changeset 2:6891988cc526

Add first draft of old 'Bedrock Linux' post.
author Samuel Hodgkins <>
date Sun, 27 Aug 2017 02:46:18 +0100
parents eabcf4d80c92
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+I am very much a fan of Linux, using it as my primary OS on my computer. Obviously, I have used multiple distributions of it.
+Each distribution has it's own independent software library that is integrated with the package manager and the system as a whole.
+(Note: I am very much aware that Linux From Scratch and similar exists. I'm talking about the general case where *some* form of package manager/management exists. )
+This has some advantages:
+- No random downloading of installers/executables from the Internet like on Windows
+- You can browse and search for available software
+- Everything in the repositories follows a single set of standards / policies that the user can apply to any installed program.
+All in all, it's a very wonderful user experience. However, it isn't perfect. Repositories provided are always finite.
+They cannot and will not include every program that exists, nor include variations of included programs.
+This can very easily become a problem, such as in the following situations:
+- You want a different version of the program than the one available in the repositories.
+- You want a program that simply isn't in the repositories.
+- You want a program that is in the repositories..but was created using options you want to change.
+If you enter this situation, there are many many ways to manage/deal with it, each having their own trade-offs/side-effects
+but today I'm going to focus on one particular case:
+You are a user on Distro X that has somehow got into one of the 3 situations described above.
+While browsing the internet for solutions, you see that a package from Distro Y would get you out of this situation.
+How do you install that package from Distro Y onto your Distro X installation?
+Normally, you simply *can't*. Distro Y packages are built to work on that one only, there's no support for Distro X
+and you can't even install it, since Distro X's package manager only supports the specific format used by Distro X.
+Even if you did get it to install, you'd have problems with dependencies and other cross-distro differences.
+At this point you might be asking, 'What is Bedrock Linux and how does it come into this' to which I answer this:
+Bedrock Linux allows you to *combine* multiple installed distributions. You're not limited to just 'Arch Linux' or just 'Debian'.
+Instead, you can have both Arch and Debian installed and be using programs with each concurrently. Of course, those two are just examples
+- you can have any number of distros concurrently installed and functioning.
+It should be obvious how this applies to the hypothetical situation above. For someone using Bedrock Linux, the above is mostly a non-issue
+as packages from Distro Y can easily be installed - even if most of the packages on your system come from Distro X.
+The full story of how this is achieved is somewhat complex and involves decent amounts of filesystem manipulation but to simplify, each
+distribution/chunk of files is called a _stratum_ in Bedrock Linux terms. Aside from special strata, each stratum is a self-contained installation of a distribution. 
+The combination of multiple strata as a single system results in something that not only has a much deeper pool of software to draw upon and use, but can leverage the strengths provided by each individual stratum.
+Under Bedrock Linux, you can install Distro Y packages on a mostly-Distro-X system because that Distro Y package is installed into a complete functional installation of Distro Y.
+(and is accessible via a filesystem directory specially maintained by a Bedrock Linux component)
+There are certainly many other potential applications and use cases for Bedrock Linux, but this is one of the more obvious and immmediately useful ones.
+Should you wish to find out more, there's plenty of documentation [here](
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