Glaucus Linux α = musl-c-library toybox-utilities init=finit

This is a very alpha project with very promising prospects.  Not much software other than the core basics, a tiny kernel that boots in QEMU and other virtual realities, it can possibly boot on some plain-jane hardware, we didn’t try.  It is tiny in size and tiny in resource use.  In our tries we were booted and loged-in as root with about 14MB of Ram use.

If you don’t like Qemu you can use its utility to convert the image to a vdi (VirtualBox)

qemu-img convert -O vdi glaucus-bennettae-finit-x86_64-30092020.img glaucus-bennettae-finit-x86_64-30092020.vdi


Virtualbox has its own converting utility.  The image constitutes of a whole drive and a single linux partition, so don’t even try burning the .img into a single partition.  It also has a minimal bootloader embeded in it, so make sure it is the first drive in a series or /dev/sda in linux, or it will not boot.  If it is mounted to another system it can be edited, and so can its bootloading configuration, so feel free to experiment.

The utilities to build software in it are not complete yet, so this is more like a demo, don’t plan to make it a work system or a server of some sort.  But whatever is done already seems like it has careful attention to detail and seems 100%.  So this is very promising compared to projects that seem to be published a bit sloppy, like our beloved mere linux that has incompatible libraries in it.  Mere-linux by the way has been recently gotten some attention from its creator and is moving a step or two.

It seems as the covid closures and isolation has resulted in some slowly appearing creativity, which is the only positive aspect of a pandemic.



ps thanks again to Dr.Saleem Khan, the eternal distrohopping maniac, for alerting us to the existence of this new gem.

7 thoughts on “Glaucus Linux α = musl-c-library toybox-utilities init=finit

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  3. I found Glaucus on the musl site last year but could not make sense of the preliminary documentation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there, this is Firas (aka firasuke) the lead (and sole) developer of glaucus Linux. Thanks for featuring glaucus in your article (albeit it being in pre-alpha state!).

    glaucus started out as an experiment to see how small a Linux based system can get without sacrificing performance and convenience. It’s already been 3 years since I first started developing it, and it sure has been a blast!

    One thing I’d like to correct is that glaucus actually uses s6 as its init system along with s6-rc for managing services (I only resorted to finit as a quick fallback init to publish a new image of glaucus after almost of year of not releasing anything just to show that the project is still alive, the reason for that is that s6 and s6-rc tend to break often (it has to do with how I’m integrating them, but they should be ok now)).

    You can actually try the s6/s6-rc based image which is about 2 years old now (it only uses 5 to 6 MB of RAM and around 15-22 MB of storage):

    glaucus was initially known as snail, and snail used sbase/ubase/lobase + sinit/svc, and used only 1-2 MB of RAM and around 5-6 MB of storage, but it was barely usable; and thus glaucus was born.

    I also like to apologize for not keeping the wiki up-to-date which lead to the confusion of many. glaucus actually went through 3 design stages before I was satisfied with how I was building it, first it was cross-compiled with a 2 stage GCC toolchain, then it was similar to LFS in design (cross compile a native toolchain and use it inside a chroot) (this is when the wiki was created and the information in the wiki resemble that of the LFS book), then it went through another major (and final) overhaul as it was cross-compiled with a single stage (only 1 pass) GCC toolchain (similar to how musl-cross-make does it but a bit faster, with less steps, better documentation and support for LTO (via zstd), Graphite and OpenMP (I even isolated the latest single-GCC-pass cross-compiled toolchain design from glaucus into a separate project called mussel so that others interested in creating their own cross-compiled (minimal) systems can use it: , and I’d like to use this chance to thank all those who have contributed to mussel for making it what it is today (special thanks to Alexander Barris (aka AwlsomeAlex) and ayb) and a huge thanks for those that guided the creation of mussel including the one and only Rich Felker and Aurelian)).

    For those interested in learning more about glaucus’s history, kindly check:

    Thanks again for featuring glaucus, and I hope I won’t disappoint!


  5. Yes, I did notice s6 and s6-rc and one of my to-do plans is to port/build the 66 toolset on top of it. It is the only sensical meaningful way to deal with s6 madness. The rest of the exhibitions with s6 seem to either be overly complex or under-utilizing it. What I mean by under-utilizing is that if you can’t use the advantages of s6 against say daemontools/runit you might as well use runit alone. 66 takes the power of s6 and translates it to the tires for maximum acceleration. Why put a Porsche engine on a 2CV, if it will just twist into a 3cycle pretzel?


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