Carbs Linux Installation Guide

Table of Contents

These are the step-by-step instructions for installing Carbs Linux. It can be acquired as plain-text to be viewed offline with a pager from

1 Preparing Environment

To install Carbs Linux, you will need a Live Linux ISO. For that purpose, you can obtain a Gentoo or Void Linux live image. You can follow their instructions to boot and setup your network.

You will need the following programs in order to install Carbs Linux:

  • tar
  • wget
  • xz
  • some form of base utilities (coreutils, sbase, busybox, etc.)

Rest of these instructions will assume that you have set all of these up, and will continue on that point.

1.1 Download

First, we need to download the rootfs tarball. You can do the following in order to obtain the rootfs. If you are using an i686 machine, replace the x86_64 with i686. We are setting this in a URL variable so that we don't have to write it every time.

wget $URL/carbs-rootfs.tar.xz.sha256
sha256sum -c carbs-rootfs.tar.xz.sha256

1.2 Signature verification

It is highly recommended to verify the signature of the tarball. You will need GPG for this.

wget $URL/carbs-rootfs.tar.xz.sig
gpg --recv-keys FF484BDFEFCEF8FF
gpg --verify carbs-rootfs.tar.xz.sig

1.3 Extracting the tarball

You will need to extract the tarball to your desired location. For partitioning, you can follow this guide. This will assume that you will be mounting your root partition to /mnt.

mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt
tar xf carbs-rootfs.tar.xz -C /mnt

1.4 Obtain the chroot helper

You can obtain the cpt-chroot script in order to do a simple chroot into your new root filesystem.

chmod a+x cpt-chroot

2 Chroot

Chroot into Carbs Linux!

./cpt-chroot /mnt

2.1 Setting up repositories

Newest tarballs do not come with repositories, so you will need to manually obtain them, and set your CPT_PATH environment variable. Carbs Linux repositories can either be obtained by git or rsync. While rsync repositories are overall faster and smaller, git offers the whole history of the repository and a means to manipulate your repository as you like it. If you want to obtain the git repository, you will need to install git itself.

The following guide will assume that you put the repositories into ~/repos/ directory, but you can put the repositories into any directory you want. So go ahead and create that directory:

mkdir -p $HOME/repos

2.1.1 Obtaining from git

Carbs Linux git repositories can be found both from the main server and GitHub (mirror). Here are both their repository links. You can clone any of them.

git clone git:// $HOME/repos/carbs

2.1.2 Obtaining from rsync

Carbs Linux rsync repositories live in rsync:// In order to obtain it, run the following:

rsync -avc rsync:// $HOME/repos/carbs

2.1.3 Making the package manager use the repositories

In your shell's configuration file, or in your ~/.profile file, add the following lines:

export CPT_PATH

2.2 Updating packages

It is good practice to make sure your system is up to date, especially before building new packages. If there is an update for the package manager you will need to update twice.

cpt-update && cpt-update

2.3 Installing packages

Since you are operating on a really small base, you might need to build and install new programs to extend the functionality of your system. In order to build and install packages new packages in Carbs, you need to execute the following. "Package" is not actually a package and is given as an example.

cpt-build   package
cpt-install package

2.4 Essential Software

Here is a list of software that you might want to have on your system.


  • efibootmgr
  • grub


  • e2fsprogs
  • dosfstools
  • ntfs-3g


  • dhcpcd
  • wpasupplicant


  • nano
  • vim
  • neatvi
  • emacs
  • emacs-nox (terminal-only version of emacs)


  • bash
  • zsh
  • oksh
  • rc


  • busybox
  • sbase
  • coreutils


  • carbs-docs
  • man-pages
  • man-pages-posix

2.5 Obtaining the documentation

All the documentation for Carbs Linux can be found on a single info manual to be viewed offline. You can obtain texinfo or the info (standalone) package in order to view the documentation.

# Install the documentation.
cpt b carbs-docs && cpt i carbs-docs

# Install either texinfo or the info package. We will be installing standalone info
# as it doesn't need perl.
cpt b info && cpt i info

# You can then run info and navigate through the documentation.
info carbslinux

3 System Configuration

After you have finished installing some extra packages, you can configure your system to your liking.

3.1 Configuring hostname

You might want to add a hostname, especially in a networked environment. Your hostname will default to 'carbslinux' unless you set this.

echo your-hostname > /etc/hostname

3.2 Hosts file

You can edit your /etc/hosts file, which is the static lookup table for host names. By default, there are two entries for localhost which are OKAY. You can replace the 'localhost' part of these entries to your hostname.  localhost.localdomain localhost
::1        localhost.localdomain localhost ip6-localhost

4 Kernel

Kernel isn't managed under the main repositories, even though you could package one for your personal use. Here is an example kernel package, which you will need to reconfigure for your specific setup if you want to make use of it.

4.1 Obtaining the kernel sources

You can visit the website to choose a kernel that you want to install. Though only the latest stable and longterm (LTS) versions are supported.

# Download the kernel and extract it
tar xf linux-5.9.1.tar.xz

# Change directory into the kernel sources
cd linux-5.9.1

4.2 Kernel dependencies

In order to compile the kernel you will need to install some dependencies. You will need libelf to compile the kernel. If you want to configure using the menu interface you will also need ncurses.

# The package manager asks to install if you are building more than one package,
# so no need to run 'cpt i ...'
cpt b libelf ncurses

In the vanilla kernel sources, you need perl to compile the kernel, but it can be easily patched out. You will need to apply the following patch. Patch was written by E5ten. You will need to obtain and apply the patch in the kernel source directory.

patch -p1 < kernel-no-perl.patch

4.3 Building the kernel

Next step is configuring and building the kernel. You can check Gentoo's kernel configuration guide to learn more about the matter. Overall, Gentoo Wiki is a good place to learn about configuration according to your hardware. The following will assume a monolithic kernel.

make menuconfig
install -Dm755 $(make -s image_name) /boot/vmlinuz-linux

5 Making your system bootable

In order to be able to boot your fresh system, wou will need an init-daemon, init-scripts and a bootloader. The init daemon is already provided by busybox, but you can optionally change it.

5.1 Bootloader

In the main repository, there is efibootmgr and grub to serve as bootloaders. efibootmgr can be used as a standalone bootloader, or can be used to install grub in a UEFI environment. efibootmgr is needed unless you are using a device without UEFI support (or you really want to use BIOS for a reason).

5.1.1 GRUB BIOS installation

cpt b grub && cpt i grub
grub-install --target=i386-pc /dev/sdX
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

5.1.2 GRUB UEFI installation

cpt b efibootmgr && cpt i efibootmgr
cpt b grub && cpt i grub

grub-install --target=x86_64-efi \
             --efi-directory=esp \

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

5.2 Init scripts

Only thing left to do is installing the init-scripts, and now you are almost ready to boot your system!

cpt b carbs-init && cpt i carbs-init

5.3 Fstab

You can now manually edit your fstab entry, or you can use the genfstab tool. If you want to use the tool, exit the chroot and run the following:

chmod +x genfstab
./genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

6 Post-installation

The base installation is now complete, you can now fine tune your system according to your needs. Rest of these instructions are completely optional. You can check the rest of the documentation to learn more about the system.

6.1 KISS repositories

While not 100% compatible with cpt, you can use kiss repositories in your system the same way you are using the distribution repositories. Here is an example for the KISS Linux Community repository.