Carbs Linux - a simple busybox linux distribution

Installation Instructions

This post will guide you step-by-step in order to install Carbs Linux. It is not complete yet.

Downloading and Getting Ready to Chroot

Installing Carbs Linux is the same as installing most rootfs distributions, such as Gentoo, or Void Linux.


You simply need a Live Linux ISO. Gentoo would be the best as programs you will require will be already there. Get the ISO, boot it and set up your network.

Required Programs:

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


First, we need to download the rootfs tarball. In your terminal type

$ wget

Check the integrity of the tarball

While optional, it is highly recommended to check the integrity of the tarball.

$ wget
$ sha256sum -c carbs-rootfs-20191210.tar.xz.sha256sum

Check the signatures

While optional, it is highly recommended to check the signature of the tarball

$ wget

Import the public key of

$ gpg --recv-keys FF484BDFEFCEF8FF

$ gpg --verify carbs-rootfs-20191210.tar.xz.sig

Download Kiss Linux Chroot Helper

$ wget

Make the script executable

$ chmod +x kiss-chroot

Extract the rootfs tarball

You need to extract the tarball to your mounted partition

$ tar xvpf carbs-rootfs-20191210.tar.xz -C /mnt


Chroot into Carbs Linux

$ ./kiss-chroot /mnt

Enable repository signing (Highly Recommended)

This step is optional, but very highly recommended (I cannot stress out the amount I am recommending this). This ensures you are receiving updates from Carbs Linux and not some other source.

Install GnuPG

It is also a great time to learn how to use your new package manager, KISS! You simply build and install the package

$ kiss build gnupg1
$ kiss install gnupg1

Import my key

Import my public key (

$ gpg --recv-key 4356EE08A364CE09

Create a .gnupg directory if it doesn't exist

$ mkdir -p /root/.gnupg

Trust my public key

$ echo trusted-key 0x4356ee08a364ce09 >> /root/.gnupg/gpg.conf

Enable signature verification

Git has a built in signature verification feature. You can go to the repository directory and enable it

$ cd /var/db/kiss/repo
$ git config merge.verifySignatures true

Installing Important Tools

Since Carbs gives you one of the most minimal base, you might need to apply some add-ons to your system.

Update packages

It might be a good idea to update your packages before installing new packages. This ensure compatibility.

$ kiss update


Currently, e2fsprogs and dosfstools are supported, as they are the most-used filesystems.

Support for ext2, ext3, and ex4

$ kiss build e2fsprogs
$ kiss install e2fsprogs

Support for dosfstools

$ kiss build dosfstools
$ kiss install dosfstools

Device management

$ kiss build eudev
$ kiss install eudev



$ kiss build wpa_supplicant
$ kiss install wpa_supplicant

eiwd (WIP)

$ kiss build eiwd
$ kiss install eiwd


$ kiss build dhcpcd
$ kiss install dhcpcd


Carbs Linux comes preinstalled with busybox ash, but other shells can be found on the repository

Install bash

$ kiss build bash
$ kiss install bash

Install zsh

$ kiss build zsh
$ kiss install zsh

Install Plan9 rc-shell

$ kiss build 9base
$ kiss install 9base

Install the Kernel

IMPORTANT: If you have GCC 10.x on your system, you need to apply this patch to your kernel sources. Otherwise your kernel will panic during the boot stage.

Next step is installing the kernel, which might sound as a challenge you should download and extract the kernel tarball first.

$ wget

Let's move the sources to /usr/src

$ mv linux-5.5.tar.xz /usr/src
$ tar xf linux-5.5.tar.xz
$ cd linux-5.5

Configure the Kernel

You can check to learn more about kernel configuration. Overall, Gentoo Wiki is a good place to learn about kernel configuration related to your hardware.

Build and install the kernel

The rest of it is simple, build the kernel with make and install it with make install


The default bootloader is GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader).

Build and install GRUB

$ kiss b grub
$ kiss i grub

Install efibootmgr as well if your
system requires it

$ kiss b efibootmgr
$ kiss i efibootmgr

Setup GRUB

$ grub-install --target=i386-pc /dev/sdX

$ grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=esp --bootloader-id=CarbsLinux

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

Install init

Currently, default init for Carbs Linux is sinit, but busybox-init is also supported. You can also change this yourself.

To install init, you have to

$ kiss b sinit
$ kiss i sinit

This will also fetch busybox-init as its dependency.

Enabling other repositories

There are other repositories out there that might be of your interest. The Official Repositories come with community and testing repositories that are not enabled by default. You could also want to add the Kiss Linux community repository, or someone’s personal kiss repository.

Obtaining repositories

Obtaining a repository is as simple as a git clone. You can do it with Cem’s personal repository as an example, but any other repository will be the same.

# Clone the repository to your desired location
# Optionally add "--depth 1" to save precious disk space

$ git clone --depth 1 git:// /var/db/kiss/cem-repository

That’s it, you have obtained a new repository!

Adding a repository to your KISS_PATH

Now that we have obtained Cem’s repository, we can add it to our KISS_PATH!

We need to edit /etc/profile.d/ for this, but you can also change your KISS_PATH from your shellrc.

Add the full path to the repository, in this case /var/db/kiss/cem-repository/cem to the variable and add a : before/after it.

It must be looking like this.

export KISS_PATH=/var/db/kiss/repo/core:/var/db/kiss/repo/extra:/var/db/kiss/repo/xorg:/var/db/kiss/cem-repository/cem

Update your shell variables by doing . /etc/profile.d/ so you can immediately access the repository packages


You should now be able to boot into you Carbs Linux installation. To learn more, you can visit the wiki

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