New images

As of today, a new set of images has been released. This is following the complete world rebuild that has been going on the last few days.

The new images are therefore generated from these new packages, and are the last images that are released before the alpha release.

World rebuild

The world rebuild has been successful and mostly uneventful on all architectures. There aren’t any or many updated versions, as that will happen after this.

However, it is very important that the rebuild has happened for the alpha release that will come soon after this.

Updates since last post

A lot of the work since the last update has been on cleanups and overall quality. Overall, a summary:

  1. The hardening overhaul fallout has been mostly addressed. There may be some crashes left, which will be dealt with over the next few weeks.
  2. The login stack has been switched from util-linux to shadow.
  3. Various service management fixes and cleanups.
  4. Overhaul of console-setup to uses non-XKB keymaps by default, removing base system dependency on Perl.
  5. Chimerautils has been tagged, and various new tools have been ported (e.g. locate, whereis, script, logger, cal, and others) and many others have been written from scratch.
  6. Util-linux has been split up, and much less of it is now installed by default. Several new chimerautils tools replace its various functionality.
  7. Base metapackages have been cleaned up.
  8. The system has been switched from eudev to systemd-udev.
  9. Support for kernel efibootmgr hook for automatic EFISTUB boot entries.
  10. Automatic ZFS root detection has been fixed for GRUB, and there is now a new tool to detect root for U-Boot menu and other places.
  11. Overhaul of agetty handling, with support for config files to specify various parameters such as baud rate.
  12. Our system toolchain now defaults to -fno-semantic-interposition.
  13. The apk package manager will not mess up early permissions anymore, simplifying binary bootstrapping.

This is not an exhaustive list.

New images

The new images are mostly an incremental refresh, to allow for cleaner installations that do not update thousands of packages. There have been some notable improvements too, however:

  1. The new tools chimera-live-bootstrap and chimera-live-chroot to simplify installations.
  2. Much improved detection of serial terminals, which means in a lot of cases it is not even necessary to specify a console= anymore. If the kernel is configured to output to serial in any way, the respective agetty service will be configured, if it exists.
  3. The graphical images now use networkmanager by default.

Upcoming alpha

Up next is updating our packages to their latest versions, as a lot of stuff in the repository is by now fairly out of date. Various minor improvements will be done while doing this, and issues reported with the new images will be addressed.

The alpha release should then come a few weeks from now, definitely during March.

The release will mark the next stage of the project, where adventurous people will be able to pick it up as their daily driver, and expansion of the package set can begin.