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Thread: CRUX Talk

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  1. #1
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    CRUX Talk

    I think we need a generic thread for thoughts, questions, and updates about CRUX. For those who aren't familiar with it, CRUX is a lightweight distro designed for experienced users who want more control over their system. It uses a source-based ports system for software installation, with a ports manager called prt-get to automate upgrading and installation.

    Discuss!

  2. #2
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    Re: CRUX Talk

    Awesome distro, very conservative in its minimalism, and also a great learning experience. There are downsides to this minimalism, though -- I don't like the fact that when you remove a package you have to manually remove the dependencies that were installed along with it (prt-get only resolves dependencies when installing packages, or has this changed in the latest release?) Another issue is that CRUX is not necessarily easily expendable beyond what's available in various ports collections; back when I used CRUX I had to maintain about 50 custom packages, as well as separate installations of things like texlive in /opt, all of which became quite time consuming in the long run. Still, it's a great distro and I do recommend it to those who like things minimal, simple, and fast.

  3. #3

    Re: CRUX Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by fwojciec View Post
    I don't like the fact that when you remove a package you have to manually remove the dependencies that were installed along with it (prt-get only resolves dependencies when installing packages, or has this changed in the latest release?)
    That's probably my only grievance too. I would prefer prt-get could do something like pacman's -Rcsn, and tear out anything unneeded as well. As far as I can tell, prt-get hasn't changed that behavior yet. I don't know if it will or not, either.
    Quote Originally Posted by fwojciec View Post
    Another issue is that CRUX is not necessarily easily expendable beyond what's available in various ports collections; back when I used CRUX I had to maintain about 50 custom packages, as well as separate installations of things like texlive in /opt, all of which became quite time consuming in the long run.
    Also true. I have a hefty collection of personal favorites that I keep on a spare drive, so I can build the stuff I use in the future. Most of them are converted from Arch or AUR PKGBUILDs with Colin Zheng's conversion script, so it's no great loss if they're lost or deleted.
    Last edited by K.Mandla; January 20th, 2009 at 01:09 AM.
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  4. #4

    Re: CRUX Talk

    Big fan here. Using it on four or five machines, everything from a 100Mhz Pentium to a 1Ghz Pentium III. I also put it on an OLPC XO-1 a while back, although I haven't used it on that in a while. ... I should try that again. ...

    Anybody who enjoys Arch will be able to move to Crux without too much hassle.
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  5. #5
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    Re: CRUX Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Mandla View Post
    Anybody who enjoys Arch will be able to move to Crux without too much hassle.
    +1, but for psychological rather than technical reasons. Installing Arch is really quite simple. Pacman, the installer, and the Beginner's Guide make installing Arch a very simple process that requires a paltry amount of technical skill. CRUX, on the other hand, definitely expects a bit more out of the user and requires more manual configuration.

    However, while it may be possible to install Arch with little knowledge, it is not possible without a willingness to read and learn just a little bit. That interest in going beyond the defaults, even if it's only the tiny amount required by Arch, sets up users for success with more manual distros such as CRUX. Hence the "enjoys" part of your post

  6. #6
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    Re: CRUX Talk

    How does it differ from Gentoo?

  7. #7

    Re: CRUX Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinals_fan View Post
    +1, but for psychological rather than technical reasons. Installing Arch is really quite simple. Pacman, the installer, and the Beginner's Guide make installing Arch a very simple process that requires a paltry amount of technical skill. CRUX, on the other hand, definitely expects a bit more out of the user and requires more manual configuration.

    However, while it may be possible to install Arch with little knowledge, it is not possible without a willingness to read and learn just a little bit. That interest in going beyond the defaults, even if it's only the tiny amount required by Arch, sets up users for success with more manual distros such as CRUX. Hence the "enjoys" part of your post
    Actually, you're right. I should stipulate that a little experience with things like ABS and custom kernels is a good idea. I stand corrected. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by yabbadabbadont View Post
    How does it differ from Gentoo?
    I haven't used Gentoo enough to really answer that; last time I spun it up was a year or two ago, but it's on my list. I'll defer to others on that one. ...
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  8. #8
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    Re: CRUX Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by yabbadabbadont View Post
    How does it differ from Gentoo?
    Gentoo always seemed like an unfinished hack to me. CRUX is barebones, but it just feels... right that it should be that way. After producing a usable Gentoo system, I always felt like I had completed some ritualistic rite of passage. With CRUX, the effort to get it installed just felt like part of the job, a logical task. I find Gentoo "harder" than CRUX. Perhaps this is because CRUX's version of minimalism focuses on simplicity while Gentoo's focuses on customization options.

    If both minimal distros provide blueprints for a house, this is how they differ: CRUX is a foundation with a set of spartan supplies. You build what you can from these supplies, producing a minimal yet complete house of your own design. If you build the house wrong, you're screwed. Gentoo is a large staff of workers with a vast variety of supplies available to them. They follow your instructions to the letter, and build you a custom house. If you give them bad instructions, you're screwed. That analogy was either completely awesome of totally pathetic. You decide which.

    /opinion

    Gentoo is rolling-release while CRUX has stable releases (although you can get newer versions from Ports). Gentoo supports more architectures. The CRUX installation is binary, though all packages are source-based. This means that CRUX installs much faster, but offers fewer choices at install time. A stage 3 Gentoo install includes less by default, but has more available.

    /fact

  9. #9
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    Re: CRUX Talk

    Is the CRUX site down for anyone else? I'm getting timeouts.
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  10. #10
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    Re: CRUX Talk

    I like CRUX. In fact, I was the one who recommended you try it.
    It is a bit too 'crude' for me to use as my everyday system. As was mentioned, it requires too much patience and user intervention when dealing with packages. Messy removal of installed ports and waiting for compilation of everything is just not my idea of the ideal system.
    The number of ports is also an issue for me; even if they doubled the ports collection in size, it would still be lacking quite a bit.
    As I have mentioned many times, I believe that package management should be an absolute 'no-brainer'- the main reason I avoid CRUX and Slack.
    I certainly like the concept- a streamlined set of core packages, and serious community contributions, (prt-get was a community innovation).
    But, Arch simply does it so much better for me; much larger repositories, much larger community, pacman and binaries in addition to a ports-like system and the AUR.
    If I was 20 years younger and still enamored by the thrill of being an 'outsider', or 'one of the few' who use an unpopular yet incredibly cool thing, I might like it even more.
    For me, CRUX does a lot of things the right way.
    Arch just does them all better, and adds more extensibility along with it, effortlessly.
    ..and the writing's on the wall,
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