[svlug] VOID Linux install, no DVD...

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Mon Mar 21 08:55:12 PST 2016

On Mon, 21 Mar 2016 04:36:46 -0700
Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting Michael C. Robinson (plug_1 at robinson-west.com):

> You really did not bother to read the installation requirements, did
> you?
> http://www.voidlinux.eu/download/#download-installable-base-live-images-x86
>   The i686 images have these requirements:
>   Pentium 4 CPU (SSE2), 96MB RAM, 350MB disk, Ethernet / WiFi for
> network installation.
> Obviously, your PIII cannot support i686 CPU instruction extensions,
> hence you cannot run the VOID Linux IA32 version's installer.

I've asked on the Void IRC about any ways to shoehorn it into P3.
Meanwhile, the market price of a working P4 or early Athlon or Sempron
is about $75.00, they can often be had for less at garage sales and in
dumpsters (well, in Florida --- you guys probably don't allow
dumpsterizing your old electronics). At some point, a 20th century
computer becomes worthless as anything other than a vehicle for an
ancient OS.

Obviously, if you pay more than $10 for a used computer, fire it up
with System Rescue CD to find out what it has and whether it works, and
open it up to physically look for capacitors bulging at the top of the


> > I need VOID to do a graphical boot, I'm asking a Windows user to use
> > it.  I could use a good runinit tutorial badly.   

This is easy. IIRC you just have the init system run the display
manager as a daemon, and make sure it's set to run the window manager
of your choice (LXDE :-)

> > I need to set up network UPS tools in client mode.  What do I need
> > to install to run lxde manually, lxde is apparently installed
> > already. I'm playing with VOID in virtualbox right now.  So far, it
> > seems like a Linux distribution best aimed at advanced users.  
> No sh*t, Sherlock.

There are advanced users, and then there are advanced users. Void isn't
appropriate for the proudly stupid, the proudly helpless, or the
haughtilly lazy. Those guys need Mint (no extra charge for the rootkit).

But for the person who doesn't panic and is willing to use a command
prompt, it's doable. Every day you do:

xbps-install -Su

The preceding upgrades your software, it's the equivalent of Debian's
apt-get update;apt-get upgrade, and probably apt-get dist-upgrade too,
but I never used that. Void is a rolling release.

Installing software is:

xbps-install packagename

Finding a package name is often possible with:

xbps-query -Rs keyword

If you download the xtools package and keep it up to date, a much
easier way to find a package name is:

xlocate keyword

And they'd also need to know how to use the ln -s command to cause the
runit init system to fire up the corresponding daemon. You could easily
document that for your Windows user, assuming he's not proudly stupid,
proudly helpless, or haughtilly lazy.

> > I'm hoping that VOID is a better choice on old computers than
> > say Fedora or Slackware.  

Void's definitely better for old computers than Fedora and Slackware,
both of which are deeply entangled with almost unremoveable handrails
for the proudly stupid, the proudly helpless, and the haughtilly lazy.

If I couldn't use Void, my next try would be Manjaro-OpenRC edition.
I'm not a fan of the OpenRC init system, but unlike Manjaro's default
systemd init system, OpenRC makes it easy to bolt in almost any init
system as a substitute.

If I couldn't use Manjaro-OpenRC, and assuming I didn't hate systemd
(which is a bad assumption with me, but your mileage may vary), I'd try
just plain ordinary Manjaro, making sure to use the LXDE window manager.

Once again, your mileage may vary, but I consistently stay away from
"small" distros like puppy and dsl, because invariably, I need an app
not provided by their very limited packaging systems.

One more thing. I've used Void Linux on my Daily Driver Desktop, as
well as all my notebook computers, for four months. In my opinion, it's
a very, very good distro: Perhaps the best I've ever had, and I've had
a lot of good ones.


Steve Litt 
March 2016 featured book: Quit Joblessness: Start Your Own Business

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