Wicked fast, but a hairball with a pedigree

I’ve been revisiting my erstwhile short-lived infatuation with Crux Linux again, once more on the 1Ghz machine I like to call home. Once I figured out how to synchronize my local ports against the updates at crux.nu with httpup, it turned into a fun experience.

Of course, the downside of the ridiculous speed boost (aside from the long compilation times) is the fact that it doesn’t … quite … behave like Ubuntu or Arch does. As a result, I’m relearning a lot of things I thought to easy to trouble with.

First, there’s the issue of software — Crux’s repositories lack some of the applications I prefer, most notably Mirage and Kazehakase. There is a port for Kazehakase posted on the wiki, but thus far it has not proven to work for me.

That I can suffer through though, since Firefox on Crux is quite usable at 1Ghz. I won’t go so far to say I like Firefox on Crux — I still consider it the poster child for bloatware — but I will admit that in a supersparse distro, it works reasonably well. Just remember: That’s only true because I skimped elsewhere … when what really should be “skimped” is Firefox.

There are some other idiosyncrasies that I feel obligated to mention, even for my own reference. What I thought were commonplace bash configuration files — .bashrc and .bash_profile — are completely ignored in Crux (unless I’m doing it wrong), meaning I have to directly edit /etc/profile and /etc/profile.bash just to change the PS1 prompt. Inconvenient, and somewhat heavy-handed, but it’s a solution.

But it also means things like a simple condition check to start up X at boot has to be arranged elsewhere. And on top of that, the settings I use in /etc/profile, etc., are ignored when I start a terminal emulator. It’s almost funny, really.

There are more little things … the $PATH settings are different for users and root, I believe, and that means a lot of the commands I was used to with Arch or Ubuntu need to be expanded in Crux. Again, minor, but again, a small setback.

I could go on. I’m learning a lot from Crux, and I continue to better appreciate a precompiled distro, while at the same time gaining a huge appreciation for the speed improvements in an unprecompiled one. This might sound strange, but I anticipate sharing some of these lessons in the next Ubuntu speed guide.

Which reminds me: That’s just around the corner, isn’t it? Hmm. …

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2 Responses to “Wicked fast, but a hairball with a pedigree”

  1. 1 Josh Kropf 2008/03/07 at 1:14 AM

    I actually started using Crux after reading one of your posts about it. And I have to say it’s probably my favorite distro right now. Suddenly my AMD 1.something GHz system feels like a super computer!

    As for your issues with bash, I’m not seeing this…

    I put env variable assignment in .bashrc (executed every time a new shell is create) and login time stuff in .bash_profile.

    To boot right into X, I modified /etc/inittab to auto-login my user account and then put a simple condition in .bash_profile that starts X if it’s not already started.

    I’ve got some notes in my wiki if you’re interested:

  2. 2 K.Mandla 2008/03/07 at 7:40 AM

    I’ll have to double-check my settings then. I know I’ve tampered with a lot of stuff in the past week, and so it’s possible I wired things wrong and that’s why it’s not working like I want. Thanks for the link; I’ll definitely check it out in the next day or so. :)

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Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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