Penetration testing (pentesting) distribution without systemd

Interesting inquiry that has lead searchers to this site for an answer but hasn’t yet specifically been answered.  So I will take a shot at answering this.

Basically, and as far as I know, there is a Gentoo based distribution specific to this task and as it is based on Gentoo it is easily free of systemd, although if you really like systemd I am pretty sure you can have it on Gentoo.  This narrows down to options based on Debian (kali and parrot), and Arch (blackarch and archstrike).    There may be others we don’t know of yet. Continue reading

History of Arch without systemd

archartixWhile researching the development of consolekit and its fork, consolekit2, I run into a really interesting thread in the Arch forum.  This was the beginning of Arch-OpenRC it seems and this is how the Arch hierarchy dealt with the inquiry and proposals.  The very first thing they did was to hide the thread from search engines, visible only to registered users.  Then they tried to push the guy in pursuit of this project to do what he wants elsewhere, not seek collaboration through the Arch forum.  The guy is none other than @Artoo, the force behind the Manjaro-OpenRC project, and one of the people who last year founded Artix. Continue reading

Artix new repository structure for testing [gremlins]

The new repository structure for testing in artix follows the pattern of arch and substituting labels to avoid confusion.

Gremlins is the term for what Arch calls testing, and goblins is the term for what Arch calls staging (where dev.’s place new packages while they are being debugged and getting ready for production –> testing).  For users not willing to contribute to development, other than “testing” their work, goblins is no place to be.  Most certainly things will be “broken” in goblins, and if they weren’t they would be in testing, or to be distribution correct “gremlins”.  For stable users, nothing has changed. Continue reading

Artix: missing dependency and how to get it – [arch-testing]

This only applies to those using Artix-Testing and have no previous Arch-linux experience.
Today some meandering in the system-testing directory resulted in a package upgrade of libpsl that requires an additional pkg, libidn2.

If you use Artix testing repos, you should also use Arch testing repo, libidn2 is there and soon will be in ours.

You say “should” but this is the first time I encounter such a rule. Continue reading

How to chroot properly in Artix and repair your installation

I recently had a problem with all my Artix installations, as I had been away for a few days, I came back and decided to update them all. I had blind faith in Artix and its testing repositories and learned my lesson. It seems as I got caught within that period where updates were uploaded and mirrors were not fully synced. So all my upgrades seem to have been half done, even though it showed “all up to date nothing to do”. Glibc mkinitcpio, elongid, etc. were not all of the same edition and the kernel images produced were unbootable. Continue reading

32bit beaten by systemd agents

Not that is any valid indicator of real use or a meaningful comparison among linux/unix/bsd distributions, but Manjaro has been established for some time now as a close 3rd to debian and looking at Mint.  Arch itself scores much much lower than the ubuntu of arch.

Just a little while ago, if one would use the search engine on distrowatch and selected an init system other than systemd, Manjaro would score number one as utilizing that init system.  How misleading was that?  Just about OpenRC would work and that after a very careful procedure to unload systemd and spiders, or by utilizing a different installer.  And that supported ability ended last month.  I don’t think any other init system worked without systemd, or at least it wouldn’t be stable to upgrade within Manjaro. Continue reading

Artix grub and multiboot with arch and non-arch based systems

Did you just upgrade Manjaro and now your Artix will not boot, or vice-versa?

This is a peculiarity of grub in relation to Artix, and Manjaro, and I suspect all Arch based distros.  When Artix or Manjaro make grub entries for all other installations found on the system (other than those from the same family) they use the universal entry template for generic linux distros.  The entry they make for themselves is different and if it is not done this way they will throw the installation into “kernel panic” and this would be the last thing written on the screen before you pull the plug as no input will be recognized.  It is all on the format of the commandline that grub uses to start up the kernel.  [note: in the early days of Manjaro-OpenRC when I still had Manjaro-systemd still installed, they both made correct entries for each other.] Continue reading

Artix Manjaro BTRFS and volume management

Jorge de la Fuente

Hi, thanks for everything. I am comparing the installation in BTRFS of Manjaro Architec versus Artix and I see that Artix only creates 2 Subvolumes: “@” and “@home”, Architec creates 4 subvolumes: @, @cache, @home @snapshots this seems to have been implemented as a Improvement in Manjaro Architec, according to read here can it be implemented in Artix?

I am definetely not an authority to speak on the issue, I have only tried BTRFS on a test installation and while I did not have any problems with it I read so many horror stories that I gave up and returned to ext4 safety.  I recently read that RedHat is giving up support for BTRFS and will no longer offer it.  One explanation I read was that if you use BTRFS and take snapshots of the system while you are testing to remove and escape from systemd people will start more and more attempting it.  I don’t know why anyone would run RH and try to escape systemd. Continue reading

Artix display managers and Openbox or LXDE

I am amazed how well Artix has been running and once you get comfortable it appears to be among the simplest to configure linux distributions.

Artix initially came with sddm as a display manager and LXQT as its default desktop, for those that need one.  To see how alternatives are able to work I tried lightdm which I am comfortable with for years.  It run very well but came with the same boring login screen that is the lightdm constant basic login screen.  It does what is needed simply and reliably.

Continue reading