SOFTWARE ________________________________________________________________________________ Linux distributions are more or less a package manager, repositories of software and some sugar on top. The software choices made by a distribution are largely what define it. KISS takes a different approach to its software offerings by having highly focused defaults with limitless user choice as a counterbalance. The defaults are just that, defaults. Nothing is tightly coupled. This page will explain the many software choices, the status of packages like Python 2 and the further removal of unneeded software. This is only in relation to the official repositories as the Community make KISS boundless. [0.0] Index ________________________________________________________________________________ - The Defaults [1.0] - C/POSIX Library [1.1] - Core Utilities and Shell [1.2] - Init System and Service Manager [1.3] - SSL Library [1.4] - Removed Software [2.0] - Excluded Software [3.0] [1.0] The Defaults ________________________________________________________________________________ KISS provides a somewhat atypical software stack. It's small in size and contains little software. As a user, you may find that some things work differently to other distributions. This is not a complete list, it is merely the interesting bits. The true strength of KISS is not in its software choices but in its software omissions. [1.1] C/POSIX Library ____________________________________________________________________________ Most major distributions tend to use GNU's C library whereas KISS uses musl. Musl has better support for static linking, is smaller in size and has an emphasis on correctness + conformance to standards. The dynamic runtime is a single file with a stable ABI allowing for worry-free and race-free updates. It is not without its caveats though. Software compiled for GNU's C library will not work on a musl-based system. Large amounts of software also rely on library extensions which are exclusive to the GNU C library. Making this software work on musl is not impossible however. A tiny patch is all that is needed in the majority of cases and this overall situation has improved immensely in recent years. To paint a clearer picture; our Firefox package no longer requires a series of patches for musl compatibility as the portability issues were fixed upstream (Thanks to $/michaelforney). More information: https://wiki.musl-libc.org/design-concepts.html [1.2] Core Utilities and Shell ____________________________________________________________________________ The default provider of the core utilities (ls, cat, etc) and the POSIX shell is busybox. Distributions typically use the GNU coreutils and bash to fill this hole. Busybox combines tiny versions of each utility into a single, small executable. This is statically linked in KISS and comes in at 1MB for the entire package. Each utility is simply a symlink to the single binary. More information: https://www.busybox.net/about.html [1.3] Init System and Service Manager ____________________________________________________________________________ Busybox is also the provider of KISS' default init and service manager. This works really well as no additional software is required and the overall system integration is very minimal. The service manager provided by busybox is its own implementation of the runit family of utilities. Writing services for this system is really nice as services are no larger than a line or two a file. The boot-up and power-off procedures however, are not covered by busybox and must be implemented externally. KISS provides an init-agnostic and portable base with which any init and service manager can be used. More information: $/kiss-community/init [1.4] SSL Library ____________________________________________________________________________ KISS' default SSL library is LibreSSL, an OpenSSL fork by the OpenBSD folk. The purpose of the fork is to modernize OpenSSL, improve security and apply development best practices. It also has a nicer build system and no reliance on Perl during compilation. This made it very easy to include in KISS' tiny core. More information: https://libressl.org/index.html [2.0] Removed Software ________________________________________________________________________________ Through tireless effort, a large amount of software has been rendered unneeded and the entire distribution works without their presence. Let's get the smaller stuff out of the way first. KISS has no need for: bash, dbus, fakeroot, file, ca-certificates, atk-brige-*, gettext, intltool, autoconf, automake, libtool, yasm, shared-mime-info, ... Additionally, Python2 and GTK+2 are no longer in the main repository, but are in community. These were previously required for Firefox, but that requirement has since been dropped! The only package remaining is Perl, which is a far trickier dependency to remove - it is integrated throughout the build system. Trying to convey what software is excluded from the distribution is quite the difficult task. It might make things clearer if I mention that the official repositories are made up of only 150 or so packages (and this number has shrunk over time). [3.0] Excluded Software ________________________________________________________________________________ You might be surprised to hear that a lot of popular software is explicitly excluded from the official repositories. What this means is that they will never make their way into the distribution officially. The reasons why will be explained below, the (by no means complete) list: - dbus - elogind - polkit - pulseaudio - pam - wayland - All Desktop Environments. KISS' official repositories exclude this software to ensure that the distribution is fully functional without them. The word "fully" implies everything up to and including a web browser (Firefox) and a media player (mpv). It is a easier to add software to a system than it is to try and pry it out of one. This also ensures that this software remains _optional_ and is not forced onto users. Choices must remain so. The Community have packaged this entire list (and then some) for those looking to use this software. This is #1 the strength of the distribution: a highly opinionated and minimal base with limitless extensibility. See: $/topics/kiss-repo ________________________________________________________________________________ Dylan Araps (C) 2019-2020 kiss-community (C) 2020-2021 Dilyn Corner (C) 2021 Linux(R) is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.