tech press” dross – if you “follow the money” there, you will eventually expose what’s going on behind the scenes, the companies involved and biases, interests and affiliations of the individuals.

    What you’re describing however, is the very unethical acceptance of bribes in exchange for preferential coverage, but with absolutely no evidence of that.

    You’re also not accusing distrowatch or the company which owns distrowatch of accepting bribes, dishonesty, etc – you’re accusing the individual reviewers of being complicit in this.

    But if we’re going to go along with the fantasy – Theoretically, the “reviewer” could have received a fat brown envelope and distrowatch’s owners may be none the wiser. So either way, it’s an extremely fallacious and groundless accusation.

    The reviewer in this case and one of the most noted reviewers is quite ironically a contributor to sysvinit:


    The biggest problem with distrowatch is that it’s given far too much credence by some and is of course ad funded click bait, which publishes rankings that are flawed – but which are taken seriously by some.


  4. What I am describing, the payment for getting a distro promptly listed on dw is not only common knowledge but a fact. Just check their submission page: https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=submit
    They offer to list a distribution “straight away” if advertising space for the distribution is purchased (at least US $220). They have every right to do so – that is the second time I am stressing that 😛 I will go one step further. I do not even find this unethical or even morally dubious since it is openly stated!
    Please do not use “argument from authority”. The obarun reviewer misidentified the obarun iso leading to outright lies about the distribution. The void reviewer did not completely indentify the iso they used, so there is no way to verify some of the problems they encountered and possibly fix them. Is that just incompetence? Pressure to write an article for the weekly edition? I totally understand…
    I totally agree about the nature of the beast (your last paragraph). The problem is that their attitude, regardless of its cause, is hurting small independent distributions that have little coverage and no money to advertise.


  5. Promoting a distro through advertising is one thing, and reviewing a distro in an unjust sloppy way is another. If I was void or obarun or antix I’d rather not have a review at all than have what they are presenting.
    Antix is the base (the core) of MX. Antix hasn’t seen a review in centuries. Users come to their forum and say that they placed positive reviews/comments under the listing that never show up. Meanwhile there are numerous trolls (debian fan club dogs probably) that write terrible untrue things about antix. There is something to it, me thinks.

    Void hadn’t been reviewed for too many years, suddenly it is reviewed in this unjust way. The only comment I found that was reasonable critique is that there is no text editor, but that would make sense on a base no-X image with repositories all screwed up. Not with a whole desktop available. If you have xfce you know you have mousepad, and every desktop has at least one text editor. There is an internet connection, nobody ever complains they can’t connect, and there is a wiki to help with installation and setting up. Debian’s installer with the thousands of devs, sucked for many years. Now it was revised recently and looks like 21st century according to JS. Then he reviews anything with the flaky calamares and that is great. But a real installer that gives you a bit of feedback on what it is doing and is written in simple scripts you can examine is rated a 90s installer.
    I guess this staff is subjective but is passing this message out as a value, towards ubuntization microsoftization. If you don’t have gnome running well you should fold up and go be a maintainer for debian if you are young. Maybe by your 50s you will become a full member.

    Trident, just appeared yesterday, in the Linux world at least. What a wonderful detailed review that was. Trident pops an alpha or a beta image and receives top attention. Void, who are they? Nearly forgot they still exist. That is what I am talking about.

    It takes 200 (220 now, just raised) to jump from waiting list to real listing. To have every edition pop out in the central column with your own introduction/announcement of this new edition, that costs thousands. Their rates are per click, who knows how that is measured. Archbang for example, is really arch-openbox, a few backgrounds, uk keyboard setup by default, and a funky menu/conky. It has been nearly dead for a couple of years after its brief resurrection, moving to systemd from temporary artix/openrc. Is it really that popular?

    Telemarketing phone systems seem to have an important market and are competing for advertising space. Make money anyway you can, I don’t say he should not, but don’t use extortion practices to motivate small projects for contributing to “who knows” what expensive habit or hobby.

    Should we talk about the Adelie review? Officially Adelie is still Beta, their 1.0 hasn’t been formally announced.


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