zstd compression algorithm and the dethroned old king xz

Here is the comparative numbers reported by Arch devs on which they based their decision to use this fast but resource hungry compression tool.  XZ still wins in size, loses on time, while ZSTD is a huge loser in memory use while compressing; decompressing is comparable and equally fast.  Zstd (gang) software also relies heavily on very current powerful server grade machines to provide the benefit of speed, to make up what it lacks in quality.   Compression software should primarily be judged on their ability to compress, and zstd fails miserably against this 45 year old trusty switchblade called xz.  So we can conclude that arch has an abundance of computing/building/packaging apparatus, with truck loads of spare ram to parallely process many packages.

Arch comparison test ZSTD vs XZMy article (a link to it) was removed from r/linux yesterday for no good reason, 100% linux related material, and as I complained I was permanently banned from posting there.


In case you are wondering I was reporting that arch nearly silently started using this facebook compression algorithm on packaging and here is their own test data to support this decision: Continue reading

Arch Linux 2020 – what’s there to be happy about?

Happy new year facebook fans and Arch friends (friends of who? we don’t know, not us, not on facebook, not in the past and not in the future, but you must have friends amongst yourselves).

Some of you may have taken the previous post about abandoning Arch as a joke, since most of what we do recently is promote Obarun, an Arch based distribution with s6 and 66 init and service management.   When we published that article we knew nothing of what Hyperbola was planning to do (we assume it was discussed within the community) or whether they were going to give-in to the pressure and incorporate arch’s pacman and packaging methodology change into their distribution.  (Note: Hyperbola may be based on Arch but has its own separate repositories and rebuilds everything on their own to ensure everything is Free).  All of their free packages, as far as we can tell are still compressed with xz.  The bomb was set and it will go off soon (in open/free software tradition of timing kind of soon).  Hyperbola is not just leaving Arch, it is leaving linux, for OpenBSD.  But this is not about hyperbola, it is about Arch….     or skip to here if you are in a rush! Continue reading

antiX – runit – brief stop and onto s6 and 66 : How to

1st some history/background:
Back some time ago an alternative to sysvinit was developed called daemontools (look at sources below) and people liked it.   From “it” runit was cloned, very similar but started from scratch, to be as small, as light, as simple, and as responsive as hw itself.  Runit set some goals for its development, kept being refined and eliminating any bugs, it worked on as many architectures as people could get their hands on, and the chief runit man decided to put it to bed.  Runit has been frozen in time by its developer.  Don’t expect it to catch up with other system development unless Void decides to clone it and develop it on their own, which in some ways they already do, but it is more polishing up the existing runit.

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antiX Runit – iceWM – X64 and 386 editions – beta?

This is the first edition (I think) of antiX with an alternative to sysvinit.  This is runit, the same init/service supervisor Void and Artix use.  As far as I know this is the first application in a debian based system.

Check https://antixlinux.com/download/ for a close mirror to test run a live image.  The X is configured with ICEWM and antiX’s huge assortment of tools and helpers.  For information on how runit works I recommend https://wiki.voidlinux.org/runit and https://wiki.artixlinux.org/Main/Runit (void and artix linux wiki pages), although antiX’s implementation of runit seems a little different.

Very good work and very refreshing to see something like this on a debian based system.

December 2nd 2019 Distrowatch weekly review of Obarun

What a way to begin a month and a week, to have Distrowatch after a year and a half of listing Obarun (mostly inaccurately) to review Obarun and portray it as impossible to install.

Personally it is the installation software, the clarity and transparency of the installer, that inspires confidence that attracted me to Obarun.  The ability to use any arch (or arch based) base image and to download and install obarun-install in it and use it to install Obarun is unsurpassed.

So what happened?  What went wrong?

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Devuan revisited and its repository maze

What distrowatch calls Debuan 2.1 in its weekly is also listed as a “fixed” release.  Since when is anything based on Debian perceived as fixed unless it intentionally had its package management software released. Alternatively any live “image” is fixed unless you update its software.  Should someone clarify what such terms mean to Distrowatch?

See, we can even defend the honor of those we openly have disliked in the past.

Devuan’s, not debuan’s, repositories for its 2.xx series based on Debian Stretch, is Ascii.

Next edition which is called Beowulf is still under testing, pkgs for which can be found on



http://pkgmaster.devuan.org/devuan/dists/beowulf/ Continue reading

The new installer is here – along with new live images Obarun 11/2019

Obarun Install 2.0.2Other than the usual refinements on the 66 service management system, Obarun has radically revised the installer.  It is no longer mandatory to do partition work and mounting before you run the installer, it can be arranged from within the installer.  You can choose between EFI or bios booting, between grub and syslinux bootloader, the Desktop flavor (JWM, openbox, xfce4, KDE-plasma, or minimal no X), use arch-mirrorlist ranking for the fastest mirrors to your site, customize the installation if you want to add or not install packages (obarun, arch, and AUR).

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