Edited: April 26th 2021 (replacing older strict list)
This list is going to be short and there may be a sublist of distros with a medium strict standard. We shall explain what the object is, below the short list (which we hope the community will assist in making longer as we have not been able to currently review the work of every distro and fork.
2021 list of “healthy” hardcore distros in alphabetical order
- Obarun Linux –> obarun.org (the most extensive distribution that meets the criteria)
- Kiss Linux –> k1ss.org (temporarily unmaintained but communities active)
- Kwort Linux –> kwort.org
- Sabotage Linux –> sabotage-linux
- Oasis linux –> oasislinux/oasis
- Zandra linux –> zandra.org
- Mutiny linux –> mutiny.red
- Glaucus linux –> glaucuslinux.org
- Mere Linux —> merelinux.org (alpha project – active again)
Please keep the recommendations going, for inclusion and exclusion from the list. We can not keep and maintain installations for all of them, we count on you.
Hardcore because they seem honest and dedicated to the war against totalitarianism by IBM and other mega corporations to dominate the Open and Free software world.
Basically, after some odd experiences with Nutyx and its full turn into systemd-dome, basic functionality of starting X (or alternative graphoc environments) from console with startx/xinit without a display manager, using a simple window manager instead of a desktop, and using very basic utilities that WE KNOW upstream are still healthy (meaning not entangled with init or login management or bus messaging), such as vte terminals, filemanagers (thunar and pcmanfm) was impossible. Why was it impossible? Because they REQUIRE elogind and dbus to be running in order for them to start.
If such development spreads there has to be a differentiation between distros that include such crap like elogind, for obvious and overly discussed reasons, and DO NOT make their use necessary everywhere that there is no need to make it necessary. In other words, there seems to be a new trend from utilizing elogind to accommodate needs of upstream desktop dependencies, but some distros go out of their way to enforce the use of elogind EVERYWHERE THEY CAN!
There is a qualitative difference between drinking socially, a cocktail, a beer or two, some wine while dining with friends and comrades, AND being a full blown alcoholic where the first thing you do when opening your eyes, is to reach next to your couch, where you slept with your shoes on, and grab the bottle of 151′ proof rum to rinse your mouth, then swallow the mouthwash. HUGE difference! Nutyx for example, tried the stuff for a little while, and now it has an IV bottle connected to an artery. The next stage is to have runit or runyx starting the shutdown process right after the runit executable itself, being dependent on elogind!
So here is the next stage pathology process list:
….. and such madness was listed as a systemd free linux on our long list!
In light of recent development and discovery of such development, seatd comes to compliment consolekit2 to replicate the functionality of elogind. Its use in Obarun made starting wayland and sway successful. The same developer who wrote seatd has also written greetd, a display manager that is wayland compliant without using elogind/systemd. So the common excuse “we use elogind for wayland” has run out, while with the last edition of ck2 (12/2020) the excuse of it being unmaintained is also fading. People in the BSD ecosystem are contributing plenty of development for ck2.
The difference between elogind and (ck2-seatd) is size and complexity, and it is counted in multiples. So for those who follow unix tradition of simplicity, single use, compliance with everything else, the way to go is clear.
What will now be a proposed as a medium strictness list? Where distros choose to make elogind available, but not absolutely necessary for all X software.
We want to believe that all forms of adelie, antiX, alpine, and Void are still healthy, we are unsure of Artix, but we will investigate and take your recommendations and suggestions as they come. Our last attempts to start X on artix without elogind were futile, but we may be wrong.
is will be:
Can X be started without elogind?
Can the most popular WMs start within that X session without elogind?
Can basic common terminals and file-managers start without elogind?
Can common file-managers work without automounting devices?
We can repeat this process with dbus, and there are situations where things start and run fine, even though they may throw some warning and errors for not accessing a running dbus channel, while being 90+% functional, and situations where they lose basic functionality. Like LibreOffice has the entire prime menu bar (File Edit View … Help) missing when started without a live dbus session, while a ton of their other icon intense menu bars work.
Medium strict list:
- gentoo (and forks)
Help us fill the blanks here or remove the sick ones if you have direct current experience.
PS Don’t ask me to defend consolekit/2 for any reason, I am not going to. I personally don’t use either. The point is not to market consolekit2 as a solution but how to stay the hell away from systemd functionalities and dependencies.
Edit Dec. 30th 2020
I spoke too soon, should have paid attention to oneirosopher’s warning the day before. I started with a Slackel image that was from July 2020 and made an installation from iso, not the network. Everything seemed fine, ck2 was there, then I started updating/upgrading and trimming the beef that is on that image. When it finished and rebooted elogind had replaced consolekit2 and if that wasn’t enough, a tremendous amount of application received an active dependency to it and will not even start without elogind being active. It is not Slackel’s choice, it appears it wasn’t but Slackware’s repos dictate this. Slackel uses 2 nearly separate pkg managers, 1st is the slapt-get the 2nd is slapt-src which handles source based pkgs. One repository comes from Salix the other is slackware source. Elogind doesn’t appear in it and nologind is a wrapper for consolekit2. But even common filemanagers in Slackel now will not start with error: elogind not running!
This was meant to be yesterday #5 on the list, it is now removed, sadly. It seemed to have been a nice system we neglected over the past few years. Ever since Dec 7th it passed on the other side of one of the many distros succumbing to the pressure, biting the bait, hook, line, and sinkers.
5 Slackware –> (Zenwalk and Slackel are currently reviewed, no elogind found anywhere, ck2 seems available – specific reviews are coming shortly – that is not to say that all slackware forks will adopt or maintain this commitment, and there are many many of them)