The state of Wyverkiss, Wyvertux, LLVM-based Linux distributions, and more...


Herdiansyah - a personal blog


The state of Wyverkiss, Wyvertux, LLVM-based Linux distributions, and more...


It’s been a few years (even “2 years” is “a few”, right?) since I started building Wyverkiss. A lot of things have happened.

  1. Wyverkiss’ base changes, twice

    Since Dylan disappeared on October 2020, some people began a new search of new BDFL through vote, and it’s decided that Dilyn will become the new BDFL. I did not take part of the vote nor requested to be a candidate (because well, it’s not a multiple choice question between fixed candidates so you can put whoever you want there) since my stance on certain things on Linux distribution and Dylan’s stance are different, and I don’t want the burden of deciding “this is minimal and simple, this is not” since “simple” is different per person, and first and foremost, my immediate concern is practicality.

    Wyverkiss decided to switch to kiss-community’s repository. There’s not much change because most of the time, they only do package updates.

    Someone eventually reached out to Dylan and got a message back saying that Dylan is fine, and was planning to come back soon, eventually he started committing on a regular basis on June 2021, and started committing regularly on KISS repos. After all packages are up-to-date, Wyverkiss decided to switch back to Dylan’s original KISS Linux repo, a lot of changes also happened (e.g. the switch to OpenSSL and Wayland) and we’ll follow them.

    On a pleasant surprise, KISS made systems with LLVM/Clang first class citizens along with GCC too, while KISS will still provide GCC only by default, anyone who wants to make an LLVM-related patch should not be facing major difficulties.

  2. Less patches overall

    Some of the most notorious packages such as Rust had to be patched to support LLVM-only environment, however, with PR #84124 [1] accepted, we can expect these patches removed. Of course, some hacks may be needed since we’re using Rust’s own tarball, but overall, it’s relatively pleasant compared to the old methods. As LLVM, Clang, and its tools mature and support more GCC options, I certainly hope that in the future all packages that are available in KISS can be built with our toolchain, through Wyverkiss or kiss-llvm.

  3. Even more LLVM-based distributions

    There are more and more LLVM-based distributions popping up (and not just using Clang as compiler, like OpenMandriva), like Iglunix [2] and Chimera Linux [3], and admittedly, they have better infrastructure, better cross-compiling support, better at a lot of things than my effort.

    So where do we go from here? Due to personal resource constraints and lack of knowledge, I can’t possibly compete with these two projects on making everything GNU-free. Hell, I just discovered that fribidi is a GNU package (and big big thanks to Dylan for removing it in KISS). There’s also a matter of GNOME, some thinks it’s a part of GNU, I think otherwise. Anyway, Iglunix seems to focus on being GNU-free as possible, that also probably means no GTK+ and other things, while for Chimera, I think it’ll be focused more on GNU-free base system only, while allowing GTK+, fribidi, and others. I might be wrong though. Anyway, so where does that leave Wyvertux?

    Honestly, my only goal is to find alternative implementations of something and get it working, and having fun in the process. I did runit in Artix and it’s been very fun to get it working, I tried my hand on LLVM/Clang and it’s also interesting to work out with. So, with two different projects to fill the niche with bigger and better audiences, I think I’m fine taking the backseat, filling out issues or small PRs such as increasing compatibility with bmake on random repos, and basically trying out my luck to get the small PR accepted. I wish the two projects all the best, and I should rethink where Wyvertux should go. Wyverkiss’ will go on as usual though.

It’s been one hell of a ride, let’s see what the future holds. Also, officially and on the behalf of the Wyvertux team (which only has one member: me), welcome back, Dylan!

[1] https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/pull/84124
[2] https://github.com/iglunix
[3] https://github.com/chimera-linux