April 2021 News Post

posted on Apr 15, 2021

Greetings from the cruellest month of the year! We have some important topics this month that I wanted to share with you.

CPT version 6 Release

I have released the version 6 of our package manager and did a few bugfix releases, which contained a variety of changes made since December. The Changelog details them on our new Fossil repository, which I will be talking about more on a later section of this post.

As I have mentioned on the previous news post, I was holding the release for a few bugfixes, and documentation. The documentation is complete enough to be shipped, but there are still some things to add. The manual pages, and the documentation for the user tools, however, are considered complete.

New rootfs tarball

A new tarball has been released after almost 7 months! This tarball targets the x86_64 architecture, and can be installed following the instructions.

Signing Releases

Releases are now signed with the OpenBSD tool signify(1) instead of GnuPG. There are two packages on our repository that provide this tool, otools, and signify. Debian-based distributions usually provide it under signify-openbsd, and other distributions provide it as just signify. Each release will have a different public key, those can be found on https://dl.carbslinux.org/keys. Since the public keys are so small, I will also be embedding the latest release key to the README file of the package repository, and the installation manual.

The state of i686

As you may have noticed, I haven't made a release for the i686 architecture this time. I won't be retiring it, but my old laptop, which was the reason I initially ported Carbs Linux to the architecture in the first place, has stopped working. I won't be retiring it just now, but I also don't see anyone else interested in it. If you are interested in taking the maintainership for the architecture, you can send a mail to the mailing-list. Otherwise, I will be dropping the architecture by the end of June.

Fossil

I have recently been toying around with the alternate version control system, Fossil. Since no Carbs Linux News Post is complete without some sort of repository migration1, the canonical repository of the package manager has been moved to Fossil on https://fossil.carbslinux.org/cpt. However, this doesn't mean that the mailing-list on Sourcehut will be removed, those will be in place until I decide to serve mailing lists on our own server.

As time goes on, I am also planning on switching some other repositories to Fossil as well. I will be switching the Documentation repository next, and the Package repository when Fossil support is added to the package manager.

Fossil support on the package manager

Right now, the package manager supports Git, Mercurial, and Rsync repositories. I do want to add Fossil repository support, however this might take long to implement as I will be rewriting the repository backend to simplify and collect the operations made by the package manager to manage package repositories.

I'm aiming for a new system that makes it easy and simple to manage repositories outside of the package manager's scope as well. These changes can be followed from the repository-backend branch, which as of the time of writing this blog post, contains no new check-ins, and specifically the status of Fossil support can be tracked from this ticket.

Switching back to LibreSSL

This is the 4th time Carbs Linux is switching SSL providers, but I am planning on this to be the final change for the foreseeable future. The reason behind this change is pragmatism. Even though BearSSL is sufficient enough to run the base, some essential packages (such as Python for its SSL module) depended on LibreSSL, meaning that using LibreSSL was mandatory if you weren't simply using the bare-minimum. Using 2 separate SSL libraries is pointless when you have the option to easily use a single one.

Consistent communication

I have decided to be more consistent on these news posts, I will try to make these every 15th of the month. I have also recently came back to IRC to be as active as possible. At least I can always be reached by mail, if all else fails!

See you on the next post!

Footnotes:

1

"No mention of openbsd on the internet is complete without a long thread about source control migration." – tedu@ https://gameoftrees.org